Buy Curious: Pining for Spring

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So what if spring is still a month away? We're pining for warmer days and lighter clothes. This week, Buy Curious evaluates some of the scary, otherworldly trends top fashion mags are pushing this season, and we've come up with our own down-to-earth looks, from lightweight trenches to wedge espadrilles. And we show you where to buy them on the cheap! Plus, we trolled the fashion blogs for the latest news: Girls Gone Wild launches a sportswear line, social networking is all the rage, and an interactive dressing room mirror may finally text you the truth. It's another delicious Buy Curious!

Our Sartorialist Moment It's not everyday that we have a Sartorialist moment in the East Bay, so we were pleasantly surprised when we came upon this young lady in Berkeley, who perfectly captured the well-put-together look of a bygone era with her vintage navy coat (from Denmark) and pearl earrings. Nice job!

SHOP TALK

Spring Hit List While the world of high-fashion is already touting its fall collections, we're still stuck in the real world of what-the-hell-to-wear for spring (which still seems far off). Luckily for us, one of the perks of living in the Bay Area is that the climate is basically one long spring/fall, so we can rightfully justify our purchases will work year-round. That makes our slim pocketbooks happy, too.

That said, we have a hard time relying on couture trend setters, and can't help but wonder: do designers have some secret Dead Designers' Society meeting where they just throw a bunch of rehashed looks in a pot, then randomly pick what styles they'll push next season? Do fashion mags just cobble together disparate looks from the runway into a vaguely defined "style?" Just check out Style.com's Spring 2007 Trends. According to the online site of style-bibles W and Vogue, the truly fashion-forward will be splurging on something sporty, romantic, '40s pin-up, '80s fluorescent, space-agey, and swingy.

Further down the fashion totem pole, Lucky Magazine has concocted its own must-have Spring Trends: quirky nautical, soft opulence, brights, menswear, and Grecian. While we give them props for coming up with more wearable ideas, we have to admit, we're not excited by any of them. Nor are we buying into that wearing these will make us feel au courant.

So we've compiled our own spring trends, based on a) what we see on the street b) what we actually want to wear and c) what's actually cute! That's not hard, is it?

1) Cotton Trenchcoat Designer-discounted site BlueFly is having an amazing sale on spring trenches. Try lighter colors, such as cream, khaki, or navy, instead of basic black. This Michael Kors white double-breasted belted trenchcoat is a perfect cover-up for chilly spring nights. Plus, it's water-resistant and machine washable. $96 (orig. $160)

2) Espadrilles Whether you're looking for peep-toes or lace-ups, Espadrilles Etc. has all the cutest looks, direct from Spain! We're in love with this leather peep-toe style, Flavia, and its totally walkable height. $105.

3) Shirt Dress Let's face it: the shirt dress is a staple. If it's not hip this season, just wait a few more and it's likely to come back around. For something different, try this soft cotton shirt dress by Rebecca Taylor in a fetching plum color. $229.60 (orig. $328)

4) Cropped jacket Wherever we go, we can't escape the cropped jacket! At first, we thought the style was a little haphazard, but eventually we came to see this as the perfect spring dress accessory. Here are two options: This zip-up style with adorable dolman sleeves from Young Fabulous & Broke for $81.50 (orig. $163). Or for something more substantial and constructed, try this Charlotte Ronson double-breasted blouson jacket. $238.

5) Metallic ballet flats In case you don't already have a few pairs in your closet, these shimmering staples will go a long way in dressing up your jeans or accessorizing dresses comfortably. We suggest something subtle, like these flats from Matt Bernson in a dainty rose hue. 20 percent off $139 when you enter "LUCKYMAG" in checkout.

Denim Sale Need a denim fix? Head over to Underground Denim's public sale this weekend, and pick up jeans for as low as $40. When: Sat. & Sun., Feb. 24 & 25 (Sat. 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.-4 p.m.)

Where: Embarcadero Center, in the former Harbor Village Restaurant, 4 Embarcadero Center, San Francisco

FASHANALYSIS: STYLE NEWS & VIEWS Browsing the Blogs

FashionSpace Social networking is the biggest craze on the Internet, and many sites are vying to become the MySpace for the fashion-obsessed. The newest launch comes from Iqons, a project by several fashion insiders and commentators, which allows users to post videos and photo slideshows, and search by tags. The layout is a bit wonky, but we think they're on to something. Others trying to get in the game include ShareYourLook, Shoutfit, Stylehive, and StyleDiary.

Want Candy? Daily Candy is on the auction block, and some speculate the site could fetch more than $100 million. The popular site generates email newsletters on shopping, entertainment, food, and media in 11 markets, including San Francisco, Chicago, and London. Why didn't we think of this?

Girls Gone Clothed Apparently, the same a-hole that takes advantage of drunk girls (and even not-drunk reporters) is now attempting to patch up his reputation with a line of Girls Gone Wild sportswear, with the slogan "when clothing isn't optional." The youth-oriented collection of sportswear, loungewear, intimate apparel, and swimwear will retail for $32 to $72 for tops; $98 to $198 for outerwear; and $72 to $148 for bottoms. We imagine they'll have easy access.

How Does This Look? You know the moment: you've got something cute on in the dressing room but it's a little expensive, there's no return policy, and you're not sure if your shopaholic-glasses are fogging your vision. You desperately need a second opinion but the sales girl is nowhere in sight and you can't quite muster the gumption to ask the stranger in the next room. What to do? IconNicholson, a New York interactive agency, proposes an interactive mirror. The company imagines you send a pic of yourself to your friends (presumably from your cell phone), who will then text-message their response, which will show up on the fitting room mirror. Sounds like a lot of coordinated effort to us.

Thinking Inside the Box

Some lucky lady's thoughtful husband came up with this ingenious shoe box called Shoe Stor: a clear, ventilated, stackable box that opens at the end. Actually, clear plastic shoe boxes were all the rage back in the '70s, but unfortunately disappeared from the map. We're glad they're back, but of course, they're not cheap, either. Ten sell for $39.95. Order now on their site and get 15 percent off when you enter "BussBuss" at checkout, through 2/28/07.

Every Friday, Buy Curious dishes on the hottest fashion trends, news, and sales in the East Bay � and we want to hear from you! Tips? Suggestions for things you'd like to see? Questions for Buy Clueless, our advice column? Send it all to us. Email BuyCurious[at]EastBayExpress[dot]com

Back to 92510, the East Bay Express news blog.

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