Lovely Leather

There is no denying that leather is a force to be reckoned with this season. Paring a leather item with any outfit is an easy way to give your look an edgier touch. While genuine leather is on the pricey side, there are many synthetic leather options that provide you with all the bang for fewer bucks. This trend has also been a huge hit among celebrities. A-list stars such as Beyonce´, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Lopez and Kristen Stewart have all been seen rocking the trend. While you may be thinking that wearing tight leather pants or a tiny leather dress is a little too bold for you, there are a multitude of ways to tweak the trend to fit your personal style. Not a fan of black? No worries, there are plenty leather pieces available in this season’s hottest colors. All in all, leather is extremely versatile and should be a staple in every woman’s closet.

Leather Skirt

While leather skirts are typically seen as nighttime attire, this season feminine pleated option allows you to wear the trend day or night.  If you are looking for a sexier option, pair a leather pencil skirt with a peplum top and you’ve got the perfect mix of sexy and classy.

Leather Dress

When it comes to leather dresses there are a wide variety of options available. For the bolder fashionista, who is not afraid to show off her curves, a bodycon leather dress will be perfect. Those who are more modest may prefer a dress with leather accents.

Leather Pants

Remember liquid leggings? Well, they have been replaced with far more stylish, and breathable, leather pants. These pants will give any outfit a chic and edgy twist.

Leather Jacket

The leather jacket is a classic piece that can easily transform and pull together any look. A fun way to wear this season’s biker jacket is to pair it with ultra feminine dresses and skirts to add contrast to your outfit

Fall Foliage for the Wardrobe

Autumn has been in full swing for a little less than a month, but one key factor seems to be missing—fall foliage. As a native of Chapel Hill, I expect the usual blend of vibrant red, orange, and yellow around this time of year. However, I have found that there is a dearth of fall colors around campus this year. I trample over dead leaves everyday, but I don’t actually see the beautiful mix of colors that usually evokes Halloween, Thanksgiving, and apple cider. Although this lack of fall ambience is disappointing, especially when I see friends from New Jersey posting pictures of fall foliage at its best, I have decided that the best cure for the lack of color is to incorporate fall into my wardrobe.

Let’s start with the reds. A particularly popular fall color this year is oxblood. Deemed the “it” color for this fall, Megan Buerger, a writer for The Washington Post, says, “Some see it as a deep red with splashes of purple and blue, nearing burgundy or berry. Others see it injected with chocolate brown and closer to the color of, well, blood. It’s everywhere in fashion this season, from chunky waffle scarves to shiny leather dresses, as dark as a plum lipstick and as light as a sheer merlot.” AllSaints Spitalfields, the British retailer based in London, has made particularly good use of the color in their fall collection. Try this oxblood dress or this oxblood biker jacket from AllSaints for an unconventional take on the casual dress and the leather jacket. And although there are no AllSaints stores located in North Carolina, their online shopping department is great, and shipping is free within the US.

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If you want to wear a brighter shade than oxblood, add a pop of cherry red or pink-red to your wardrobe. All you need to do is add an accessory in one of these shades, like this great scarf from Madewell, a store that recently opened at Southpoint Mall. I love the interesting print on this scarf and the bright red may seem unusual for fall, but it still works in small doses.

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As for orange, look no further than this autumn appropriate outfit from Madewell’s big sister brand, J.Crew. The lighter orange blazer layered over the deeper orange sweater is chic but laid-back. Blazers are a definite must for the fall, and this slim-fitting blazer combined with the festive sweater makes for a perfect orange outfit.

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Finally, embrace yellow this fall by experimenting with yellow boots. Although unorthodox, yellow boots can make your outfit a standout. For instance, these yellow moccasin boots are not for the faint of heart, but they make a statement with their unusual coloring and decorative beading.

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If you’re feeling a little less daring, try out these soft yellow-brown boots.

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And if it’s raining, try out these not so mellow yellow rain boots.

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In the Bag: Coach x Net-a-Porter

The 5 Revived Coach bags to be released, photo courtesy of

Here at Kaleidoscope, we love collaborations – remember our Lanvin for H&M feature in the Winter 2010 issue? We’ve seen a lot of great collaborations this season – the return of Target’s Go! International collection, Urban Outfitters’ “Designed By” collection, Converse and Marimekko, and Sophie Theallet for Nine West, just to name a few. And while these big-name combinations have been great assets to the fashion world (and to our closets!), our next collaboration preview is possibly the most exciting yet.

Renowned bag label Coach has announced that on June 15th, 2011, they will release a vintage line of purses exclusive to Net-a-Porter. With classic, solid leather colors and once-signature snap enclosures, the bags are easily recognizable as Coach products. It isn’t a new design with a 70’s-inspired feel, but a relaunch of five of their most popular bags to date. They’re also a great mix of sizes – whether you want a smaller handbag or a shoulder bag to bring to work, they’ve got you covered.

The designs weigh in at around $298 – an investment, for sure, but an affordable one, if you can budget and save up until the release. Sure, you might be able to find a vintage Coach bag at a consignment store or a thrift shop for a fraction of that price, but wouldn’t it be nice to take your pick of the design and color you really want? And you won’t have to worry about where it’s been, since you’ll be the first owner. And the leather really will last longer than a lesser-priced bag will – Coach always produces high-quality products.

June 15th. Net-a-Porter. We’ll be there – will you?

A Mile in Their Shoes

We’re all familiar with Gilt Groupe‘s amazing deals, but sometimes we’re still left wanting the exact items our favorite fashion icons wear. Gilt Groupe did boast Lily Allen’s amazing Marc Jacobs Nylon magazine cover dress, but that was a rarity. Often, discount fashion sites and sales are collections of products that weren’t able to sell at the full retail price.

Chanel Black and Gold Camellia Clutch, $1100,

Designers and retailers want to get rid of them, so they lower the cost and have third parties do the selling.

But at, this isn’t the case. Rather than offering reduced prices on new merchandise, the site takes a new approach: it’s a consignment shop. DecadesTwo1 offers clothing and accessories that celebrities and fashion figures (Charlize Theron and Rachel Zoe, for example) have already owned, but no longer wear. It takes the guesswork out of fashion decisions – you already know that a style authority has deemed the item worthy of purchasing and wearing!

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Changes at Roulette Vintage…but not before a pretty party and lovely sale

Carrboro’s very own Roulette Vintage will be closing it’s storefront Sunday February 13 to focus on its Etsy store, but that doesn’t mean the fun is over.


Inside Roulette Vintage, photo credit Kara LaFleur

The oh-so-cute store, which sells vintage duds and local designer pieces, will hold its annual Valentines Day Party this Friday at its store from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. The party will feature the designs of local brand Riverbasin Outfitters which makes repurposed clothing and accessories using recycled materials.


Star Hoodie Dress, on sale for $14, photo credit Riverbasin Outfitters

It’s also the Art Walk (held the first Friday of each month), so after you sip love punch while browsing at Roulette, you can check out the art scene in Carrboro.

Saturday and Sunday will be the store’s HUGE vintage sale. On Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. all vintage will be 30% off. On Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. all vintage will be 50% off. If you’ve been to Roulette before, you know they have good prices anyway, so don’t miss out on this shopping opportunity! It’s your chance to find a one-of-a-kind cocktail dress for a steal. The owners will be taking out vintage from the back as well, so you’re sure to find something you love.


Roulette models in vintage clothing, photo credit Kara LaFleur

Gifts for Him..

..but really you! With the holidays coming up, it’s time to start searching for gifts for that special someone. Although getting a present for your boyfriend (or father, brother, etc)  may be tricky, have some fun during your multiple shopping excursions and pick something out that you can borrow for yourself from time to time.
1. Topman Grey Chunky Stitch Cardigan, $88
2. Urban Outfitters Double Cable Eternity Scarf, $28
3.  River Island School Satchel, $46
4.  American Apparel Jute & Leather Belt, $34
5. American Apparel Recycled Cotten-Acrylic Blend Snow Cap, $23
6.  J Crew Marled Socks, $16 (2 for $20)
7.  Polo Ralph Lauren Suede-Patch Hunting Shirt, $145
8. Topman Stone Double Cable Snood Scarf, $32

*Place any online orders ASAP if you need them by Christmas! – the Latest Site Worth Checking Out

Featured in fashion magazines like Nylon and Teen Vogue, has been off to a great start in America since they’ve started shipping to locations in the U.S. The site offers clothes and accessories from over 850 brands, including many upscale designers, like French Connection and Juicy Couture, as well as a few lines they’ve created themselves. Many of the designers featured on ASOS also have items in the “Outlet” section, which offers great markdowns comparable to what you would find in any outlet mall. And did we mention that they always have FREE shipping both ways to the U.S. (and for the holiday season, the whole world)? If you order something that doesn’t fit, or isn’t what you expected, you can just use the return label, which includes postage, and send your order back for a refund without breaking a sweat.

Items that are hot right now are pieces from the popular Alexander McQueen for Puma line, and their collaboration with Nylon Magazine. They’re also having a sale that boasts a 20 percent discount on select items, so you really have no excuse not to at least give ASOS a look! And if you subscribe to their newsletter, without even buying anything, they’ll automatically enter you to win a $1000 E-gift card to buy holiday presents for your family and friends, and something for yourself too!

Did we mention ASOS also has their own fashion magazine? It’s exclusively online and features models wearing products available on their site, but the magazine also offers feature articles and is consistently covered by It Girls of our time. Example: Jessica Szohr of Gossip Girl is the current cover girl, and other recent cover girls include Olivia Palermo, Emma Stone, and Bonnie Wright (of Harry Potter).

With so many things to offer, our only question to you is – which ASOS feature will you check out first?

ASOS AUTOGRAPH Faux Fur Cuff Lace-Up Boots, taken from the As Seen in Nylon section, $94.82 at

Friday Fashion Shorts

The Good Kind of Baggage

For me, with handbags, I say the bigger the better. However, sometimes that fabulous over-sized slouchy tote that fits everything from your make-up bag to your spare tire is not always the best statement for all outfits. Here are a few different ways to keep your baggage on board, as more than just a carry on, as a final touch to whichever outfit you choose.

This small clutch is an easy way to add color to any plain outfit and is great for a night out on the town whether it be a formal occasion or a more casual one without having to lug something around over your shoulder all night only to be set aside for pictures. Also, these colors can be worn all year round, daytime or evening, and match a wide variety of colors and patterns as well.

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This darling little cross body bag is super cute on a more casual day. Don’t feel like dressing up? Jeans and a v-neck never looked so hot. This is perfect for every day and looks great with leggings, jeans, a mini skirt, and almost any top. It’s perfect for wearing to class with just a tee and boots or can be dressier with some heels and a silk camisole

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Of course we can’t leave out the over-sized tote that just seems to make life so much easier… except when your phone is ringing in the bottom of it, or when it takes 20 minutes to find your chapstick, or… well, it’s cute right? Not only do these huge slouchy totes look fabulous dangling from anyone’s arm–it is a must-have if you are like myself and are always on the go. Not only can you fit all your daily necessities in it, but it glams up any outfit and never gets old. Metallics are perfect for any season and can take an outfit to a whole new level.

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Now that you know how to take your outfits up a notch and into the next season with your baggage, remember these tips on your next hunt for the perfect handbag. Whether you are using a small clutch or a large tote, keep in mind that it will never go out of style so long as you keep it near the front of your closet and also making sure to give each one its turn going out with you when the time is right.