Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Mondrian West Hollywood $270 off

Part of being stylish is promoting the appearance that you're a jet setter. This can be hard to do when the money you'd ordinarily spend in South Beach or Cannes is going towards making sure your electricity isn't shut off.

Fortunately for us, a lot of travel providers are having the same problems paying their bills, which means that you can find some real travel bargains this year if you look carefully.

The Mondrian West Hollywood Hotel, which just completed a $35 million renovation, is offering stylish suites on the Sunset Strip at the astounding price of $195 per night, through April and May. This price is an astounding TWO HUNDRED SEVENTY DOLLARS off per night. For more information on booking a suite, visit

Each suite features waterfall showers, floor to ceiling windows with panoramic views and flat screen TVs. My dreams of spending at least part of 2009 in a luxury hotel suite may just have come true. Now if only I can find an airline that has round trip tickets for seventy one cents, Hieu and I can blog in style.

Thanks to Dave Lee for the new logo/masthead! For more information on his services (including but not limited to graphic design, making me laugh, beating people at Scrabble and stuff I can't mention in polite company, e-mail And stay tuned for the Ten Pretty Girls tee shirts, which are in the works.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The $2 Challenge: Red Patent Pleather Journal

Five Below is a store aimed at the wallets of tweens and teenagers, but in this economy, it's just as appealing to their parents and is often the first place we check when we need to buy anything.

As you'd guess from the name, everything in the store costs $5 or less, and they have a wide range of merchandise, from toys, books and software to makeup to crafts to sporting goods to tee shirts to fad items like Kooky Pens and Beanie Babies. Some day I'm going to come up with a fad like that and be able to report on purchases from Neiman Marcus again, but in the meantime, Five Below satisfies. In fact, I'd go as far as to say it's the new Target, because it presents truly stylish merchandise at 1/4 the price at which you would get it anywhere else.

For this reason, Five Below was the natural choice for the next installment of the $2 challenge. I came SO close to winning; the price tag on this item is actually $3, but it's so close that I just had to write about it. After all, $3 is only 12 quarters. Anyone who's fairly diligent could scrounge that from behind the cushions of their couch.

This faux patent leather journal has 200 pages, comes with stylish hardware, and also features a zippered pocket that you can stash stuff in if you're going to the park or the beach to write. It comes in two versions, red and black. I chose the red but I think I'll have to go back there and get the black too...maybe one will be for my racy tell-all memoir and the other one for emo poetry. At this price, you can buy SIX of them and spend less than you would for one journal at Barnes & Noble. Available at Five Below while supplies last.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Ten Pretty Girls Get Facelifts

Well, that's not exactly true. It's the blog that's getting a facelift, thanks to the talented team of Michael and Heather Grenier, who custom designed a logo for us that perfectly fits our feel of retro elegance mixed with modern moxie. (If you're interested in their services, leave a comment and I'll forward it to them.)

Okay, we also offer heaping spoonfuls of sarcasm but I'm afraid that a sarcastic logo might get us confused with the Onion, which might not necessarily be a bad thing but would definitely alienate my most loyal readership. (Hi Mom!)

I love the pink and brown color scheme because it reminds me of Bendel's, a beautiful vision to illuminate these long dark teatimes of the soul. I'm having a bit of trouble finding background and text colors that show it off, though. Hieu can solve this problem for me, but right this second he's on a job interview (I won't say where but after last week's Screamer of the Week you can be 100% sure it isn't Kmart!), so while we're waiting for him, let's enjoy a little treat that also rocks the retro/modern contrast: an Henri Bendel candle in Black Fig, with notes of absinthe, Persian lime, cashmere, wood and jasmine. This candle is an indulgence at $26 but it will burn for over 50 hours and candlelight is said to mimic the effects of a face lift, after all!

Friday, March 20, 2009

How To Receive Your AIG Bonus In Style

Hieu Tran is an occasional contributing writer to Ten Pretty Girls, freelancing and living in San Francisco.

SAN FRANCISCO, March 18—Zoogster Costumes reports that item RA7202 is sold out. The run on the costume is being blamed on the recent AIG bonuses—also known as “retention payments.”

The costume is apparently the preferred outfit for all AIG employees who are standing in line to receive the million-dollar bonuses rewarded to them for helping their company post the largest loss—$61.7 billion dollars in a quarter—in corporate history, while multi-tasking to the effect of helping trash the global economy, resulting in numerous job losses, failed businesses, loss of homes and swallowing of pride in begging for jobs that once were considered ridiculous and demeaning. Since then, AIG has asked numerous times for billions of dollars in taxpayers’ money, in the form of bailouts, to help keep the company from going bankrupt.

The suit, complete with matching hat, enables executives to identify which AIG employees should be freely given hard-earned American taxpayer money—money which, according to AIG executives, the American taxpayers didn’t need anyway.

When asked for comment about the suit, AIG CEO Edward Liddy remarked, “These bonuses are part of the contract of these remarkable employees. But boy, they’ve really earned it! And when you see them in the Zoogster suit, you just understand how remarkable these guys really are.” Liddy paused, then, with a twinkle in his eye, he assured, “Oh, and please don’t worry about the money spent on buying the suits. We didn’t require our outstanding employees to buy them. Instead, American tax dollars went into purchasing the suits for them.”

A Zoogster Costumes representative commented, “That’s pretty cool that they bought all the RA7202 costumes. It’s good for our business, so that totally rocks.” Then he thought for a bit, then added, “But since my tax money is buying the suits for them, I guess that totally sucks balls.”

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Running With Scissors: Opening Ceremony Cutout Dress 1/2 Off

I've been a little bit obsessed with Ugly Betty lately. I've had a thing for Eric Mabius way back since Welcome To The Dollhouse, and call me a sucker, but the season three reluctant bonding between Amanda, Marc and Betty is really getting to me. The main reason, however, is Vanessa Williams' incredible wardrobe, which keeps getting more and more over the top as the season goes on. Barring a few missteps (the silver dress she wore in the roof party episode looked like it had a board nailed across the bodice), she's the most stylish villainess since Cruella Deville.

If your trend watching is limited to following Wilhelmina Slater, as mine has been of late as I catch up on some other areas of my writing, you'll notice that cutout dresses are making a comeback. This is a trend from the 80's, but unlike some other similar trends that are making me break out in hives just thinking about them-- stirrup pants? JUMPSUITS? If I ever see Wilhelmina wearing a jumpsuit I'll eat my right hand-- this look is actually wearable and sexy.

Here's a great version from Opening Ceremony at Twenty Thirty Forty, my new favorite online boutique, on sale for half off and a true bargain at only $138. The reason this dress is killah is because it's subtle, timeless, and could serve as an LBD. Even better, it truly could be worn in all four seasons, even summer, depending on how you accessorize it and how much air conditioning there is in the places you hang out. I would buy this dress for a power lunch at NINETHIRTY, pair it with some big black glasses and strappy sandals, and feel like the movie star my mom always told me I was.

Monday, March 16, 2009

How To Walk In Six Inch Heels

Editorial Disclaimer: the heels pictured above (Nine West) are only 5 inches high. They're my equivalent of "kitten heels," while my 4 inch heels are "sensible shoes" and my 3 inch heels are my version of flats. This leads to a predictable set of questions: "Who do you think you are, a drag queen?" "What are you doing in heels that high?" "When you're in the hospital with two broken legs, you don't think I'm going to visit you, do you?" "Where did you even find heels that high?" Or my favorite, "Why in God's name are you wearing 6 inch heels?"

The short answer to the last question is that they make me feel powerful. Walking in 6 inch heels is a somewhat rare talent and I love to make jaws drop any way I can. It's not always easy. Recently I almost gave up my 6 inch heels when they came between me and getting backstage at Badgley Mischka. But the truth is they're one of my signature style items and I can't live without them. answer Stevie's question, following is the secret to getting away with 6 inch heels:

1. Pick platforms if you can. The heels pictured above are actually harder to wear than my 6 inch ones, because the 6 inch ones have a 2 inch platform. Therefore, my calf muscles think that they're 4 inch heels.

2. Make sure the shoes are otherwise comfortable. Even I CANNOT handle 6 inch heels plus a strap that rubs, or 6 inch heels with pinchy toes.

3. Develop a purposeful stride. Walking in 6 inch heels is like flying in a dream. If you think about the fact that you're doing it, suddenly you won't be able to do it anymore.

4. This last one is the most important. The real secret to walking in 6 inch heels is sheer stubbornness. I could follow all of the other rules and still not be able to do it if I weren't so intent on proving everyone else wrong. The main reason I can walk in 6 inch heels is because everyone else thinks I can't.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The $2 Challenge: Torrid Triple Changer Earrings

Hieu Tran is an occasional contributing writer to Ten Pretty Girls, freelancing and living in San Francisco.

A globe. A star. A ring. They sound like mythical elements, but we can get these Torrid earrings all together for $1.99. Granted, they’re on clearance among other earrings and necklaces, but not far away from this clearance display are other similar items for full price. For whatever reason, Torrid has decided to move these items to make space for other products. So while these Torrid earrings have probably seen their last days in the store, they make great deals for bargain hunters and $2 challenges.

There were a number of serviceable designs to choose from, but the one offering I chose furnishes us with three pairs of earrings: blue globes, pink stars, and silver hoops. So, for $2, one may pick up a few additional variables in fashion coordination, each different playfully in color, shape, and size.

I suppose one may call them cute. But a guy such as myself wouldn’t know how to apply that term properly to fashion item. Nonetheless, from $10.00 to a mere $1.99, these Torrid earrings show that even in this economy, we can still pick up a thing or two—or three—that won’t break our wallets.