Thursday, January 28, 2010

Outfit #8: Classics to Casual



I wasn't very happy with this outfit trying stuff on. I tried several blouses, several skirts. ("I changed my shirt 4 times. Can you imagine anyone being that jerky?")

And yet, looking at the comparison now, the outfits look similar. Eerily similar. And similarly boring.

This is another instance where using so-called classics in my closet just doesn't work. Because I don't own said classics. Well, let me rephrase that, I own some pieces, but none of them fits so they sit in my closet and I say to myself, "No, no, no, I already OWN a pencil skirt. I don't need to buy another one." Even though that pencil skirt was purchased several years ago in a size 10, never worn, and still has the threaded X to keep the slit together in the back.

Ooohhhhhhh.....painful.

So for a normal person who, I don't wear, wears classic items appropriately to the office, this might be a neat "Casual Friday" twist. But for me, it's just a little forced, and not so much my style.

Oh, and yeah, I cheated on this one, because if you could actually turn my picture around and see my backside, you would find a neon green Geico chip-clip pulling my skirt together so I could wear it higher on my waist. (Normally, it sits wayyyyy low.) But seriously, it's under the jacket. I COULD TOTALLY USE THE CLIP OUTSIDE OF MY HOUSE AND GET AWAY WITH IT. (Someone, help!)

I'm wearing mostly Loft here: the bomber jacket, the long gold necklace, the green tweed pointed-toe flats, the navy pinstripe pencil skirt, Lisa for Loft ribbon bow bracelet. Oh, but wait, the white buckle-sleeve blouse is from Express. Hah. Branching out.

Oh, and in case you're wondering what the heck my hands are doing in this picture? My husband told me to "pose or something." And this was me saying back to him,

I don't know what I'm supposed t0----(::CLICK::).

Thanks, husband.

THE SKINNY....

"An army jacket, pendant necklace and flats nudge two classics into casual." (InStyle)

Rate of difficulty to replicate: 2 (out of 5)

SUMMARY: ::YAWNNNNN:: I do admit to liking the tough-cookie jacket. You can find similar ones here at Loft and here at Anthro. And not so much this one at WHBM, but I love it, so here it is. InStyle makes a note that the "stretchy black shirt flatters every body, no matter the size or shape." I'd say I could use that magic skirt in my closet, because right now everything is either mini or Little House on the Prairie length. Perhaps my current pencil skirt is up to the task? Add it to my imaginary tailoring list....

OVERALL RATING: C

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Anthro, Anthro (Simply Lovely Sweaterdress, Field Game Cardigan, Claudine Tee)

I am SO happy with my first Anthropologie purchases. But I think my success may have turned me into an Anthro monster! Everything is TOO. CUTE.



I had been waiting forEVER for the Simply Lovely Sweaterdress to go on sale, and my patience was finally rewarded last week. And now it's sold out! (There is no feeling in the world like snatching something up on sale right before it goes *poof* in the night!)

I was a little worried about sizing, but ended up getting my normal Medium. Now that I got it, I probably could have sized down to a Small and still been comfortable, but I like the flowy feel of the bigger size anyway.

THE COLOR! Holy. It's even more gorgeous in person. And it's so soft and comfy.

The tan boots are old, and the sad, sad flower pin is off a Gap T-shirt i got for about $3. lol. I would MUCH prefer a pin like this. So pretty!



The Claudine Tee is just as pretty in person as I thought it would be. I got it in Lilac, but it's also available in orange, navy and ivory. Size Medium in this. I bought it at full-price after my wind-rippled tee debacle (long story short: I didn't get one).

The belt is from The Limited, the skirt is Anne Klein (few years old, and somewhat ill-fitting, bah), and the boots I kept on from my sweaterdress pictures because I'm lazy because I think they go pretty well with the skirt.

Here's a close-up of the ruffles. They lay pretty nicely without too much fussing.


And last, but CERTAINLY, not least. My Field Game Cardigan!

Now, before this arrived in my mailbox the other day, I had planned on doing a "KNOCKOFF" post with this somewhat similar lace sweater at Macy's for only $24:



Oh, silly girl. THAT was before I saw this lovely in person, and, well, I can say that the details make this Anthropologie cardigan worth every penny. (OK, well, it may be WORTH it, but that doesn't mean it was any less painful to buy it at full-price.)



I saw several bloggers in this cardigan, and every one of them looked fantastic. My favorite was Maria's styling over at Infinite Whimsy. So I figured there was a good chance that this cardi might get picked up fast, so I made my move. A preemptive strike, if you will.

I styled this with my Loft jeans, Tommy Hilfiger brown mid-calf boots, Loft purple ruffle shell, and Lisa for Loft bow bracelet. The cardigan is size Medium and is fitted but fits perfectly for me.

The lace on the cardigan is actually more of an antique white, and the buttons are a really rich-looking gold. Here's a closeup:



So, yay for me, and yay for Anthro. With one quick click of a button, our love affair has been consummated. The good news is that I am absolutely willing to curb my spending at other cheaper stores because I know that I'd rather save my $$$ and buy things I love at Anthro. (Wait...is that really "good" news? Well, I guess I'm trying to say that I'll be slower to buy $40 here, $30 here, on piddly things because I realize that could be one awesome top at Anthro. So that means I'll spend less, right? Or at least spend more wisely, right?

(Um, just say "right.")

Shoe Daze (Seychelles & Steve Madden)

So Endless.com has done it to me again. With free shipping/returns, I MIGHT AS WELL throw in a couple of extra pairs even if I REALLY only came in the virtual door looking for one.

My shopping theme for this batch is oxfords. The "one pair" I went in for originally was my Seychelles Potion Pumps in vintage white that I blogged about here! Wheee! I set up an e-mail alert so Endless e-mailed me when the 8.5's were available. HOO-rah!

Unfortunately, as any good storyteller knows, there has to be a twist....

Onto the reviews....

First: The Worst


Steve Madden Women's Harah Lace-Up Oxford ($79.95)
Oh, Harah. I had such high hopes for you. I thought SURELY you were my cheap ticket to coolness (i.e., wearing light-colored shoes with grey tights.) These and these from Anthro just are not in my budget.

SO retro! SO unique! SO.......not gonna happen.

I admit that the lighting in my house is pretty bad, but, um, this "grey leather" ended up looking very orthopedic to me. You know that kind of blegh hospital tan color? And they weren't that comfy, either. Geesh.



And, what's up with the little upturned toes? I don't like being able to see the soles of my shoes. (Unless they have diamonds, of course.)

Second: The Best


Seychelles Spellbound Oxford in Navy ($79.95)
Okaaaaay. I admit I fudged a little here. I wouldn't so much call these "the best" as "second to worst." I realized as I was trying on all these cute oxford shoes that I haven't put much thought into HOW one actually would wear oxfords.... Socks? Tights? Bare feet? I DON'T KNOW! So these shoes might actually be kind of cute, but I'll never know because I had no clue how to style them. Sigh.

Third: The one with the hairy chest...


Seychelles Spectacle Women's Bootie ($61.83)
Now THESE were probably the best by a small margin. But they had to go third, because, yes, folks, they had a hirsute problem. Don't believe me? Check this out:



See? Apology accepted. :)

This is the SECOND pair of Seychelles that I've had quality control issues with. I'm kinda bummed coz I still really love their vintage style, but I do not love loose threads or color discoloration or hairy chests on $80 shoes. Harummph.



And Fourth: The Grand Finale!!! My Potion Pumps in Vintage White! Size 8.5!!

Let's give it up for the best shoes ever!!




...

...

...

...

...

Um, way to go Blogger. Those aren't my potion pumps. Let's try this again.

Oh....wait...what's that you say? You mean this is the shoe Endless sent INSTEAD of my potion pumps?

Now why on earth would Endless send the wrong shoe?!?!

Oh, I see. These vaudeville shoes were in a BOX that SAID potion pumps. But it was a mistake.

Uh huh.

Yes, and now the potion pumps are sold out again. I get it. Sure.

(Bummer.)

I called Endless about the problem, and they couldn't do much for me, except agree that "Yeah, that's really weird." And, "Yeah, the potion pumps are sold out in your size." So what else can you do? As my grandmother says: Everything happens for a reason.

So dramatics aside, these imposter shoes were actually not so bad. Truth be told, I had been checking this style out in green, but they sent me the much-less-crazy-person black/maroon. They're called the Seychelles Vaudeville Pump ($89.95). Except I got mine for the price of the potion pump ($79.95). HOLLA!



Husband didn't like them at first. He said, "The shoes are cute....but I don't like all the straps." I was like, um, I think the straps are considered PART of the shoe, so what exactly is cute? I think he just likes the shape because they look like my Ann Taylor pumps and he's pretty smitten with those. (Later he admitted that the straps were kind of growing on him.)

And that is my latest Endless order. Two no's. Two maybe's. I'll probably sit on them a few more days until I decide for sure. But I have a feeling all of these will be going back. (I think I may have overextended myself a little on this order. Even though I KNOW I can return these and get a refund, I tend to stress out until I am in the clear and my CC has been credited. ::Shudder::)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

My Loft-induced Shoe Obsession

SO. I think I mentioned before that nothing is really catching my eye at Loft. All this spring stuff, bah.

Which is kind of a bummer because I have a $20 styles reward card and a whole butt-load of credit coming my way when I return my two pairs of shoes.

...Or maybe it's actually a GOOD thing, because now I have all this free $$ and I can wait until I am desperately craving something and I can just tell that dang apparel, "Oh, yeah? You think you've got the better of me? Well, I'm going to buy you. So there!"

Sigh....

So anyway, there is *one* particular thing that has me scheming a bit on Loft's home page.



Hmm...Are you with me yet? Not quite sure what I'm talking about?

THOSE SHOES!

With the laces! And the cutouts! And the cognac color! Gimmegimme!

Unfortunately, these are not Loft shoes (or else they are just dangling them over my nose waiting for my head to explode before they pop up on the website.... hmmm.... definitely possible).

Anyway, I found three reasonable pairs at Zappos that *sort of* duplicate my love for them shoes above.

Let the comparisons begin....


Gabriella Roche Ainslie in Chocolate Croco ($70)



Sofft Fiona in Chocolate Multi Patent/Suede ($110)



Indigo by Clarks Sylvie in Mid Brown Leather ($79)


But I'm not sure I *love* any of these. Maybe I will lay in bed tonight and try to imagine these shoes in actual applications. Hmmm.....shoe dreams....

Some knockoffs and a Sad story

The good news?

I found a couple of knockoff versions of cute Anthropologie items. Because, um, I *really* can't afford to like Anthropologie as much as I do. And I fear that my latest AWESOME purchases will only fuel the flame. (Which reminds me, I better go take some pics and post those! Geesh, I'm too slow.)

The bad news?

My Charlotte Russe skirt (::Sniff, sniff::) sold out online. I even tried going to the store, but it was nowhere to be found. That's what I get for being cheap. I wouldn't buy a $19.99 skirt because flat-rate shipping was $5.99. Oh, the humanity.

On to the knockoffs....

THE REAL THANG....

Beribboned Buds Cardi
($88) at Anthropologie



THE KNOCKOFF...

Grosgrain Flower Cardigan ($59.50) at the Limited
(The bonus? Not only are the pinks almost lookalikes, but the "purple" and the "heathered gray" also appear to be pretty close! But I'd probably wait for a good Limited sale before I put that chunk of change down.)



THE REAL THANG...

Feathery Tank ($68) at Anthropologie

THE KNOCKOFF...


Ruffled knit top ($9.50) at Forever21
I know, I know. It's not *nearly* as pretty as the Anthro version. And the color choices may be a'plenty, but they're certainly not as complex as Anthro's. But, hey, for under $10, I don't discriminate against ruffles.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Hockey Fan Fashionista

This is actually my outfit from Saturday Night.

I convinced husband to take me to our local Guns & Hoses charity hockey game. It was our first time going---what fun!

Our town USED to have its own professional hockey team. Then we lost it. Then we got it back for a year with a really lousy new name. And then we lost it for good. Now all we get is local university games, which we keep meaning to check out. Boo.

The GOOD NEWS is that since the entire town is suffering from hockey withdrawal, this was the biggest fundraiser (for muscular dystrophy treatment) in the event's seven-year history! HOLLA!

And it was really fun. The "GUNS" are the police officers, and the "HOSES" are the firefighters. Apparently, the guns have won the past two years in a row (um, make that THREE years in a row). What a bummer. Husband and I love rooting for the underdog, so, of course, we wanted the Hoses to win. (Plus it's kinda hard to root for a team full of men who have probably each given me at least one speeding ticket in their cop careers. I hold grudges. What can I say.)

The Hoses came out pretty strong in the beginning, but just didn't have the stamina for three whole periods.

They also had a bunch of giveaways. (I was holding out for the free Nickelback tickets.) But then husband had to get all crazy because he said I wasn't being sarcastic enough and people might think he actually WANTS to see Nickelback, so he had to explicitly clarify to my parents that I was being rude and that he HATES Nickelback. Geesh. Such drama.

So, anyway, I felt very cute and sporty in this, and it reminded me WHY I returned my Athleta puffer vest (oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I actually BOUGHT that...hehe), because I had this fleece Old Navy vest that I think I seriously got for under $15. And I love it! Puffer. Fleece. It's all the same in my book.

I did however keep this Athleta graphic tee, which I love, love, love. I got my true size Medium and it fits a little loose, yay! Athleta workout tops in Medium are usually skintight on me, but this has a nice comfortable fit.



Old Navy black fleece vest (lots of colorful choices here at Lands End)
Athleta longsleeve tee (click here....blue....or pink!)
AE skinny jeans (similar here)
Pacific Sunwear Emu boots (similar here)


Can you find Docker? :)

Edgy Ruffles

This outfit was a total experiment for work on Friday. And it seems OK, eh?

I really love the idea of putting cute tops over a turtleneck, but alas, this is the only thin turtleneck I own. (Hence the edginess...)

Which is crazy, because I seriously used to live in turtlenecks in college. I am a major wimp in cold weather, and turtlenecks always are so cozy. I had tons of v-neck and scoopneck sweaters, but my neck was always cold. (And it certainly never occurred to me that I could wear a turtleneck under something else. Or, I don't know, a scarf? Bah.)

Oh, and say hi to Demon Docker. :)



Ann Taylor Loft striped turtleneck (similar here)
Ruffles and Roses Tee (here --- EXTRA30 code for 30% off sale price!)
Loft silver skinny bow belt (similar here)
American Eagle skinny jeans (similar here)
Payless black oxford booties (similar here)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

SAG Awards 2010: Sandra Bullock

The only thing better than Sandra Bullock at the Golden Globes is....

Sandra Bullock at the SAG awards!


Photo came from here

Another awesome dress. And in this pic with her dah-ling husband. Because seriously, she has been so sweet to him in all her acceptance speeches, dagnamit, I love him, too, now!

I'm so glad that Bullock is finally getting recognition as the fantastic, beautiful, comedic actress that she is.

And now you're thinking: NO WAY can this get any better.

Oh, but it does.

Because Bullock presented a special lifetime award tonight to Betty White, who has to be the most adorable, lovable, sharp-witted, outrageous woman alive. I mean, does ANYONE not like Betty White?

I mean, yeah, of course, The Golden Girls and The Mary Tyler Moore Show. But have you seen this woman on "Password"??? She's sharper at game shows than people my age!

You can view Bullock's hilarious introduction on YouTube here, along with White's AMAH-ZING history in show business.

(You think THAT'S funny? View the rest here, and prepare for some LOLs with Betty White's speech.)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

J.Crew Final Sale Purchase

Well, good golly ann. And I thought TWENTY percent off final sale was good.

EXTRA30 will get you 30% off final sale, plus the usual free shipping with $150.

Unfortunately, I only got 20% off for these purchases, but I'm certainly proud of myself for not pulling the trigger again JUST because other stuff I was on the fence about is even cheaper now.

I tried to pair each item with something I'd truly wear it with. As I've told my sister, I'm not very good at "completing" outfits. Something always seems to be missing, so she gave me some great tips, which I've included.


Silk posy blouse ($49.99 sale price. Available in dusty shale (blue) and ivory.)

This blouse was basically the entire rationale behind my entire purchase. I've mentioned before that it seems like a cute twist on the classic staple that is absent from my closet. I really like it. The fabric of the ivory blouse is fairly sheer, so I'll have to wear some sort of tanktop or cami underneath. I ordered a 6, but I should have gotten the 8. It pulls a little at the chest area, and, uh, that shouldn't be a problem for little ol' me. ;)

I paired it with my new skinny AE jeans, my Ann Taylor Loft old bow paisley flats, and my new Martin & Osa collar cardigan in rococo purple.

Sista says: Add a colorful belt and/or a long necklace. We're both partial to this one at Anthro.


Chiffon bow pullover ($59.99 sale price. Available in fawn and sweet papaya.)

I couldn't decide whether to get this color (fawn) or the heather grey version at first. I liked the grey because of the contrast of a white bow. It felt more vintage. And I love me some vintage. The problem was that I had a feeling the fit would be similar to the cashmere scoopneck tiered trim sweater, which I had ordered in a M a few months back and was too big in the collar.

The sizes left? Fawn in S. Or grey/white in M. Boo. You see my dilemma?

Luckily, another J.Crew fan decided for me because while I was debating, the grey disappeared. So much for that!

In the end, I think the fawn is a nice color, and it goes perfect with this old Banana Republic skirt I got at an outlet a few years back. It used to be knee-length. I never wore it once. Then, I got my mom to hem it as a cute flirty skirt and I love it!

Sista says: A wedged heel perhaps? Throw in a wide belt and you're ready for summer!


Jackie Cardigan in breeze ($29.99 sale price. Limited sizes in breeze and light pewter.)
Silk lumiere cami in soft graphite ($29.99 sale price)

I got a six in the cami, and it's a good fit. I'm a chicken so I probably would prefer it in an 8. There's a side zipper, but I was able to pull it over my head without unzipping it. The wrinkly look worries me a little, because people are probably so used to seeing me wrinkly not-on-purpose, that they may have a hard time distinguishing me wrinkly on-purpose.

The cardigan is a great fit in M. (I've heard great things about Jackie!) I think the color is nice, too, because most of my cardigans are much more vibrant. This is a nice change of pace for ::gasp:: (dare I say it???) SPRING!

(Oh, and please ignore the fact that my JCrew leaf pointelle tights are going every all which way. I was so scared that I was going to rip them, that I didn't want to tug too much. Oof.)

Sista says: Add some jewelry, and you're good to go!

My Spring Non-Fling

So far, my apparent disinterest in spring clothes continues. I admit that I have been pleasantly intrigued by several things (particularly Ann Taylor items bought by my sister! Visit her blog, Princess of Taylor, here.)

BUT, for the most part, spring just isn't doing it for me.

Now, that doesn't mean to say that I haven't been SHOPPING during this time period! Au contraire. Silly goose.

That just means that I am stocking up on even more winter items that are on super-duper sale (even though my closet is already packed and I don't need any more cold-weather clothes, because I HAVEN'T EVEN WORN EVERYTHING I'VE ALREADY PURCHASED!).

Sigh..... The life of a fledgling fashionista.

Most notably in shopping news, I made my first Anthropologie purchase on Tuesday. My lovely, lovely sweaterdress that I have been pining over all the way since way back when here, went on sale!! So I snatched it up. And since I was placing an order ANYWAY, I also purchased a couple of other things. te he.

And the shipping....so quick!! And so nicely wrapped up in printed tissue paper. (I am so easy to get along with...)

I'll post about those purchases later. In the meantime, let's just say I'm very pleased. :)

So, as I was saying, I haven't really seen any must-haves from either Ann Taylor or Loft, which is generally pretty shocking for me.

But I do have a shopping cart saved at (of all places) Charlotte Russe.

Here's a peek at what's in my cart:


Yes, I am transparent. I want to buy the three pieces in this outfit (vest, skirt, Tee) because they are already styled for me. lol. HOWEVER, I've also been trying to create other outfits in my mind with these pieces, and they seem pretty versatile.

I especially like the black band on the skirt ($19.99!), and I think I could tuck in some really pretty blouses to recreate my 2-in-1 dress look that I raved about here. In particular, I envision a pretty mint color would look dah-ling. Maybe this at J. Crew in light sage?



This dress is unlike anything in my closet. And I am REALLY trying to find a graphic-print dress, because I decided I am returning my dress from The Limited. Just don't love that one. Sigh...And this is only $16.49. I mean, c'mon.

And the even-better news is that we have a Charlotte Russe store in our local mall, so I can return the no-go's. (Yes, that's right. We have a Charlotte Russe....AND a Wet Seal....AND a Hot Topic. But not a Banana Republic, J.Crew, Ann Taylor, or Anthro in sight....please don't judge me!)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Sneak Peek (Neon & Sheaths 8-10)

Oof, the InStyle Challenge earns its name with these three next outfits.

Key Pieces:
White shirt
Black pencil skirt
Blazer
Sheath dress

Um, yeah, it's beginning to be embarrassing how few "key pieces" I own. Maybe I'm being too literal, thinking I need *exactly* the item that they feature. But, again, I tend to purchase things that strike me immediately as (ooh!) pretty rather than thinking about the item's quality, longevity, or how it'll work with the rest of my closet. So I may have slightly similar pieces, but they're certainly not essentials in my closet.



Um....and in a slightly less embarrassing admission----I *really* doubt I have anything neon....

But, hey....you never know what I'll find in my closet. That's the point of this here thing, after all!

Two more simple outfits here (the army jacket outfit and the sheath dress) that I think are going to be tricky.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Outfit #7: From Cocktail to Brunch



Folks, I am not proud of this.

You see, this outfit is all about dressing down a cocktail dress, and, um, even though I may be a shopping addict, I THANKFULLY recognize that my life does not require too many cocktail-ready outfits. Because a) they're expensive and b) they're just so purty that i'd probably buy a new one each season for the cocktail party I am NOT attending this year...or this decade.

So a sequin dress? Nope. Not in my closet.

I bought my first (and only) "cocktail" dress about a year ago to go on a cruise with my family, and it's *probably* going to remain a super-special occasion dress. Because I don't think I'd ever be talented enough to dress it down. Ever. Seriously. But, hey, it has ruffles, and you know that I love ruffles, so back off! :)

So yeah, in case you didn't notice. This Loft dress is lace. Because in my head: Lace = sequins.

I've always loved this dress, but I think I may have shrunk down about 12 inches since I last wore it. Or, oh good god, did I actually wear this dress at this length??? With the cardigan breaking up the dress a bit, it's not horrible. But can you imagine JUST wearing the dress by itself with all that extra fabric? ::shudder::

The cardigan is my Loft cardigan that you may recognize from this post. And the belt is actually a cheapie skinny belt from NY&C in amphibian grey.....yes, strange. Still available here for $12.99. I ALMOST bought this belt in grey mist with my last EXTRA20 order at J. Crew but I still couldn't justify it for about $20....lol. ridiculous.

For the shoes, I figured since the skirt was so long that I'd break out my nude peep-toe heels from Old Navy (because they're supposed to elongate your legs and maybe negate all that fabric below my knee?!?!?). And, they worked OK for their purpose. (similar here)

But then I tried bunching up the skirt to shorten it, and wearing my pointy-toe Anne Klein heels (similar here) for a bit of a switcharoo....

I can't decide whether I need a tailor's intervention here....





THE SKINNY....

"Flats and a sheer cardi turn a cocktail dress into brunch attire." (InStyle)

Rate of difficulty to replicate: 4 (out of 5)

SUMMARY: Wahhhh! No good for me, folks. I like the *concept* here of dressing down the cocktail attire. But didn't we already kind of do that with outfit #6 and my sparkly mica mini? So I can't even really give InStyle points for concept here, either. Oh...and my sister and I have already confirmed that we will NEVER wear flats with a dress. FLATS + DRESS = Ms. "STUMPY LEGS" McGee.

OVERALL RATING: D+

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Outfit #6: Sailor Chic



Ahoy, Matey!

I was honestly not very excited about re-creating this outfit. It seemed pretty boring. And I was worried that the white blazer I was planning to use (JC Penney years ago, I think?) was going to be a total flop.

And yet, it actually gets the job done competently. The length is a little shorter than the picture. And this blazer at White House Black Market that I've been eyeing is probably too much in the opposite direction, so still a no-go. (I swear, my WHBM gift card is burning a hole in my pocket!!!)

The pants and 3-4 sleeve striped shirt are...oh, don't make me say it. You know where they're from! (Loft) And the stripe is actually a lavender color so it's not *quite* the literal interpretation presented by InStyle.

Boots are Ralph Lauren calf boots (similar here).


THE SKINNY....

"Platforms and wide leg jeans elongate a crisp ensemble." (InStyle)

Rate of difficulty to replicate: 1 (out of 5)

SUMMARY: Hmmm. This outfit *does* actually elongate me. And it is crisp. Well played, InStyle. Granted, this experimentation reminds me of an old saying, "It's all in the details." The buttons on InStyle's jacket, the classic bag, and the watch/bracelet would have really set this one apart. Luckily, the jewelry aspect is pretty easy to remedy. Alas, I'm still lacking in the purse department. Overall, a simple but fun take on the sailor theme.

OVERALL RATING: B

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Outfit #5: My Mica Mini




My J. Crew Mica Mini Debut! I love the idea of "dressing down" this very shiny skirt, which, ::ahem:: may need a little steaming. Sorry about that. :)

I only had the red cardigan so I begrudgingly changed color schemes on this one. It's an old Ann Taylor Loft blouse, with a Liz Claiborne long red cardigan sweater (similar style here and here.) The sweater came with a fabric belt, which I *never* quite figured out how to style, so I opted not to include it. The shoes are Steve Madden. (Similar here *ruffles!*)

Truth be told, the long cardigan was thisclose to going to Goodwill....at least twice. The most recent time, it was sitting in a box for a good 6 months and I never missed it. Then, I decided to check one. last. time. to make sure I wanted to give everything away, and I said to myself, "Man, I've NEVER worn this. But there's nothing WRONG with it per se." So it went back in my closet and sat there unloved for another 6 months. Glad I pulled it out.


THE SKINNY....

"The cardigan subdues a bling skirt. Remove the sweater for a night out." (InStyle)

Rate of difficulty to replicate: 2 (out of 5)

SUMMARY: Thanks, InStyle for *really* helping me to shop my closet on this one. Even though I wish my sweater were navy (sighhh...) I can make the red work. Removing the belt and styling it with a skirt (rather than jeans) opened my eyes to new possibilities. I think I'd like this outfit even more with a smaller pattern on the blouse because I really like InStyle's solid navy colors. Good potential here.

OVERALL RATING: C+

Monday, January 18, 2010

Outfit #4: Getting Graphic



This outfit called for a wild print dress and a wild jacket. But, unfortunately, I'm pretty much a wallflower, so I don't do "graphic" prints very often. So I fell behind on my Challenge while I waited for this dress to arrive from The Limited. And then I waited.

And waited.

And waited.

(Shipping always seems slow when I order from The Limited online store. Bah.)

And then the package arrived. HOOrah!

I love the dress ($26.99; limited sizes available), especially the neckline (I think my favorite assets might actually be my shoulders? Crazy weird.) But it's a size 6, and I would definitely prefer an 8. As it is, it wrinkles in the front a little and it's just a bit snug.



As you can see, I fudged a bit on the jacket by picking an old cashmere JCrew cardigan (similar here), but I did OK replicating the length and color. Honestly, I have this cardigan (in mitten blue) on its way from Martin & Osa, which I think would work better, but I didn't want to wait any longer!!!

I also tried a denim jacket (old from Gap), but I felt a little too 1990's in this.



The tights I think are Hue from Target. And the black booties are from Payless (similar here and here).


THE SKINNY....

"Ground a wild dress and jacket with black tights and boots." (InStyle)

Rate of difficulty to replicate: 2 (out of 5)

SUMMARY: I think the long cardigan does a good job of mimicking the InStyle jacket, although you lose the funky studs and texture. But I love the black-on-bottom concept (and, of course, it has nothing to do with this outfit here. Holy) Despite the fact that I had to (yes, I HAD to. that's how dedicated I am to this blog. hehe) purchase a big-print dress, I think most people would own one. Still on the fence about this dress in particular, but I think when I find THE dress, I'll really love it.

OVERALL RATING: B-

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Golden Globes 2010

Sandra Bullock?

I heart you.


(Photo from here)


And my other favorite so far at the 2010 Golden Globes?

Maggie Gyllenhaal (who can be hit-and-miss with me....Major hit here.)


(Photo from here.)

OOTD: "Faux J.Crew"

I've worn this outfit two times in the past week, because so far all I'm getting is compliments, and, uh, I have to admit:

I'm a sucker for compliments!

At work, my boss commented on the ruffles, and asked where I got my shirt. "J.Crew?" she asked.

"No, no, no," I said. "Ann Taylor Loft!"

To which, she responded: "Oh, of course."

(Yes, my co-workers know ALL about my Loft obsession. It has gotten a little embarrassing when EVERY time they ask me about my outfit, it's Loft. But, hey, OBVIOUSLY, Loft must be pretty good if people are asking about my clothes whenever I wear their stuff! (Ok, ok. Rationalizing a little bit here...)



This is a closeup of the ruffles. At work, I also wore a little gold cross necklace. Nothing too overpowering since the ruffles are already stealing the show here.

I bought the ruffle tank top at Loft on super clearance a few months back, and then regretted the buy because it's more of a satin material, wrinkles easily, and kind of accentuates my "tummy bump." But I rediscovered it recently and realized, "Duh, no one cares about the tank top. It's all about the ruffles!" So it's found new life being worn underneath other layers. You can find similar ruffle tanks (and also the "real thang" at JCrew) here and here.



The blue sweater I got from American Eagle Outfitters a few months back with some credit card reward points. (It was purchased as part of my recent navy initiative. As a blue-lover, how could I have been overlooking NAVY, for goodness sake!?) It's on sale now for only $24.95, plus an extra 30% off sale! Lots of colors and sizes available.

The jeans are old Limited, I believe. And the flats are old Steve Madden herringbone bow flats. Similar here and here.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Shoe Review

Whenever I go crazy placing online orders for clothes and shoes and whatnot, I tend to "theme" shop.

For example, I'll get it in my head that I don't own enough neutrals. And, next thing you know, within a week, I have three separate orders of everything white.

Or I'll try to create an outfit one day, and go, "Darn, I wish I had a black wide belt to go with this." And, for my next online obsession I'll be adding belt after belt to my shopping carts. (Of course, the black wide belt I *originally* needed is usually conspicuously absent!)

Which leads me to my most recent online shopping "theme": SHOES!

With most shoes in my life, I have prioritized function over form. I run around a lot, and it's important that my wardrobe doesn't slow me down. I also have a real fear of "clacking" moments---perhaps the side effect of going to Catholic school and constantly walking up and down the long aisle at our church in dead silence? So, I've avoided heels like the plague.

But, now, I am beginning to appreciate shoes as style pieces in themselves! Who knew?!?!

And with great stores like Endless.com and Piperlime.com offering free shipping and returns, I can experiment fearlessly.

These are six pairs of shoes I've purchased recently. Some hits. Some misses. (And all with a big, honkin' bandaid on my leg from where I scratched the heck out of myself the other day. Blegh. I hate dry, winter skin!!!) ENJOY!



BC Footwear Bicycle Built for Two ruffle flat ($39.99, free shipping at Piperlime. Available in purple, "green," and black)

I have been stalking these shoes for a while, and I want both the green (which looks like teal to me) and the purple. I finally caved when Piperlime offered an additional 20% and purchased the purple. But I threw in the black, too, just in case the purple was ridiculous.

Oddly enough, I preferred the purple ones to the black. The black ones were almost more clown-like, because you couldn't really tell what the ruffles were. So they just looked like big poofs on my toes. Dumpy and cheap looking. Blegh. I think if I get black flats, they will be plain, plain, plain for more of an Audrey Hepburn look. These are going back to the store.




The purple ones I liked, but I'm still on the fence. Because I am realizing that flats kind of make my legs look dumpy! And the purple is DEFINITELY a statement color, which I don't know if I can pull off with my rather colorful wardrobe anyway. Maybe keeping; we'll see.


Me Too Jeanette Evening Pump ($51.90, free shipping at Endless. Also available in black.)

These are by far the best pair of shoes I've bought. And I can't take any credit for finding them, because I purchased them impulsively after Chloe at The Chloe Conspiracy recommended them as knockoffs for her Valentino D'Orsays. Chloe linked to a Nordstrom product, I think, but Endless offers free shipping, so I got them for about the same price and I had the option of free returns in case I didn't love them as much as I truly, dearly, madly, love them now!!!

These are absolutely adorable, fit great, and make me feel like a total princess! I'll have to break them in a bit, so the back strap *may* chafe a little, but who the hell cares?!?! lol. Yay for pretty, impractical shoes.




Ann Taylor crimson bow flats (On sale for $89.99. Plus extra 25% with code EXTRA25)

I HATED these shoes! lol. The fit was horrible. The sides and toe were so low/skimpy that I felt like my feet had nothing to grip onto! Also, the sole was razor thin, and it felt like I wasn't even wearing shoes. I don't see them being comfy at all, and, um, that's why I would *wear* flats! Geesh. DEFINITELY going back.




Ann Taylor black leather pumps (Available in aubergine for $99.99. Plus extra 25% with code EXTRA25)

I've been wearing these a lot so no surprise here. I LOVE these shoes! They're a teensy bit too big, but my foot-petal experiment will soon be starting. My husband loves them, too. :) They're super shiny, and really classic-looking. KEEPERS!




Seychelles Potion Pump in vintage white ($79.95. Limited sizes but also available in two other CUTE colors!!)

I am absolutely torn about these shoes. I love, love, love them. My husband loves, loves, loves them. But either these shoes are defective, or my left foot is suddenly a halfsize smaller than my right foot! What's the deal?! I totally planned on returning my 9s for an 8.5, but ::gasp:: they're already sold out in BOTH sizes!! Wahhhh...

I set up an email alert if my size comes back. And I could get the "clay" version, which I also love. But these were going to satisfy my sudden urge to wear white shoes with grey tights like styled with this Anthro dress.




As you can see in the left pic, they're pretty substantially big. PLUS, I don't know if I just got a bum pair, but there's some serious color discoloration and some black scuffs. I hope if I DO return them that I don't get blamed!!!



And this isn't it, either, folks! I've already put two more pairs of Seychelle shoes in my Endless shopping cart (bwa ha ha!). How about these in brown and these in navy, eh?

Sigh....delightful....