Thursday, April 15, 2010

28 Days: A Challenge Reflection Piece (aka Zombies, Rehab and Two Georges)



So, is it just me, or does anyone else get the movies 28 Days Later and 28 Days mixed up?

Being a big fan of Sandra Bullock's, I'm pretty embarrassed to admit that I use the two film titles interchangeably to refer to both her wreck-of-a-girl-in-rehab story and droves of man-eating zombies.

But then again, it took me years before I recognized that George Hamilton (yeah, that really TAN guy) was not George Harrison (mmhmmm, the famous Beatle). So, hey, Sandra, don't take it too personally....

So, where was I? That's right. 28 Days.

Well, more accurately, 28 Outfits.

Because this challenge DEFINITELY took me a lot longer than 28 days (Ninety-nine days, to be exact...) And it had its ups and downs: items I got sick of, looks I laughed at, and even some enlightening combinations. Some of the items I used had been hiding in my closet for years. Some made only a brief appearance in my house before getting sent back to their respective stores.

I made this collage of all 28 outfits a while ago, and it really has no purpose, but dagnamit, I spent all that time cropping and pasting and lining up. So here it is.

Moral: Don't mix boredom and Microsoft Paint, people....



Pretty!

The best part of this challenge is that I created some great outfits that I can now access more readily. And I've also discovered that as much as I say I rely on copycat style, it's difficult *NOT* to inject a little of your personal style along the way. I mean, at some point, you have to realize you don't have all the exact pieces (and, no, dear, as much as you'd like to, you *cannot* go out and buy each one...).

So, as much trouble as this little project was, I am actually going to miss it! The good news is that I still have many InStyle magazines to go in my subscription, and hopefully there will be many more opportunities for challenges! I'm already dreaming up a color challenge based on an article from a few issues ago.

Hey, I've got my finger on the pulse, baby.....


...............hmmm...............



..........Would you believe.......LAST month's pulse?.........

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Outfit #28: Last One, Ladies!



And here it is, folks. Outfit #28. The Last Hurrah. The Grand Finale. The Be-All and End-All. And so on and so forth.

For this outfit, I pulled out my Limited studded rose clutch purse (see closeup below).



I pined over this bag for what had to be months. And I watched the price slowly drop....and drop....and drop......I ended up literally buying it for about $6 on final sale. Whahh?

It's not at all like anything else I own. Maybe that's why I was so attracted to it.... (At least that's what Paula Abdul and Skat Kat would try to tell me....)

Anyhoo, I threw in my Seychelles Ritas, an old polka dot blouse from the Limited, and some AE skinny jeans. The blouse is nice because the black lower half is actually a stretchy material that I think is slimming and comfy to boot. I always feel very vintage-cool in this shirt. Must be the polka-dots.

THE SKINNY....

"A spiked bracelet and leopard bag give a downtown vibe to a ladylike top." (InStyle)

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

SUMMARY: I'm proud of myself on this one for mimicking the original outfit's components without relying on a literal translation. A good one to end my challenge on, I must say. Overall, I think this challenge may have turned me into an accessories monster though. Before this, I never really thought about how to "complete" my outfits. Now I see how acutely the right bag or the right shoe can change your entire look!

OVERALL RATING: A

Monday, April 12, 2010

Friday Night Outfit: A Date with Aaron Neville!

Yay for Friday-night dates with Husband! As I mentioned a few days ago, we went to see Aaron Neville perform on Friday with our local symphony orchestra.

It's part of a music series that's put on several times a year, and we've gone many times before....

Unfortunately, we FORGOT how uncomfortable the seating is. The seats are about half the size of a normal stadium seat, so if you have long legs, you're basically in danger of kneeing someone in the back of the head all night. Second, the seats face the middle of the auditorium, but the stage is at the far end of the room so you have to crane your neck all night to see. Ouch!

Luckily, there were some empty seats higher up in the stadium so the people sitting around us left to spread out. Whew.... (But the tight quarters were still a good excuse to snuggle up to my honey!)

The show itself was amazing. First the symphony played their set, including a James Horner medley. Horner composed the music for Titanic and Apollo 13. (According to Wikipedia, he ALSO did the music for I Love You to Death with Tracey Ullman and Kevin Kline!) Then they did a cute cartoon medley with lots of fun, familiar Bugs Bunny and Tweety Bird songs.

To be honest, we weren't sure what to expect from Aaron Neville. We only knew a few of his famous songs from the 1990s ("Everybody Plays the Fool," "Don't Know Much") so I guess we anticipated easy listening. But the night was much jazzier and soulful! His brother, Charles, performed on the saxophone---let me just say WOW!---and the orchestra played backup on several compositions, which really took things to another level.

Aaron put his own spin on several classic hits like "Summertime," "Ain't No Sunshine" and------wait for it-----"SARA SMILE"! And any friend of Hall & Oates is a friend of mine! I thought these arrangements were fantastic and fresh, and I actually enjoyed his "remixes" more than the songs of his I came in liking. And I also discovered some of his great earlier hits ("Use Me" and "Don't Go, Please Stay").

All in all, we were very pleased with the night. After the show, we went and got sushi from our local supermarket to take home! We were so proud of ourselves for getting out of the house that we allowed ourselves to spend the rest of the weekend in front of the TV. (Tee hee...)

You can visit the Neville Brothers' Website (there are four of them!) here. (And be ready! You'll be jammin' to their music as soon as the site opens....)

Here's my outfit of the night....



AE skinny jeans, Size 8
AE soft black ballet flats---size 9. They seemed a bit big at first, but they are comfy now! And super cheap! Lots of flats here.
Old J.Crew mint green cardigan, Size Medium
Lisa for Loft ribbon bracelet
Anthropologie Embroidered Thicket Blouse, Size 8---this season's version here

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

I'm Back! And Here's What I Wore Many Fridays Ago...

Oh, hello there, blog world!

Sorry for my extended absence. As you may have noticed by now, I'm an all-or-nothing kind of girl. Either I'm constantly thinking about posting or..... not so much.

These few weeks have been a nice little break for me: no film class and a brief interim for some of my aerobics classes! Whoopee! And even better----?

On Friday night, I had a special date with my hubby. We went to see Aaron Neville in concert!

..............?Huh?.................

Now, don't pretend. I *KNOW* you all know who Aaron Neville is. Why? Because he sang the cotton song in those commercials way back when: "The touch, the feel of cotton....the fabric of our livesssssss"

AND he sang that duet with Linda Ronstadt (I think): "I don't know much....but I know I love you......let that be all I need to know...."

Right?

Of course, right.

Admittedly, I am not technically an Aaron Neville fan, and I am getting flak from every person I mention this special date to (including husband!). But this is all part of my 2010 Social-Outing Revitalization Program. Husband and I (if left unpressed) will sit and play video games all night long----which is OK every now and then-----but everyone needs a little excitement on Friday night!

Enter stage-right: Aaron Neville. Performing with our local symphony orchestra. It's actually part of a pretty neat music series. In the past few years, we've seen the orchestra play with Kool & The Gang and Art Garfunkel and loved both shows. My mom and dad even saw Olivia Newton John. (Hey, we may be in the boonies, but we know music legends when we see 'em!) So I knew we'd have fun with "The Cotton Ad Guy" just as well.

And the bonus of our new "going-out" initiative is that I get to wear some of my cute underappreciated clothing! So I'll post my Aaron Neville review and outfit in the next few days. Which reminds me...I never posted my outfit I wore to go see Jerry Seinfeld perform, did I? Or the last three movies in my film class? Or all my new Anthropologie goodies......? Hmmm...add those to my humongoid to-do list this week. ::wink, wink::

In the meantime, here's a little peek at what I wore TWO Fridays ago. Yes, I am behind. But in congruence with my all-or-nothing attitude, I continued my 50s vintage theme through the Easter weekend so style-wise this should actually get you all pretty up-to-date! So expect more in the same vein to come!

Oh, and have I mentioned that I *love* my Tranquil Flow Tunic? I got it on sale and it fits perfectly. I don't quite understand why it seems to be lingering in sale with so many colors and sizes left. The color is vibrant; the length is perfect over cropped pants. It comes with a nice sash, and I've also already worn it with my brown Three Beacons Belt. I guess maybe it's hanging around online because it's more of a cold-weather piece---I can see myself sweating up a storm on a hot summer day.

Regardless....I'll be wearing it whenever I can, and if I were a rich man (dadaDAdadada...) I would buy the other two colors, too....


Tranquil Flow Tunic in turquoise, size 8 (on sale at Anthro!)
AE skinny jeans, cuffed----expect more cuffing to occur in the future!! I like it!
Seychelles Ritas in light grey (aka Ringsend Heels at Anthro)

Friday, April 2, 2010

Adieu, Anthro Reviews

One of the many, many things I love about Anthropologie is its inclusion of customer reviews for each item.

It's EXTREMELY helpful to get other people's opinions about fit, fabric and versatility, especially for me since I'm miles and miles away from an actual Anthro store. If I see that everyone's sizing down or that customers are noticing fabric snags in store, I adjust accordingly. Simple as that.

And because I'm so spoiled with all the wonderful Anthropologie bloggers around, my craving for IRL pics is insatiable.

As far as I can tell, there's no way to sort the reviews by ones with pics-only (which I would SO appreciate). So I generally give a helpful vote to any customer who has provided a picture. That way, if someone sorts the reviews by helpfulness, the ones with pics will be easier to find.

So......

(Have you caught on yet that this is the beginning of a rant?!?!
)

.......I was very excited to put up my first picture-review the other day. I addressed many of the comments other reviewers had made about the item, included my own take on their issues, and included PICTURES. I addressed sizing, material, SMELL, color, and so on....

It was my masterpiece.

And me being the obsessive-compulsive that I am, I kept checking back to my review to make sure that my helpfulness was being appropriately appreciated! (Because desperately seeking approval never hurt anybody did it? ::harumph::)

A few days ago, my first vote came in--------------I'm helpful! Yay!

But today----::GASP::-----I have been reduced to only FIFTY PERCENT helpful!

As a result, it is only logical for me to invent an entire backstory for this allegedly "unhelped" soul. (Admittedly, most of my ideas arrive at the same ego-preserving conclusion: that the wrong button was hit...)

I mean, I have NEVER given an unhelpful vote before, and trust me, I have seen some doozies....

OK....

MAYBE I gave an unhelpful vote once. But if I remember it correctly, it was because the person reviewed the wrong item. Which I think warrants a little kick in the seat of the pants, no?

And so do follow me, dear readers, on my infallible path of logic.....

Because APPARently this all means that Ms. Cranky-Pants Customer found my item review about as helpful if I had reviewed the COMPLETELY wrong product. Hmmm...so very encouraging.

So there you have it, folks. My short-lived foray into Anthropologie customer reviews has come to a close. I just don't think I can handle the pressure, peeps! ....And with that, my first unhelpful vote shall be my last. Sigh...

It's funny that I am completely willing to air my neuroses for the entire blogging world to potentially see. But that I let myself be so easily discouraged by negative feedback. Perhaps---after years of writing in diaries where no one judged me but myself---I am not so well-equipped to handle other people's evaluations...

....Or maybe.....

*Someone*

just hit the wrong button....

::wink, wink::