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Spring fever

4 Feb

Newsflash: Much of the country is still in the throes of winter. Yes, readers, even here in Texas, the temps have been in the lower-than-normal range. As a result, I’ve been cold, chapped, snotty, whiny and craving the sun. While our lows are probably still higher than most of your highs, it still feels miserable and it leaves me daydreaming about spring and wearing less than 4 layers of clothing. You feel me?

I’ve been looking around the Anthropologie site, drooling over their new spring arrivals. Here are some tops that I’m daydreaming about wearing on a warm, sunny day in the near future (also daydreaming to win the lottery, in order to afford said Anthropologie pieces):

anthro tangent mesh

Tangent Mesh Tank

road trip tank

Road trip tank

watercolor chatty tee

Watercolor chatty tee

lacona popover

Lacona Popover

What are you itching to wear, when the weather warms up?

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Chambray 5 Ways

7 Jun

I know, I know, I said that I didn’t want a chambray shirt.

But after a while the tunic I bought just wasn’t cutting it. I relegated it to the swimsuit cover-up section of my dresser and kept half an eye out for a chambray shirt that didn’t make me feel like The Hulk.

Randomly, at Old Navy, I found a chambray shirt in my size for … $6? What! I tried it on, and it was okay. A bit boxy for my taste, but the shoulders fit, and I could roll up the sleeves comfortably. Also, um, SIX DOLLARS. So I bought it, and I’m so glad I did.

In May, I included this shirt in my 31 items to wear for the month in order to figure out how to wear it better, and it turned out to be one of my most frequently worn items with 5 occurrences. Here are all the ways I wore it:

Chambray 5 ways

  • May 6: layered under a dress
  • May 13: cuffed under a cardigan
  • May 20: untucked with a statement necklace
  • May 27: unbuttoned over a tank
  • May 30: knotted over a dress

Of these 5 outfits, 3 of them included things I’d never done before (untucked, unbuttoned, and knotted), and I ended up really liking all of them, especially the knot. I’m definitely doing that again this summer with more dresses. Also, I just noticed that, 4 out of 5 times, I wore this shirt on a Monday. Huh. Monday is chambray day, I guess?

Anyway, I’m pretty sure I got my money’s worth out of this shirt. Again, it doesn’t fit perfectly, and I could probably find a much better one if I wanted to tear my hair out searching and spend a lot of money, but I don’t want to do either of those things, and this is Good Enough. As much as I railed against the button-down, this shirt has been a great addition to my closet.

Sandal Recommendations

5 Jun

I recently made two awesome wedge sandal purchases so naturally I wanted share.

The first are these Seychelles:

 

seychelles

Gale Force

I really like these because even though they have a basic T strap shape, the verticalish line of the top straps draws the eye up and doesn’t make my legs look too stumpy, which is an effect I like to avoid.  They are also really comfy and the straps are delicate enough that they look good with more feminine skirts and dresses, which is a bonus.

I also really wanted this pair of Kork-ease, but I wasn’t ready to drop quite that much money on another pair of sandals:

kork ease

Whiskey Sponch

Look what I found at DSW (and for which I also used a $10 coupon!):

FS sandal

Franco Sarto Farley Wedge

The DSW site doesn’t have it in the beige color I bought anymore, and when I bought mine in store the clerk told me these shoes were crazy popular in all colors.  I have worn them through one work day so far and I can report they are very comfortable.  The leather is really soft, too.

Have you made any great sandal purchases so far this summer?

 

 

Disguising Casual Dresses as Office Wear

24 May

When I chose 31 items to wear during May for Mission: Put Together, I picked a handful of dresses, including 3 sleeveless, jersey dresses. By themselves, they are more suitable for a backyard barbecue than sitting in an office, but I’ve managed to make them work at work. Granted, a couple of caveats are in my favor:

  1. My office is incredibly casual. “Business casual” is a stretch for most people, and my outfits probably wouldn’t fly at a typical pharmaceutical company.
  2. I almost always wear closed-toed shoes at work. It’s not a rule, but I feel more professional in them.

Here are 3 ways I disguised my casual dresses for the office:

Sun dresses at the office

Layer
I layered a chambray shirt from Old Navy under this striped dress from Forever 21. This dress has some structure from the box pleats at the waist, but it reads pretty junior on its own. Add ruffle flats from Target and a statement necklace from Charming Charlie, and I think it looks like a modern Girl Friday, even though I’m almost sure that term is offensive now. I’ve also done this layering trick with my black v-neck dress from the middle picture.

Belt
This is my favorite jersey dress from Target (I can’t find the one I have, but it’s kiiind of like this one, without the tie; it’s a basic v-neck, faux wrap-style dress with an elastic waist), and I love wearing it to work because it’s so comfortable. To add some structure and cinch in the waist, especially with this loosey-goosey jersey cardigan from J. Crew Factory, I added a skinny patent leather belt (J. Crew). I couldn’t resist wearing my purple Target flats, but I don’t think it’s too matchy because the shades of the cardigan and shoes are different. This is the same trick I used when I was traveling for work last year.

Jacket
This striped, strappy dress comes off very young (it’s legitimately from the juniors section) and is not appropriate for work alone, so I added a navy cotton jacket from Gap and kept it buttoned all day. The jacket is casual — unlined, eyelet trim, 3/4-sleeve — but it gives the idea of a businesswear silhouette effectively. I paired those pieces with mustard flats (Target)  and a flower brooch (LOFT) keep the outfit light and feminine.

Two of my new favorite things

14 May

I’m not a huge product person. I barely wear make-up and the only product I use on my hair is Big Sexy Root Boost. But I have thin hair, even thinner since I lost a lot of it after giving birth to my second son. It’s finally growing back in but because I have long hair, it’s taking some time. I came across The Small Things Blog maybe a year ago. Initially I loved it for the hair tutorials but I’ve come to enjoy her fashion posts and she recently started a new Favorite Things segment. In this segment she talks about Oscar Blandi Hair Lift Mousse. The way she describes it in her video intrigued me right away. I had to try it. So I did. I LOVE IT. Anyone with thin hair needs to try this product. It will def be one of my staples from now on.

oscar-blandi-hair-lift-thickening-mousse-350x350

Next up is my new favorite pair of jeans. I got them from no other than…EBAY! However! I know in one of my earlier posts that I mentioned how much I LOVE eBay and I’ve never had an issue. BAH! I just had the weirdest experience ever. I order these jeans and soon after I made the payment I got an email from the seller saying that she thinks she accidentally sent me the wrong jeans but that she sent the correct jeans that day.  I told her I would let her know when I opened them and would return them no problem but that she would have to pay for shipping. I got the package on Saturday so I opened them and they were the right pair. They looked identical to the picture on eBay.  I emailed her and said maybe she had mistaken since I got the right pair. I assumed if I was going to get the wrong pair, I would get them first since she shipped them first. She told me I was wrong and then she demanded a picture. She did agree that the was the right pair when I sent the picture but then got all crazy about where was the second pair….how should I know?  I thought she was a little rude to me for something that I cannot control. I told her that I would never keep jeans I didn’t pay for and that she didn’t need to be rude to me about it. I would gladly ship them back to her if they ever came but that had not arrived. She responds saying that she’s trying to figure out my “scamming technique” on how I’m getting two jeans for the price one.

FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, IS THIS CHICK FOR REAL???

Yes, I went in YOUR closet and shipped MYSELF two pairs of jeans. OMG.

Anyway, I did get a second package yesterday and I just sharpied out my address, wrote return to sender on the package and threw them down the mail slot at the post office in full angry force just for dramatic effect. SO ANNOYED!

I’m so in love with this new pair of jeans. I have tried them on before but would never never ever pay that much for jeans but I found these on eBay for 24.99. I bid on them and won since no one else did! Yahoo! I always have issues with saggy butt jeans and these are not them. 7 For All Mankind.

photo15

photo17

No saggy butt!

 

 

Purple and Green Theme

10 May

I narrowed down my wardrobe to 31 items this month for Mission: Put Together, and I found that this exercise sort of distilled it into its essential elements. When I’m forced to limit myself, I will choose skinny jeans, cardigans, skirts/dresses, and flats. In the same way, 2 weeks into this experiment, I see that I subconsciously chose a lot of purple and green. Out of 10 outfits so far, 6 of them have included 1 or both of these colors:

Green and purple

And this doesn’t even include when I wore my colorblock skirt that has a strip of green at the hem.

Now, the green thing doesn’t surprise me, but the purple kind of does. I didn’t intend to focus on these colors when I chose my 31 items, but it happened anyway. Given such restrictive parameters, it’s interesting to see emerging themes.

What’s a theme in your wardrobe?

P.S. It’s not too late to jump in to Mission: Put Together and earn a chance to win free jeans!

Summer Hat Style

8 May

Do you wear hats?  I know derby hats have become semi-popular again in the past few years, and everyone loves a good sun hat when you are strolling the beaches of St. John, but are hats becoming a regular accessory again?  I went to a “Derby de Mayo” party over the weekend and thought to be somewhat festive, I’d just pick up a cheap hat on the way.  I ended up loving it:

IMG_1207[1]

You guys, I got this hat at Wal-Mart.  I am not proud, but it was SEVEN NINETY-NINE and I will probably wear it to the pool/park/zoo all summer.  (I have a 21 month old – my outings are not fancy.)

Obviously we don’t live in a world where people are walking around in wide-brimmed sunhats in day-to-day life, but hats are kind of fun, right?  Do you wear them?

Beauty Review: Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer

30 Apr

I’ve been reading (which clues you into the high-brow type of literature that I read in my spare time) that the geniuses at Jergens had recently developed a way to create a tan-in-a-can without that tell-tale, odiferous aftermath that most self-tanners are known for. (Apparently that odor is the result of your skin’s reaction to the chemicals that cause the “tan.”) So, after whining about my pasty white legs for awhile, I decided to give Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer a shot.

I’ve been using it for about a week and, while it’s a smidgen splotchy in places–which is entirely due to user-error, as I can’t be bothered to exfoliate, don gloves to apply then apply the product with military-precision (ain’t nobody got time for that)–the stuff is working nicely for me. As for the odor, very occasionally, at the end of the day, I’ll catch a faint whiff of that familiar self-tanner odor, but it’s nothing (NOTHING!) like the other stuff. I’m very happy with it and glad that I tried the drugstore stuff instead of blowing my cash on the fancy-pants stuff that probably still smells like stinky-pants.

Also, I purchased mine at Target for less than $9, however, if you decide to go and get some for yourself, MAKE SURE that you grab a bottle that has a little sticker on the front that specifically says “Great Color Without Odor” because my Target still had some of the old formula on the shelves right alongside this new stuff. <Shakes fist> Tricksters!

Wearing What I’m NOT Wearing

26 Apr

Recently, I culled my wardrobe down to the 31 items that I’ll wear for the whole month of May for Mission: Put Together.* But guess what! It’s not May yet! So I have been trying to wear the pieces that didn’t make the cut before they are off-limits in — yikes — 4 days. Here’s what I wore this week and what I’ll miss wearing the most in May:

Sunday-Tuesday

Sunday:

  • Shade striped blazer
  • Old Navy knot scarf
  • Target cobalt captoe flats

Monday:

Tuesday:

  • LOFT Modern Skinny (Petite) purple jeans (sob) and striped tunic

Wednesday-Friday

Wednesday

  • Forever 21 dress: ah, there you are again! This is like the spring version of this dress styling, ha.
  • LOFT white cardigan: I bought this with a gift card and a 40% off coupon recently, and I love it. I wonder if I should have included it in my 31 items…

Thursday

Friday

  • LOFT green cardigan: I have SO MUCH green in my 31 items already that I thought this cardigan would be over the top. But … I will miss it!
  • LOFT paisley flats: big sigh for these.

I still have a few days left to squeeze in some other things I really like to wear but won’t be able to soon, like my red jeans, orange skirt, and a few dresses. And funny t-shirts! And my other scarves! Gah. This experiment in May should be interesting, huh?

* Want to try the 31 for 31 challenge? Enter by April 30! And if you’d rather not restrict your wardrobe, just participate in the Mission: Put Together challenges — both options earn you the chance to win free jeans!

Shorts!

24 Apr

Do you wear shorts?  I have some friends who hate them, regardless of how good they look in them.  I think they view them as childish, maybe?  Personally I love them, but they have to be just right.  Last summer I found some ones I really liked at the J Crew Factory store, similar to these:

J Crew

J Crew

There are some styles I think are really cute but I just can’t pull off due to my short legs.  Like these:

Loft

Loft

In my mind, shorts never really go in and out of style, with the exception of denim, which apparently is back the last few years.  I guess bermudas are more common again – I remember rocking some brightly colored, patterned bermudas in the late 80s.  It seems like, though, your basic khaki mid-thigh shorts are always around in some form.

What about you?  Do you loathe or love shorts?  Are there any fantastic ones out there I should know about this year?