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Golden Shoe Problems

31 Jul

So, I am currently on vacation in the beautiful remote north, land of flip flops and tee shirts for style. Not much in the way of inspiration. However, as I packed for this trip, I realized I may have a small problem. Its name is gold shoes.

Does this seem excessive?  I don’t know, honestly.  They just go with everything, right?  Especially in the summer.

Do you have an obsession with anything lately?



Customizing a trend

15 May

Not every trend is meant for everyone. I know this. I know not every style is going to work on me, and I know I don’t want to look like every other person I see.

But I also don’t want to look like I live under a rock or a decade behind the times. And sometimes I just think something is cute, even if it’s not ideal for me, my body or my life.

Chambray is one of those trends.

Chambray shirts are everywhere. Much as I mocked the look at first  — didn’t we do this back in the grungy ’90s? — I have to admit a chambray shirt paired with a colored pair of shorts is awfully cute.

On other people.

On me, maybe because of my coloring or my lack of a rack, these denim-y shirts look like prison garb. So I’ve hemmed and hawed for months, trying on shirt after shirt and discarding them all. This one was too light. That one was too dark. Another was too streaky. Pockets on the chest just looked awful. Tabs on the sleeve were way too safari.

And then I found it: MY chambray shirt. The Merona Dobby Dot button-down from Target.


The subtle print somehow keeps it from feeling prison-y. (Plus, it reminds me of a pink shirt with dots like this I had years ago, until I wore it into rags.) The shirt is not quite chambray, but it’s close enough to feel like the trend — and more importantly, it feels like ME.

And it looks great with my hot pink shorts.

Are you on the chambray bandwagon? What one worked for you?

Any trend you’ve struggled to fit into?

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:


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?

Minty Fresh

4 Mar

I realize we just did a post about emerald green, but mint green is everywhere right now too. It’s a HUGE color for spring. It was big in 2012, but I think it’s going to be even more available this year.

Let us start with the Catherine Street – Louise shoulder bag by Kate Spade.


Next is the Steve Madden Studded Tote (now on sale at Zappo’s for $76.)


And here’s a wallet, Rebecca Minkoff’s Frannie Leather French Wallet.


Coach has lots of bags in mint. My friend has this one, the leather crossbody bag, in bright pink. Be warned that it is really small. If you have a big wallet, it will probably not fit in this bag.


So here’s a larger Coach bag, if you’re interested- the Legacy tassled leather duffel.


Are you getting tired of links yet? I am. Here’s a phone case. It’s the Case-Mate monogram iPhone 5 case, which is too cool for me since I still have an iPhone 4. Gosh, I’m so old school.


Shoes! It’s the Sole Society mary jane ballet flat. I’ve never worn this brand before, and have heard mixed reviews.


Mint and gold together appears to be a thing. This BP chain link statement necklace is quite a deal – only $18.


The Kate Spade New York Bijoux Bijoux Long Station Necklace is just a little bit pricier at $128.


Would you like to pay even more than $128 for a Kate Spade necklace? Here’s your chance! It’s the Kate Spade New York Hot Chip Bib Necklace, and it’s $198.


More stuff to put around your neck! It’s 50 Shades of Mint! I’m tired of writing these descriptions! Accessory Collective infinity scarf.


These Tory Burch logo stud earrings look pretty neutral. This link goes to the Tory Burch website because the earrings don’t seem to be available at Nordstrom anymore. The color of the earrings looks totally different on the Tory Burch website, just FYI.


Calvin Klein’s strapless rosette bodice chiffon dress looks very romantic.




Hole-y shirt!






You may note that I stuck mainly to accessories. (You may also note that all these photos are screen shots from the Nordstrom app because that’s just how I roll.) I’m not against color. I just think mint is a hard color for most people to pull off. In accessories, I think a really pale mint is gorgeous, but if you’re going to wear a mint-colored shirt or dress, it needs to be a deeper mint, either more blue or green, depending on your skin tone.

SAO Says: Emerald Trend

22 Feb

How do you feel about emerald, Pantone’s color of the year for 2013?

Emerald Collage

10 emerald items for under $50:
dress, cardigan, shirt, belt, skirt, peeptoes, pants, earrings, ring, jacket

Andrea: I love emerald! Such a beautiful and rich color. I don’t have any specific plans for purchases, although I’ll probably pick up a bottle of emerald nail polish at some point.

RA: My favorite color is green, so I LOVE this trend. Conveniently, I have a lot of clothing in this color already. Unfortunately, I automatically gravitate toward green items in a store, so it will take inhuman self-restraint not to buy everything out there this year.

Becky: I love emerald green and really want some green pants. I think emerald green goes with almost everything.

Jes: I used to try to wear emerald, because my mom looks great in it and therefore has a lot of it. I have a completely different complexion, though, and it just doesn’t work. When I finally realized it wasn’t a question of finding the right emerald item and I just shouldn’t wear it at all, I wondered why I didn’t realize long ago!

N: I guess I’m not entirely sure what the “color of the year” entails, but as far as emerald, I love it!  I don’t have much green in my wardrobe at all, and generally stay away from it, but I did recently buy an emerald sweater, and it’s one of my new favorite items.  This shade of green works for me — I actually look awake in jewel tones!

Jenny J: I’ve long been a fan of emerald green. My eyes are sort of an emerald green color, so it’s always been my go-to, slam-dunk color for clothing. Now that I think about it though, I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t look good in emerald. It seems to be universally flattering for all complexions and just a pleasant, crowd-pleasing color all around. BTW, here’s gorgeous example of a ridiculously lovely Valentino in emerald green.

Hillary: I’m a big fan of any jewel tone; they all look nice with my dark hair and pale skin. What I really like about emerald is that it looks sharp with both black and navy. I only have one emerald shirt, but it’s a go-to shirt any time I want something to brighten up my navy suit or a plain black pencil skirt.

Let’s Get Nautical

18 Feb

This posted without my exciting commentary for some reason. Grrrr. I’m not going to spend a lot of time editing it for the third time, so I will just note that while navy stripes certainly aren’t new, they are everywhere right now. I’m linking to a good sample of nautical shirts below, but you can, of course, find more. And there are also lots of cute stripes dresses and blazers right now too. Here we go!

Striped shirts 1-4

Clockwise from top left:

Banana Republic striped button-shoulder tee $39.50

Banana Republic striped button-shoulder pullover (navy/white and yellow/white on sale now for $49.99, black/white on sale for $39.99)

Gap supersoft striped boatneck T

Piperlime’s Pim + Larkin French terry striped tee

Striped shirts 5-10

Clockwise from top left:

Piperlime’s Hive & Honey nautical stripe tee $29 (I’m breaking the rules. This one is actually black/white, not navy.)

Loft striped structured cotton knit tee $49.50 (50% off through Monday) (this one zips in the back)

Loft stripe v-neck wedge sweater on sale for $29.50

Lands’ End women’s 3/4 sleeve stripe starfish lightweight crew tunic on sale for $29.99

Lands’ End women’s 3/4 sleeve boatneck sailor tee
(plus size, also comes in regular and petite) $34

Macy’s INC International three-quarter length sleeve sequin sailor stripe $59.50

Striped shirts 11 - 14

Clockwise from top left:

Nordstrom’s Isaac Mizrahi Jeans Savannah zip back top on sale for $39.86

Kate Spade striped Leanne top $238

Nordstrom’s Vince Camuto stripe bandage top (plus) $89.90

Ann Taylor striped crepe tank

Do you have a favorite navy-striped top?

Lightening Up Your Tops for Spring

7 Feb

Just the other day, @TwoAdults over on Twitter linked to an adorable, fresh tee on the J Crew Factory website.  Not only is it a great piece to pick up as a basic, but the addition of the ruffle makes for a detail that brightens your wardrobe just a little for Spring.


Since I’m constantly trying to update my style (a difficult task when you work in an really casual environment where anything goes), I headed to my favorite shopping sites to find some more items with fun details to update my basic looks:

Some people say mean things about peplum.  While I understand the concern, I also think it’s a bit misplaced.  Like a lot of trends, peplum works best in certain fabrics and certain lengths (for example, I need a wide piece of fabric below the waist seam.  Anything less than about four inches is a RUFFLE. NOT PEPLUM.)

Nordstrom is carrying this soft version in a stripe by Splendid, one of my very favorite brands due to the AWESOME fabric and great drape.  It’s a bit on the spendy side, but the quality is SO good that I’d consider it a sensible splurge.


I actually just bought this peplum top (it says Sweater on the site, and while it’s sweater fabric it’s also thin and not overly warm) from LOFT and I want to wear it every day.  I bought two colors because I couldn’t get enough AND it’s only $29.50 on the site right now.  (Or hold out, I got mine a bit cheaper due to a 50% Off sale!)


Several years ago I bought a great black cotton crochet top that I wore constantly.  I LOVED that top, but somewhere between now and then I lost it.  I’m pretty sure I didn’t just GIVE it away and it’s unlikely that I left it behind on a trip, yet I continue to mourn its loss.  So every spring I look for a similar style and although this one is white and polyester (and, well, ALSO technically peplum), it’s a strong contender.


For something a little more meeting-with-the-boss, I thought I’d look for some easy all-over prints to layer with a blazer or cardigan.  There are lots of floral options out there right now, but I’m digging this graphic print because of the slim silhouette, strong color and elbow length sleeves.


As expected, Anthropologie came up with a LONG list of great tops for sale.  But the one I want to buy first is this Basketwrap Top- its faux wrap front would be super flattering (without an accidental boob reveal) and it’s both easy to dress up with black pants and easy to dress down with a pair of white shorts and sandals.


And one last thing: for everyone not in warm states, stalk these items for great sales in 4-6 weeks.  You’ll have a new wardrobe for spring/summer by the time it rolls around in your neck of the woods!

What I Can’t Pull Off

30 Jan

Everyone has something they can’t pull off, right?  I started thinking about this the other day after bringing home a seemingly universal long-sleeved striped waffle tee from Old Navy.  It was my size, it had stretch, and looked like it was a flattering cut.  I even cut off the tags before trying it on.  Surprise!  I looked like a linebacker in it.  The stripes were situated just perfectly to draw the world’s attention to my broad shoulders.

I’m a totally average size and shape, and happy with my body, but there are just some areas and attributes that make certain cuts or styles off-limits to me.  Specifically, my aforementioned broad shoulders make a lot of necklines totally unflattering.  I stick to v-neck, boatneck, scoopneck, and cowlneck styles as much as possible, and avoid crewnecks in general.  Tank tops?  Only when hiking.

I’m also “blessed” in the chest area.  (You ladies who are similarly situated understand why I used quotes, yes?)  While, depending on your objective, one can dress the girls to one’s advantage in many ways, the fashion world really doesn’t design for full chested women.  [Insert diatribe on supermodels, body image, eating disorders, etc.]  So, in addition to the fact that a lot of clothing just doesn’t FIT when you have a rack (for example, gapes in every button-down shirts ever made), you can also count out flowy tops and tunics.  While adorable on many women, they just add the appearance of 10 pounds to my frame or that is-she-or-isn’t-she-pregnant air of mystery.  A defined waist is pretty much a requirement when you have a rack.

I don’t mean for this to be a negative post at all – like I said, I’m happy with my shape and still have a lot of options to play around with.  I just know my limitations.  What are some things you can’t pull off?



Black Boots – Finally! (I hope)

2 Jan

It is now January and I have been searching for the right pair of black boots since September.  Has anyone else had this problem this year?  I probably have only myself to blame, given my general aversion to obvious trends and anything blingy.  I just found most of the black boots out there were either too motorcycle-y, too riding-y, or too blingy.  I don’t mind a little metal detail usually, but I always try to get the most bang for my buck out of my purchases, so I wanted the boots to be work-appropriate as well.  YES, I AM FRUGAL AND BORING.

I am not lying when I say I have been looking EVERYWHERE.  In stores, on-line, on people in public places.  I couldn’t even find a pair of Fryes I liked.  (I KNOW.)  I actually ordered a pair of seemingly perfect Nine West boots, only to find the zipper to be too. . .prominent.  It went all the way up the back and was exposed metal.  The boots were still cute, but I couldn’t get past the thought that they were slightly over the street-walker line, and therefore not appropriate for my work place.

I love my brown boots.  LOVE them.  I have had them about three years now and I still wear them all the time in the winter and get compliments on them constantly.  They are a cognac color, have just enough heel and the perfect toe shape, and were around $100.  They are by Arturo Chiang, which is only sold a few places (Dillards, Amazon, Piperlime.)  So I checked out that brand and think I have finally found the right pair.  I ordered them this weekend (on sale for $89!), so we’ll see next week if I’m right.

Arturo Chiang "Sam"

Arturo Chiang “Sam”

What black boots have you loved this year?


Style Confessions

6 Dec

I happened across this post the other day about plaid shirts, which made me feel like I need to get a few things off my chest.

Style Confession #1:  I don’t like plaid.

Yes, it’s true. I avoid plaid. I’m not sure if it’s because I am scarred by attending college in the early 1990s, where plaid flannel was all but a uniform (and often worn with overalls!), or what, so I just can’t imagine going back there.


I realize this is kind of irrational, because look, isn’t this kind of cute? It is NOT the baggy flannel of 1992! (Photo credit: C&

And while we’re on the topic, I also avoid floral prints and chambray. I don’t always know WHY I do this, but when you look in my closet you won’t see anything fitting any of those descriptions.

I do actually like prints, though. Abstract prints, stripes, polka dots, as well as color-blocked items are all fair game!

Style Confession #2: I wear white jeans all year long.

I know the “don’t wear white after Labor Day” rule is really not a rule anymore, which I have taken to heart. I wear my white jeans WELL into fall and sometimes in December. I think it looks clean to wear white jeans, a black sweater and a scarf in a bright color. There, I said it. I feel better now.

Style Confession #3: I sometimes wear ugly shoes in the name of comfort.

You can pry my Ugg boots and my Toms out of my cold dead hands, I tell ya. No, they are not the height of fashion, but now that I’m a cranky old lady of 39 years old, I refuse to be uncomfortable in my footwear. *Tiny voice* (I have even worn my Toms to the office and considered buying a pair of Birkenstocks.)

Now, I will say that I also own work shoes by both Easy Spirit and Aerosoles, and they are in my opinion SUPER CUTE. I’m not going to all of a sudden go out in search of orthopedic footwear, but look at these!




(Photo credit:

Cute, yes?

OK, now that I’ve unburdened myself, and live in fear that you will unfriend me for my taste in footwear, please share with me some of YOUR style confessions. Spill!