Sunday, February 28, 2010

"the september issue"

First, let me get this out of the way... I do not, by any stretch of the imagination, consider myself to be super fashionable and in the know when it comes to anything related to "high fashion."  I can't even pronounce the names of the five designers I do know of.  Regardless... it's a pretty interesting industry when you get beneath the surface, I guess.

I spent the weekend in Charlotte with my b.f.f. Katie and when she was telling me about "The September Issue" I was pretty excited to see it.  Didn't really know much about the movie or about Anna Wintour except that she never has a hair out of place.  But I knew it'd be interesting, at least.  So here's my quick, dirty and non-comprehensive review...

It was just okay.  I would maybe give it one thumbs up but definitely not two.  Hate to say it but it was a bit on the boring side and didn't really reveal much about Anna Wintour herself or her process... it felt more like a series of clips they put together after they followed her around for a few days.  (Please don't stone me!  I have a family!)  Yes, it is a documentary but documentaries don't have to be boring, right? I guess I thought it would be more engaging and, in some way, surprising.  (I also spent a major portion of the movie gagging at the sight of Grace Coddington's hair.)

Personally, I am a Lucky kind of girl but I bet this would be a great watch if you're Vogue gal. 

Was anyone else a little disappointed?  If you loved it, I'm interested... do you keep up with high fashion or were you just interested in a behind the scenes look at Anna Wintour?

Friday, February 26, 2010

smells like school spirit

I know I've been a slow blogger lately.  Though I don't feel so alone because lots of my favorite bloggers have been pretty busy, too.  Just that time of year.  Think we're all just sitting on our hands until Spring comes.  Which just means that we could have some pretty numb hands a few weeks from now. 

One reason I've been so slow is that I finally picked up a book.  Haven't read a novel for fun in months.  I'm about halfway through Jodi Picoult's Nineteen Minutes and I'm already starting to feel a smidgen like myself again.  (It is so easy to lose yourself, isn't it?  Work has ruined me, Paul and I both agree on that.)  It's a pretty intense story but so far, so good.

Fridays are spirit days at work which means we are supposed to wear a school spirit shirt.  And wiggle our best spirit fingers during class changes and give all the cool kids swirlies on the way to lunch.  Most Fridays, though, I stick with school colors (black and gold) because dang school shirts are expensive.  I am at home today so here is last Friday's school spirit look:

I've worn the cardigan and headband together like this before, I just love them both a lot.  And I will probably wear them again today when I get in the car to road trip it to Charlotte to see Katie!  The shirt and scarf here are both sparkly.  Silver shirt, gold scarf.  I'm not one to mix the two tones but since the headband has both, I ran with it.  Do you guys mix silver and gold?
  • Black cardigan: Willi Smith via TJ Maxx (worn here
  • Shirt: LOFT
  • Jeans: Mossimo via Target
  • Shoes: Enzo Angiolini
  • Headband: LOFT (worn here)
Also, the shoes are on their last leg.  They're a little tight but I've always dealt with them but now they are falling apart at the seams and wearing crazy thin on the soles.  The second pair of flats to fall apart on me in the last few weeks.  One of my favorite pairs by Seychelles met the dumpster last week after both were leaking water through the sole when it rained.   So now I'm on the hunt for a new pair.  Fell in love with the pewter "boyshort" flat by Seychelles but they are sold out.  The plum and black are both fun so they're still in the running.  I have a few more options laid out but I've been taking my time trying to make sure they're cute and fun but also comfortable enough to stand on all day.  Any suggestions?  What's your favorite brand for comfortable, last-forever flat?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

unlikely combination

Quickie.  Today's outfit was inspired (almost copied!) by i'd wear it's OOTD yesterday.  For some reason I just wouldn't have thought to pair my dark blue sweater with the brown pants I love (still ticked that they just don't photograph well... but I love them unconditionally.  I just loved the whole color combination so I did my best to rip it off. 

My mama took me shopping the other day and we picked this up at Ann Taylor LOFT.  I love it especially because the length is easy to change... it can be short or long which rules because I hate when a necklace just doesn't hit right with the shirt/dress/cardigan you're wearing.  (You can see the ends that you pull... I forgot that I'd pulled them to the front so Gray would stop trying to yank them from behind when he was playing with my hair.  Whoops!)  Plus, it gives the outfit a little bit of an Auburn vibe in the color scheme... War Eagle!  Which makes me think... why did I find this to be such an unlikely combination?  I spent my undergraduate career donning the orange and blue at least once a week with various combinations of brown, grey, blue, green... you name it.

Please excuse my hotmess-ness... there is just no hope after ridiculous, hellacious days at work.  But nothing a good workout can't fix.  Caffeinerd has been my saving grace for treadmill workouts.  Last week, Elena posted some interval workouts that I've been trying.  Kickin' my ass!  Good thing I'm starting to train for the Peachtree now because I am slow, y'all.  10-11 minute miles is all I got by 7pm on a week night.  But I'll give myself credit since they've been on at least a 3% incline. 

Anyone else in the Atlanta area doing the Peachtree in July?  How are you training?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

building blacks, part 3: inspired

Now that I am on the third post of this series (part 1 here, part 2 here explanation kind of all over the place... reasoning to come), I must say that building a black wardrobe (moreso, learning how to accessorize an all-black outfit) is easier than I originally thought.  Easy like learning how to snowboard or how to land a perfect triple lutz.

Actually, once I found some good source of inspiration the outfits came pretty easily.  The first set that I created using a direct source of inspiration - casual dinner, beachside in the Springtime (or indirect since I'm not actually there which is just plain unfortunate):

I chose black skinnies for comfort (I'm assuming I'd spent a long, strenuous day under an umbrella by the pool... sipping daquiries and reading a trashy romance novel.  Comfort necessary.  Need some black skinnies first.), a light dolman-sleeve cardigan (have one), and a sequin tank to break up all the black (don't have one).  From there, I went beachy with the accessories - light scarf with varying hues to mimic the tide, low light blue heels by Seychelles (LOVE their shoes - on the hunt for a new pair of flats a.s.a.p.) and then some metallic shell earrings to top it off.  Originally, I wanted to go dark teal with the earrings to create a gradient all the way down to the shoes.  But with so much space in between the scarf and the shoes... didn't make sense.

My second source of inspiration came from a scarf I found while browsing polyvore for... hmm, inspiration.  Fell in love with the color palette and went from there... and that was it!

Can you tell I've got Spring on my mind?

Where do you find inspiration for your outfits?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

sundry saturday

Lots of odds and ends today...

1) Playing with the blog layout today.  Went back to a 'stretch' option like chailoveyou but nothing too wild & crazy because I am anything but a master of HTML.  That stuff is for the birds, y'all.  Don't get it.  I just know that because of it I now have a fun, pretty font in the date/post/sidebar titles.  Went back and changed the header font to match... not sure I'm diggin' it yet.  Looks like Athen'sista'... which... maybe I could be a 'sista' if only my students didn't remind me on a daily basis that I'm white enough to be Edward Cullen's sister.  Only time will tell... I change the look of my blog like I change my underwear... once every few weeks.  Did I get you there?  Surely I jest.  But I guess you'll jest never know.

2) Twitter... I like to tweet.  Lots of you also like to tweet and I have probably started "following" you.  And you let me... which is good because if you ran I would just chase you anyway.  I tried to put my tweets in the sidebar.  Only I forgot that I locked them up and threw away the key.  (At least until the end of May when school is out... who knew my students would be into Twitter?  Not that they probably care about my tweets buuuut... did I ever tell you about the time this kid totally convinced me he knows where I live?  And that he'd read my "online diary" ... which he said was on Myspace... whiiiiich it totally isn't because I hate Myspace.  Still.  Messed with my mind.  Freaky deaky.)  So... if you're tweeting and you want to share a nest, you can follow me here.

3) Here are the rest of my fitting room confessions from Anthro last Sunday:

Can't remember the name of the dress... I just know I was crazy for the way they styled it here:
 Unfortunately, I was not crazy about the dress itself.  The neckline was too high for it to be flattering and even though I tried it on a size smaller than I thought I would need, it was still loose and bulky in the waist.  So if you like this one, size down.  Still love it styled Anthro's way and the fabric is pretty sturdy, not to mention gorgeous.  Just not gorgeous enough to make up for the fit issues.

Next I the Fragmented Pipevine Dress.  Not on sale but the fit was great - better than the photo shows.  Only thing: it snaps all the way down so it's what some might call "easy access."  Some people are into that.  Not judging.  Just sayin'.

Finally, I tried on this grey, floral button-up sweater cardigan... don't know the name (obviously by my eloquent description).  Loved it on the hanger.  Looked a little big-ish so I grabbed a small and even the small practically swallowed me whole!  Never happens, folks.  Definitely size down if you're looking at this one (I don't think it's on the site anymore).  The armpits are saggy (I know they're meant to be) which could be cute but I felt like a bag lady - the look on my face says it all, I think.  Also, I found the fabric to be a little on the scratchy and staticy side.

After I grabbed my sale rack pieces, I browsed the front tables (naturally... anyone who manages to escape Anthropologie without browsing all the pieces they can't afford is clearly not human.  Beware of those 'people' and walk away.) and came across the Off-the-Tie-Rack blouse.  Wasn't crazy about this one online but it was so much more stunning in person.  I tried this one on first before I thought to document so no photo... but trust me that it's amazing.  Fit is a little roomy up top and maybe a little short if you have a long torso but I thought it was okay for me.  If I wanted to layer something under, I'd probably just use a yellow cami to play off the tie.  Might have to keep this one on my wishlist... you know, once it's on its fifteenth markdown. 

Has anyone tried on the Tassel Fronds Dress?  WANT.  

P.S.... so glad I used my Valentine's Day for the Starbound Dress because it's not on the site anymore.  Whew... could've been ugly.

And here is what I wore for my day of shopping and lusting:

This outfit actually felt kinda dumpy once I was out of the house but I got a handful of compliments on it so I thought I'd share after all...
  • Sweater: Cillie's Clothing (in Athens)
  • Eyelet tank: F21
  • Skinnies: 'Sweetheart' skinny from Old Navy
  • Boots: Steve Madden

WOWZA, that's a long post!  Happy Saturday, everyone!

Friday, February 19, 2010

down to a tee

Between switching intervals last night on this workout that I found via caffeinerd, I got to thinking about gym style.  Lots of people probably think about gym style.  But if you're like me, you're probably just trying to find the couple of items you don't mind using for sweat mops.  To that end, I think I have my gym style down to a tee.  Literally.  *Wink* 

Yesterday's gym style:

Even if I'm not really cool, my fellow gym goers don't know that.  Yet.  I also wore this with black C9 pants that I love... think I could make this my new go-to professional look in my future black wardrobe?  No? 

(Edit: I should note here... this was my Brussels, Belgium souvenir from our family trip to Europe in 2006.  Just so you know I'm not some Belgium fanatic... unless we're talking waffles.  Now THAT I can be fanatic about.)

And now for Paul's first style feature on the blog... what a perfect workout tee.  His motivation, maybe?

What do your tees say about you?  (Or maybe what do they not say about you?  Ha...)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

i don't even like mustard

Man, there sure is a lot of mustard going on in this blog.  I don't even like mustard-the-condiment in real life. (That must be what my mad face is about.  Actually, that is just me hating static electricity with the heat of a thousand suns.)

I might be head over heels in love with this belt I picked up at Anthropologie on Valentine's Day.  Can't find it on the website but it is beautimous and a perfect cure for that frumpty dumpty feeling I had all day.  Probably gonna be seeing this one a lot from now on... don't say I didn't warn ya.  On a side note: I always try to mask my frumpy feeling with fuller dresses and skirts like this one but then I think I actually look more frumpy... what's your cure for the mornings when nothing feels right? 

Materials and Sources:
  • Dress: Target
  • Cardigan: one A (gift from Mom)
  • Leggings: Target (I can't stop wearing them under dresses... I am decidedly hating the cold this year.), remix'd lots and lots
  • Boots: 'Intyce' by Steven by Steve Madden, remix'd lots
  • Necklace: Francesca's Collection
  • Belt: via Anthropologie

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

mustard stains

Last night, Paul and I made a sacrifice of time and inches of our waistbands to eat at Abattoir for date night.  It was tough but those inches needed someone to show them what it's like to be loved.  Some fried chick peas, duck meatballs, pork shoulders and a few maple bacon beignets later... we melted into the hot tub (at my parents'... we were house sitting and it's 40 minutes closer to the big city, y'awwll).  Successful date night to be sure.

You're going to have to excuse the grainy cell phone pics.  Didn't want to fuss with a camera (the hot tub was calling).  I love this dress but it needs to be worn without tights - the "catching" drove me crazy.  Post dinner wrinkles and crazy hair... cozy is what I call it.  ;)

Date night was great.  Good food, good man... and some, err, "good" conversation at the table next to us.  A pregnant lady (7 months... I know this because she said so.  I may have an ankle biter of my own but I am certainly no winner of the game "how many weeks?") and her gal pal were catching up on life as it is, having some red wine (lots of red wine, actually... kinda freaked me out by the time we left) and talking about comfort shoes.  Specifically, something like Uggs.  And the prego kept talking about the boots and how she just had to have them but her husband won't let her wear them around the house and keeps telling her that, "Before you know it, you'll be wearing them in the grocery store with an Auburn sweatshirt with mustard stains on it."  HA!  I am an Auburn girl, if you don't know that, which puts it into perspective.  Paul and I almost died.  Because, you know, I am an Auburn girl and he is most definitely not an Auburn fan.  Of course, this reminded me of one of my favorite book quotes of all time that I think of whenever I imagine someone else or myself (usually myself) "letting go" a little...
"Both the five-year-olds looked at me with bewilderment and a bit of fearful uncertainty. I had a sudden horrifying image of the woman I might become if I'm not careful: Crazy Aunt Liz. The divorcee in the muumuu with the dyed orange hair who doesn't eat dairy but smokes menthols, who's always just coming back from her astrology cruise or breaking up with her aroma-therapist boyfriend, who reads the Tarot cards of kindergarteners and says things like, "Bring Aunty Liz another wine cooler, baby, and I'll let you wear my mood ring..." - Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat Pray Love
Bootleg cell phone pics are the gateway.  Next thing you know, I'll be posting outfit pics of me in the brand new muumuu my cousin Alf snagged for me in Hong Kong. 

Materials and Sources:
  • Dress: F21 (I think... probably.)
  • Brown cropped cardigan: Target
  • Tights: F21
  • Shoes: Jeffrey Campbell (favvvvorites)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

building blacks, part 2: it's all in the accessories

Anticipatory Set: I know, I know... productivity is down this week.  I am in a tough bout of stressing and hating my job pretty much all the time.  At least today was my last reevaluation conference of the year so there is at least one dim, blinky Christmas light at the end of the tunnel. But!... Happy note!: I am about to get dressed for my belated Valentine's date with Paul tonight... really I guess it is just a regular date.  Only extra fun because we're going out for a fancy shmancy dinner in Atlanta.  So for now, I'll do a little part 2 action of my Building Blacks "series."  Can I call it a series if I've only done one?  Well, I am.  (Along with [drumroll]... a part 1 update with my very first 'fitting room confessions' in the Final Notes!)

Objective(s) Addressed: Building an all black wardrobe; accessorizing aforementioned black wardrobe

Featured Sources... the polyvore skills of the lovely Liz of Lizzy Punch!

Input: If you were here for part 1, I jumped in to Building Blacks by accessorizing an all-black ensemble with whimsical, colorful belts that not only define the waist but add a little color and personality to an otherwise plain and simple outfit.  Well, Liz at Lizzy Punch heard my online cry and came to the rescue with not one, not two... but four polyvore sets that use accessorizes to "punch" up an all black ensemble.  What lovely blogging friends I have here! (I'm tellin' ya... this community is the  You guys always come to the rescue with support and ideas for improvement or jazzing up a simple outfit.  Love it, love it, love it.)  Here are two of the four outfits she created that I thought would work best for the setting in which I'd be wearing them...
Obviously, she knows how much I love my black and brown together!  And aren't those bangles such a fun, colorful touch?  LOVE this for summertime.  Perfect.
This one, I am just loving the red/coral color in the accessories.  Just a little but enough to really jazz it up and make things fun.  (How freakin' cute is that tote?  Want it.)  This would be a great one for the Spring and Fall crazy transition weather we get down here.

See all four on her blog or click through on Lizzy Punch to her Polyvore page.  So cute.  Thanks, Liz, these were just too fun not to post!
Final Notes: Last week, I featured three Anthro dresses that fit into my all black category and that could be functional in the setting I need them for and (hopefully) beyond.  Since Paul spent most of Valentine's Day working and my parents had already claimed keepsies on him for the day, I ventured to a Lenox for a while and popped into Anthropologie to check those sale racks for my two favorite dresses I posted about last week and, of course, torture myself by petting and trying on lovely clothes I can't afford right now.  So I bring you my first Fitting Room Confessions.  I would've never tagged myself for the type to do this... not in a million years... but other peoples' fitting room reviews have helped me on a number of occasions so maybe this will do the same for someone else. 

Found all three dresses on the sale rack on Sunday... the Hold-the-Lines Jumper was honestly not great at all in person.  The fabric felt really cheapie and the fit was horrid on me.  Kinda looked like a potato sack on me which was disappointing - I thought this one would at least be cute and most versatile.  Live and learn, people.  Would like great, though, on someone petite and slender. 

Second, I found the Peseta dress but it didn't really do much for me on the rack so I didn't even try it on.  The sequin-like "studs" were coming off at the seams and the fabric was too sheer for my taste.  Since it's Springy/Summery, I don't want to be dealing with a lot of slips or underlayers to combat the see-through factor .

Finally, the Starbound dress by one.september which was my favorite one to stalk online and turned out to be my favorite in person as well.  The fit was great on me, better than the picture shows, and I was surprised by the quality.  It's a jersey fabric but it's swingy and heavier than most so you don't feel like you're wearing a thin secondhand t-shirt.  The top is a little drapey so being small-chested brought the scoop a little lower but since it's jersey and silk it's easy to swing up and keep it there (Easily adjustable, in other words.).  The beads were sewn on well and, of course, the beaded sash is gorgeous!  (But also removable if you want to switch it out for another belt.) Couldn't pass this one up... if it weren't so freezing cold out, I would definitely debut it on our date tonight. 

A few more confessions from Sunday coming soon but I'm outta internet breath from such a long post! 

Have a fun all black outfit or polyvore set to share?  Send it my way, I would love to post it!  Don't forget to stop by and see Liz's other takes on the all black ensemble at Lizzy Punch. :)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

wedding style


Little G. caught a stomach bug at the beginning of last weekend, which forced me to slow down and do very little aside from eat, sleep and cuddle.  And I think it's been one of the most relaxing weekends I've had in a very long time.  G.'s tearing up the house and climbing on boxes to look out windows so I think it's safe to say he's almost 100%. 

Since Krista did a little recap featuroo on my wedding last week, I thought I'd take a post to elaborate on my wedding style.  I know a lot of you are either married, engaged or soon to be engaged and who doesn't love talking weddings?  Especially wedding gowns and shoes and flowers and... sigh, I actually wouldn't mind reliving the whole thing, is that crazy?  Well, since I planned my wedding in 30 short days, probably not.  Gotta be honest... I have no idea how you long engagement ladies do it.  I wouldn't have any hair left.  Or a husband to speak of.  Just... no, thanks.

Before we started planning our wedding, I'd watched some tv shows ("Whose Wedding is it Anyway?," anyone?) and flipped through magazines on trips to the bookstore.  Believe it or not, my dress wasn't the tough part... it was the bridesmaids and the flowers that tripped me up when it came to the style of my wedding.

Of course, a lot can be said about the style of a wedding by the dress a bride wears... but I really think it's the bridesmaid dresses (and the flowers, too) that seal the deal on the overall tone of a wedding's style.  There are usually multiple bridesmaids, all up front with you, which means that whatever cut, color or theme you choose is not going solo... it's repetitive.  So you better be prepared to either keep it simple or make sure the impact it will have is the one you're going for.  Maybe it's just me, but I can't tell you how many times I've been to a wedding and noticed almost nothing about the bride because the bridesmaids stole the show (and not in a good way, if you know what I mean).  All that to say... I probably stressed more over the bridesmaids and the flowers than any other element of style in my wedding.

With such limited time to shop (which meant ordering was out of the question), I took my 'maids with me for an entire day of searching the racks and trying on lots of dresses that just didn't work.  The wedding would be in the evening which usually means formal but, wanting the overall feel to be more relaxed, I wanted the dresses to be short.  I also wanted my ladies to be able to wear them again without actually looking like a bridesmaid again. We finally arrived at White House Black Market, of all places, and I asked the girls to try on a dress just on a whim and it ended up working.  You all already know I am a fan of black and brown together (and I've sported it twice this week alone!) so you won't be surprised at the final choice...

 In Krista's post, I noted that all of the girls were pretty different in shape so it needed to be universally flattering.  Honestly, I didn't think that dress would be but it worked.  I think, anyway.  If we didn't find a dress that looked good I was just going to have them pick out a black dress of their choice in the same length but with the overall feel of the wedding being sort of formal, I'm glad we found something. :)

Like, I said... my choice was easy.  Too easy.  I knew I wanted strapless, lots of lace, not a lot of bulk.  Fairytale look without a princess cut.  First day, first boutique where I actually tried dresses on... kazaam!

I got it, right?  Strapless, lots of lace, no big poofy skirt, sweet little train... really, really, really (!) loved my dress.  Maybe I should wear it for our Valentine's Day date.  No?  Okay, if you're sure...

Everything else pretty much went to the flowers.  Floating petals with tealights on the tables, hydrangeas and callas for the bridesmaids and then my bouquet... which, other than the dress, may have been my absolute favorite thing.  And maybe my most stressed-over element if you can believe it.  I think our florist was a little daunted by my request, ha!  But boy did she deliver.  It's still in my parents' freezer.  Which is probably gross and definitely not the real way to preserve it but by the time we really thought about it it was too late.  The bouquet kept my own ensemble from going too over the top formal and gave it a little whimsy and a garden feel which I loved.  This photo doesn't do it the justice it deserves but I still love to gaze at it from time to time...

Probably my favorite style day ever... what's your wedding style like?  Past, present, future... whatever!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

building blacks, part 1: coloring with belts and dresses i lust after

A few days ago I asked for your advice on how to accessorize an all-black wardrobe.  I'm still not sure exactly where to go with that idea.  Hence, a series: Building Blacks.

You know... like building blocks... only... blacks... okay, okay, I know you get it, I'm cheesy. I digress. ;) (I should really stop using emoticons in my everyday internet life but I just can't... I grew up in the era of AIM and MSN messenger.  Emoticons are just staple territory.) 

First, I will say... building a black wardrobe is more difficult than I imagined.  I was totally unprepared for that.  (I'm aware that I haven't yet disclosed my reasoning here and maybe it's irking you... it will come in time.  I am obviously the queen of vague right now.  Just nod and go with it.  Indulge me.  Pretty please?)  Really, it doesn't matter anyway because I know you lovely readers are always up for a style challenge.  Here's the vague, nutshell version... over the next few months, I'll be working on building a black wardrobe and I don't want to break the bank.  So... I probably want to focus on some basic foundation pieces like skirts, dresses, cardigans, bermuda shorts, etc... that I can accessorize and play with to create lots of different looks.  'Cause lawd knows all black could get boring fast.

I love dresses for basics and belts for a bit of fun and kazaam!, those are the things I went with first.  Since this is sort of a wishlist/brainstorming post, I went with some things that I'd like to have... not necessarily pieces that are in my current budget.  I will get to that part eventually.  A goal is just something good to have so I can browse with purpose.  Yea!  Purpose!  Then, when I come across something similar that is budget friendly (or stalk the wishlist item like a vulture until it goes on big time sale)... I can scoop it up. 

Without further adieu... my current wishlist dresses for the use in mind (all via Anthropologie):

1. Hold-the-Lines Jumper by Maeve (Probably the most versatile in terms of accessorizing with belts, shoes, scarves, under/over layers, etc...)
2. Starbound Dress by one.september (My favorite: love the beading and it's so versatile for different occasions and settings, I think. It's on sale!  What do you think... V-Day wishlist item?)
3. Peseta Dress by Fei (Another favorite... doesn't need accessories.  It pretty much stands alone.  Also on sale but outta my price range.)

All of these would be good options for my purpose.  They're black and can work with a variety of settings.  Like I said... the jumper is probably the most versatile in terms of accessorizing.  But I'd be a little worried about the length if I were belting... for being paler than Edward Cullen I sure do have some junk in the trunk.  Things could go Daisy Duke real fast if I'm not careful.  And let's not go into price.  I love the style and versatility of the pieces Anthropologie carries but good lord... the prices!  (Liefsdottir's prices... insane in the membrane!)

Anyway... on to accessories... let's pretend that I threw on some sort of dress/top-skirt combo and wanted to color it up with some accessories.  The first thing I'm probably going to reach for if I want to "pull it together" is a belt or some kind of sash to cinch the waist and break up all that black.  (Part of the reason I love the Starbound dress... the break is built in.  Woop.)  A few days ago, before I was going to go through wishlist dresses, I created a polyvore set with eighty billion different belts.  Like so:

I know, the top-skirt combo is awful (going back to the whole harder-than-I-thought thing).  But you can see the goal here.  I pulled each one over as I was going and the look of the outfit changed a lot with each belt.  How fun are the two in the upper left corner of the belt hodegepodge?  Love the navy/teal/lime scheme.  I have a steadily growing collection of belts so this round-up would be a really great option for me.  Not to mention belts are cheap (most of the time) and solitary so you can wear them a thousand different ways.  In other words... the belt wouldn't necessarily be committing to the all-black wardrobe.  It could easily go from work to school to weekend to wedding to vacation to destination wedding... (I just found out today I will be a bridesmaid for a destination wedding/vacay at the end of May... excitement! emotion! VACATION!) 

How would you use dresses and belts in an all-black wardrobe?  Is there something major I'm missing on these two pieces?  Are there other ways that you guys wear belts to jazz up an outfit?  (Wearing them as bracelets and whatnot?)  Any more ideas for building a sophisticated all-black wardrobe on the cheap?

Monday, February 8, 2010

black and grey and tired all over...

Anticipatory Set: It's only Monday but I am totally pooped already.  I didn't plan anything outfit-wise for this morning so I just kinda threw on some basic black and grey.  I actually have very little in the way of a neutral black wardrobe.  I'm trying to build one and I'll talk about that eventually but don't hold your breath... it could be a while.  (Justification: I still haven't published the wedding style post.  Oops.)  I have lots and lots of brown and blue neutrals but not a lot of black.  So, with some remaining gift cards to TJ Maxx and LOFT, I scooped up a couple of black pieces.  The cardigan below was my TJMaxx purchase (I paid less than $1 after the gift card! Awww yea.) and the headband was one of the LOFT goodies (I also got an embellished black tee - I heart gift cards.). 

Objective(s) Addressed: Work

Materials and Sources:
  • Grey short-sleeve sweater: F21 (few years ago)
  • Black drapey/ruffle/pleat cardigan: willi smith via TJMaxx
  • Tie-waist dress pants: Old Navy (years ago)
  • Headband: LOFT (50% off the sale price! with a gift card! joy!)
  • Earrings: Charlotte Russe
  • Shoes: Me Too
The pants aren't grey... they're a black and white herringbone (is that the right word for the pattern?) so they actually do "match" the grey sweater underneath, I promise.  You can see a teeny bit in one of the detail shots... that's why I included two.  Or maybe just because I love the cardigan so much - the material is thick but doesn't feel bulky and it's warm without overheating and the little detail on the open front is fun.  Work and weekend appropriate and functional.  Very much my kinda cardigan.  :)  Also, I swear I am not eating too many creampuffs... those are just some seriously intense wrinkles from sitting in the car.  Gotta love a commute... bleh.

And how fun is the headband?  It's almost a little much but I love it (I wore my hair down all day until I was in the car... ick factor by the time I get home.)  Most of my headbands echo the same theme but I love them all.  I am a hair accessory kinda gal when I want to feel a little more put together but especially right now with my hair in an awkward stage of growing out.  (LOFT had a lot of great hair accessories if you're looking for one.)

Only went for one "pop" of color... the earrings.  Sweet little coral color.  Nothing loud.  Just wasn't feeling the cheery colors in more than small doses today.

I felt pretty fantastic for most of the day.  On top of crazy tiredness no less.  Success!  

Sunday, February 7, 2010

DIY and building with black

My wedding post is coming for those of you who are interested and love all things wedding style.  G.'s had a nasty stomach virus and we've been spending the weekend doing lots of cuddling and relaxing... not too much else.  In the meantime, though, I've Valentine-ized my header and I have a few questions for you creative and crafty gals...

1) How do you ladies make quick and easy DIY alterations to your dresses and skirts?  I have a few dresses that are just a little dowdy in length but I don't want to take them to an alterations place and I don't want to completely botch them myself either.  Is there an easy way to hack off some length without it looking like a butchered home job?  (I have a basic sewing machine and some limited sewing skills.)

2) If you had to build an all-black wardrobe for school or work, but could add color and style using just jewelry and accessories, how would you style it?  I'm going to polyvore some options soon, comment some ideas or email me your own polyvores to feature!

See you soon!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Anticipatory Set: Later this week, I'll do a recap of my wedding style but in the meantime, you can get a quick glimpse of our wedding over at Unveiled today.  Krista featured our wedding for Wedding Wednesday!  Take a look!

For now... yesterday's ensemble.  This is going to be freakish, y'all.  My entire outfit, save accessories, came from Target at some point in the past few years.  Wowza.

Objective(s) Addressed: Work; Parent meetings; Personal meeting after work

accessories... gifted bracelet and cinch-y clasp belt
Love the extra hints pink and purple in the stripes at the bottom.  It's in the details, folks.

Materials and Sources:
  • Printed elbow sleeve dress: Target (Mossimo)
  • Leggings (just warmer than tights, can't help it): Target, remix'd all the time, even in my sleep
  • Boots: Target, remix'd here and here
  • Black ruffle cardigan: Target (Merona)
  • Belt: Nordstrom (BP department)
  • Headband: F21
  • Scarf: gift from P.'s aunt (probably the warmest that I own... ohmygosh so soft)
  • Bracelet: gift from Mom
Input: This was intended to be a pretty multi-tasking outfit for me and I really felt great in it though the photos don't show it much.  Ladies at work were all over the dress.  I think it was all about the print - the pattern really is striking and fun in person.  For the functional part of things, I needed something that was put together and professional for the two parent meetings I had yesterday morning but that wouldn't really wrinkle too much or leave me feeling icky since I had another 'first impression' kind of meeting after work.  But with the cold/damp temps it needed to be warm which meant leggings, boots and a cardigan outdoors.  I know I shouldn't wear leggings so much with dresses but they are just so darn warm.  And I honestly can't tell the difference in opaqueness between the tights and leggings I own.  (No matter what, though, I promise not to wear them as pants.)

The scarf was a Christmas gift from P.'s aunt and it is quite honestly the softest and warmest scarf that I own.  It has a very subtle zebra print around the border which is fun without stretching my style.  Might be workin' this one overtime.  And the dress. 

Final Notes:
P. was extra "snappy" yesterday.  Snapsnapsnapsnap, done.  Lots of these 'fixin' pics in the mix:

Also, for the awards I received from Fashion Therapist, Caffeinerd and Style Artisan... I would just be nominating my entire blogroll.  So, in the meantime, I'm going to have to come up with an alternate nomination system or you all can pass it along - spread the love!  Thanks for all of your lovely comments every day - I promise I am getting around to responding - you guys are so sunny and supportive, I love that!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

shopping my closet: episode 1 update

Anticipatory Set: Finally, I wore the drawstring bubble dress that was giving me trouble in my first "episode" of shopping my closet.  The fit is great except for these picures I tightened up the drawstring which was a mistake because it shortened the length and changed the silhouette a little.  Luckily, you all are smart chickens and will figure it out, I'm sure.

Objective(s) Addressed: Work; Dinner date; Shopping my closet; "How would you wear it?"


Materials and Sources:
  • Drawstring bubble dress: F21 (first discussed here)
  • Brown tights: F21
  • Boots: Steven by Steve Madden 'Intyce' boot, remix'd lots of times
  • Green slouchy sweater cardigan: Susina via Nordstrom (long time ago)
  • Rosette headband: Target, recently remix'd
Input: Since I'm a ditz, I forgot to cross and tie the sweater cardigan for any pics (how I wore it through the day).  Also, because I'm a high maintenance bia, I made P. take a ghetto cell phone pic at dinner with my accessories back on for you guys to get the full bootleg effect.  Dedicated, I am. 

I also forgot to grab a pic of the full-on bum "chic" aesthetic that I managed to achieve once I put my long, cord coat on over all of this... haha. One of my students commented, "Mrs. Carebear (they call me that sometimes)... why are you wearing so many... layers?!"  Because I'm freezing my bootay off, that's why.  The Georgia Peach in me was just not made for these harsh winter temps. 

Final Notes: Occasionally this blog comes up in conversation with some of my friends and I get the question, "Who takes/how do you take the pictures?"  Well, friends... I am lucky enough that P. takes them (for now... because I might be scaring him off).  I usually feel pretty cruddy and disheveled by the end of the work day (if you notice this trend, just keep being quiet about it and smile and nod) so if I had to take them myself I probably wouldn't take them at all a lot of days.  Also, with someone else doing it it's really a super short two-minute process.  Even still, P. gets impatient sometimes and just keeps taking pictures for about thirty seconds and then we go back inside.  So every now and then I get some "behind the scenes" snaps (and sometimes I think they actually show the actual outfit better)... here was yesterday's pretty tame "behind the scenes."

Do you guys have any mishaps or behind the scenes shots that usually get left out on your posts?

(Tomorrow (or at least next time), I promise, I will catch up on awards.  Delays, smelays.)

Monday, February 1, 2010

in transition - weekend style

Anticipatory Set: Right now, it really seems like everything is in transition... the weather (though, I do think it will stick with being cold for a little while longer), work life, personal life... just lots of things sort-of changing but not really.  Wanting to change but it just hasn't happened yet... yea...  So I guess my weekend style is maybe reflecting some of that.  Saturday, I slept in with G. and spent most of the day in a hoodie, without makeup, sipping coffee and wearing one of those hats that I'm pretty sure most people find annoying but that does a major job of hiding my crazy weekend bed head.

annoying? maybe. but comfy and functional? a definite yes.

I did eventually get dressed and go out to eat with my parents (and G., of course) while P. worked but that outfit is neither in memory nor documented to show you.  Instead, I'll show you Sunday's really-mega-super quick because it's almost my bedtime and I am in desperate need my beauty sleep tonight. Paul didn't get home until later so it was difficult to get a good shot of the outfit.  Super simple, really comfy... it probably doesn't match but I just really wanted to wear the vest.  It was a shopping-my-closet piece for sure as I don't recall ever wearing it out of the house before.  The top is a little thin and the vest added a good layer of warmth when I took my sweater off later... weird but it worked!  And you can't see them well but I'm wearing my trusty 'Intyce' boots (They still look the same, don't worry...).  I wore them today, too.  Definitely my favorite footwear right now.

Some quick pics:
like the light here. my very favorite time of day. so peaceful.
and I actually wore the vest open pretty much all day and randomly only chose to button one button for the photo??... hmm, something is a'miss...

vest open:

Objective(s) Addressed: Errands; Lunch/coffee/shopping/book browsing date with my friend Summer 

Materials and Sources:
  • Top: gift, (from Target, I think)
  • Vest: Old Navy (shopping my closet)
  • Boots: Steven by Steve Madden 'Intyce' boot, remix'd a lot a lot
  • Sweetheart Skinnies: Old Navy, remix'd a lot
  • Earrings (not shown): Betsey Johnson studs, remix'd a lot
  • Headband: Target, remix'd
Input: I could go on and on about how mind-blowingly awesome it was to have adult interaction that was hysterically fun.  We laughed a lot.  One of the many things we laughed at: Nightlight, a Twilight parody.  If you love Twilight but are able maintain a sense of humor about it, you would really like to flip through this one.  OMGhilarious.

Also, this may be random and silly but the top is a teeny bit sentimental to me as my mom actually bought it and gave it to me while we were in the hospital after G. was born.  She wanted me to have something to wear that wasn't form-fitting (due to post-prego belly... yowza) but that would make me feel good.  I remember thinking that was one of the most thoughtful things at that time when everything is all about baby and feeding and sweatpants.

I finally wore my troublesome drawstring cowlneck bubble dress today for work and a family dinner date - look for it tomorrow.  It's a lot easier to dream up ways to remix things when you actually have them on your body, eh?

Hope you all are having a great start to the week!
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