Tuesday, May 31, 2011

An Edgy Moto Vest

This Current/Elliott vest was wishlisted forever.

It went on sale, but not enough. It quietly sold out. I left it on my list, though, cuz ya never know.

And that is why I love those online sample sales (Ideeli, Gilt, et all). The vest popped up, cheaper than cheap, and now I have it to put together a wholly uninspired, shlepping-to-Trader Joe's ensemble.

In my defense, it's in triple digits. How can you care about looking cute when it's deathly hot?

But, I have plans (cue maniacal designer laugh). Oh, I have plans. This vest would toughen up a sweetly floral, silk dress. I might also bust out that H&M red dress with the rosette skirt and use this to Bitch. It. Up.

Monday, May 30, 2011

The Un-Shorts

An interesting trend (well, to me anyway) is the not-quite-a-pair-of-shorts shorts.

It's like the designers don't want to admit they're making what is traditionally knock-around-on-the-weekends attire. Although shorts do have a growing acceptance as casual business attire and going-out wear.

Alexander Wang had his apron shorts. Now there are these. They're not perfect — check out that price, nearly $1,000. Woof. Plus, the angled cut gives 'em a wedgie look. Not attractive.

Still, I like the idea. Just several hundred dollars cheaper and with an even hemline, and I'd be sold. This is where knowing how to really sew would come in handy.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Friday Shoe Boo Hoo Haiku

I need me some shoes!
Don't care if they're flats, sneaks, wedges
Just something new. Pleeeeeaase.

Shoe n' Tell: No, those are not my feet. They just illustrate my extreme desperation. I haven't bought shoes in... months. Yeah, don't bother pointing out the espadrille booties from March. Those ended up going back — they didn't fit quite right. I'm kinda bored with my shoedrobe, but I'm on a buying ban so you can understand my frustration.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

How To Properly Cuff Jeans

So, get this — there's a right way to cuff jeans.

You hear people say "rolled" jeans, but you don't really roll them. That would be tragic.

I picked this tip up from the manager of a local boutique. It's a great trick. Figured I'd share.

You're welcome. :)

Step 1: Fold the jeans up from the bottom into a pretty long cuff. You've seen people who've got these big, fat rolls near their ankles? Yeah, that's cuz they didn't go wide enough.

Step 2: Take that cuff and fold it in half. Pull it over a smidge farther than the edge so that you don't see the underlying cuff. By actually folding twice, you get enough stiffness to keep that cuff in place. Plus, the wider look is so on-trend.

Step 3: Do the other leg.

Easy peasy.

Outfit: Sauce t-shirt; TAG jeans; Diego di Lucca wedges.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Corset Love, The Final Chapter

Now — with the purchase of this new-to-me rayon top — I officially consider myself over the corset thing. The itch is thoroughly scratched.

The back, with the two triangular cut-outs, is the clincher.

Outfit: Style Stalker "Gidget" top; black tank dress: Michael Kors shoes.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

What the.....

What is wrong with me that I think a mini pair of chonies — on a keychain, no less — is cool?

Think I need pink.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Kiss This


It's more than the color of money. More than my favorite shade. It also aptly describes my beauty routine. Green and clean, baby.

I'm not perfect (still use my MAC eyeshadows and wickedly cool Wonder Woman lipglass), but virtually everything else in my makeup/beauty arsenal is made with non-toxic ingredients. Why? Read "No More Dirty Looks" — the book and/or the blog — and you'll see.

Since making the switch, one brand has consistently been great — 100 Percent Pure.

Made with real fruits, this clean line is free of synthetics, chemicals and all manner of artificial yucky stuff. The makeup, in particular, is long-lasting. As an added bonus, it all smells terrific — like real fruit and not that nasty, faux smell wafting out of Bath and Body Works.

On a whim, I bought a set of Creamsticks during a sample sale. It was a screaming deal — $11 for three; typically they're $15 each.

The beauty of this lip product is the easy-to-tote and use pencil form. But get this, it's as rich and creamy as a lipstick. No danger of poking a hole through your lip, as can happen with a real lip pencil.

Coverage is thorough, and long-lasting — about like a lipstain, if you can believe it.

The only mild gripe is that the three colors aren't all that different. It's pink, darker pink or really dark pink. But, that's a minor gripe.

You have to buy online, but sign up for emails because 100 Percent Pure is quite generous with freebies and complimentary shipping.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday Shoe Haiku: A Lust-worthy Wedge

Hey, this should be me!
Lookin' all sassy and chic

Shoe n' Tell: Love this Marc Jacobs canvas wedge. I even saw a red version floating around the World Wide Web that I love even more. Alas, it is out of my price range ($290). So, it's my dream shoe for now. Until it goes on sale — 95 percent off.

Some people may dismiss wedges, but I think they're the ultimate in cuteness AND comfort. For some (moi), it is pretty much the only way to roll in heels without, uh, actually rolling.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Corset Love, Continued

Cue the Stevie Wonder music.

Isn't she lovely? Isn't she woooonderful.....

I have no explanation for my oddsession with corsets (previous post here). I don't believe I had a previous life as a 19th century wench, and I sure as heck don't believe they're the least bit comfortable.

But, they look so.....cool.

On a recent purge to Buffalo Exchange, I did what I never do — took trade. My prize was this lovely old, er, vintage Kooba bag. The darkened leather is broken in, not beaten up. It's just big enough to hold everything.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Work From Home Wednesdays

The title pretty much tips ya off — I work from home on Wednesdays. I love it.

It's a much-needed break from the office, where there are infinitely more distractions and wacky, across-the-newsroom conversations about what a pig Ahnuld is.

At home, I'm freakishly productive and I might sneak in a load of laundry. I also don't have to expend too much energy on coming up with a work-appropriate outfit. Not that that is really so stressful because it is very, very casual.

Still, telecommuting gives me a chance to wear things I wouldn't normally — like a white skirt. I would have that sucker smeared with newsprint or lunch in no time in the office. Of course, I'd only just put it on and was walking the kids to school when an overexuberant dog on a walk planted a pawprint on it. The photo was pre-pawprint.

Outfit: J Crew t-shirt; James Perse drawstring-back skirt; Betsy Johnson low wedges.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Quick Fashion Survey

Body chains. Yay or nay?

They're popping up on edgier, fashion-forward types, but the chains just seem kinda goofy.

This one from Garnett Jewelry is actually one of the simplest I've seen. Most of 'em look so complicated, I don't see how you could put one on without getting horribly tangled.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Swimsuit Shopping

Did that title just make you shudder?

Yeah, me, too, and not just because for the last few days I've pulled on my workout clothes only to end up eating chocolate in them, not exercising. I wonder if squishing my stomach with Spandex somehow reduces the calorie count? You know, because it can't be digested properly?

Let's hope.

But, I can't avoid swimsuits any longer. It's been about three, maybe four, years since I bought a new suit. And, we have a pool. There is no more ignoring the sadly, stretched-out elastic any longer. I could be arrested for public indecency, if I allow any members of the public to see me in it.

Lately, in a complete demographic mismatch, Athleta has been arriving in the mail. These catalogs actually have potential swimsuit candidates. The suits aren't just made for girls with huge tatas and flat stomachs (yeah, I'm talking to you, Victoria's Secret), although the women in that catalog do look like they could bench-press me.

Athleta's suits are designed for women who like to do stuff while in swimsuits, so there's more coverage. And, you can choose a bottom half. Built like Gisele? Well, bitch, you can wear a scoop bottom. Your butt is like mine — more cottage cheese-y rather than pinup cheesecake — get shorts. Board shorts are so much better than swim skirts, which look so 1970s mom.

Athleta also touts that its two-piece tankinis are "meet and greet" length. Um, I've had three kids — I want that top and bottom to be totally intimate with each other from the get-go. None of this meet and greet nonsense. There should be no chance — nada — of that top riding up and exposing decidedly non-sixpack midriff. In fact, to ensure that very thing doesn't happen, I'm considering the tall size, just to get that extra inch of coverage.

Wish me luck.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday Shoe Haiku: Skittle-rific

Yellow and blue, too.
The combo is so, so bright
I gotta wear shades

Shoe n' Tell: When it comes to color, the more, the louder, the better. This J Crew short-sleeved jacket was knocked down to $25 a few seasons back (I'm guessing because of the hue), and I love it with blue. The tortoise Jessica Bennett slingbacks are fancy enough but don't compete with the outfit. That would be a good ol' Splendid tank pulling everything together. Oh, and a J Crew skirt, my favorite, and an Anthro necklace of mini letter blocks.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Thursday: Silk n' Stuff

Lately, it's been all about silk.

For a long time it just seemed too slippery. But now the fabric seems just right — smooth, drapey, cool, perfect for hotter weather.

This Madewell Structured Silk Tank ($50) has wide straps, so no peekaboo action from the bra, and it's cut nice and wide. It's the prettiest shade of cobalt. I'm thinkin' the top will dress up a pair of cutoffs quite nicely.

Outfit: Minkpink cardigan; Madewell silk tank; LNA knit skirt; Etsy necklace; Me Too flats.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Wednesday: It's a Nice Day for a White...Sweater

One of my Christmas presents was a $50 J Crew gift card. I only just spent it — four months later.

Yup, it took 12 steps but I'm pretty much over the Crew. Well, except for this moto sweater. Patience paid off and not only did it go on sale but notoriously shipping-stingy Crack offered free transportation. Of course, by then the sweater was sold out in my size. But, with one day left on the free shipping, a pop-back happened.

It was fate.

Here it is — a very toasty spring — but the weather got blustery enough for me to give this sweater a spin: J Crew motorcycle sweater (looks more cream-nude IRL; looks veeeerrrry white online); Express tank; Current/Elliott boyfriend jeans (yay, Swirl sale! $33!); Pour la Victoire lace-up wedges; gifted B Makowsky bag; Forever XXI necklace.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Tuesday: A New Vest

For a long time, vests were a no-go.

As a child of the '80s, they conjured up images of Mary Stuart Masterson in a white tank and a schlumpy, oversized black vest (a la "Some Kind of Wonderful"). Or, worse, vests AND bowler hats.

Not really interested in revisiting that.

Luckily, the latest vest incarnations are much sleeker. To wit: This Georgie military-style vest. I walked into W Boutique recently and super-stylish Jessica was wearing it with a purple-and-cream, patterned shift dress. So cute. There was one vest left — it came home with me.

My borrowed look: H&M dress and Isabel Toledo for Payless shoes.

Why I can't buy fancy-dancy, dry-clean only clothes: One recent morning — after I had gotten dressed into work duds — Middle Child hugged me and immediately illicited an "Eeeeeeewwwwww!" from Oldest Child. I couldn't understand what the problem was, assumed it was 'tween meanness. Well, apparently Middle Child hugged me with with food on her face. After she pulled back, she plucked something off my shirt and put it in her mouth.

Monday, May 9, 2011

A Week of Outfits! Monday: One Maxi Skirt, Two Ways

I purged. The closet.

Yay me!

Ruthlessly, I scoured its not-so-deep innards, pulling from its overstuffed ranks what I didn't truly love or hadn't worn in a year.

Two trips to Buffalo Exchange later, my closet is cleaner, my wallet heavier and I feel....lighter. No regrets about what is getting "re-homed." For a brief, crazy second I almost felt like maybe that's how I should do all my shopping — only through exchange or with money from giving up my stuff.

Nah. Too limiting.

And, I like my Internet shopping too much. But this whole experience has made me feel like I need to adopt a new shopping policy. Save up for unique, designer pieces even if that means much, much less shopping? Or, the opposite route — go hog-wild at H&M and then just be ready to purge, purge, purge on a regular basis and keep that inventory revolving? Or, do what I'm doing now — a mix?

I dunno. But, I do know that I really like everything that's left in my closet now and it's reinvigorated me enough to proudly present: A Week Of Outfits. Pat pending.

Today — a Michael Stars tiered maxi skirt, purchased on super sale last summer.

Outfit 1: J Crew tank and no-name navy vest and my favorite, favorite Stuart Weitzman "Gladio" sandals.

Outfit 2: same tank but paired with Winter Kate kimono jacket and wedges.

True confession: I did once attempt to wear this skirt as a strapless blouse with a white button-down shirt over it and a brown belt keeping the whole thing together. Alas, after an extremely moderate amount of sweeping, the skirt had managed to slip-slide down to my waist. I no longer consider the skirt convertible any more.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Friday Shoe Haiku: Never Say Never

Never say never
As in, I will not wear that!
These Danskos are cute

Shoe n' Tell: Dansko "Ryder" ($155) in brown crazy horse leather. Such a cool color name. Now that I can get behind rather than petunia-periwinkle-persimmon blonde (what is up with J Crew's colors?!).

I just discovered these and I think I love them. I've always blown off Danskos because A) I am not in the medical field and B), well, the regular closed-back clogs can look, um, stodgy. But I know many people who love them and swear by their comfort and I'm down with that. With the cut-outs and studs, these are far from grandmotherly. I just might need.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

A Nifty Gifty

A cool, all-purpose gift for any occasion, including — ahem — Mother's Day: Ms. & Mrs. Minimergency Kit for Her ($13).

It's super cute and most handy. The teeny case (comes in silver or gold) is packed with travel-size answers to any emergency — a sewing kit, clear nail polish, Blistex, Advil, a tampon, even a deodorant wipe. You can order refills of the contents, but I'm thinkin' it would make a wickedly awesome, compact makeup kit.

When I ordered, I couldn't resist a one-for-you (my mother-in-law loves to camp) and one-for-me (I have emergencies!) deal.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

As Seen on eBay

This photo made me laugh — the seller is obviously eBaying on work time. I can't imagine being so brazen.

Although, as my eagle-eyed friend pointed out when I shared the pic — the seller's handle is "shopaholic" and not "workaholic."

Madewell, Indeed: Floral Croquet Dress

The only gap in my summer wardrobe: an easy-to-wear silk dress in a fun, colorful print.

Well, check that sucka off the list. Plus, this Madewell "Floral Croquet Dress" ($120 on sale — I waited for a code, too) has pockets. Pockets, Jerry!

I had no idea what size to order since this is J Crew's hipper, shorter-hemmed sister. Seemed like things ought to run smaller and tighter in this neck of the label, so I went for a size 4. I probably could have done the 2 safely (the top is a little loose), but I loved the print and feel and pockets so much that I clipped the tags and wore it out that very night. I was a model (insert snort here) in a local fashion show, and several people thought this was my outfit for the runway. So, it's definitely a purty dress.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Tie One On: The Corset Craze

Is it just my eyes, or are corsets really everywhere?
Done right, it's a sexy but not over-the-top look. I just adopted a black leather jacket with corset detailing on the sides, a score from my fabulous friend who scours thrift stores and picks up the most amazing finds.

Other cool corset looks:

Elizabeth and James sweatshirt ($195, why do their clothes cost so much?!) — With fabric still underneath, it's a well-placed detail that doesn't look slutty.
Barlow lace-up top ($74) — Love this one. In fact, I bought and then returned because I realized, who the heck do I think I am? Some blogger who goes out to cool events every weekend? No, I am a mom and this would likely not be deemed appropriate on the soccer sidelines. We get so few date nights, I just couldn't justify the expense. I planned to wear it with a black slip dress beneath it or with a tank and jeans.
Barlow skirt($64) — The side detailing is more subtle and is definitely sexy secretary.

And now an example of bad corsetting — Kimberly Ovitiz dress with the lace-up action located just below the crotch. Ew.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Gold* Finger

*Also, technically, purple

This Sonia Kashuk "Golden Purple" polish was a total impulse buy at Target way back when (no one tell me nail polish has an expiry date 'cuz I don't buy it). It's a gorgeous color — pinky purple with golden undertones — and I probably grab for it more than any other. Check it paired with Deborah Lippman's "Boom Boom Pow" — a match made in heaven.

On a polish-related side note, I have been obsessively stalking OPI's new silver shatter. A sure sign that I spend too much time buried in blogs and fashion mags — I'm the one who actually broke the news to the Ulta girls that OPI was releasing a silver shade. Since my weekly phone calls have turned up nuthin', I'm guessing it'll be released when the latest Pirates of the Caribbean movie is, since that's the tie-in with this collection.