Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Anthropologie Catalogue/New Arrivals

Bocagrande Dress

Approaching Blue Dress

Mompos Dress

How gorgeous are those catalogue shots?  Spring/Summer Anthro is really hit or miss for me.  I love the layers and nubby knits of fall (though their winter sweater pickings were pretty slim this year), and more often than not the options for summer are all too skimpy or too unstructured for my tastes.  These three dresses are wonderful exceptions.  The Approaching Blue is most certainly my favorite; I wondered about the asymmetrical hemline, but it really works in the model shot.  

The Bocagrande dress isn't usually my thing, but the coral colour calls to me, and the accessories make the dress pop even more.  I wonder how it looks without the belt.

It seems like the Mompos dress is going to be the next super-popular item on the Anthro blogs.  As usual with Tracy Reese dresses, the embellishment and detail on this piece is exquisite.  And the adorable bow belt plays into the 50s vibe (made even more of in the catalogue shot).  I'm not on board for this one, however, since it reminds me strongly of this dress:

Isaac Mizrahi for Target 2008

which I bought from Target a couple of years ago.  It's a gorgeous dress, it fits like a dream, the contrasting patterns make it unique, and it only cost $20.  So I'll leave the Mompos dress for you other Anthro lovers.  The other two are going on my wishlist.  

The Wednesday Pretty, 3/30

Paris Fashion Week, 2011

I love this woman's sharp style set against the background of tourists and everyday Joe's walking on the streets of Paris (though I'm sure there are other "fashion" people among them).  It's such a dramatic look, but in a totally classic way, avoiding all the ridiculous trendy flim-flam that seems so integral to dressing for fashion week. And color!  Oh, color, my friend, how I love seeing you.  So...hats off to this mysterious woman for foregoing black, for wearing a fabulous hat, and for understanding that "classic" and "style" don't have to mean "boring".  

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I need these



Shoe Challenge #9 & 10 - Weekend booties

It was a chilly weekend, but J was here - which means outdoor shots!  Hooray for getting out of the apartment for once.  We took a walk downtown to see Sucker Punch.  I just pulled these boots on over skinny jeans and had to think of the rest of the outfit.  

I wore my new Antonetta blouse from Anthro.  (I just can't resist wearing new stuff!) I pounced on this one in a popback on sale and am really happy with it.  I'll have to work it into an outfit that features it more prominently when I can get away with short sleeves.  This time I threw on an open cardigan from Old Navy, then topped it off with a tweed J. Crew blazer, leather fur-lined gloves (love these!) from Lord&Taylor, & my fave infinity scarf - all in neutrals to coordinate with the boots.  

On Sunday, I was determined to get pictures outside again, but forgot to take my camera to church, so we ended up with pictures in the parking lot before unloading all the groceries.  So romantic, I know!

I wore one of my favorite ebay finds every, this Elevenses wool bias-cut skirt from Anthropologie.  It's one of the first things I ever really wanted from an Anthro (this was 2006, I think), but I couldn't justify spending the bucks on it at that time.  I'm sure I tried to coerce my mom into paying for it, but yeah, that didn't work either.  But after checking periodically around for it for years, I found one in my size on ebay and bought it immediately! 

 Unfortunately, it's a little short, so I usually try to wear tall boots with it to cover up for the slightly weird length.  On this occasion, I wore these Payless blue suede ankle booties, to coordinate with the tiny amount of navy in the skirt and my navy Banana sweater.

These are another seen-on-Gossip-Girl piece, but I actually owned them before Serena wore them on the show (neener neener).  I wear them all the time during the winter - I've already had the heels replaced twice.  I'm amazed how well some of the Payless shoes stand up to wear.  

And with that we're into double digits.  I'm thinking that I'm going to have to be very conscious of wearing my sandals during the nice summery months, or I'm going to have lots of open-toe shoes that might never get saved.  I was hoping the sunshine would mean the opportunity to start moving some of the spring shoes into rotation, but this girl is still too cold to be walking around in open shoes without tights.  Well, I love my tights, so maybe I'll take a few test drives of sandals with tights.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Catalog Inspiration - Reading Nooks

This was the Anthro email I got today:

It reminded me of this image I tore out of the latest Pottery Barn:

These are my favorites of the beautiful arrangements:


I found a few other inspiring nooks floating around:

Man, I really wish I had space for a reading nook.  This is definitely going on the long-term wish-list.  Especially the bench enclosed with the curtains.  Makes me think of Jane Eyre.  Who wouldn't want a house with all those comfy hiding spots for reading?

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Style Inspiration: Olivia Palermo

It seems like Olivia Palermo is on everyone's "best dressed" lists these days, so I feel a little like I'm jumping on a bandwagon.  

Her style status is certainly earned, though, isn't it?  She's got such a knack for putting together outfits, especially the incorporation of accessories.  Plus, she's got such a casual chic that would be wonderful to emulate on a day-to-day basis.  She's layered in designer goods, but fortunately, some of her style is actually achievable on a budget.

I especially like her recent inclination for taking on (or driving?) a wide-leg trouser trend.  

I've added trousers to my clothing wish list, so I'm keeping my eyes peeled for a nice pair that is (1) affordable, and (2) long enough to pull off the look above.  

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Wednesday Pretty

Alessandra Rich belted cotton-blend and lace gown

From the description:

"Allessandra Rich elegantly reinvents after-dark glamour with this off-white cotton-blend gown. Layer a nude slip underneath the fluorescent-green and white sheer lace bodice and complement the coral neoprene belt with color-pop sandals for an on-trend red carpet look."

I adore the Old Hollywood Glamour (what a cliché, right?) of this dress.  So striking and unusual.  Let's just sit back and admire...

Shoe Challenge #8 - Nine West mixed media boots

I like calling these "mixed media boots" because it's like they can't decide what they are - leather upper, suede shaft, faux-snakeskin cap-toe, heel and cuff.  Yeah, they're slightly schizophrenic, but rather practical as dressy brown boots.  

When I was sorting out my shoes for the Shoe Challenge, I realized I had four pairs of brown boots - two dressy that looked almost alike (the others were tweed instead of suede) and two casual that also looked almost alike.  The cheaper pairs got pitched, since I don't even wear brown boots that often.  

I bought these in an after-Christmas sale at NineWest many years ago, but they still look fairly new since I don't wear them often.  The real problem is that the soles are really slick, and therefore the boots fail in the season during which I most need boots - winter.  They were perfect for today, when it was still wet, but not rainy.  I really need to get rubber soles put on them, but I keep putting it off.  It would make them that much more wearable.

It really is that time of year.  Amber posted today about how she still had to deal with cold weather.  We've gotten rid of the snow (hopefully until next year, but I'm not quite that optimistic), but it's still pretty icky out.  The most frustrating thing is that my apartment building has shut off the heat (which is awesomely included in our rent - the main reason I live here) because it's supposedly "warm" outside, but (a) it isn't warm outside, cretins, and (b) even when it is warm, my apartment doesn't get warm because it gets no direct sunlight.  So I've got the spaceheater running, and I spent all of yesterday in my sweats and bundled in a blanket.  Sexy.  

Isaac is wondering what the crazy girl is up to.

Today, however, I had to actually leave the house to take my car in to get serviced.  Since I'm a weak southwesterner, I piled my thickest sweater-dress (hooray for merino wool, and from Victoria's Secret, nonetheless - seriously an underused winter clothes resource), belted it with this Anthro belt and put the boots over brown dotted tights.  The necklace is actually an antique quizzing glass that I got from my mom's jewelry drawer.  

 The boots have a 4inch heel, but are surprisingly sturdy and make for comfortable walking.  My favorite part of the Nine West shoes are that they're actually narrow and so actually fit my narrow feet.  

Looking at that at this very moment, they suddenly strike me as very slightly "rich bitch" shoes.  Now all I need is a mink coat.  

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Polka Dots, part 2

Polka dots are such fun, I wanted to show how unconventional or unusual uses of the pattern can be just as beautiful.  

This Calvin Klein is pretty straightforward, but the mix of colors makes it interesting.  It's very summery/beachy, but could be dressed up with strappy sandals and big earrings, or toned down with a cardigan and pumps.  

This ModCloth dress has combination of big dots on the skirt and the pieced top of solid and dotty navy fabric.  Of course, these two dresses are still in the girly category.  

Now there's something a little different.  The polka dots here give the casual shapes some shape and interest.  
Now for some drama!  More dramatic designs and color choices, and the dots add depth.


Finally, how about dots as an accent?  The polka dots on this dress are noticeable on the cuffs and collar, but also very subtly show through the sheer floral layer.  Cute dress, but not something the screams "polka dots" at you.  Sometimes just a little is all that you need.  

Monday, March 21, 2011

Polka Dots, part 1


Look at those Miu Miu sandals.  Aren't they just beautiful?  The whole composition of this picture makes me happy (cerulean blue socks!  with red sandals!), but really it's those green polka dots that stand out.  Whoosh.  Unfortunately, it seems like they only exist without the platform, or in blue:

source; source

And, of course, I don't presently have $450 to spend on a pair of shoes.  So sad.  For a couple hundred less, I could get these fabulous Tabitha Simmons slingbacks, but they aren't in my size.  So so sad.


Found a pretty nice knockoff in these Bebe sandals, which are cute, but lack the fun color of the Miu Miu's and look a little cheap in comparison.  


I bet the black ones especially would be pretty great when I'm not staring at a picture of those gorgeous green platforms.  
Of course, polka dots aren't only limited to your feet!

A few somewhat conventional shapes/styles of polka-dot dresses here (I don't think I'd advise pairing them with the shoes - that's really going for a "look"!). 
1) The first is an OMG SO SHORT super-girlie variation from ASOS.  Somehow it manages to look really cute on the model, but I can't imagine it would fit humans like anything other than a slightly-long shirt.  And who wants a full-skirted tunic?  Or to look vaguely like a five-year-old on picture day?
2) Classic 50s style from Kate Spade, and is only one of the several polka dot dresses on offer at KS, such as the one seen on Bryce Dallas Howard in the new ads.    Navy blue, polka dots, and bows makes for kicky elegance.
3) This femme fatale version is Dolce & Gabbana.  I've got film noir on the brain - I'm watching The Big Sleep, and this seems just like something Lauren Bacall would wear with a beret and low-heeled shoes.  
4) A variation of the girlie style of the ASOS dress without the little-girl-ness of the peter-pan collar.  I've pretty much outgrown Delias, but I still find a few things I think about buying.  You have to beware of forever21 syndrome of the too-short dress, but the cute red dots and basic tank styling make this one hard to pass up.  Definitely something to look for as a summer go-to.  I wish it were under $40 - with Anthro, $40 is a steal, but at Delias, it seems a little more than I want to spend.

Polka dots seem like one of those things that only a summer staple, but I'll explore some more unconventional styles in Part 2.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

aka, Shoe Challenge #7

It was absolutely beautiful today; this RealSimple cover exactly embodied the weather's inclinations toward spring.  Of course, we'll be back in the 40s next week.

I can't believe I own so few pairs of green shoes.  Fortunately, these coordinated pretty well with one my favorite dresses - this flirty green shirt-dress from Catherine Malandrino.  I don't recall actually buying these NineWest loafers, but they're some of my go-to shoes. (Seriously - does that happen to anyone else?  Guess I've just had them too long.  Hmm...)  The green is neutral enough to go with lots of things, the heel is pretty low for me, and they're remarkably comfortable and sturdy.  

I scored the dress on ebay after much keeping-my-eyes-out.  It's another Gossip Girl outfit, this time worn by Leighton Meester's character Blair, that I just had to have. We brunettes like our jewel tones. The silk lining feels amazing, and it actually buttons up without gaping.  The flippy skirt of this dress is my favorite part, besides the gorgeous green colour.  

As the last image proves, however, too much twirling leads to wardrobe malfunctions!  I really try to not wear the dress on windy days, to avoid flashing anyone.  Whoops!  I've contemplated sewing some sort of weights into the hem (like Chanel puts chains in their jackets), but I'm worried about ruining the dress.

Today, my friend M and I went to JoAnn's to load up on Vogue Patterns while they were on sale.  I finally drug my sewing machine out, but I haven't made clothing in a long while, so I got several "very easy vogue" patterns to get back into the groove.  I think I'm going to dive into this one first:

I've got some coral fabric I picked up off the clearance shelf at JoAnn's after Christmas.  Fingers crossed that it goes well!

Hope everyone has a wonderful St. Paddy's day.  This non-beer drinker is going to have some wine instead.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Can we talk about this?

Now, I'm not the huge fan of Tina Fey that many women I know are.  But I've always found 30 Rock funny when I get around to watching it.  And Mean Girls was terrific, of course.  While I'm somewhat ambivalent about Ms. Fey, I do acknowledge that she's an attractive woman.  She's got too much character to her face to have movie-star-face, but I think she's lovely.

However, when I got my April InStyle today, this is what I saw:

What is that?  Who is that?  Because it sure doesn't look like Tina Fey.  I actually had to look to see who it was supposed to be.  Why is she wearing that?  Why does her face (or portions of her face) seem to be so poorly attached to someone else's body?  I'm fairly lenient toward photoshopping, but this is ridiculous.  Isn't the whole point of having a celebrity on the cover of your magazine to have a recognizable draw to drive sales?  She's a popular woman because she has a unique look, and InStyle just erased that with a few clicks of a computer.  

Shoe Challenge #5 & #6 - flats!

I always feel like I should be standing in first position when I wear flats.  Even though they aren't "ballet" flats.  Ah, well.  Look how poor my turnout is.  

This past week was the week of flat shoes, waiting for my knee to stop locking up every time I walked around too much.  I twisted my knee while skiing over a jump during our vacation in Colorado, and while it didn't really cause any injury, my knees are prone to problems from years of running.  So I'm attempting to not exacerbate the problems.  Hence, the flats.  It's the perfect transition-from-winter-to-spring weather for these shoes, so it all works out.  

Look, real clothes!  I actually had dressed up since I was going to a speaker at a nearby campus, and wanted to not look like a college student.  I felt like having a little fun by mixing up the plaids on the shirt, trousers, and shoes.  The top and sweater are JCrew, but the trousers I got at the Banana Republic outlet, and besides the fact that they're too short for heels, I love them.  It always amazes me that dress pants are often much more comfortable than my jeans.  

I got these flats from Target for less than $10, and I have another pair in black.  They're remarkably comfortable for cheap flats.  I was tempted to get them in many more colors, but the already-extensive shoe collection made me think twice, and now they don't sell them anymore.  I think these shoes might last one more year of wear, but probably not much more, which makes me a little sad.  I never want to spend very much on flats, but then they always fall apart and I have to find new ones.  But when I see flats for $70 or something, I say "That much for flats!  I can get good ones at Target for $10!"  And so the vicious cycle continues.  Ha!

  I actually prefer pointy-toed flats, since I have narrow feet and typically ballet-style flats are too wide in the toe box.  This does not prevent me from owning ballet flats, of course, as you can see.

These flats are like slippers, not exactly supportive.  And they're fuzzy!  I like the animal-print look, but I'm on the lookout for nicer ones to replace these, especially if they had a pointy-ish toe.  (And yes, I did wear black-trimmed shoes with navy tights.)

This is definitely discount dressing at its best(?).  The sweaterdress I got from Old Navy about 6 years ago.  It's such a nice blue color (I like blue, if you couldn't tell).  The faux leather jacket is from Target from 5 years ago.  The tights were a gift - they're cabled and come in very handy in the cold winters.  

The basket was part of my exciting errands for the day, which included (finally!) mailing off my wedding invitations.  It was so nice to get them done and out of the house.  And they fit so nicely in the basket J got me for Valentine's Day.  Though, when I brought the basket up to the counter at the Post Office, the woman asked me if it held an animal.  Um, no.  Just lots of envelopes!

 Since I was actually wearing my hair down for once (I don't do this often - I'm growing it out for the wedding, and the length is getting a little crazy for me), I threw in a headband instead of trying to figure out jewelry.  This headband is great since it doesn't have the little nubs on the ends that dig into your head.  We glasses-clad gals have to be careful in our headband choices.  

Ah, the mirror pic.  Playing with the camera is fun!

The Wednesday Pretty

Following the pretty from Amanda Seyfriend last week, I've decided to attempt to post something gorgeous every Wednesday as a mid-week pick-me-up.  

I've yet to be super-impressed by Mia Wasikowska, and I think a big part of that is that I feel like I'm being told I'm supposed to like her.  Ugh.  Unfairly perhaps, she seems to carry herself with that same indie-actress supercilious condescension that's been pouring off Natalie Portman lately.  But I can't deny that this spread in W is lovely.  

Stunning.  And you can see her ballet background in the way she carries herself and poses.  

I still probably won't go see Jane Eyre.  It's one of my favorite books, but I just don't see the need for a remake, when there are so many wonderful versions already.  Especially one in which Jane is blonde.  Blurgh.  Maybe enough good said about it by Jane fans will change my mind.  We'll see, I suppose.  :-)