Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Notes from the Dressing Room-Color and Pattern Play at J. Crew

When J. Crew new arrivals call, I am there!! It's like a signal that new goodies for ready for my closet. When the new arrivals popped up on the website last week, I was tempted to run and check out what I could in person but mall time has been scarce lately. I did the next best thing and ordered a few of my favorites or what's on my needs list. Here is a small review of some newbies (and excuse the crazy hair):

Popover Tunic in Sovereign Paisley in Violet, $198, available here
Scout Chino in Mint, $69.50, available here

I have a thing for J. Crew's paisley print items, so when I saw this top I really liked it. Plus, purple is one of my color weaknesses. This little silk number had potential, I really like the pops of bright color running through the pattern that kind of looks like it could be two dragons or something. Despite my love for the color and pattern, the price and fabric just doesn't seem to match up. This is a very thin silk that didn't feel like it was of the highest quality. If I'm going to spend $200 on a silk top, I want it to feel it is worth that or more, this just didn't. Although it's described as a tunic, it wasn't especially long. It could be tucked in and look fine or worn out like it was meant to. I tried this on in my regular size and it fit well, there was just some slight button gaping for me, but nothing a little double-sided tape couldn't handle.

I'm all about the color mint these days, so when I saw these pants, I thought they would be perfect for work and the spring weather. Umm, not so much. The loose, straight leg line combined with the capri length just did not look very flattering. If it was a skinnier leg and/or a few inches longer in length, it might have worked. On the plus size, the cotton fabric is soft and the color is really pretty in person; like a stick of spearmint gum. I'm sure there's someone else who could totally rock these pants, just not me. :(  Fit is tts.

Raindrop Lace Top in Apricot Mist and Neon Azalea, $110, available here
Polka-Dot Short, $59.50, available here

I immediately fell in love with this top online and the only problem I had was figuring out which of the three colors to order. So I decided to pick two and keep my favorite. But my dilemma is that I like them both and still can't pick a favorite. I love the lacy sleeves and the great texture of this top. It has a key button hole in the back for an extra feminine touch. The scalloped edge is adorable. There is a cotton lining underneath the lace overlay. This is by far my top pick out of what I ordered and all the new arrivals. Now if I'm going to list any negatives, it would be that it is pricey. This is pretty much a cotton top that is on par with a tee. I'm a bargain hunter at heart, but sometimes I'll spend a few extra bucks for something that is unique or has fun detailing. This fits the bill for me and hey, if it ends up on sale after some time, I'll be able to get another color!! I sized up in this to accommodate my bust, but I would say it fits about tts.

Who wears short shorts?? Apparently, I do. I love polka dots, but I love polka dots even more when they are on bottoms. Skirts, pants, these shoes, I would wear them all. Therefore, I had to buy these, right? Now, I'll admit that I'm not one for exposing my legs. It's a body issue stemming from childhood/teenage-dom (isn't it crazy how long we can carry those issue around?). But when it is ridiculously hot in the summer, the less clothes the better to the point that you aren't at risk of getting arrested. What better way to keep "cool" when it gets warmer than with a cute pair of shorts. I think these are adorable. The cotton feels similar in texture to a chambray shirt and the fit is tts. These are a keeper.

So what new arrivals did you like?
What color of the Raindrop top should I keep?

Monday, February 27, 2012

OOTD-One Down, More to Go

So, my birthday was several weeks ago, but I've decided to declare a celebration throughout the whole month!! A little family-style Italian dinner this weekend with my loved ones was definitely a great way to round out the festivities (and have me completely stuffed by the end of the night). Although it might have been a better idea to wear some stretchy pants for such an occasion, I went for my new favorite "fake you out leather" pants instead. They certainly fooled my mother and went so well with my new "birthday" tee. I used my Anthropologie birthday discount on this top and I couldn't be happier, I would totally get it in the other colors. I'm trying to figure out if it is because I had to size down two sizes and now have something small in my closet with no need to hit the gym hardcore or if it is because it helps me meet that fashion resolution of adding more prints to my closet. Now if I could just learn how to properly walk in high heels, I'll be all set in meeting those goals. Until then, I'll be the one wobbling down the street in the colorful top.

 Would you ever be swayed into buying something partially because it's in a smaller size than you normally wear? Of course, we're talking about something that you would consider buying in the first place.

Outfit Details:
Hot pink blazer- (thrifted) Gap (similar here, pale pink version available here, similar here)
Watercolor tee- Anthropologie (available here, same tee in different print here, here and here)
Burgundy waxed jeans- J Brand (available here, similar here)
Navy patent pumps- Talbots (similar here, similar here in a metallic version, and round-toe version here)
Blue/brown handbag- Rebecca Minkoff MAC (similar here, teal version here, similar mini version here)

Friday, February 24, 2012

OOTD- The Right to Bear Legs

So the weather guy claimed that it would reach the 70's yesterday and I went a little crazy at the thought of any spring-like weather and banished tights from my outfit.

Is anyone else at that point where they just want Spring to arrive? I'm sure that doesn't mean much to people who might live in warmer countries or just down south or on the west coast in the U.S., but a change of seasons would be very much welcomed about now. Which is why I was probably a bit premature in breaking out these new shoes (and naked legs), but I just couldn't help it. Bright colors and sunshine just work so well together.

Whether it is warm or cold in your neighborhood, have a fabulous weekend!!

Outfit Details:
Ocean blue blazer- J. Crew (blazer in a pretty blue shade here and here)
Purple print dress- Tucker for Target (pretty purple Tucker dress on sale here, similar style here)
Patent leopard belt- J. Crew outlet
Tan bag- Rebecca Minkoff MAM (same bag in a similar color here, mini bag in similar color here on sale)
Colorful flats- Isabel Toledo for Payless (available here in limited sizes, sandal version with same pattern here, similar style in a solid color here)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

OOTD- Sparkle and Shimmer

I pulled out one of my favorite sweaters today to help get me through the middle of the week. A little shimmer and shine has the power to make the day just a little bit better.

Oh, and party shoes make it ten times better too!!

Do you have something that instantly makes your day feel more special?

Outfit Details:
Sequin sweater and "Minnie" pants- J. Crew (sweater in a similar vibe here and here) (pants in a similar color and other fun colors too here)
Blue blazer- Lilly Pulitzer
Fuchsia velvet pumps- Marc Jacobs (similar here on sale and in limited sizes and here)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

OOTD- A Printed Matter

It's Inspector Gadget!!

My photographer has been MIA for the past few days and I just couldn't let this outfit pass without documentation. I put this blouse on for the first time today and it instantly made me smile. The colors, the pattern, I love them together. And to think I waited so long for it to go down in price that I almost missed getting it. So during lunch I headed down to a little shopping plaza to use Ann Taylor for their dressing room mirror. I might have also walked out with a bag which was not a part of my impromptu photo shoot. Hmm, perhaps I should rethink this location in the future.

What is one thing in your closet that instantly puts a smile on your face?

Outfit Details:
Paisley blouse- J. Crew (nice spring option here, button-down version in limited sizes here)
Purple skirt- Simply Vera Vera Wang (cute alternative here and here on sale)
Tan otk boots- LOFT (similar here)
Brown belt- thrifted
Spike necklace- Forever 21 (similar vibe here)
Leopard hat- Albertus Swanepoel for Target

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Blogger's Do It Better- Lady in Red

Happy Valentine's Day!! I hope it is filled with love and maybe some yummy chocolate.

Pretty Shiny Sparkly is hosting another blogger's challenge and this time around it is all about the color red. Besides some lipstick, nail polish and a pair of socks, red is pretty scarce in my wardrobe. I can count on two fingers the items in my closet that boast the bold shade. So I guess that made this challenge less difficult for me. Hey, a bright side! Red, black and white, such a classic pairing and you just can't go wrong with classic, but to keep it from being a little stale I just couldn't resist one more pencil skirt. You would think I was sick of them after wearing nothing but pencil skirts last week, but this one is just too fun not to get out of the closet. My one and only DvF piece that I got for a steal at a local consignment shop was just what this outfit ordered. Oh, and a little bling-bling didn't hurt!

Are you into holiday color-themed dressing? Would I spot you in pink or red this Valentine's Day?

Outfit Details:
Red shirt- gift (thanks Linda!) (nice alternative here)
Black blazer- thrifted
Zebra print knit skirt- (consignment find) Diane von Furstenburg
Black handbag- Foley + Corinna (same bag in a different size here)
Burgundy fedora- Albertus Swanepoel for J. Crew (popped back on the website here, similar here on sale)
Tan ankle booties- Madewell
Round crystal necklace- J. Crew (available here)
Square crystal necklace- BaubleBar (similar here)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

OOTD- Prince Boot Walkin'

The thought of pencil skirts probably conjure up images of dressed-up work wear, but if you are privileged enough to spend your days in a casual environment or have casual Friday, a denim version can take that buttoned-up image to a more relaxed vibe. But it is still a pencil skirt and allows for some sexiness to work through. This denim number was the perfect way to end my week of pencil skirt wearing. It has been a fun challenge working with what was in my closet, but I have to say I am ready to slip on a pair of pants. Or who knows, I do still have some more skirts in my closet that need wear time. Whose a gambler and want to take a wager as to whether I will switch it up tomorrow??? Winner gets bragging rights!

Outfit Details:
Lilac sweater- J. Crew
Leopard button-up shirt- Forever 21 (similar here, here and here)
Denim skirt- (consignment find) Banana Republic- similar here, here and here)
Magenta boots- (old) Marc Jacobs
Arm party (from left to right)- Fallon, Forever 21, Gorjana, Nixon, Forever 21

Thursday, February 9, 2012

OOTD- Twin's Style

I was doing a quick scan through the racks of Nordstrom Rack one day, not really intending on buying much of anything, yet I walked out of the store with two things; one being this coat/sweater/blazer hybrid from Elizabeth & James. Darn you Olsen twins for designing things I like!! Most celebrity clothing lines end up disappointing me due to lack of originality in designs and/or quality, but StyleMint, Elizabeth & James and The Row all hit the right mark. Although maybe not so much in price sometimes (at least the latter two lines). I mean have you seen the prices of The Row's handbags!! Insane!! Oh, what a life it would be to have the means of a billionaire.

Are there any celebrity lines that hit high marks with you and your wallet?

Outfit Details:
Lace print tee- Jason Wu for Target (available here)
Orange knit skirt- Simply Vera Vera Wang
Gray double-breasted blazer/sweater- Elizabeth & James
Black double strap belt- Target
Crystal necklace- BaubleBar (similar style in a different color here, here and here)
Black buckle boots- Loeffler Randall "Cale" (size 8 on sale here)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

OOTD- Ms. Fancy Bottom

It's not only day three of my pencil skirt week challenge, but it is also my birthday and so I had to break out a fancy skirt today!

Once upon a time there was a skirt at J. Crew that I became obsessed with after seeing it in the catalog, but I immediately burst into tears when I looked at the price. It was never going to happen!!

The texture and shine is just fabulous, but at $400 it better come with a top, shoes and tickets to someplace fancy to wear it. I did the next best thing and went on a wild Internet goose chase to find a suitable alternative and one day, there was one. Not quite like the one I coveted, but it has great texture to it and I couldn't wait to wear it. With my high bun, red lips, and flats, I got a Audrey Hepburn inspired compliment. I'll take it!! Especially when I'm particularly proud of how big I got my bun to look. I'm determined to make it half the size of my head next time. Teasing comb, I'm coming for ya!!

What's the best compliment you've ever gotten about your outfit?

Outfit Details:
Black sweater jacket and necklace- J. Crew (necklace available here) (cardigan with a similar vibe here)
Turquoise tee- StyleMint "Magnolia" (similar color here
Brocade skirt- (Ebay find) Lida Baday (similar here in limited sizes, shimmery skirt here, similar dress in limited sizes here)
Flats- (old) Barney's New York
Black handbag- (consignment find) barr+barr

What's On the Birthday Girl's Wishlist??

Let's all cheer because today is my birthday!!! Now let's boo for the fact that it is only Wednesday and out of the one day this week it wants to snow. As a winter baby, I've learned to deal with that possibility, so to keep the day a happy occasion I've decided to spend some money. Granted these are all wishes so they may or may not happen, but let's hope a magical genie will appear on my way to work today to make them realities.

Birthday Wishlist:

Hudson Nico Mid Rise Super Skinny Jeans in Neb-Nebula, $178, available here

I'm having a thing for printed pants lately and I thought I would take a foray into flowered jeans, but these are calling me. You can't deny they are something different!!

Loeffler Randal Dita Platform Pump, $425, available here

Loeffler Randall never fails to kill me with a fabulous looking shoe. To continue my theme of prints, these shoes would be perfect for spring. Now, if I can only find that money tree, these and several other beauties on the website could be mine.

Botkier Valentina Satchel in Blush, $395, available here

No list of mine is complete without a handbag and this one is just perfection. That soft blush tone is begging to be carried with any and everything, although the minty green color is running a close second.

I plan on making these thangs later on this week. If I devour the whole batch by myself, let's just say I'm still celebrating.

I am dying to have my own cute puppy, so you know I was awwing all over the place while watching the Puppy Bowl on Sunday. I'll take anyone of these cuties although I'm kind of partial to ones with eye patches. :)

Shop M-A-C lipstick in Runway Red, $18, available here

New make-up is always a welcome treat. Last year, I splurged on some Tom Ford lipstick and still love to see that sexy red color in that sleek packaging. MAC knows color and there's nothing better than some new color to re-energize the make-up routine.

Do you like to treat yourself to birthday gifts or do you let other's shower you on with presents on your special day?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

OOTD- Adding Just A Little Pep(lum)

Day 2 of pencil skirt week and I went a little more subdued with the colors, but dark colors don't have to read drab or boring, especially if it involves pattern or shape. I found this little peplum tee at H&M during my after Christmas shopping venture and I have to say, I am all for this peplum trend. I might have to add another one or two tops to my closet. It will make you want to shimmy all day just to see it move and I am all for something that will have me looking like I some semblance of a curvier shape. Although I wasn't crazy about having to layer, it is a necessary evil until that warm weather hits and I can re-create this look I saw in Glamour magazine on my way home:

(excuse the crease, I was that excited to remember the page because I am totally in love with that look on the left)

Are you a fan of the peplum (whether it be on a top, skirt or dress)? Do you like to use clothes to alter your body shape (i.e. pleated skirt to give you the look of fuller hips, belts to create a more defined waist)?

Outfit Details:
Teal pencil skirt- J. Crew (similar here in a shorter length, similar here in a deeper blue color)
Black peplum tee- H&M (similar in a sleeveless style here, similar here in limited sizes, plus-size here, longer sleeve here)
Sheer gray turtleneck- (old consignment find) Banana Republic
Polka dot tights- Madewell (pretty much the same here)
Burgundy hat- Albertus Swanepoel for J. Crew (similar here on sale)
Black buckle boots- (old)  Dolce Vita for Target

Monday, February 6, 2012

OOTD- Pencil Me In, Just Because

I've decided to sanction this pencil skirt week. Why do you ask? Why not!!?? Whenever I open my closet, my eyes are assaulted by all of the skirts that I have and don't wear enough. So, in favor of the flouncy skirts that I'm enamored with these days, I'm going full-force with the pencil skirt. Even better that Refinery 29 decided to showcase how to rock a pencil skirt on their blog today. I am all set to give them a run for their money, so let's get started with Monday's look:

I went all out with color today, check back to see something different tomorrow!!

What's your favorite type of skirt? Pencil, full, maxi, mini, pleated??

Outfit Details:
Blue cardigan and anchor belt- Madewell (belt available here)
Colorful dress as top- Rachel Rachel Roy (pretty top with a similar vibe here)
Pencil skirt and pumps- J. Crew (skirts in the same color here and here, same skirt in other colors here) (similar shoe herehere in peep-toe) 
Handbag- Marc by Marc Jacobs Nylon Natasha (available here in other colors)

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