Friday, June 22, 2012

OOTD- Never Let Them See You Sweat

The calender proclaimed that it is officially summer and Mother Nature joined in the party with ridiculously high temperatures the past few days. It's a good thing that I took these pictures right after I left the house because if you had caught me oh around 10 minutes later, you would have seen a very colorful, sweaty blob on the subway. Ah the joys of this time of year! I'm going to manage the best way I can with hair up, arms out, floaty fabric and an ice cold bottle of water by my side. Or better yet, I think I'll hire my own personal butler to hold an umbrella over me when I'm outside, keep a fan blowing on me at all times and makes me cocktails on demand. Yeah, I think I like that idea better and it would sure make the weather more bearable. Do you think anyone would respond to that kind of Craigslist ad, lol?

What do you do/wear to make the hot weather tolerable?

Outfit Details:
Dress- not available Madewell (this year's version available here, similar with pretty texture here, pretty wrap version here)
Knit belt- J. Crew (this year's version available here)
Handbag- Rebecca Minkoff MAM (same bag in a similar color here, similar color and texture here, similar alternative here)
Purple bow heels- customed designed via Milk & Honey (this year's version of what inspired my design here, adorable alternative here, here and here in limited sizes or design your very own pair here
Sunglasses- StyleMint

Monday, June 18, 2012

Notes from the Dressing Room- Anchor Down at J. Crew

New arrivals popped up online at J. Crew last week and I had to see them in person. You'll notice in these pics that J.Crew went a bit crazy with a particular print this rollout, but it was also exciting to see so many color selections available. Check out a few items that I reviewed:

Tippi Sweater in Heart Me in Cove Dusk, $89.50, available here
Cafe Capri in Kaleidoscope Dot, $148.00, available here

So there was a heart sweater out last year (see in this post here) and it was all the rage in the blogosphere. A little bit cutesy with the big heart, but not done in the way that would have someone thinking it belonged on a young girl instead. As much as I want to love this sweater, I just can't. That lopsided heart doesn't work for me. On the plus side, the color combo is a classic and the peacock combination that it also comes in is really pretty. I find the fit to be tts; it skims the body well. This sweater is made of a relatively thin wool that makes it great for those air conditioned indoors or on a cooler evening. I have one Tippi sweater in my closet and over time it has developed the fuzzies. So you might want to keep that in mind if you find yourself wanting this sweater.

Holy retro wallpaper!! J.Crew is certainly working the printed pants this season. As out there as this print may be, I think I kind of like it. The thing about this kind of print is that you have to style it the right way to make it look contemporary and/or chic. This has a nice, slim line and is made of a good thick cotton. I sized down in this and it actually fit pretty well, but it could benefit from some tailoring in the back. It doesn't look as streamlined in the back like it does on the model. I still give it a thumbs up, but I know that print might be an acquired taste.

Anchors Away Tee, $39.50, available here
No. 2 Pencil Skirt in Double Serge Cotton in Golden Burgundy, $110.00, available here
This top is only the tip of the anchor iceberg at J.Crew this season. They couldn't get enough of this print, so they put it on everything. I like them on this tee because the anchors are subtle enough that you wouldn't be able to tell exactly what they are unless you were close-up. As you can see from this pic, the tee is a bit sheer. It also has a fitted style. I sized down in this and it didn't make me feel like I was squeezed into this top. Although I do think this tee is pretty cute, I'm not sure I would spend $40 on it because the thin cotton would give me concerns about the wear in the future. I can just see potential tears from washing.

J.Crew knows how to make a good pencil skirt, so when I saw this on the website I immediately liked it because of the deep burgundy color, but I also thought it was a little weird as a summer item. Yes, it is made of a thick, hold you together cotton that is great for the summer weather, but the color reads as perfect for the fall and winter. Regardless, I think this is a great pencil skirt. The fit is tts. My only issue is that with a cotton skirt, I would be a wrinkled mess after sitting all day. I actually wished it was made of the same wool as a suiting skirt that I purchased last year because it was thin enough to get away with in the summer without burning up and the fabric reduced the amount of wrinkles. This skirt is going on my wish list though because the color alone, I like and I can see it working so well in the coming months.

Perfect Shirt in Anchors and Horseshoes, $78.00, available here

Ahh, more anchors, this time in a button down shirt and horseshoes! This shirt is a pretty red color and it is a real red and not an orange-red, a color that I find lacking on the racks these days. I tried this on in my normal size and although the body fit okay, it wasn't the right size because it pulled at the chest. For that reason, I would size up, but keep in mind that I usually have to do this with tops to accommodate my bust. One thing I noticed was that the arms were kind of tight. Overall, it is cute, but not enough to make me want to take it home. 


Drapey Elbow Sleeve Tee in Bright Maize, $34.50, available here
Postage Stamp Mini in Dizzy Anchors, 98.00, available here
I've tried this top on before in a neon pink and white stripe version and I loved it, but this solid color version seems to be slightly different in that the cotton seems thinner. I felt that it was slightly sheer-ish. I still love the shape and this yellow color is pretty and vibrant. I think I tried this on in a size smaller than I normally do because sizes were lacking in the store, so I would say this is tts. Whether it would hold up with washing is a concern with this one too, but I think I might have to pick one up for myself in the future. The neckline is great for showcasing a pretty necklace and I feel like it is rare to find an elbow-length sleeve these days.

Hey, what's that print on this skirt!? It's a can't miss it if you tried anchor print. I'm not sure how I feel about the huge anchors, but I love the shape of this skirt. It is quite a mini, so ladies taller than my 5'4 height might want to take caution. The description on the website called this an a-line skirt, but it appears straight up and down to me. I had to size down in this one and it fit pretty well minus a tad bit of snugness in the hips, so I would say this is tts. If you do find yourself liking this little number, be forewarned that the print is designed so that all of the anchors aren't a solid white color. The blue "bleeds" onto some of the white. I suppose that gives it a vintage vibe which I didn't mind too much, but I know that might bother others.

Angular Eyelet Top in Navy, $62.00, available here
It's a bit hard to truly see the crochet design in this top, but you can definitely tell that it is an open knit. The back is a solid cotton knit similar to any tee, but the front is exposed, so a nude bra is a must. Fit is loose, so you might want to consider sizing down. Overall, a very pretty top, but the crochet lace front tee did this concept better and the colors were more vibrant.

Other than a few sale rack items, that was the extent of what I tried on. Luckily, my wallet behaved....a little and I just walked out with a pretty new pair of ballet flats. I don't know if I'm sick of the summer offerings or what, but the selections out these days just aren't thrilling me.

Is there anything you have your eye on at J.Crew? Are you still enjoying summer shopping or have you had your fill already?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

OOTD-Ms. Match-y

I pulled this orange skirt out of the closet earlier this week, but decided to wear something else. I put it in the back of my head to put together an outfit featuring it soon. So when I reached for it yesterday, I had to rack my brain trying to figure out what to wear it with and I ended up in a place I don't normally go, matchy-matchy town. How did I end up in a place often frequented by my mother, lol? With brights, pastels and neutrals all having a moment in fashion, there isn't any shortage in ways to create an outfit to your liking. Matching colors in tones, going monochromatic, colorblocking, marrying neons with neutrals; this is the perfect time to get experimental and try a little bit of everything. 

What color trend have you got on board with this season?

Outfit details:
Seafoam top- Forever 21 (similar color here and here)
Orange skirt- Simply Vera Vera Wang (alternative here and here, cute alternative here in stripes, similar from the same line in other colors here)
Triple strap belt- J. Crew outlet (similar here and here)
Flats- Isabel Toledo for Payless (slightly similar alternative here and here)
Orange handbag- Rebecca Minkoff (same bag in newer orange color here, alternative from same designer in a smaller size here, similar here)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

OOTD- Shifting Green

There are a handful of items in my closet that have never seen the light of day. So to curb the gotta buy cute new stuff mentality, I've been ripping a few tags off and showing some love to things that have previously been subjected to the confines of my closet. I'd like to introduce my green dress that was bought months ago. I can't believe how long it's taken me to put this one on considering I tried this on around the beginning of the year, loved it but didn't purchase. Lo and behold there was just one on the rack when I headed into the store while there was an extra 40 or 50% off all sale items. There was no way I wasn't going to take it home then.

Oh, and that lovely beauty hanging from my arm is new too. And its purchase means I am officially on a serious bag ban and a restricted clothing budget. This is going to be an interesting exercise that's for a good cause (more savings, moving into a bigger place), but is sure to test my restraint and limits. I'm going to need some positive reinforcement and mantras to make it. I need all the strength in the world to get me through all the summer sales, J. Crew new arrival temptation and daily emails from a million different vendors. Man, it sure would be simpler to wear a uniform like back in my junion high days. I hated then, but it would certainly come in handy right about now.

What helps you stay focused on your goals when you restrict or eliminate the things you might normally like to do?

Outfit Details:
Green shift dress- Ann Taylor (lime green alternative here that comes in two other colors, sleeveless alternative here and here)
Chain necklace- Target
Black sandals- old LOFT (alternative here)
Handbag- Proenza Schouler (spring/summer alternative from same designer here on sale, alternative here, shopper tote alternative here)

Monday, June 4, 2012

OOTD- The Staples

I have heard countless declarations that the chambray top is a must have in any lady's wardrobe and I completely concur. I've never encountered any item that could go from work to play so seamlessly. Now, I can't necessarily say the same thing about a pair of polka dot pants, but for my closet they are a close second to this top. This little ensemble was perfectly ready to handle a day at the movies and if I was still a young whipper snapper and headed out for a night of mayhem and debauchery, a few simple changes in accessories (and a few buttons undone) could have made it work just as easily for a night out. If I could only figure out how to make my pink velvet shoes work with any and every outfit, then my closet would be closer to perfection, but something tells me that one item will be a bit tougher to figure out.

What is one item that you are constantly reaching for out of your closet?

Outfit Details:
Chambray top and pink belt- J. Crew outlet (similar here, similar here in a sleeveless version
Polka dot pants- Madewell (similar here, similar here with white background,
Black sandals- old Zara
Pink Chanel- old consignment find (similar here, alternative here in darker pink
Pink link bracelet- BaubleBar (similar here, similar here in red)
Striped hat- old Target

Friday, June 1, 2012

OOTD- Bunhead

I've always admired the skill and beauty of a ballet dancer, partially because my body (especially my flexibility) would never allow me to achieve even an ounce of that much gracefulness. My second grade self did take ballet for a semester in school, yet the only things I've managed to retain are how to position my feet into first, second and third position. So to make up for all of the other lessons I lost over the years, I've managed to hang on to making a mean bun. And even better that it's perfect for the crazy hot summer weather. I'll be spending my summer working on making this the biggest most messiest most perfect bun ever and maybe even work on a second career in the NYC ballet. Okay, that last part probably won't happen, but a young girl can dream, right?

What did you want to be when you were in elementary school? Is it drastically different from what you do as an adult?

Outfit Details:
Black drawstring dress- Madewell (same dress in stripes here, similar here)
Neon necklace- diy Charlotte Russe (similar here, similar here)
Striped handbag- Rebecca Minkoff (same bag here in navy/white)
Giraffe bracelet- Forever 21 (similar here and here)
Tan boat shoes- Target (similar here, similar here with sequins)

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