Thursday, June 30, 2011

Fitting Room Reviews (from St. Louis and Chicago)

Hello Readers!

It's almost July- can you believe it!  I don't know about you all, but my June has been jam-packed!  Like all of the other busy times in my life though, I've found the time to stop by Anthropologie.  The first review is from the Anthropologie in St. Louis and the others are from the Anthropologie on Chicago in Chicago (which, by the way, is an amazing store!)

This round of reviews includes two dresses, a pair of shorts, and a blouse.  I hope you find these reviews helpful!
Sugared Dress- Corey Lynn Calter
Over the past year, I've found myself drawn to dresses with '50s silhouettes, and this dress was no exception to this fascination.  While I found this dress to be lovely, it wasn't the sort of lovely that I was looking for.  The print is quite unusual, but I found it to be overwhelming even to my 5'10'' frame! I took a size 6 in this dress- which fit well across my shoulders but was much too big for my bust, chest, and waist. I felt like the fit and overall look was a bit frumpy, but might look better on someone with more mature taste.

Whirligig Dress- Velvet
This was my third time trying on Velvet's Whirligig dress (I think the next time I try one on I will have to buy it!), and I was pleased to find two more color offerings in this dress at the Chicago Ave store in Chicago!  I am in love with the raspberry color, but this orange number caught my eye. The picture (on my computer) captures the color well, a delightfully warm hue between salmon and burnt sienna that you might find in a summer sunset. Unfortunately, when I put the dress over my head to try it on, I was only able to successfully get one arm through an armhole!  When I took the dress off to inspect what was going on I found that one of the armholes wasn't there. The other dresses had two armholes each, but this one must have fallen to the wayside during production.  Oh well!

Going Places Shorts- Paperboy by G-1
The Going Places Shorts, from Paperboy by G-1, are adorable! I normally wouldn't even try a cargo short, because they don't have a history of flattering my body.  But, the femininity of the short's lightweight fabric and delicate lilac color compensated for the utility pocket and boxy stitching. I took a size 6 and it fit perfectly! They still aren't the most flattering shorts, but they weren't unflattering either. I purchased these shorts and this summer they will be going places!

Adorned Azure Tank
I vaguely remember seeing the Adorned Azure Tank on Anthropologie's website, but my visit to the Chicago Ave store was my first real encounter with this treasure. In person, the tank is an azure shade, but just a bit more turquoise than the picture above. What I loved most about this top is that the adornment seemed to be a detachable necklace! This top was a pass because the fit was a bit off.  I tried on a small, which seemed to be the right size for me but the bottom half seemed a bit too wide.  Cute, but not cute enough.

I also bought a pair of white crops (Sateen Crops) from Cartonnier for only 19.95! The only size available was 8, but they were a great fit! I will feature these in an upcoming post! :)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Grounded, Not Tied Down

These people keep me grounded (my brother Sam, cousins Katie and Kim, and my Uncle Clark)

Hello Readers,

Tonight's post features something very dear to me.  More precious than riches or fame.  What could this be?  A hard to find dress to Anthropologie?  No!  A dream job? Nope!

That thing of which I speak is. . . FAMILY!  Over the past two weeks, I've been away from my family in St. Louis (last week) and Chicago (this week)- and in my time of absence from them I've become even more aware of their value in my life.  My mom's listening ear, my dad's advice, my brothers' antics, my grandparents' stories, the support of my aunts and uncles, and the friendship of my cousins. Warm memories, shared experiences, celebrations (accompanied with Aunt Shelly cake on my mom's side!)

The love and support of my family is what gives me confidence and keeps me going during times of joy, times of trial, and everytime in between.  They keep me grounded!

This week (it's only Tuesday- woah!), I was looking through photos of recent family events, and I thought that I could share it with you all (especially my family- SHOUT OUT!).

Photos from my cousin Bill's graduation party:

Bill is a graduate and a champ (I think he did well in this round of the tossing game)

My dad (the taller one) and my Uncle CJ

Photos from a graduation/Sunday evening gathering at my grandparents' house:

Surveying the damage to the RC truck
Swing Swing!
Dan the baseball man!
A blossoming photographer in the family! :)

Uncle John

Happy Graduation Kim!

Also, I've had my eye on the Maeve Tied Down dress from Anthropologie for quite a while, but gave up on my search after my store in St. Louis ran out and the dress became no longer available online.  Then the big sale of the year began at Anthro, and I thought I would never see the dress again- but the week that the store offered and additional 25% off, I found a dress at the store and bought it for almost 50% off the original price! I wore it to two parties in one weekend.  That is how much I love it- but, of course, not as much as I love my family!

A rural forest? Almost. . . 

Shaking hands with the trees?

There we go!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Anthro Try-On Reviews

Hey Readers!

For this set of reviews, it seems that I tried on a few things that did not have names I could find.  I hesitated writing a review for these items but decided to go ahead in case any of you saw these items in your store or maybe your Anthropologie wish list. Here it goes!

Yellow Nameless Dress (6)
I saw this dress online first and was intrigued.  In person, the dress is a dusty mustard color and it was a bit heavier than I thought it would be. It seemed to be well-constructed but I found a few problems with the dress.  The first problem, for me, was that the torso was very short and fit like an awkward empire-esque waisted style.  If you are tall, like me, this dress may not work for you.  The other major problem was that the bust, which was molded and looked a bit like a superhero top, was very small.  I NEVER had this problem until I tried on this dress.  Very uncomfortable. The dress seemed to run true to size, but  if you are average or well-endowed, go up at least one size.

Gull Wing Dress- Girls from Savoy (size 4)
This dress reminded me of a boardwalk, or maybe something you could wear while walking on a boardwalk.  Anyway, this dress was super comfortable and it seemed like the fabric was breezy enough to be a summer dress contender. The dress ran true to size for me, but if you are bust-ier, it might be a good idea to go up a size.  The bottom button on the top of the dress was missing on the dress I tried on, as well as at least two other dresses on the rack. A sympton that can indicate an overall problem of a dress' construction.  I thought the dress was cute, but not quite my style.

Mystery Yellow Skirt- Size 6
This skirt fit a bit snugger than I thought it would be, but overall I found the fit quite flattering.  The mustardy color was absolutely charming and as I tried on the skirt I imagined all of the fun outfit color combinations that would work well with this skirt.  I didn't purchase the skirt, but I wish that I could!  I don't remember seeing this skirt online and when I searched for it I couldn't find a name.  My advice: if you find it in your size, try it on, and like it, buy it!

Mompos Dress- Plenty! by Tracy Reese (size 6)
This dress was featured a few posts ago (here), but I neglected to write a review then, which is why I am doing it now.  In the store, I was tempted to try on a size 4, but upon comparing the 4 with the 6 on the rack, I went with the 6 and it was perfect. This dress resounds retro in a very She & Him sort of way. Catchy and clever.  I love this dress, but the price tag prevented me from purchasing it at full price.  Thankfully, I found a listing on the EA (Effortless Anthropologie) Trade Market, and I was able to purchase the dress at a more reasonable price.

I hope these reviews are helpful! Let me know if you have any questions!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

What Wedding Singers Wear

Hello Readers!

As many of you know, I recently had the honor of singing at my cousin's wedding earlier this month.  When Liz asked me to sing, my decision was instant and easy: I said "of course!"  Choosing a song was a bit more difficult but choosing an outfit (dress, shoes, and jewelry) was by far the most difficult part.

The view from the balcony of the Gateway Center in downtown Peoria, where the reception was held
I am a planner, those of you who know me know this statement to be true.  Soon after I found out that I was singing, before I even picked out a song, I began to scheme and plan what to wear.  Usually, I know what to wear to special occasions but this time I was at a loss.

As I browsed a variety of dresses online I wondered: what do wedding singers wear?  My frame of reference, as far as wedding singers go, extends mainly to a movie set in the 80s (The Wedding Singer) and. . .  well, that's mostly it.  Online retailers have "guests of the wedding" sections, but no one ever said how wedding singers are supposed to dress.  I couldn't find any specific etiquette (Emily Post wrote nothing of this matter), which normally would bother me, but here it gave me a lot of freedom in finding a dress that I ultimately fell in love with.

I was worried about finding a dress that was comfortable to perform in, that would allow me to play the guitar and sing with ease but a lot of the dresses I tried on at the beginning of my search made these criteria a challenge.  With a strapless dress I ran the risk of the bust of the dress getting dragged down by the guitar and having guitar strap marks on my back and right shoulder for the rest of the ceremony, and with short dresses I ran the risk of an "I see London, I see France" moments if for some reason I needed to bend down to pick up anything from the ground like sheet music, water, or a fallen guitar pick.  Most of the dresses in my closet were either short or strapless (or both), so it became clear that I needed something new and I needed something different.

What I found was this:

I like dressing like wedding singer!

Irresistible Maxi Dress- Plenty by Tracy Reese

The soft jersey fabric, the draped straps, the maxi style.  I didn't know this was what I was looking for until I tried it on.  It was perfect.  As the name would imply, it was irresistible. At the ceremony, the dress allowed me to sing and play freely, and I was able to tear it up on the dance floor to my heart's content.

My Uncle Mike, me, and my tallest little brother, Chris

I paired the dress with a pair of metallic silver sandals, a cotton wrap belt (almost an obi style), and a heart pendant necklace that my cousin gave to me as a gift for singing in her wedding. Overall, I loved wearing this dress and I look forward to wearing and restyling the dress in the future!

Me hanging out with the Groom, the Bride, and my cousin Bonnie

Sunday, June 12, 2011

An Amazing Affair to Remember

Hello Readers!

Last weekend (not this weekend, but the weekend before) my cousin Liz got married to the love of her life and it was an amazing day of celebrations- of their love for each other, God's love, and the love of friends and family.  Like I said- amazing!

Before the ceremony
Not only did I have the opportunity to attend these celebrations, I also had the honor of being a part of the celebrations by singing a song during the ceremony (thanks for asking me to do it Liz and Matt!)  I used to lead worship occasionally in high school and undergrad, but it has been a while since I sang and played in front of a large audience so I was a bit nervous but it went really well.  So well that I've been thinking about picking up the old gee-tar and singing again after I settle into my new job this fall.  We'll see. . .

Curly hair? Yes please!

Singing "Divine Romance" by Phil Wickham

Mr. and Mrs.!

My lovely cousin Liz!

My favorite part of the singing part of the ceremony was when I looked over at Liz and Matt (the bride and groom) and I caught both of their eyes and we all smiled, and then they looked at each other and smiled.  It was one of those moments of great joy that I think I will remember for the rest of my life!  Liz and Matt are each wonderful people, and they are wonderful for each other.  It was such a blessing to be a part of their wedding!

Also. . . I would be remiss if I forgot to mention how much fun their reception was!  But. . . you'll have to wait until the next blog post for the details on the fun and my outfit!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Polyvore Whoopsie

Hello Readers!

I just saw that the items I clipped from Polyvore were published here on my blog.  I don't use Polyvore very often, but I don't think this has ever happened to me before.  So. . . if you stumbled upon my blog and found somewhat random (but very beautiful) items from Anthropologie without any explanations- that is why!

Maybe one day, when I have more experience using Polyvore, I will publish a few outfits here, but until then. . . any posts random items of clothing without text are just mistakes like the ones that happened today.

I hope you are all having a great weekend!




Dress (clipped to




Belt (see more leather belts)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Mompos Adventure

Hello Readers!

Have you ever admired an article of clothing to the point where you imagined yourself wearing that clothing, imagined the places where you would wear that item of clothing, and even imagined what you could accomplish while wearing that particular item?

Yes? OK, then we are in good company!

For me this spring, the item of clothing of which I speak is the Mompos Dress from Plenty! by Tracy Reese, available at Anthropologie.  I first saw it in the catalogue, then pined over the pictures on Anthropologie's website, then heard and saw the buzz on the blogosphere, and then tried on the dress on a visit to Woodfield Mall with my mom.  In person, this dress did not disappoint- but the dress' price tag was a bit too high for me to purchase that day (my new job doesn't start officially until August).  So, even though I fell even more in love with the dress, I walked away.

In the dressing room at Woodfield Mall's Anthropologie
On Memorial Day, something wonderful happened.  I was checking out the latest listings on Effortless Anthropologie's Trade Market (the Looking to Sell/Trade section) and I found a kind seller who was selling their Mompos dress (in my very size!) for a price I could afford.  The perfect dress at the perfect price!  My interaction and transaction with the seller was pleasant and smooth and I received the dress in time for my cousin's wedding rehearsal and rehearsal dinner on Friday night (thank you Sarah- it arrived on Wednesday!).

Here are a couple of pictures of the dress:

Me and my cousin Liz at her rehearsal dinner!

I paired the dress with a black cardigan from Zara, a navy belt from an Abercrombie & Fitch shirt, black satin heels from White House Black Market and a black flowery headband from J. Crew.  Liz is wearing a dress she bought during her bachelorette party in Las Vegas .

As I was wearing the dress on Friday night (and again yesterday, hehe), I wondered "what does Mompos mean?"  It sounds Spanish, but I've never heard the word until I learned of this dress.  I did a bit of investigation on the Internet and I found out that  it is the name of an old city in Colombia (on the map it is spelled Mompox).  According to Lonely Planet, it was founded in 1537 ad became a bustling port city, but slowed down at the end of the 19th century with the change of trading routes.  From the pictures I've seen, it looks like a beautiful city with a lot of history.  They are also known for their Semana Santa festivities.  I'm not sure if I'll ever make it to Mompox (it is a difficult place to get to) but at the very least I can enjoy photos of the city (and so can you!)  Enjoy!



Sunday, June 5, 2011

I Am A Master! Part 2

For those of you who are not friends with me on facebook. . . . here are a few more pictures from the weekend of my graduation from grad school!

On campus with my parents

My little brother and I on campus! He's so tall!

Angela, me, Eric, and Emily at Emily's open house

Most of my graduate cohort at the partay!