Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Thousand Miles. . .

Well hello Readers!

I don't know about you all, but lately I feel like I've been constantly in a state of transition. Packing and unpacking (and then packing again), leaving my apartment and looking for a new one, and preparing for a new job. Life is exciting right now, but a bit hectic. I haven't been keeping track of the number of miles I've driven over the past month- but my best guess would be somewhere near 1,000 miles.

One day, two Sundays ago, in particular was especially busy. I went from church to a bridal shower and then to my grandparents' house. It doesn't sound like much but the time in between each of these events was long enough that I was able to go home, but too short to relax or get anything done. But, even though it was busy, I had a great time!

In my down time, I was able to capture a few of the day's highlights:

Pretending to play the piano (I'm ok in real life, but no maestro by any means)

I wore this outfit to church two Sundays ago. The white dress is one that has been in my possession for the past 2 or 3 years, and while it is super cute, I rarely wear it. I stumbled upon it again earlier this month while cleaning out my wardrobe and decided to bring it out into the sunlight again! And what a sunny day it was! Since it is a strapless dress I paired it with a lightweight cardi and dressed it up with a belt and a vintage necklace.

Robin Blue Cardigan: Zara
White and Gold Trifari Necklace: Thrifted
White Strapless Dress: Banana Republic
Brown Woven Belt: Anthropologie
Tan Patent Pointy Flats: Banana Republic
Following church, I attended the bridal shower of one of my near and dear friends (and former roommate), Kerry. She and her fiance had a black and yellow bumble bee themed shower- cute! The shower was super fun and it was great to spend time with Kerry. Also, I sat at a table with two girls who I ran with in high school and haven't seen since- so it was nice to catch up with them while enjoying the festivities!
Me and Kerry at her bridal shower
I was a part of a shower game! My partner pinned a picture of a TV wife on my back and I had to ask the audience questions about my character to help me guess who she was. My personality was Carol Brady (and I guessed it in a snap!)
Black Tee: Banana Republic
Gold and White Trifari Necklace: Thrifted
White Sateen Crops: Anthropologie
Black Satin Peep Toe Heels: Black House/White Market
Fun and Games: Courtesy of Kerry
After the shower (almost immediately after) I ate dinner and then headed out to my grandparents' house where I basked in the warmth and love that is family! I also ventured outside before sunset to capture these photos. Whew- I made it through the day!

Light and Leaves
A baby robin! It will be cuter in a week or so. . . 

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Fitting Room Reviews: July

Hey Readers!

It is July 20th! Can you believe it? July has flown by for me- how about you? I had a few adventures this month (well- visits to Chicago and St. Louis), and each of those adventures included visits to a store near and dear to my heart. . . Anthropologie! While I was there, on each occasion, I took pictures of some of the highlights of my visits.  Hopefully you find them useful! Comment on this post if you have any questions!

Chicago (Chicago Ave and Schaumburg)

Loosened Shelby Blouse from Porridge
I seem to be inexplicably drawn to the Loosened Shelby Blouse. It's not quite my style, but upon each encounter with the blouse, I try it on! This time I tried on the green motif color, but had to choose between a size 2 or a size 10 (I chose the 2) for this try-on session. Width-wise, the blouse was fine, but length-wise I think I needed a size 4. If I do end up purchasing this little ditty, I think it will have to go with a belt or a high-waisted skirt.

Crotched Tank by ?
I don't think this tank is online anymore, but I found it in the sale rack at the Chicago Ave. store two weeks ago, and again last week in the St. Louis store (size S was perfect). I absolutely love this tank- layered crotched fabric, an ultra-flattering tunic length, and a lacy hem. I was ready to purchase this tank until I checked the fabric info tag and saw that it was dry clean only. Deal breaker.

Darling Dragonfly Dress from We Love Vera
I really like the colors of this dress. I did before I tried the dress on and after I tried it on.  The horizontal stripes and brushstrokes, however, did not work for me. I tried this on in a 4, and it seemed a bit tight. If I liked the dress more, I would try a 6, but I didn't like the dress enough to find a 6. I think this dress would be better suited for someone with a petite frame- someone I am not.

Alchemilla Tee in Green from one.september
I was looking for the Side Bent Tee when I found the Alchemilla Tee in its stead.  I appreciate its similarity to Deletta's Craft and Creation Top from last summer.  I tried on a small, and it fit wonderfully, but the flowery detailing was a bit too overwhelming, at least as a full-price purchase. This will stay on my wishlist until further notice.
 --btw: Has anyone tried on the Sidebent tee?

Whirligig Dress from Velvet in Orange
OK, I tried this dress on again. For the third time? I have a few events in the upcoming future, and a new job, that call for something like this. I really, really, really like this dress. I even wrote a review for the dress, and anthro used part of it in a promo (on facebook or in an email- I can't remember). I misspelled "classically" (as classicaly- whoops), but when I saw my description again in that context I almost became convinced that the dress was perfect for me!

But look what happened for a second time!
Again? This Whirligig Dress has a mis-formed sleeve. If I buy this dress, I think I will do so in a store and not online
No sleeve! No thanks! If I buy this dress, it will not be online!

St. Louis (St. Louis Galleria)

From H&M. I'm not crazy about the fabric but I love the print, color, and fit.
While I was in St. Louis, I also made a stop in H&M and almost bought this top. I wasn't sure if it was professional enough for my new job (I know, I am being elusive! Details in August).

Quilted Pastiche Maxi from Maple by Some Odd Rubies
This lovely dress, unfortunately, was too short for me. And, unfortunately, I could find no zipper on the dress- which made for an awkward try-on with a not-so-lovely frizzy hair effect. I adore the color of the dress, but unless it becomes available in a tall size, it is not a dress destined for my wardrobe. Also, I don't know where I would wear this dress. Ideas?

Cirque A-Line from Porridge
Finally, I tried on Porridge's Cirque A-Line dress. Last week I was desperately looking for something to wear to a bridal shower with a bumble-bee theme (cute!) where attendees (that's me) were asked to wear yellow and/or black. Since I don't wear these colors very often, I was a woman on a mission during this anthro visit.  While yellow and black are fun colors, I did not find many items of clothing at my St. Louis Mall featuring this combo- except this dress. 
I tried on a 4 in this dress, which fit fabulously except for one major detail. . . it was much too low cut for my taste! Has anyone experienced any similar dilemmas when trying on this dress?

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Banana Republic Fitting Room Reviews: July

Dear Readers,

The other day, I realized that most (well, probably all) of my reviews are for clothing from Anthropologie.  While this is one of my favorite stores, it is not the only store where I shop.  There are other fine retailers who I frequent quite often: Banana Republic being one of those places.  Over the years I've found that their sale items are priced much lower in stores than online (as a general rule of thumb).

Earlier this month I received a few emails about a sale at Banana Republic that enticed me enough to stop by my local BR store.  Here are a few of the items I tried on.

Silk Ikat Pencil Skirt in Blue, available here
I tried this skirt on in a 6, my usual size, but I found that the skirt had an odd fit.  Upon trying on the size 8, I was relieved when I found out that it was a pencil skirt. While the skirt was silky and beautifully colored, I decided to pass on the skirt because it had no lining.  Even though the skirt was made out of silk, it was a very thin silk that (in my opinion) needed some sort of lining.

Jersey Ballerina-esque Dress in Pale Blue
This dress reminded me a lot of Degas' paintings and sculptures of ballerinas- maybe a modern interpretation? I tried this dress on in a small and found it to be an excellent fit but I decided to pass on it because I couldn't think of a place where I could wear it. It was too formal for average-every-day-wear and the jersey fabric was too casual to wear to wedding or party. Very fun. . . but a bit too whimsical for me!
Silk Floral Knotted Dress in Green Combo available here
When I first spotted this dress in an email from BR, I decided that it was something I had to try on.  Upon trying it on, I discovered that it was, indeed, a lovely dress of verdant hues but that the draping was slightly off.  From the front it was fine (as you can see in the photo) but from the side the fabric awkwardly centered in the middle of my chest.  No thanks BR!

Pink Print Silk Dress
When I looked at this dress it looked like it ran big, so I grabbed a 4 for the fitting room and found that it, in fact, did not run large.  The fabric's print was delicious and it seemed to liven up an otherwise ordinary  dress style.  I recommend this dress for those of you who want to beat the summer heat while also dressing like professionals. Good job BR!

Thanks for reading!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Fun in Thrift Stores

Hello Readers,

As many of you may already know, I have an Etsy shop.  And as some of you may have noticed, that shop is currently empty.  Well, I am trying to re-vamp my shop by adding new and improved stock.  To do this, I am in the process of sorting through various sites across the midwest (mostly estate sales and thrift stores) to create a more successful venture.  Here are a few highlights of my search:

1) Red Dress Suit- late 1980s?

I actually might go back for this dress suit.  The more I look at the pictures, the more I am impressed with this red stunner suit from the 80s.  Lace, shoulder pads, hourglass shape, pearl buttons- who could ask for anything more? The main reason I passed on the suit was because the skirt was too short for me- but not everyone is 5'10''. . . so maybe this could be a contender for my shop. What do you think?

2) Pale Periwinkle Party Dress- 1970s?

This dress was a hot polyester mess- literally! I appreciated the detailing around the waist, but the polyester (I'm guessing it was polyester) was hot and itchy and the sleeves had an odd fit. I decided to pass on this polyester disaster. My best guess is that this was a bridesmaid dress from the 1970s.  If this was the case, I wonder if the bride really didn't like her bridesmaids.

3) Pink Whisper Lace Dress- 1980s?

Even though this dress is quite awful, I think that I secretly loved it because of the lace.  You can't tell from the picture above, but the lace overlay had more than one pattern. I had to pass on this delicate beauty because sections of the zipper were rusty- which is why I am holding the dress closed with one hand instead of wearing it zipped.

4) VaVaVa-Shoulders- 1980s or early 1990s

This was a fun dress to try on, but it took a bit of effort to figure out how to wear the strap and shoulders of the dress. It has a distinct shape, but I felt like there are already a lot of dresses like this one on Etsy. My main reason for passing on this dress, however, is because this is a dress that I would never wear- even to a costume party- and I prefer to sell things that I would wear or recommend to a friend. A fun dress, but not for my shop.

Do any of you frequent thrift shops or antique stores? What do you look for? (I have a weakness for antique costume jewelry)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Key Lime Pie?

Hello Readers,

As promised in the last post, this post will feature a pair of white pants that I purchased at the Chicago Ave. Anthropologie a couple of weeks ago (for just under 20 dollars!) I wasn't familiar with the style, and had a difficult time finding them until I looked on the EU Anthropologie site where I found them.

White pants are wonderful, but frightening things. It takes a brave soul to wear white pants because (1) they are not ultra flattering and (2) they are magnets for dirt.  These were not my first pair of white pants but they are my first pair of cropped pants- which also happen to be white.  Last Sunday, and the Sunday before that, I triumphed over the trials of white pants!  I didn't take a picture of last Sunday's outfit, but here is one from the Sunday before. Wearing this outfit made me think of Key Lime pie and Florida.

The week leading up to this outfit was a stressful one that included a career-altering decision. I was, and still am, confident in this decision.  I don't regret making this decision, but making the decision was difficult nonetheless.  All of this to say that I needed to wear something that would lift me up with the optimism of a bright future! The details are still a bit blurry, but I am confident that whatever is next will be an adventure!

Bright Green Draped Blouse- Anthropologie (from the Schaumburg store's sale rack)
White Sateen Crops- Anthropologie (available here in black)
Grey Pumps with White Bows ("Situation")- Jeffrey Allen (currently in Nordstrom's sale section here)

Key Lime Pie?
My photographer for this outfit was my lovely Mom! She is a woman of impeccable style and natural beauty- so, naturally, I invited her to be my model! That day, she was wearing an outfit that I think expresses her style well- classic, timeless, and comfortable (and machine-washable!). She often wears navy blue- and I captured a lot of this in her outfit! Besides her warm smile, I think my favorite part of the outfit are her trousers- she is styling!

Navy Blue and White Striped Button-Up Shirt: Ralph Lauren (Bergner's)
Navy Blue Trousers with Gold Buttons: Ralph Lauren (Bergner's)
White Under Shirt- Macy's,
Brown and Gold Sandals- Cole Haans

Isn't she lovely?

My mom is beautiful!

Photographs of me, courtesy of my Mom. Tree courtesy of Grandview Drive.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, July 8, 2011

How Inspiring: Reese Witherspoon

Hello Readers,

It's been a while since I've written a post and even longer since I've written a How Inspiring Post- so here it is!  When I started preparing for this post, I tried to think of someone I admire who also has great style. And this person is Reese Witherspoon! Not only is she the star of some of my favorite movies (ie; Sweet Home Alabama) and a fashionable person, she also seems to have a good head on her shoulders (very down to earth).

What I think I like about her style is that she has a clear appreciation for classically beautiful styling- feminine fits, flattering fabrics, and a sensible color palette.  This narrative is continuous on the red carpet as well as in real life.  In my Google Images search I found two examples from each setting that illustrate why Reese Witherspoon is an inspiration to my wardrobe:

I love this outfit and the way she paired black with beige. And look at those shoes!

Black lace and tulip draping- great choice Reese!
Isn't this outfit adorable? I think I have a similar iteration of it in my wardrobe!

Classically chic- shades, blazer, tee, mini, tights and booties. I can't wait until I can try out this look in the fall!

Thanks for being an inspiration Reese!