Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Grossest Green Strikes Again!: Ann Taylor Loft

Hello Readers!

Remember that post I did about my least favorite color? Well, this morning I was accosted by this offender when I opened my email from Ann Taylor LOFT:

Ahhh!!! No! Don't add a twist of "lime"!
Run! Hide! Don't let this color infect your wardrobe! Don't let the clever blazer or cheery smile fool you! This green is gross!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

15 Simple Fashion Rules: J. Crew Looks We Love

Hey Readers!

I love rules! I love learning rules, following rules, and sometimes even making my own (reasonable) rules. I especially love rules that make sense to me. Rules coherent with the way the world is or could be. Like every other person in a crowded parking lot letting a car into the flow of traffic. Like not wearing short shorts after a certain age.

While browsing J. Crew's website this afternoon, I came across a collection of outfits called "Looks We Love" (a regular feature on the website). This particular feature included 15 inspirational rules created by the brand's "superstylist" Gayle. I don't follow all of these rules, but I'd like to try! At the very least, I'd like to keep them in mind this spring as I orchestrate outfits.

Here are the looks Gayle created. Can we upgrade her title to "super-de-duper-stylist" or maybe "superstylist extraordinaire?" My favorite rules are 4, 5, and 9 and I'd really like to try are 2, 10, 11, and 13. . .

So... which rules inspire you? Do you like fashion rules, or do you find them constraining?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Color, Texture, Pattern, Shine and LEGS!: Outfit of the Day 22/01/2012

Hey Readers,

Remember how I said that my latest adventure in exercise was already yielding results? I have a picture from Sunday with the proof- my legs! Check it out!

Ow ow!

I purchased a new pair of tights on clearance at Macy's on Saturday and, while I was enthusiastic about their texture, I was nervous about how they would look. Sometimes textured tights are not as flattering as I hope they will be. Especially sheer textured tights. 

The diagonal stripes (almost like corduroys!) worked to my advantage, especially with this outfit. They showed off the tone of my legs and added just a bit more interest to an almost monochromatic outfit narrative. Going with the theme of texture, I added another neutral color with a charcoal snakeskin print as well as a grey beaded belt.

Diagonal stripes and snakeskin print- bold neutrals!
I really like how this outfit came together, as well as the progress I am already seeing in my cardio initiatives. Healthy, stylish me- here I come!

Color, Texture, Pattern, Shine: A combo Stacy and Clinton would be proud of!
Retail Details:

Beige Embroidered Pearl-Trim Sweater- Banana Republic
Tan Lingering Rays Skirt- Anthropologie
Enchanting Eyes Beaded Belt- Anthropologie
Navy Blue Diagonal Stripe Tights- Hue (via Macy's)
Charcoal Snakeskin Print Pumps- Cole Haan (via Nordstrom Rack)

Thanks for reading!

Cords and Cardio: A Continuing Trend

Hello Readers!

I love corduroys. I enjoy the texture they add to an outfit. I appreciate how flattering a pair of corduroys can be. They are everyday but anything other than ordinary!

Last week I wore corduroys twice.... okay, okay, three times. But, I only have two photographed outfits featuring cords from last week. In the fall I wore cords on a regular basis, and this trend is back! These things are slimming AND comfortable. Expect more posts featuring cords in the future!

Another trend I am reintroducing into my life is regular exercise. I was L-A-Z-Y over Christmas break. But, as of January 8th I am back on track. Elliptical. Walking. Swimming. A bit of pilates and yoga. Even... a bit of running! It's been only 2.5 weeks and I can already see a difference in my health, as well as my figure! My arms are slimmer, my legs are more toned, and my stomach is flatter than it has been in longer than I want to admit. Yes, friends, I am back on track! Not quite where I want to be, but on my way! Who knows, maybe I'll add fitness and health stories to this blog along my journey.

But, for now, I will leave you with my two cord-o-rific outfits from last week:

On my way to the coffee shop and pool!
Retail Details:
Tan Cream Confection Jacket: Idra/Anthropologie
Charcoal Scarf: Target
Plaid Wool Tote: Abercrombie & Fitch
Green and Black Swim Suit: Speedo (runs small!)
Marine Ruffled Purse: Miss Albright/Anthropologie
Olive Corduroys: AG
Friday Night, after I survived driving home in the snow
Retail Details:
Black Cowlneck Top: Banana Republic
Black Lace-Trim Tank: American Eagle Outfitters
Dark Charcoal Cords: AG
Black Leather Boots: Anne Klein ("Aloe")

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Snow and a Snow Dog

Hello Readers,

Is it really Sunday already?

My week, while relaxing, was quite boring. It consisted of a few visits to the gym to spend time on the elliptical, the track (walking briskly), and the pool. I also spent time at thirtythirty coffee, working on syllabi, pinning things on Pinterest, and watching The Twilight Zone and Four Weddings.

Overachiever? Yes, I know... but I'm technically still on vacation and I forgot to add two ever-consuming activities: watching Sophie and searching for jobs.

While watching Sophie I captured a few shots that I'd like to share with you all. You will notice that she has snow on her nose in almost every photo. This is because she loves snow. She loves to run around in it, sit in it, and she especially loves eating it. Enjoy the photos!

Come out and play!
Snow Dog!
Sprint! Mush!

Let's go inside!
What a fun day!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Grinch: The Grossest Green

Hello Readers,

If you are familiar with this blog, you know that I tend to wear neutrals. A lot of neutrals. This doesn't mean that I don't like wearing colors... in fact, I actually love wearing colors like green, aqua, blue, pink, purple, and occasionally red. There is one color, however, that I do not enjoy. I don't like wearing it and I don't like seeing it in my favorite stores. It's a color that falls somewhere in between yellow and green. It looks good on only a handful of people.

What is this color?

dum dum dum.... GRINCH GREEN!

The lightest hues of this color family are what offend my eyes most and I was shocked to find examples from stores I frequent: Anthropologie, Banana Republic, Old Navy, and Abercrombie & Fitch. 

Here are a few offenders:

The Orchard House Cardigan

Cute design... but the color! Oh my eyes! Avert!

Twice-Topped Cardi

This color looks like it is made of Grinch hair

Borrowed Zen Blouse

Golden Grinch Gross. Like Grinch highlights

Dantela Corset Top

Oh how I wish this was a different color. 

Banana Republic:

Jewel Button Cardigan

Lightweight Ruffle-Sleeve Cardigan

Old Navy: 

Popcorn Sweater-Knit Beret

Abercrombie & Fitch:


I even found a possible misdemeanor in my own wardrobe:

In my defense, this is more of a grass-green IRL

So Readers... What do you think? Does Grinch Green offend you? Have you spotted it anywhere recently? Or, is there another color that offends you?

Thanks for reading!

Monday, January 16, 2012

A Not So Windy Day, A Train Ride, and A Museum

Hello Readers!

Yesterday my mom and I drove to Bloomington and took the Amtrack to Chicago for a fun day in the city. I've taken the Amtrack once before, to go from Penn Station in NYC to Baltimore in a blizzard, but this was my first time on the Amtrak to Chicago. On the way up I read a wonderful book by Lauren Winner, Mudhouse Sabbath. It was the perfect length for the trip, and the perfect size! It fit neatly at the bottom of my purse, making it a great book to accompany me on a journey such as this.

Mudhouse Sabbath: a fast read that I'm sure to revisit!

Our first destination in the city was lunch at the Grand Lux Cafe on Michigan Avenue- one of my favorite places to dine in the city. We were seated promptly, but our server was inattentive and rude. He never refilled our drinks (water and diet coke) but strangely offered to refill my hot chocolate, which I'm quite certain is not a free-refill beverage. He also forgot to bring out the bread until after the salad arrived, and then offered the bread as if it was a special favor, because our sandwiches were taking so long. Wrong.

The only redeeming part of lunch, aside from spending time with my mom!

Overall, lunch was barely mediocre. My hot chocolate was delicious, but my chicken salad sandwich was drowning in mayo- gross. When I chose that restaurant for lunch, I hoped for an experience as positive as my experiences with the restaurant in the past.

After lunch my mom and I returned a few things at Anthropologie and Bloomingdales on Michigan Avenue. After walking out of Bloomingdales my mom remarked that we didn't buy any clothing on our trip! What? Yes. We didn't find anything that struck our fancy. And we were fine with that. So were our wallets.
Lilac Headband: J.Crew, White Scarf: Target,  Greyish Brown Izzy Coat: Tahari,  Jeans: Martin+Osa, Boots: Anne Klein, Photo: Anthropologie Fitting Room

We caught a taxi in front of The Drake hotel, thanks to two friendly employees at the cab stand flagged down a taxi for us that took us the the Chicago History Museum to see a wonderful exhibit featuring gowns and dresses created by the late American couture designer Charles James.

I must confess I was unfamiliar with James until a few weeks ago but I am amazed by his art and fascinated by his story. He was a troubled genius who approached fashion design and construction in perplexing and original ways. Below are a few examples of his work that were featured at the museum (found via google because photos were not permitted in the exhibit):
The Clover: silk satin and silk taffeta ,c.1950
The Swan: silk chiffon, silk and nylon tulle, c. 1954
The Swan is amazing!
La Sirene: silk crepe, satin-backed lining, c. 1941
The Day Dress: another version of this dress was worn by Angelina Jolie in The Tourist: wool crepe, c. 1951
A reproduced, dissected interactive reconstruction of James' "Evening Dress." You can touch, feel, and see James' "Z-cut" draping- a technique developed by James (according to the exhibit)
The exhibit is on display until April 16th- you should go! After being wowed by Charles James' creations my mom and I walked through the museum. We learned about the Great Chicago Fire, locomotives, suffrage, civil rights, and so much more. We even learned why Chicago is called Chicago (*hint* it has something to do with wild leeks).

Hanging out with the suffragettes
You know, just paddleboating in Lincoln Park...
Swan Love!
Let's go to the beach! 
Creative Ironwork
School & Society by John Dewey!
John Dewey. Chicago School. Cool stuff- look it up!

After finishing our visit to the museum, my mom and I walked around a bit in search of a Diet Coke, hailed a cab, and went back to Union Station to wait for our train. The ride back was fun. My mom and I visited the train's cafe, chatted, and went back to our seats where we chatted and mostly relaxed except for the few minutes that a fellow passenger blasted their mp3 player for all to hear. Two and a half hours after our departure we arrived safely back in Bloomington and an hour later we arrived safely in our driveway.

What a fun day!