Monday, March 26, 2012

Backtrack: Fitz's with Friends

Hello Readers,

Happy Monday! Let's backtrack again. . .

A few weeks ago I was blessed with the opportunity to spend time with the couple at an engagement-almost-wedding party in St. Louis. I was able to catch up with a few friends from SLU (Bethany, Jenn, David, and Dave), friends from The Gathering (Jenny and Matt), and I was able to meet a few new people too! We had a blast! During the party I drank 2 Fitz's cream sodas. I'm not sure if those sodas contain caffeine- but I am quite certain that they contain sugar. A lot of sugar. Enough sugar for an energetic late night drive from St. Louis all the way to my home in rural Illinois. Yee hah!

Dressing Room picture! This is what I wore to the celebration!
I wasn't sure what to wear to this party. What does one wear to an engagement party? This was the first I ever attended, so I had no frame of reference to rely upon for this outfit. So, I made my own frame of reference. While crafting my outfit I tried to pick pieces that reflected the occasion. A ruffly top with sparkly belt and a sparkly headband to reflect the joy and happiness associated with engagements and metallic silver flats to reflect the brilliance of the couple (David and Bethany are both super-intelligent! Brilliant!). I chose the skinny jeans and cardigan for comfort. I am almost always cold everywhere I go, so it was important to remember to wear a cardigan! I also wasn't sure if we would play any games (I've heard those sometimes take place at occasions such as this), so jeans seemed like a practical option.

Here are a few pictures from Bethany and David's St. Louis engagement party-schindig:

Billiken Buddies- me, Bethany, and Jenn (with a flash)

no flash

Here they are- the bride-to-be and groom-to-be!- Bethany and David.
(PS- I didn't crop your socks because I thought they looked cute!)
Aren't they adorable? I think so!

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Wiggle Wiggle Wiggle Yeah!: Backtrack

Hello Readers,

Earlier this year I posted about my fitness aspirations for 2012. I am happy to announce that today I wiggled into a sheath dress that fit me before the second semester of graduate school (I still wore it a few times during second semester, but it was a bit snug).

After a January and a February of being more aware of the food I was feeding my body, swimming, and walking/ellipticalling I know that the me today (or at least when these photos were taken on February 22, 2011) is healthier than the me on December 31st, 2012. And my size 4 sheath dress is the proof.

Wiggle Wiggle Wiggle

Wiggle Wiggle

 Retail Detail:

Grey Cardigan: Banana Republic
Black Leather Belt: Banana Republic
White, Purple, and Lilac Sheath Dress: Ann Taylor
Dark Purple Cabled Tights: Anthropologie
Charcoal Leather Kitten Heels: Cole Haan
White Headband: J. Crew

Backtrack: Sentimentality

Hello Readers!

This week is my Spring Break! So far, it has been the epitome of relaxation. Going to my home church and then meeting with family on Sunday, meeting with my cousin (and friend!) Katie at my favorite coffee shop, and then catching up with a friend over dinner at delightful cafe. And today, sleeping in, writing a blog post- and then who knows! The world is my oyster.

This break is the perfect time for me to catch up with you all on this blog. I can't remember when the outfit from this particular post was taken, but I enjoyed the outfit so much that I wanted to make sure that it made its way onto this blog. Nothing spectacular, but very everyday and very comfortable. These pieces also hold sentimental value.

I look like sort of like a former A&F employee with those colors... oh wait, I am.
 The cardigan, with the ruffled detail, is a piece I purchased in the summer of 2009. I'm pretty sure I bought it at the St. Louis Galleria's J. Crew store the night before my first day of grad school orientation. And, in the 80+ degree weather, I wore this cardigan. This time, the weather was more appropriate.

I am thinking about across the forehead bangs. This was an exaggerated attempt with overgrown swoop bangs. 
The abstract grey and white patterned v-neck top is from an Ann Taylor Outlet store. I purchased it last spring while driving back to St. Louis from a conference in Milwaukee with my friend and fellow grad student Deanne. It was a piece I fell in love with instantly, and I was delighted to find it in a size that fit and flattered. 

I really like how the textures and colors of this outfit came together. The print of my blouse makes these neutrals a bit more interesting
Do you see that dainty gold and pearl necklace? This was a gift from parents to my late grandmother (my Dad's mom) and I inherited it while I was a student at the college where I currently teach. Of all the pieces of this outfit, this is one dearest to my heart. Every time I wear it I think about my memories of her and the lessons I learned from her life. She was an amazing woman!

Sentimentality and outfits seem to go hand in hand... for better or worse! I think I'll count this outfit as a "better" occasion. What do you think?

Retail Details:
Navy Cardigan with Ruffles: J. Crew
Abstract White and Grey Top: Ann Taylor Outlet
Grey Lace-Trim Tank: American Eagle Outfitters
Light Grey Chinos: Abercrombie and Fitch
Necklace: Gift
Light Brown Boots (not pictured): Ann Klein

Sunday, March 11, 2012

March Fitting Room Reviews: Anthropologie

Hello Readers!

I'm back! I had a bit of a hiatus, but I am back on track. It was one of those my-life-is-really-hectic-right- now breaks where this blog fell to the wayside. There were days when I had to choose between working out and blogging- and each time working out won over blogging (and yes, a few times naps won too!).

Since it's been a while, I thought a fitting room review might be just what I need to get back into a productive writing "groove." This particular review comes from one of my favorite stores, Anthropologie. When I lived in St. Louis, I used to go into this store almost every Tuesday but ever since I moved to a quaint-but-far-away town my visits to this store have been less frequent. That being said, I was super-stoked to spend time in the store during a weekend trip to St. Louis last weekend.

Here is what I tried on: a lovely long-sleeve lace shirt, three short-sleeve shirts with intriguing details, and two dresses with delightful textures.

??? size small Lace Long-Sleeve Tee in Lavender and Light Blush
When I found this lacy long-sleeve, nestled between two sweaters in the sale room, I was surprised to find that it was a shirt that I never noticed before online or in the store. Where did this shirt come from? I tried on the only size available, a small, and was delighted to find that the sleeves and torso were long enough for my frame! The shirt was a little bit itchy, but otherwise delightful. I passed on the shirt, however, because I was afraid that I would look naked from a distance since the main color was so close to my skin color.

Tartlet Burst Top by Deletta, size Small. Too tight for me!
Deletta is an Anthro brand who authors so many tees, tops, and dresses that I love to love. The Tartlet Burst top was I top I would love to love- but it didn't quite match my style. But, I could see how a lot of people would love it! The top ran a bit small (if I were to purchase it, I would need a Medium), but the twist detail at the bust was flattering and the asymmetrical strip of fabric on the shoulder created a point of interesting movement.

Oriel Tee by Deletta, size M (small not available)
I love this top! Good job Deletta! It reminds me a lot of shirts I saw (and loved!) in stores like a|wear and Vero Moda when I was in Ireland in 2008. It seemed that the shirt was meant to be loose, so I was a bit confused by how short it was, even in a Medium. I could see how this shirt would be perfect for wearing tucked into skirts or high-waisted pants/shorts. The other day I saw a woman wearing this skirt over a long-sleeved crew neck and looked so cute! I liked this shirt, but it was only offered in navy and gross-green. So, I will wait hopefully for more colors in the future!

Look at that lace! Super cute, but you need to get the right size so you don't expose more skin than you want to/should expose!
Drape and Scallop Top by Weston Wear, Size Small
Side Shot! Oh-so-slimming!
Oh how I love the Drape and Scallop Top- bravo Weston Wear! Initially this shirt didn't even catch my eye when I saw it online because it looked like a greyish blob but. . . it's so much more! There is a sweet teal print that, combined with the ruching, creates an oh-so-slimming effect. I bought this shirt in a Medium for length, but when I brought it home and tried it on again (and looked at the pictures of the Medium and the Small) I realized that the small was actually a better fit. The pictures above are of the shirt in Small and the picture below is the Medium. Not a big difference, but the V of the neck wasn't as low in the Small as it was in the Medium. So, I exchanged it and I am much happier with the Small (the arms also fit better in the S!)

Size Medium

5. Get ready for an extra-strength dose of lovely!
Torchon Embossed Ponte Dress in Cream, Size S
Those of you who read my blog know how much I love my Swirling Lace dress by Tracy Reese. It is one of my favorite things to wear but... it is something I can only wear when the weather is cold or cool. The Torchon Embossed Ponte Dress, from Deletta, is a strong contender for a warm weather alternate to my beloved Swirling Lace Dress. (I'm hoping for a sale to hit soon. . . ).

I grabbed a Small in this dress and it was a perfect fit, but a little bit shorter than I thought it would be. The waist sat at my natural waist, which is a marvelous feat for my height! The dress has a subtle but lovely texture to it and an even lovelier cream color. Lovely, lovely, lovely!

I love this!
Look at that lovely pattern!
Embossed Basket Dress by Ganni, in Blue, size S
The Embossed Basket Dress was one that I spotted online when searching for Zooey Deschanel/Jess Day style dresses for a potential blog post. The color is so bold, and the basket-like texture lends a standout detail that sets this dress apart from all of the bold vintage-inspired dresses currently on the market. I had great hopes for this dress- but I was disappointed with how it looked on me. This is a dress for a shorter frame than my own. You can't tell from the photos, but this dress was short! And even in the Small size, the waist was too big while the shoulders were snug. Strange, right? Those fit issues made me wonder if maybe something was wrong with the particular dress I tried on. With the strange waist- this dress was less than flattering! From the side.. well from the side I looked horrible! My curves were lost and distorted by the strange folds and gaps that extended from the odd waist. This dress is so cute as a concept, but in my opinion it was poorly executed.

Not flattering at all!
Thanks for reading!