Monday, November 22, 2010

Going Rogue

What a day. Why does traveling have to be so difficult? Between making sure everything is packed and loaded in the car to, oh, spilling a full water bottle on the kitchen floor just as I was trying to walk out the door, I somehow manage to make every trip a traumatic experience. My BF and I seem to always almost break up in the process, too. (Don't worry - after 5+ years, we've learned to work though it.) Interestingly enough, as a Sagittarius, I'm supposed to love travel; I do not. Too much stress! In an ironic twist, I do happen to like driving, some magical way, the nice long drive and a good playlist is often, and was, able to calm me down. The latte and almond croissant probably helped too...

This was, more or less, my traveling outfit. Normally, I would just wear yoga pants and a hoodie for a 5 hour drive, but I wanted to look slightly better since I was planning to hit an Anthropologie when I got into town. Well, I bypassed the Anthro trip thanks to crazy weather and impending rush hour traffic, but I do like how this casual number turned out.

Black jacket - Maurices / White scoop tissue tee - LOFT /
Flare leg jeans - Lane Bryant / Black and grey infinity scarf - eBay /
Black ankle boots - Sudini (via

I started plotting this outfit last week, wanting to do black and white layers with these (new) jeans (which I got during the $24.99 denim sale at Lane Bryant!) and accessorized with a striped scarf - a play on basics, I guess. I'm all about infinity/eternity/loop/circle scarves right now - I seem to want to buy every one I find (and they're surprisingly hard to find!). But, I didn't yet have a striped scarf in my closet, so I hunted this one down on eBay.

Blue Marine "Minilisa" - Tano
I would also like to mention that it was 70 degrees as I ran up and down the stairs with luggage and bags in layers and a scarf today. Not ideal. (Or at all normal for mid-November.) To be fair, I was dressing for WI weather, where it was 20 degrees cooler and these layers were perfectly appropriate. C'est la vie. Or really, such is weather in the Midwest...

I'll just leave you with this. On my way out of town, I stopped at our local co-op to pick up some fresh organic produce for the family Thanksgiving feast. (We're big advocates of organic and local.) One of the items on the menu was Brussels sprouts; they looked fantastic and I was in a hurry, so I quickly bagged a pound of them. Well, it seems one went rogue in the process:

I found the little guy in my scarf when I finally arrived at my mom's house, 5 hours later.....

I love God's sense of humor... =)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

New Do!

I love the smell of freshly processed hair. Is that weird? Well, I do. Heaven. My cut and highlight was needed, as was the nap I think I had in the shampoo chair. The cut is more or less my "usual" - an angled asymmetrical bob with super short layers in the back. I keep thinking I'd love to have long hair again, but as is the case with most of us who've gone short, the growing out period is much too tedious to stick with. 

My color changes with the seasons. I tend to go darker in the cooler months and lighter in the warmer months. The highlights here are wonderfully subtle; my stylist went with a few reds and darker low lights. There are even a few very dark patches underneath the top layers, which isn't immediately noticeable, but gives a nice effect when it peeks through. This color is actually pretty damn close to my natural color, too, something I've wanted for some time now. 

I've been going to my stylist, Jake, for years now. He's fantastic, so I pretty much let him do whatever he wants to my hair, and in return we talk about the wildest stuff. He also cuts my BF's hair, so we end about talking about him too. Today, we talked about my blog...cuz he reads it. I find that hilarious. And terribly flattering!

I'm continually surprised when my friends talk to me about this little side project of mine. Of course, when I'm posting links to new posts daily on Facebook, that's bound to happen! I do greatly appreciate all of you, my readers - old friends, new friends, future friends, whether you comment or not. Thanks for reading. =))

I will say just one thing about the outfit. My jeans are - dare I say it - jeggings. Yes, folks, it can be done! A curvy girl can not only rock skinny jeans, but jeggings too! I'm actually really pleased with these LB jeggings, even though the elastic waist band makes me think of my grandmother's jean collection... Aside from that minor detail, they are wonderfully flattering, without making my legs look like sausages. Thanks to the lycra, too, all the loose bits and bobbles are sucked in, and even my butt looked pretty damn amazing. The color is a nice true dark denim, and the contrast stitching makes them look just like jeans. The length is good too - I'm 5'8" (ish) and these (in average) hit me just at my ankle, so they didn't bunch up at all in my boots. In terms of sizing, I'm generally a size 14 in LB jeans, sometimes bigger depending on the style. I had no problems with that size in these, and there's still plenty of give for those icky days. Now I just need to figure out what else to wear with them...

Slanted plaid blouse - Odille (Anthropologie) - Cream cami - LOFT /  Jeggings - Lane Bryant / Boots - Ciao Bella (via DSW) / Grape "Boogie Bucket" - Tano

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Blazer of Glory

I love a good jacket. I have far too many in my closet to count. And I tend to buy multiple colors of the same style if I like it enough. (Hell, I do that with any piece of clothing.) So, yes, you've seen a similar jacket/outfit before

Corduroy blazer in "Deep Clay" - LOFT / Aubergine and cream  scoop neck tees - LOFT / Dark skinnies - Gap / Boots! - Ciao Bella (via DSW)

What I really wanted was a similarly cool scarf to fill out the neckline, but I didn't have one in the right color palette. I definitely needed additional accessories, though. I tried a few different belts, but I thought that was just too much, like I was trying too hard. So I settled on this fun multi-layered necklace in neutral colored stones. I love a statement necklace. I even wish this one was bigger. Like scarf-sized...

I do like the monochromatic effect of similarly colored layers here, offset with a few cream colors. A nice minimalistic pattern would also work well, like stripes or such. Incidentally, I did try that combination, but the top I have is a boat neck and I needed a more open neckline. So I layered two scoop neck tees instead.

Bordeaux "Homemade Cake" - Tano
Necklace - LOFT / Earrings - Maurices

I thought I'd indulge myself (and you) and include this picture - my make-up and skin is surprisingly, er, perfect! I knew there was something positive about flash photography...

Hey, guess what? Tomorrow's Friday!! On the docket:  schedule schedule schedule...a meeting...more schedule...and then freedom! Starting with getting my hair cut and highlighted... Hmm, maybe a mani/pedi is also in store...

A Happy Friday to all and to all a Happy Friday!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Do All the Work

Well, hello, Wednesday! In just two short days, I'll be on vacation! We've got an easy-going week at work, so I'm more or less on cruise control until then. The BF is going to New York for a few days to visit friends and to take his mind of the stresses of work, and I'll be traveling to WI to visit family for an extended holiday week; the BF will be joining us mid-week. I'll still have a nice long weekend to myself at home, so I fully plan to put up Christmas decorations! I hadn't decorated last year, which was the first time I hadn't decorated since I started decorating my own place. Last year was my first holiday season in this job, and I quickly realized how super busy it gets after Thanksgiving break (think 17 million performances of Nutcracker...and carol concerts...and jazz concerts...), so I hadn't ever gotten around to it. I didn't want to repeat that this year, however, so I promised myself I'd decorate at the start of the break rather than the end. Ah, the holidays....

Cardigan -Tabitha (Anthropologie) / Cami - Banana Republic / Denim pencil skirt - TJ Maxx /
Navy tights - Simply Vera (Kohl's) / Boots - Ciao Bella (via DSW) /. Orange skinny belt - The Limited

Other plans include cleaning (as always when BF is gone) - I HATE leaving our place messy when we'll be gone for a few days - and seeing Harry Potter, of course! Whoohooo! I will NOT be partaking of all the crazy when it opens, though. I'll be waiting a few days until things die down a little bit. But then again, maybe it'll take a few months for it to die down - this movie has been a LONG time coming! Another thing I'll not be partaking of is Black Friday. I love to shop, and I love a deal, but I hate crowds and lines and crazy people. Nope, Cyber Monday is the shopping day for me...!

Congo Green "Boogie Bucket" - Tano

Oh, what about the outfit? Nothing too much - wanted to be cute and put together but still casual, so I knew my boots would have to be involved. I just invested in about 10 pairs of tights, too, so I wanted to be sure to break 'em out. I only wish I could have found gold or mustard tights; that would have been fabulous with this sweater! (The Simply Vera line of tights at Kohl's is fantastic, by the way!) The sweater was another exciting Anthropologie sale find. I love a great print, especially when it also has some great embellishment! I continue to be on the hunt for a better fitting denim pencil skirt, though...

Necklace - Banana Republic / Earrings - Maurices

What are YOUR plans this holiday week/end?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Found Foliates

Sorry for my absence, everyone. I was sick yesterday so I stayed home in my usual comfies, complete with laundry and Harry Potter. No easing back into things today, however, since I was going to have a long day with events this evening. But I wanted to still look my best, even if I wasn't feeling it. Fake it 'till you make it, right?

Purple jacket - LOFT / Found Foliates Tank - Anthroplogie / Beige pencil skirt - NY&Co / Faux suede navy pumps - Payless

You've seen a few of these pieces before. The jacket was earlier paired with this orange strapless dress and the top was the finishing touch on this outfit I was building over the course a few months. I came up this particular combination when I was trying to figure out which skirt to wear with the top for that outfit, and I loved it so much that I wanted to wear it as soon as the opportunity presented itself. I love how the purple brings out the purples in the top, with the neutral light colored skirt balancing out the colors. My great pumps are a navy faux suede, which helps to pick up the blues in the top as well. A great print can take an outfit in a million different directions...

Necklace and earrings - Ten Thousand Villages
Handbag - Steve Madden (via

I wanted to be comfortable today, so I first tried pants in the same color as the skirt. I didn't like the proportions, however, so I talked myself into the skirt - Spanx and nylons and all. Comfort schmomfort.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


The last time I wore some of the pieces in this outfit, I wasn't terribly happy with the result. The idea behind it all was to pair browns and blacks together, unified by a sequin animal print tee. Among the problems with the first version was the choice of a skirt on the bottom, causing my proportions to be off, and not enough use of brown. So, as I contemplated what to wear tonight for work, I thought I'd revise the outfit and give it another try. I think I can say it was a success!

Black blazer - Lane Bryant / Animal print sequin tee - Ann Taylor / Brown wide-leg pants - NY&Co. / Black ankle boots - Sudini (via

To make the brown a more purposeful color, I swapped out the skirt for a good-fitting pair of brown pants, which also helped balance my proportions. I kept the tee untucked also for this reason, though doing so required the use of a longer jacket or sweater. For added structure, I oped for this three-quarter sleeve blazer. 

Handbag - Gustto (via BBOS)

I chose black boots instead of brown to help keep the balance of colors in check, and I added larger neutral-colored jewelry. No outfit of mine is complete with a pop of color, though, so I called upon my oversized fuchsia Gustto for the job.

Necklace - LOFT / Earrings - Maurices (?)
For a night I wasn't originally planning on working, I'm pretty pleased with how this came together! And given how crazy it was tonight, I'm just glad I decided to go into work in the first place. Now let my weekend begin!

Oh, What a Beautiful Morning...Oh, What a Beautiful Day...

I had a day today, folks. Not a bad day; just a day... So many things going on in one night that it'll make you're head spin. It made mine spin, anyway. All good things, though, all good things. Except my feet hurt. Beauty is pain, right?

So I put up my feet and flipped on the TV....wouldn't you know it, Oklahoma! is on! I get giddy and sentimental whenever this lovely old musical comes on TV. I played Laurie in high school. First starring stage role, first kiss (yep, on stage - pretty pathetic), and a lot of other good things were on their way... It was a rosy time of life, really. This movie has a wonderful way of bringing that all back. More than anything, I guess, it just really takes me back to my younger days, when the world was as big as it was small... (Isn't that what the musical is about, anyway?)

And now I'm an adult...more or less.

Blue animal print wrap dress - BCBG (via TJ Maxx) / Blue cami - LOFT / Gold embellished peep-toes - BCBG (via eBay) / Handbag  - Gustto (via BBOS)
Necklace and earrings - Banana Republic

The nostalgia is strong tonight, folks. What is it about the midnight hour that brings that out?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Don't Stop Be-leafing

I kind of blend into my surroundings today. I had to play with some post-processing just so it wouldn't look like I was wearing a pile of leaves! I probably still do...

Jacket - Dress Barn / Dress - Max Studio (thrifted) / Navy wedges - LOFT  /
Belt - Michael Kors (TJ Maxx)

That small issue aside, I love how this look came together. For some reason, however, I wasn't feeling it last night when I was picking out my outfit. Boyfriend had to talk me into it, and he was actually pretty insistent about it! Thanks, boyfriend - this one was a hit today. I felt comfortable and sassy as hell all day. =)

What I like most about the outfit is the use of this otherwise rugged jacket (last worn here), which, when belted, really helps definite my shape. Its big brass snaps, 2-way zip and stand up collar also adds ton of visual interest. Because it's a more of a cropped jacket, too (even more so after its recent wash), it doesn't destroy the line of the dress, which can often happen when wearing jackets with dresses (at least on my body).

I was originally going to wear my boots, but since it was going to be 70 degrees - again - I thought I'd take advantage of bare legs just a little while longer. Even though I'm pale. And I had to shave. I like it better this way anyway - my bare (porcelain?) legs helped break up the colors more than the boots would have. I also added this navy blue wedge, rather than the same pair in brown, to add a bit more depth of color. It also made blue a more purposeful addition when I added - and this certainly for the last time - Ms. Furla. (She really is getting packed up tonight...Farewell!)

Necklace - LOFT / Earrings - Dress Barn (?) 
I had fun with post titles today. "Leaf Me," "Leaf Me Alone," "Leaf Nothing Behind," and "Leaf No Trace" were all early possibilities. I'm so punny... (I have to give credit to one of my staff members for the one I actually used, however.) Whatever the case, I'm nothing but grateful for these sunny, warm fall days. It's a wonderful combination of the seasons...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Alternative

It's funny how different I photograph when my hair is up. My face looked puffier in my full-on smiling pictures this morning, so I tried a closed-mouth smirk today. When I make this face with my hair down, I just look mean. Strange...

Today was one of those days where I just wanted to go to work in sweats, but I opted for jeans and a cardigan instead. I think it's funny that such an outfit has become the alternative to "slumming it." But, really, that's the point!

When I think about my style, which is certainly one of the things this blog has forced me to do, I've really come to understand how I'm drawn to classic silhouettes, minimal patterns, and a simple color palette. I also rely on "special pieces" - like this embellished cardigan - that can impart the bulk of an outfit's interest. Part of that is not exactly knowing how or in which way to branch out more, but the main part is the fact that, above all, I dress for my body. I dress to emphasize the narrowest, best parts of my shape. I know that I'm not always as successful as I could be, and maybe I take fewer risks as a result, but my goal is always that hourglass. It's been a hard road to acceptance (and I haven't yet arrived), but I don't have the luxury of wearing whatever I want, as many as layers as I want, as many patterns or shapes - I just don't have the body for it. Most of the time, that sucks. I gotta be honest about that. As a girl who loves clothes and loves to wear clothes, my size 14-on-top-16-on-bottom-body, with most of my weight in my midsection, limits things. And maybe that's the sole source of all my body issues - not getting to wear what's featured in the magazines and in the stores, or in my favorite blogs... But, I still dress the body I have, and I'd like to think I've really honed that over the years, even as my body and tastes change. And even if my outfit might be considered "boring" at least I know - or at least am beginning to accept - that my curves never are...

White cardigan with grey floral applique - The Limited / Grey tank - LOFT / Flare leg jeans - Lane Bryant /
Grey faux-suede pumps - Kohl's

I have to say goodbye to my lovely Furla tomorrow, and I'm not sure if I'll be able to fit in another outfit with her before I need to send her back, so this might be it. It's been a beautiful blue-hued month with her at my side!  I just can't afford to purchase her right now, but maybe someday. Or maybe Santa will take a hint...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


A few years ago, when Banana Republic had an awesome fall line (of which I wanted everything), there was this teal scoopneck sweater dress that I lusted after. I had already spent more than I should have there that season, so I couldn't justify the additional purchase. I even found the dress later on eBay, but I still thought better of it. One of the things that struck me about this dress was the way BR styled it  - with brown accessories. Brown belt, brown boots, brown tights, etc. At the time, I thought that was crazy. Brown with teal? Warm with cool? It was just so odd to me (and my rigid sense of color pairing) that they didn't style it with back or silver. Nevertheless, this intrigued me. 

Fast forward a few years to a few weekends ago, when I found a very similar dress on sale at Ann Taylor. It was jersey, with a drape neck, but still pretty damn close. And it was on clearance, so...mine! The minute I made the purchase, you better believe I knew exactly how I was going to style it...

Teal drape neck jersey dress - Ann Taylor / Brown belt - Banana Republic  / Brown patterned tights  - Banana Republic / Brown boots - Ciao Bella (via DSW)
Needless to say, I love the pairing. I'm much more inclined in general to pair brown with a wider range of colors these days, and I certainly feel it happily warms up otherwise "cool" colors. (It's a neutral, for heaven's sake!) And besides, I got to wear my boots! I would sleep in these if I could...

I will say that I've decided I don't like drape necks on me, however. They just do something to my top half that doesn't seem to do me any favors. I think I just need more of an open neckline to minimize my large chest, or maybe a portrait collar to balance out my broad shoulders. I dunno...

Brown pleated bag - Steve Madden (via

I would also like to mention that it was 70 degrees here today. It's November. In Illinois. I'm not complaining (not like the fact that it's pitch black at 5pm, anyway), but I will say that I did forgo the tights this morning. Since I was heading back into work for an evening performance, I thought I'd put them on before I snapped my pictures (in the last few moments of light, no less). The dress is just a titch shorter than I would like, too, so I felt much more comfortable with them on anyway.

Necklace - Banana Republic (clearance, baby!) / Earrings - Maurices
I need a hair cut, folks. And a dye job. Uffda.

Friday, November 5, 2010

To a 'T'

I can't tell you how excited I am to be wearing this outfit today...

I've been building this ensemble for months, and I even created a Polyvore set to keep me inspired:

I knew how irresponsible it would be to purchase everything at once, especially at full price, so this outfit has been a work in progress. I've waited patiently for each item to go on sale, or at least until I had a decent coupon with which to purchase. The pencil skirt is, of course, a standard in my closet, so I didn't have to do much waiting there. The jewelry was purchased next, thanks to a 40% off coupon from Banana Republic. Sadly, the Anthropologie sweater was practically sold out as soon as it did go sale, but here's the thing I've learned about sale items at Anthro: once they go on sale, you can almost ALWAYS find them for a better bargain on eBay. And I did! The shoes I had purchased, but then returned - I didn't love how the t-strap looked on my wide feet. I did get them on sale, but the price didn't warrant me keeping them if I didn't totally love them - which was a shame because I thought they were smokin'. Fast forward a month, they were even more on sale, and at a price at which I could handle my insecurities about how they looked on my feet. The top was the last thing I purchased, and it is the only thing I paid full price for. I only did so because I had returned a number of other items during my last Anthropologie visit, and it was enough to make up the purchase. Hurrah!

Once I finally had all the items, I had to try them all on, of course! We all know how something we think will look good together doesn't always work. Well, the grey pencil skirt was actually too close to the grey in the top (not nearly as light as pictured), so I changed that up for a brown skirt instead. Before I received the sweater, I was rather worried that it would be too light of a yellow to work for these fall colors, but when it finally came, I was pleasantly surprised at what a perfect saffron color it was! A true all-seasons yellow. The ruffle-y top was perfect, though it is actually a bit too long, so I've folded the end under a bit - I plan to take it to tailor to have this permanently altered. The shoes were, of course, the perfect thing to highlight that glorious retro vibe, but the jewelry did not work at all. The necklace, which is really more of a choker, was just too ornate and didn't jive with the overall feel of the outfit - it's going back. The studs are a nice basic, but the only reason I thought they'd work well with the outfit was because I had such a statement necklace. Otherwise, meh. So, the jewelry got a complete overhaul...

I love everything about this ensemble. The pencil skirt, the embellished cardigan, the ruffle-y top, the fabulous color, and of course the retro vibe that does wonders for my shape. My gorgeous Furla (which sadly has to go back next week) was the perfect finishing touch as well - in addition to the phenomenal fall foliage I have just outside my apartment. True, it was 30 degrees outside and I was freezing here, but I couldn't wear a jacket and cover everything up! =)

Whirl and Wind Cardigan - Anthropologie (via eBay) / Found Foliates Tank - Anthropologie /
Brown pencil Skirt - NY&Co / Blue T-strap sandals - Nine West (via Amazon) / Necklace - LOFT /
 Earrings - LOFT / Handbag - Furla (via Avelle)

Here's to getting to wear that perfect ensemble that is so right in every way. =) Happy weekend, everyone!

Ride It Out

I love this outfit. I think it's one of my all-time favorites. I feel like I could be in a Ralph Lauren ad, preferably on a horse. Classic riding style, methinks - but, thanks to the fun printed scarf (last worn here), with a twist!

I've also gotten much better about pairing neutrals together. The shirt under the blazer is a steel grey, and as such is not something I'd normally think to wear with tans. It's taken me a long time to believe (and actually put into practice) that you really can wear any neutral together, and I love the effect. Of course, the greys in the scarf, as well as the blues, tans and reds, also help pull that all together, too.

Blazer - LOFT / Grey tee - Banana Republic / Dark skinnies - Gap / Printed loop scarf - / Boots - Ciao Bella (via DSW)

Earrings (forgive the wonkiness) - LOFT
I love fall...

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Mii Too

Oops - I've gotten behind again! I will blame the hilarious people who made me hang out with them last night. Our team had a volleyball game last night, but I couldn't play. Thankfully, there's always the aftergame party, to help drown our sorrows when we lose (which is all the time). We played Wii, too. We spent more time designing our Mii's than playing games I think... I've been dubbed the resident Mii Stylist, though, ironically, I couldn't seem to style my own virtual self very well. I'd like to think I do better in real life...?

I felt a bit overdressed since everyone was in our team tees and other comfies. But, I wasn't ready to take of my awesome boots yet! Or my $8 dress I got on clearance at Ann Taylor. It's a bright summery strapless orange dress, but just the right shade of orange to layer all sorts of fall colors with, especially this great-fitting purple jacket.

Two changes I'd make for next time: a different necklace (just too much orange-y-ness for my taste) and a different color tight. I really do need to expand my tight collection!

Purple peplum jacket - LOFT / Dress - Ann Taylor / Green belt - Banana Republic / Brown boots - Ciao Bella (via DSW) / Brown tights - LOFT

Necklace - LOFT

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Something's Gotta Give

Ever see that movie with Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson - Something's Gotta Give? Aside from it being a thoroughly enjoyable movie, I always marveled at DK's wardrobe in the flick - a warm palette of whites and creams...together. At first I thought that pairing was odd. Doesn't that wash a girl out? And where's the color? (One of the points the movie is trying to make, actually.) Somewhere in the back of my mind I always thought the white and cream clashed, too - two rights making a wrong. Well, I got over it. This cozy autumn number is inspired by Diane Keaton in the Hamptons and two rights making more right.

And the love of these totally amazing boots.

And being supremely comfortable all day.

Sweater - The Limited / Tee - LOFT / Dark skinnies - Gap / Boots - Ciao Bella (via DSW) / Bag - Furla (via Avelle - my time with her is running short) / Necklace - The Limited / Earrings - Banana Republic / Ring - Banana Republic

P.S. The "warmify" button in Picasa has become my new ally - especially when beautiful fall colors make an appearance in my backdrop.