Sunday, January 30, 2011

Back to Basics

For all the time I spent knocking my initial outfit idea in yesterday's post, it's somewhat of a wonder that I ended up wearing it today! (I did warn you, however!) I guess it was just one of those days where I had to be presentable but I didn't want to try too hard. Ever have one of those days? Methinks you can see it in my face, too. =7

Dark blue blazer - The Limited / Sequin bib top - LOFT / Beige wide-leg pants - NY & Co. /
Metallic burgundy pumps - Charles by Charles David (via Zappos)

It is what it is - a reliable ensemble of blazer + wide leg pants + embellished top. Nothing too fancy or even creative, but I do think the sequined neckline adds a nice touch. Its color palette of navy and burgundy is one I always love, too, and is what inspired the outfit idea in the first place. The only thing I'd change is the round toe shoe - I think it makes my legs look wider and stumpier than they are. But, hoping to add a little more pizazz to the ensemble, I chose them for their metallic burgundy color and left it at that.

Handbag - Tano "Homemade Cake" in Bordeaux

Really, it all just comes down to great jewelry. =) The ring is the second one I recently scored from eBay, which is actually just a replacement of one I received as a Christmas gift from my sister last year, but recently lost. I'm so very glad it popped up on eBay, because it is one of my all-time favorites!

Earrings - LOFT / Flower ring - Banana Republic (eBayed)

As I was only at work for a few hours today, I ended up swapping out the pants for some jeans and the blazer for a military green cropped jacket (which you've seen often) as soon as I got home. I didn't get any pictures, but I totally loved the casual remix, not to mention the pairings of olive and burgundy, sequins and military. I plan to wear it again for a casual work day (and subsequent blog post) soon!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Variations on a Theme

This outfit is not at all what I had first planned on wearing tonight, but I'm pretty thrilled with it!

Cardigan - LOFT / Spotted ruffle tiered shell - LOFT / Tweed pencil skirt - Lane Bryant /
Nude heels - Nine West (via

When I was picking out my work-wear for the evening, I initially wanted to keep it low-key and easy with a pants-jacket-embellished top ensemble. It was relatively boring, sure, but - thanks to cleaning all afternoon (and the effects of PMS) - I didn't have much energy or desire to put something else together. Once I had it on, though, I knew I could do better - perhaps a variation of my colorful cardigan-pencil ensem! So I thumbed through my (many) cardigans, and I pulled out this bright teal one to get me started.

I liked the idea of pairing this otherwise colorful cardi (heralding spring?) with this dark tweed skirt (last seen here) to give a more wintry, but still cheerful, feel. Where the top was concerned, I didn't want to wear just a simple camisole, so I dug around my closet for an embellished or even printed top to try a little pattern mixing again. My initial preference was stripes, but then I spied this dot-print shell, last seen here. I hesitated at first, thinking it was too much of a pattern mix considering how large the dots were. I scoured my belt collection to find one in grey or cream to help break up the two prints a bit more, but I just didn't have one that could sit at my hips. So, I convinced myself to just run with it. I mean, it's better than whatever else I was going to wear! (Which might be tomorrow's outfit, FYI...)

When Bob saw me, he ooohed a bit, commenting how "Mad-Menny" it made me look. (This is a good thing, of course.) He even approved of the pattern mixing! NOW I was sold. =)

The shoes had a moment of indecision. I went back and forth between these on-trend nude heels and a pair of grey faux-suede pumps. Bob voted for the grey pumps for obvious reasons, but I liked the look of the nude heels, pulling out the cream tones in the top, and really extending the line of my leg (as all nude heels so fabulously do). They're not great for being on my feet all night, but beauty is pain, people!

Handbag - Tano "Twiggy"

In the end, I adore the color palette, and I especially like the visual interest of the tiered ruffles. I might still try to find a belt for future (springtime?) wearings, but this particular pattern mixture is really growing on me!

Earrings - LOFT / Necklace - LOFT - Multi-colored stone ring - Banana  Republic

I leave you with this: When I arrived at work, my house managers were pretty excited that I was wearing ruffles. (My house managers are currently all fashion-conscious women.) Apparently we all were! This outfit was fated...

Beautiful Baubles

Hopefully by now you know my love of statement accessories - be it necklaces, rings, handbags, belts, name it. So I just about flipped my lid when Ariana of FATale Fashion announced her CatMooreDesign Giveaway! After four wonderful posts featuring this jewelry designer that had me drooling, I was completely shocked (and soooo excited) when she announced that she was going to give one of her pieces away! There's taking one for the team, Ariana!  (I don't think I could have had as much willpower with accessories like those...) So make sure you not only stop by Ariana's blog to enter the giveaway (and really just because she's one of my favorite bloggers), but also check out Cat Moore's amazing creations at her Esty shop!

Er, or maybe I shouldn't encourage you to enter the giveaway so I can win!!! =D

Friday, January 28, 2011

Face Time

I can't remember the last time I didn't have to work an event on Friday night. (Mind you, I'll be working both Saturday night and Sunday afternoon...) So I took advantage of a truly casual Friday, and I had a little fun with it!

Black jacket - Maurices / face graphic tee - LOFT / Leopard print ponte knit skirt - Lane Bryant /
Pink tights - Lane Bryant / Black boots  - Nine West "Onthemoon" (via

I just love a graphic tee, don't you? They can do such unique things for outfits.

I wanted to try styling up my new black boots again, and though I stayed with a mainly black color palate, I dressed it up with a printed pencil skirt (tweed and pinstriped were also early options), this cute graphic tee, and - oh yeah - bright pink tights! I've actually done a graphic tee with this pencil skirt before (another face tee, too!), but not like this! When I remembered that I had these super colorful tights that I hadn't yet worn, and that they matched the pink lips in the tee so perfectly, I knew I scored! 

I initially thought I'd rock my fuchsia Gustto with this outfit, but it was totally a pink overkill at that point. Instead, I pulled out this two-toned metallic Tano I had (and sadly rarely wear) to have at least one neutral accessory,  which even pulls out some of the grey tones in the tee. Can you believe I hesitated at first because I thought it was too small? Sure you can... =D

Handbag - Tano "Twiggy"

But I did add just one more pink accent with these pink stone earrings!

Hammered metal disc ring - The Limited / Pink stone earrings - New York & Co.

Never Fails

This post is gonna be short and sweet tonight, friends. Yet another solid equation of never-fail jeans + printed top (in this case striped) + cardigan = easy chic. I really dig the use of stripes as the bottom layer here, and I love my color palette!

Flare denim - Lane Bryant / Grey cardigan - LOFT / Striped tee - Anthropologie / Color block infinity scarf - LOFT / Purple skinny belt - The Limited / Boots - Laundry by Chinese Laundry (Famous Footwear)
Handbag - Tano "Homemade Cake" in Bordeaux
And yay for pretty new scarves!

Multi-colored stone ring - Banana Republic (eBayed) / Earrings - Lane Bryant (?)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Striking Gold

The more I look at these pictures, the more I love this outfit. There's something so happy about it!

Mustard printed cardigan - thrifted / Embellished top - Urban Outfitters / Flare leg denim - Lane Bryant /
Teal skinny belt - The Limited / Camel heels - RSVP (via Zappos)

It was another one I put together in the moment of late-night creativity. I didn't try it on last night, but I'm thrilled with how it all came together. I especially like the proportions of color, shape, detail, and pattern. And really, this equation never fails: favorite jeans + cardigan + embellished top = always easy and cute!

The sweater is one I found at a consignment shop the same time I found the mustard cardi for my "Ariana" outfit. I bought them both at the same time because I didn't know which one would work best with the intended outfit, especially since I liked the idea of the pattern on this one. And it was exactly the pattern in the sweater that inspired me to try a little pattern mixing today! I first tried it with a striped top, which could also be great, but not the particular top I had. The top I finally settled on is more embellishment than pattern, but I love the effect nevertheless. It's also sort of a remix, too, since I've never worn it with anything else but cuffed jeans in the summer. (Snoooooze.) It's a total tent of a shirt on its own, though - no shape whatsoever! But just add a colorful belt and long jewelry and it's a new outfit! I'm getting a hang of this...

I'm also wearing the new ring I mentioned yesterday! What can I say, I love a cocktail ring, and this one is no exception. The necklace was a fabulous birthday gift from a friend of mine - one who is super fashionable herself. This was actually its first wearing, and I can't think of a better debut!

Ring - Banana Republic (eBayed) / Turquoise medallion necklace - gifted

Fabulous blue nailpolish - Yoga-ta Get This Blue! (OPI)

I guess I should do my class readings now. You know, the ones that were assigned last week. I've been ABD for so long (and a working girl for so long) that I barely remember how to be a good student. Good thing I'm auditing!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Toughen Up

I think I'm channeling Erin from Work With What You Got today... =)

Black blazer - Lane Bryant / Blue snakeskin tube top - The Limited / Dark skinnies - Gap /
Black boots - Nine West "Onthemoon" (via Endless)

It's definitely an outfit that's a little outside of the box for me, but it was fun to try something different. I put it together in my head last night, knowing that I'd mostly likely be short on time this morning and I'd have to just go with it even if it didn't work out. (Work with What You Got!) Basically I just wanted to wear my new boots, though, and this is the outfit that sprung forth! The boots themselves have a much rougher edge than I'm used to wearing, too (studs, thicker heel, rounder toe), which is one of the reasons I held off incorporating them into an outfit as long as I did. In fact, they've been sitting in the shipping box for over a week, to possibly be returned... But, having worn them outside of the house, they're mine now! It'll be fun to see how else I can wear them, other than rocker-chic style.

Hmmmmm, envisioning them with a pencil skirt...

How would YOU style these bad boys? 

"Ball and chain" necklace - LOFT / Earrings - NY&Co. (?) / Big-ass black flower ring - The Limited

In other news, I had a rotten day at work. I won't laden you with details, but let's just say today was one of the few days that I did not love my job. And I seriously do love my job...just not today. The silver lining of the day was, well, not only my sweet boyfriend having dinner ready for me when I got home, but coming home to two new (big) rings that I bought on eBay! Pictures forthcoming...

Here's to tomorrow!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Let's Go Shopping!

Good morning, friends! I posted a number of new things to my store on Smashion last night, so please take a look! While none of the items are pieces I've worn since starting the blog, they are all much-loved, well-cared-for items that I'm happy to share with you. (Some are even NEVER worn!) All prices are negotiable. Please email me if you have questions about any of the items!

You can also always find a link to my shop over on my "Shop My Closet" page!

Here is just a sampling of the items for sale!

NWT Grey Drape Neck Top by Green Dragon, size L
Max Studio Red Asian Print Top, size XL
LOFT Navy Blue Peep-Toe Pumps, size 10
Anthropologie Viola Printed A-Line Skirt, size 14

Sunday, January 23, 2011


This sweater is one of the fantastic items I scored on my Anthropologie shopping spree that Bob bestowed on me for my birthday. (He's kind of awesome.) I know, I know - I never did post those spoils from that fantastic day. I did actually wear, er, all of it in those first few weeks of the year when I wasn't posting... But I don't think ya'll should worry your pretty little heads because I know I'll be wearing all of it again soon!

Piece-A-Plenty cardigan - Anthropologie / Blue scoop neck tee - LOFT / Grey wide-leg pants - New York & Co. /
Tan angle-length boots - Laundry by Chinese Laundry (via Famous Footwear)

I think I got the very last one of these online, and it's funny because even when I did receive it, I didn't know if I wanted to keep it. Bob talked me back into it, oddly enough, and I'm glad he did! It's so very versatile - it can go with denim of all sorts (skinnies, trousers, skirt) and even dressy wide-leg pants like I've done here! You could obviously wear these with brown pants, too, but I chose these grey pants - which does pick up the grey patches in the sweater - to give a little lighter touch. And you all know how I feel about browns and greys together! (Er, and if you don't, I love it...)

Bonus! I've found a picture from January 5, 2011 when I did wear the sweater with a denim skirt, tights and boots. I love the look - definitely perfect for the 17 hour day I had that day! And please forgive the strangely puffy look to my face. This picture was taken after said 17 hour day, complete with redone make-up, and it's clear that my face tells no lies... ("I need sleeeeeeeeeep!!!")

Refined denim skirt - Lane Bryant / Gold tights - Apt. 9 (Kohl's) / Boots - Ciao Bella (DSW)

The sweater itself is a wrap, but with no interior tie to keep it fully closed (my only gripe). After fussing with its placement forever (and rereading it's reviews online), I finally realized that it really is supposed to have an asymmetrical look to it, obviously first from the piecework patches only on the right side, to its diagonal placement on front (and back!), and the way the front edges are supposed to lay at an angle rather than straight across. It has a very unique, layered look to it!

Handbag - Tano Minilisa in Blue Marine
Necklace - LOFT / Ring - Banana Republic

Saturday, January 22, 2011

My Ring Collection

A recent Twitter conversation with Sara of Bombshell Beauty sparked her suggestion that I do a post of all my rings... which are many and growing... So, I shall oblige!

It goes without saying that I love a cocktail ring. They can make such a fun statement and, when needed, add a great pop of color to an outfit. I've also realized that I prefer them to bracelets, which often just look too bulky on my already thick wrists. I wear a ring with every outfit, whether or not you see them in my posts. I used to be sure to always photograph them, but I gave that up after awhile. So, now you can just reference this post if you want to figure out which one I'm wearing! Haha! 

This first set is of my largest rings. Not sure I'll ever go much larger! These are probably also my favorite, most worn rings. These sizes are large enough to be noticed immediately, but too bulky that they get in the way of things. Though, I do admit that I'll take them off when I'm typing and such.

Clockwise from far left: 1) Hammered disc ring - The Limited 2) Black enamel floral ring - The Limited 3) Turquoise and gold ring - Banana Republic 4) Pink floral ring (with stretch band) - New York & Co. 5) Cream and gold enamel ring - Banana Republic
6) Gladiator disc ring - Banana Republic 7) Sterling silver floral ring - TJ Maxx

Banana Republic and TJ Maxx are my favorite places to go for statement jewelry, period, but I especially love their rings. I rarely pass up a chance to peer through BR's glass cases of fantastic baubles! TJ Maxx actually has great larger Sterling Silver pieces, whereas BR's rings are all plated. But, I'm no ring snob - I'm just in it for the look! I've also gotten a few great pieces from The Limited too.

I don't spend too much money (never more than $50) on any one ring. I know there are fabulous ring makers out there like Alexis Bittar, Kenneth Jay Lane or Stephen Dweck that'll let you drop hundreds of dollars on, albeit stunning, costume pieces. I try not to look at them for that reason! Though, I might borrow them from time to time from Avelle... 

This next set is of my more medium sized rings - so not necessarily cocktail rings, but still indispensable accessories. I'd wear the two sterling silver pieces for more casual, everyday wear. In fact, fun sterling silver rings are my go-to for everyday wear, even if I'm just out running errands!

Clockwise from top left: 1) Sterling silver spiral ring - Kohl's (gifted) 2) Turquoise square ring - The Limited 3) Multicolored stone ring - Banana Republic 4) Sterling Silver Onyx & Mother-of-Pearl Ring - Kohl's (gifted) 5) Sterling Silver wrapped ring - Kohl's

This final set is of my smallest and perhaps dressiest rings. Truth be told, I don't wear them too often, but should I need something elegant but not, er, too gaudy, these would my options. I especially love the marcasite pieces! All of these are from Kohl's, too. As I prefer my dressier jewelry to be sterling silver at least,  I know I can always get a great deal at Kohl's, especially when they do 60% sales - which is more often than not!

Clockwise from top left: 1) Small marcasite ring - Kohl's 2) Large disc marcasite ring - Kohl's 3) Multicolored rectangle mother-of-Pearl ring - Kohl's 4) Oval mother-of-pearl ring - Kohl's 4) Embedded opal ring - Kohl's

So, that's my (current) ring collection! I probably add a new ring every few months ago. I always have my eye out for fantastic/pretty/funky pieces!

Next time on Jessica's Obsessions: Handbags!

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Copy Cat Had (Striped) Kittens

Today's outfit is brought to you by yet another favorite blogger of mine, Tania and her casually layered french-tacular ensemble. Yep, I even tried to match her funky copper necklace with my own heavy metals - though NOT self-made. And maybe her poses too...

Striped top - L.L. Bean / White button-down - The Limited / Dark skinnies - Gap / Boots - Ciao Bella (DSW) /
Necklace - The Limited / Earrings - TJ Maxx

Like everyone else and their sister, I wanted the perfect striped breton tee to round out my wardrobe staples, but I just hadn't found it yet. Lots of the bloggers I read have one, of course, but they hadn't been current styles one could buy. So when I learned that Tania's L.L. Bean tee could still be found in the store (and is in fact a standard item they sell), I decided to give it try. And the $10 coupon and free shipping offers I had (meaning I got it for under $20) helped too...!

The top itself is great. It's not too stiff (like the ones Gap had a few months ago) and is definitely roomy (might even run a tad large), but it's a high quality top that will certainly last. The boatneck is a sweet touch, too (though not always a large-chested girl's friend). The outfit, however, is not my favorite, even though Bob called it "cute" - which in his particular dialect of boy language means he really did like it. Well, okay, Bobby. =) I'm definitely glad I tried this version ala Tania, but I'm gonna keep playing with options to really make it my own. =)

And now for the real gem of this post! We had to completely redo our photo session when I realized our first session was shot with a super crappy setting. (Why we didn't figure this out when we were actually taking the pictures, I don't know.) We might have yelled at each other for a minute, but then we just decided to let it go - and then I just let myself go... =))

"I'll get you, camera!!
And this is just me being silly. (Sara, this one is for you!) Maybe I'm auditioning for American Idol? Doing an Irish jig? Who knows!!

Happy weekend, everyone!

Copy Cat

This outfit is brought to you by Ariana's sensational pairing of mustard and purple!

Mustard cardigan - LOFT (thrifted) /Lavender twist-neck shell - LOFT / Leopard-print ponte knit skirt - Lane Bryant

I would have NEVER thought to put those colors together, but I just loved everything about it in her pictures. I became obsessed with the combination, really, and I started combing my closet to find comparable pieces. Sadly, I only really had the skirt! I wasted no time clicking through a number of online stores looking for that perfect mustard cardigan. I thought of Tania's J. Crew cardi that she styles so fabulously, and since it was on super duper sale (I could get it for $60) I was thisclose to getting it. But the more I thought about it, the more I really didn't want to spend that much money on what is essentially an impulse buy. (Proud moment for me!) Cue consignment shop trip, where I found a LOFT cardigan (the best basic cardis, in my opinion) still with tags on it, forheavenssake, for a mere $11 bucks (and $9 of that was paid for the balance I had from stuff I had consigned). This was happening! The only item in the ensemble that I purchased new was this super flattering twisted neck shell, and even that I got at 40% off! (Yay justification!)

Handbag - Tano "Homemade Cake"in Bordeaux

I loved all of Ariana's studs and fabulous chunky jewelry, but the minute I eyed this necklace on my wall-of-chains, and one I hadn't even worn yet (also purchased for a steal), I knew it would be the perfect accessory to tie everything together. Length, colors, size - perfect!

Necklace - LOFT

I copied Ariana right down to the monochromatic printed skirt and patterned tights!

Grey herringbone tights - Banana Republic / Grey suede pumps - Apt. 9 (Kohl's)

So thanks, Ariana, for this stroke of genius of an outfit! I just loved putting this together, and more importantly, wearing it. =))