Thursday, June 30, 2011

Green Machine

Cardigan - LOFT / Green top - Maurices / Pants - NY&Co. / Belt - Limited / Shoes - Banana Republic

You've seen a variation of this outfit before. This one is perhaps more "office-appropriate" but lovingly screams (eh?) spring/summer in all its greentacular glory. (Though perhaps not as much as this outfit!) To add a bit more visual interest and subtle pattern mixing, I paired this skinny grey belt in an animal print.

I plan to remix this outfit (yet again) with grey bermuada shorts instead of the pants. It will make for a great casual work number that is still office appropriate but suitable for warmer temperatures. I'll hang on to the sweater, but only as a cold-office topper, and belt over the top itself rather than the sweater.

Earrings - Ten Thousand Villages / Ring - Kohl's (gifted)

And hey, be sure to enter my LucieLu Instant Sleeves Giveaway!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

LucieLu "Instant Sleeves" Giveaway!

I think I've made it pretty obvious that I think LucieLu's Instant Sleeves are awesome, and in fact they are quickly supplanting all other shrug-type cover-ups in my wardrobe. I've said it before and I'll say it again: They.are.genius! They offer just enough coverage of the arms and upper back without taking away the silhouette of an outfit, even allowing you to introduce another color into the outfit if you so choose. And the ruching on the sleeves not only adds a feminine and textural touch, but it adds yet another means of camouflaging those tricky upper arms by making them appear smaller! This is no ordinary shrug! Well, the wonderfully generous designer has agreed to sponsor my very first giveaway with one of these closet staples for your very own!

Here are the rules! To enter you must:
  1. Be a follower of Surely Sonsy and leave a comment indicating how you follow (GFC username/email address, Bloglovin', Google Reader,  etc.).
  2. Check out LucieLu's selection of Instant Sleeves, and tell me which color you'd get and why in your comment.
For extra entries, please leave a separate comment for each of the following:
  1. Like Surely Sonsy on Facebook and leave a comment with your FB address. (You can email it to me if you don't want to leave it here.)
  2. Follow @shessica17 on twitter and TWEET about the giveaway with the following message (or something similar): "I entered @shessica17's LucieLu Instant Sleeves giveaway, and you should too!" (Be sure to include your twitter name in your comment!)
  3. Blog about the giveaway OR post about it on Facebook with a link back to this post! (Be sure to include the link to your post in your comment!)
Four chances to win? Of course! =) This giveaway is open to US readers only (sorry, dear international readers), and will be open until 11:59pm (Central time) on Sunday, July 2nd. Good luck!

For those of you wondering about sizing/fit: they are true to size with a close fit (which is my preference - I'm wearing 14/16 in these), but if you prefer a roomier, swingier fit - similar to a bolero or regular shrug - you might size up. (So perhaps sizes 10-12 could enjoy these fabulous pieces, too!)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Laced with Love

I love the resources offered in the world of blogging. I wanted to try this Lucie Lu dress (the "Amelia" ), but afraid of how it would actually look, I started searching for blog reviews of the dress to help guide my purchase. As luck would have it, Diva in Deep Thought had just such a review! Bolstered by her styling of the dress, and inspired by her love of lace, I gave it a try. The pretty details, and especially the layer of lace, did not disappoint, and I found that - unlike other Lucie Lu dresses that I've tried - it fit decently in the bust and waist. (Usually, the fit is much too large.) It is actually still just a smidge big, but it makes for a comfortable fit perfect for a hot summer's day. And the length is simply perfect!

Dress - Lucie Lu "Amelia" / "Instant Sleeves" in Heather Grey - Lucie Lu / Purple peep-toes - Nine West

I decided to pair the dress with yet another color of the Lucie Lu Instant Sleeves that I so adore, figuring that the indoor AC would chill things down considerably and, as per usual, allow me to cover up my arms a bit (even if it did cover up the embellishment, too). But after much running around, I was glad to disrobe the sleeves and let the whole package of the dress shine through. The perfect scoopneck and wide shoulder bands do nicely offset any fear of arm flab I usually have. And I was pleasantly surprised at the overwhelming number of compliments I received as guests came through the doors!

Ring - TJ Maxx / Necklace  - LOFT / Earrings - LOFT

I must admit, I continue to wonder if I should have gotten the beige/grey combination (the Fiona) instead (I LOVE pairing those neutrals together!), thinking that it would be a more interesting color palette than white and grey. But you can't go wrong with those classic colors, and as the Diva in Deep Thought said, it makes for endless options with accessories!

And hey, if you haven't yet heard, I have a giveaway coming up featuring (hint, hint!) something worn in this post! Stay tuned!!

Monday, June 27, 2011


Draw the Line Cowlneck - Anthropologie (Tracy Reese) / Brown wide-leg pants - New York & Co.

Finds like these are why I love Anthropologie so much, and especially their sale items. This airy kimono sweater, by Tracy Reese, was one of those I eyed in one of their catalogue pics, but for $200+, it was only something I admired from afar. But then it magically appeared in a first cut (I believe?) for under $70??? This was happening.

Reversible Seamless Tank in Pearl - Anthropologie

This amazing cut-out on the back, not to mention its very wide waist band and potential for off-the shoulder styling, are just a few of the reasons why I love this sweater to so much. (And, hey look, a picture of the back of my updo!) It's a very thin weave, so I'll be able to wear it for a few seasons. Certainly, its color palate reads late summer or fall, but I think a lighter-colored bottom will definitely help change it up. But really, I rarely care about such things - I wore this in late spring!

Handbag - Tano "Minilisa" in Blue Marine / Camel peep-toes - Banana Republic
Earrings & ring - Banana Republic

Friday, June 24, 2011


It's cooled off a bit in these parts, and while I could do with more sun than we've had, I'm glad to break out my good ol' denim jacket with my summer dresses, and without fear of melting in the heat!

Maxi dress - TJ Maxx / Blue tee (under dress) - Gap / Denim jacket - Theory (eBayed) / Sandals - Payless

I've had this dress for a few years now. It always felt it was a rather loud print when I first bought it (though that obviously didn't stop me), but now that it's on-trend, I'm happy to get continued wear out of it. I feel so boho-batik-chic! It has tons of colors in the print (orange, cream, purple, and multiple shades of blue), so it's fun to play with accessories. As with most strapless dresses, too, I pair a tee of some color under the dress. Not only can it be another fun way to play with color, but it makes me a little more likely to wear strapless dresses at all! (Yep, sans denim jacket, even.)

Handbag - Tano "Boogie Bucket" in Grape

With the exception of this new necklace of mine, I must admit that this is the way I most often wear it, though...

Necklace - Urban Outfitters / Earrings - Maurices / Ring - Banana Republic (eBayed)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Just for Kicks

Yep, it's the red stripe shirt again. And the brick wall of my patio. I was feelin' kicky with my cuffed skinnies and wedges though! They make my ankles look pretty good, if you ask me... (Hmm, thoughts of participating in Academichic's Dress Your Best feature are fluttering about...)

Red striped shirt - Urban Outfitters / Dark skinnies - Gap / Wedges - LOFT

I've actually worn this outfit a few times already this summer. It's a great go-to when I feel that I need a little umph in my (often boring) summer wardrobe choices. There's something just a smidge sexy about it - the neckline, the zipper that could unzip (oh the suspense!), the shape, the close-fitting jeans - but it's also a pretty tried-and-true (read: forgiving) silhouette that seems to work for me, especially where those tricky skinnies are concerned.

Handbag - Steve Madden

For this particular wearing, we were traveling to Chicago (a 2+ hour drive), followed by a sushi dinner in Wicker Park. So, I wanted to be casual, somewhat comfortable, but still cute. I was also planning for 90 degree weather, hence the minimal layers, but wouldn't it figure that it cooled off quite a bit, so much so that I was a little chilly while we walked to dinner. Ah, the finicky temperatures of the Midwest... Whatever. I'm just thrilled that I seem to be mastering the art of a stylishly casual/comfortable outfit!

Necklace - Lane Bryant Outlet / Ring - Banana Republic

Bottom line, I think there are few more wearings of this outfit in store this summer...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Birthday Celebration

We celebrated Bob's birthday last Friday! Per his request, we went to our favorite restaurant in town (the same place we went for my birthday) and had a truly mind-blowing meal. We also had more than our share of wine (note the empty bottles and glasses in the last picture), making us grateful for a Saturday of nothing that allowed us to recuperate. (And boy, did we need it.)

Dress - Anthropologie / Shrug - LOFT / Nude patent pumps - Guess (via Piperlime) /
Purple patent clutch - MAXX New York (gifted)

For the event, I wore this Anthropologie sale score (it has pockets!!) that I had intended to wear for Valentine's Day, but since we didn't go anywhere, it continued to languish in my closet. I must admit that it doesn't fit as well as it could in my bust/back area (gimme a few more weeks on Weight Watchers, though...) but fortunately its full a-line skirt is very forgiving. (And thank goodness for shrugs and Spanx.) Besides, Bob insisted that I wear it because he simply loved me in it, so the decision was made for me. =)

Necklace - LOFT / Earrings - LOFT

The print is pretty spectacular - blue and purple and orange and lime green brush strokes - which makes accessorizing fun, and I sure took advantage of it! I even got a manicure in a bright violet shade just for the occasion.

Bob's Outfit: Faux-linen blazer - Lauren Ralph Lauren (Kohl's) / Shirt - Robert Graham / Pocket Square - Banana Republic / Jeans - Polo Ralph Lauren / Shoes - Donald Pliner 

The man of the night was looking mighty fine himself, I might add. But he always does.... =)

And the food!! The food!! Here's just a "taste" of some of the amazing dishes we enjoyed.

Fried sweetbreads with black summer truffles and garlic scapes; Copper River Sockeye Salmon with smoked fingerling potatoes, greens and a mustard sauce

Happy Birthday, my dear Bobby!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Once in a While

Like most curvy girls, I think, I have a hard time getting dressed in the summer. I rely on layers and long pants and high heels to help balance out my proportions, but in high heat and humidly, those pieces are just not realistic options. I'm definitely a girl who prefers to have her arms and thighs covered as much as possible - shoot, I'd wear a denim jacket over every summer dress I own if midwestern humidity wasn't so suffocating.... Also, it's just a basic fact that, during the summer, I have considerably fewer (if any at all) events for which I need to dress up. So, casual becomes a rule rather than exception. For a girl whose wardrobe is built around pencil skirts, cardigans, interesting layers and high heels, this just doesn't work! And this, I think, is the main reason you haven't seen a post from me in a while...

Green dress - Lane Bryant / "Instant Sleeves" in Taupe - LucieLu

But once in a while I get the urge to try a little harder and allow myself to feel a little prettier for no reason at all. (Though, isn't a desire to feel pretty reason enough?) Certainly, I have expanded my collection of flats and wedges for the summer, which don't work well with my long pants, but are perfect for skimmers and summers dresses. And these "Instant Sleeves" from LucieLu are, in my opinion, simply genius. They offer modest coverage without taking away an outfit's silhouette, and they are thin enough that you don't have to worry about fainting from heat exhaustion as you might under heavy denim. I own one in every color they offer (currently black, dove, heather grey, mocha and the taupe color I'm wearing here), and I'll keep buying any new color they introduce! On my wishlist - navy, cream and white. (Ya hear me, LucieLu??)

Handbag - Urban Outfitters / Strappy sandals - Payless

I do like this color palette, though, especially since I seem to match my scenery. =) And a flowy dress with waist-cinching details doesn't hurt either...

Ring - Banana Rebuplic (gifted) / Earrings - Banana Republic / Semi-precious charms necklace - Banana Republic

I fully admit that I had to look up the difference between "a while" and "awhile" for this post. Yikes...

Disclosure: Lucie Lu did not ask me to review their "Instant Sleeves" or in any way influence my desire to post this mini-reivew. I'm simply a HUGE fan. =)