Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Dots and Stripes Forever

There's a lot going on here, I know. Stripes, dots and animal print! Black and brown! I had two conflicting thoughts about this outfit: Obey Chanel's maxim to take off the last thing you put on (which would have been the belt), or challenge myself to step outside my comfort zone and just work it. I'm not totally convinced that it's not too much, but I'm proud of myself for sticking with it. I gotta say, though, I do quite like the mix of browns and blacks.

Striped top - Dorothy Perkins / Black ponte pencil skirt - Lane Bryant /
Scarf - Dorothy Perkins / Belt - Old Navy / Boots - Coconuts via DSW (gifted)

It all comes down to the fact that I really, really wanted to wear this scarf. Another Dorothy Perkins snood (just a Britishism for infinity scarf, methinks), the butterscotch brown and black dots make it somewhat hard to wear - I almost wish the dots were navy. But that's why I embraced the combination of colors in the scarf and mixed all those prints in the same color family. I like how the browns are on are the lighter side - more caramel than chocolate - which makes for a better contrast with black.

Handbag - Tano "Minilisa"

Mmm, now I want caramels...

Ring - The Limited / Earrings - LOFT

I always love how turquoise looks with brown, so it was an obvious choice for a little extra color against all these dark neutrals. Shoot, I kinda wish I had a turquoise belt now! It's always something, isn't it...

Monday, January 30, 2012

Dandy Lion

So what if I wore this same color palette nearly all last week? I guess I've been on a taupe-black-green bender. And I still might threaten to wear more leopard and teal this week, too. In fact, I think you can count on it...

Black cardigan - LOFT / Taupe pencil skirt - NY&Co. / Cami - Anthropologie /
Bag - Coach (gifted) / Heels - Nine West

Color palette aside, I'm not in love with the outfit. A bit of boredom, a bit of poor fit. Well, you can't win 'em all. I do love the scarf, though. Truth be told, the entire outfit was built around it, inspired by my last wishlist set of unexpectedly complementary taupes, greens and blacks. I have a few more ideas up my sleeve ('round my neck?), but I think this post has successfully convinced me that it's time to loose 15 pounds for a new taupe pencil skirt.

Dandelion print snood - Dorothy Perkins / Ring - Ruche / Earrings - The Limited

Friday, January 27, 2012

Into the Wild

This animal print pencil skirt is everything. Unbeknownst to me, it was my other sartorial holy grail. I continue to search for that perfect red pencil, but this amazing find from across the pond (the currently mind-blowing Dorothy Perkins) will most certainly hold me over until then.

Cardigan - LOFT / Camisole - Banana Republic / Pencil skirt - Dorothy Perkins /
Handbag - Steve Madden / Red patent pumps - Kelsi Dagger "Linzy" (eBayed)

I've really been drawn to the combination of leopard and teal lately, so I immediately knew I'd put these pieces together as soon as I had the skirt in my possession. In fact, I'm plotting to wear all possible permutations of such pieces in my closet, which should be easy since I don't have too much. Teals: this cardigan and my new Eloquii pencil skirt. Leopard print: this skirt, thrifted twist top, Banana Republic cardigan, skinny belt. Would I bore/exhaust you if I did all this, like, next week? ; )

And what goes better with teal and leopard better than fierce red patent? The same fabulous style from yesterday (I couldn't help myself and purchased them in two colors, as per usual), these platforms still don't really fly on an event night at work, though. Comfort is not really the issue, thanks to all that platform; rather, I blame the fit. Both pairs stretched out too much with my first wearing and made me walk like a little girl in her mother's shoes. What I really need is a size 10 1/2, but alas they just don't come in that size. So I'm hoping a second insert will help with that a bit. (That's right, one was not enough.) I would be devastated if I couldn't wear them very often, even if I do have to forgo them on event nights! I guess this means I'm still looking for the perfect red pump now, too...

Ring - Ruche / Necklace - Urban Outfitters / Earrings - Maurices

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Shopping Math

You know when there's one item you like at on online store but a) you're not sure of your size, b) you have to spend x dollars to get free shipping (and you refuse to pay for shipping) and c) everything is 40%? This means you have to spend y dollars before discount to get to x dollars for free shipping. And all you wanted was that one item. So you browse online for a bit and find 20 other items you kinda want (and certainly don't need), finally whittled down to a handful of items to get as close to y as possible. This includes getting two sizes of the initial item to make sure you get the size that works best, with the intention to return the sizes that don't, of course. (Bonus: you'll end up spending less than x in the end, while still getting free shipping! Woot!) Yeah, that's how this sweater happened.

Cardigan - LOFT / Tank - Anthropologie / Pencil skirt - Eloquii / Belt - LOFT /
Handbag - Furla (via Filene's Basement ) / Platform pumps - Kelsi Dagger "Linzy" (via Piperlime)

I mainly wanted this adorable printed tee from the LOFT (and this one too), but then I found this dreamy cardigan whilst browsing. I loves me some LOFT cardigans. I'm 99.2% positive that all cardigans in my closet are from the LOFT. (Er, actually a few are from Banana Republic, so nevermind.) I secretly hoped I wouldn't love it so I could return it, but it was the perfect blue polka-dotted delight with cute little bronze buttons... Oh well, my cardigans needed an update anyway.

Thus it should come as no surprise that I paired it with a pencil skirt for its first outing. And not just any pencil skirt, but my other recently acquired Eloquii pencil skirt that I now also adore. I wanted to belt it with a grey lizard skinny belt, but I couldn't find it anywhere, so regular ol' white it was. Avoiding matchy-matchiness further with shoe choice, I opted for these amazing mushroom patent platforms...even though they are completely impractical in my workplace. Birthday dinner, yes. Sitting at my desk, yes. Speed walking from one end of the lobby to the other, no. This makes me quite sad. Why can't I indulge in 5" platforms like everyone else?!?

I guess that's what this blog is for. =)

Ring - Banana Republic / Necklace - Lia Sophia (bridesmaid's gift) / Earrings - Kohl's (anniversary gift)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

New Territory

I bring you my first Eloquii purchase!

I kind of ignored their initial launch last fall. Though I loved their concept, I didn't care for anything they offered at the time, thinking it a rather boring and meager plus-sized selection of items from its older sister, The Limited. But after continued buzz over the past few months, I decided to give them another look. I was very pleased to see a much larger selection of items this time around, especially fabulous dresses and - wait for it - pencil skirts!

Cardigan - LOFT / Lace top - LOFT / Pencil skirt - Eloquii / Heels - Nine West

I am always, endlessly, often fruitlessly searching for well-made, great-fitting, just-below-knee-length pencil skirts. Basic colors are my bare minimum, but fun, bright ones - especially the perfect red - have become a personal holy grail. Now, I know Talbots technically fits that entire bill and then some, but I cannot justify shelling out $100+ per skirt, especially when I tend to buy in multiples when I find things that really work. So when I happened upon the selection of pencil skirts at Eloquii, I was thrilled! Teal! Purple! Basic browns, blacks and blues! And $60 with 40% off (at the time)!! Free shipping both ways (no risk to find the perfect fit)! YES TO ALL! Well, at least to teal and brown. For now, anyway.

Handbag - Furla Carmen Shopper Grande Handbag (via BBOS)

And it's a great skirt. The fit is generous, the length is ideal, and the color is saturated. It's lined and it even has a wide waistband that makes tucking in shirts perfection. I went with my usual size on bottom, 16, and while it fits a little bigger than a 16 at Lane Bryant or Talbots, I find that my post-holiday body prefers it that way. The only blip is a little extra room at the top hip, but it's not too noticeable and it fits well everywhere else. As you can see from the pictures, the skirt lays beautifully, and it is wonderfully comfortable.

What I'm most exited about is how this skirt has opened up all kinds of new outfit opportunities, breathing new life into one-hit-wonder tops. Ah, the combinations are endless!! I've always been a basic-colored-bottom kind of girl (if you haven't noticed), so this is really new territory for me. And I love it!

Ring, earrings and necklace - Banana Republic

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tropical Dreams

This outfit is one I've actually been plotting for a while, but other recent favorites took precedence even when I did have the opportunity to dress up a bit. Goodness, it feels so good to break out the pencil skirts, though!

Happy tropical print (my second serendipitous H&M find, incidentally) with even happier blue pinstripe pencil skirt makes for some delightfully easy pattern mixing. It turned out to be a great color palette for winter, too, while hinting at warmer days - which might be tomorrow, for all I know. Snow (finally) one day, thunderstorms the next...this "winter" is weird...

Top - H&M / Blue pinstripe pencil skirt - Simply Be / Nude pumps - Nine West / Clutch - ASOS (gifted)
Necklace - LOFT / Earrings - Ruche / Ring - Ruche

Monday, January 23, 2012

Shiny Happy

After a few weeks of (increasingly boring) casual dressing, I finally get to break out the fancy again! The regular performance season resumed last Friday and with it all the best reasons to wear pencil skirts and, that's right, sequins. Many argue about the place of sequins in the workplace, but my workplace is no office and this sequined top is no pushover.

Sequined top - Banana Republic / Pencil skirt - Simply Be / Black tights - LOFT /
Black heels - BBCG (eBayed) / Belt - Talbots

Oh, and it's yet another Banana Republic steal. I'm getting so good at this I can barely stand it! To be honest, I normally wouldn't even go for such a bedazzled top, but I loved the cut (elbow sleeves! wide scoop neck!) - not to mention the price ($30!) - so I couldn't really think of an excuse to not take it home with me. I loved it just with the jeans I tried it on with, so I knew wearing it with nearly any of my pencil skirts would be even more fabulous.

Handbag - Furla Carmen Shopper Grande Handbag (via BBOS)

I went for quiet class with a black pencil skirt, but for fear of being too fancy, I added colorful coral accessories in some hopes to bring it down just a notch. I really love the outfit, though. I just love being able to dress up, period.

Necklace - Anthropologie / Ring - Banana Republic (eBayed) / Earrings - The Limited

Friday, January 20, 2012

Furry Friend

Hello, handbag. I've been wanting to test drive this furry Furla for months now. It finally came available and I had just enough credit in my BBOS account to get to play with it for a week. So, I've been intentionally building all my outfits around the bag in order to showcase it. It's harder than I thought it would be, but so far, so good.

Neo-Refinement Pullover - Anthropologie / Denim - Lane Bryant / Boots - CL by Laundry (via Famous  Footwear) /
Handbag - Furla Carmen Shopper Grande Handbag (via BBOS)

Ironically, the top became the real showstopper, though. I always seem to get tons of compliments on this unique, structural sweater, and for good reason. It does wonders for showcasing my collarbones (a favorite feature of Bob's), is such a pretty winter color and is just all-around fabulous (even if wonky at times). I've already worn it with pants and a pencil skirt, so now that I've paired it with the ever pair-able jeans, the rotation may be complete. How should I wear it next?

Earrings - The Limited / Ring - Ruche

What do you think of the plain(ish) white background? I've started to think the bookshelf is too dark and too busy for a nighttime outfit backdrop, so I'm experimenting with the few white spaces I have in our small apartment. I'm not sure if it's quite right either, though...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Comfy Cozy

Another amazing Banana Republic sale find, this merino wool drop-shoulder cardigan cost me all of $25 - originally $120!! I can't believe it was marked down that much in store when it's still a steep $100 online... (I'm the Banana Republic sale master lately!) It's simply the most cozy, soft, comfortable sweater - the only thing for a long, gloomy, cold January day.

Drop shoulder cardigan - Banana Republic / Stripe tee - LOFT / Jeans - Lane Bryant /
Boots - Famous Footwear / Handbag - Gustto

Jeans and a tee were my immediate inclination (with colorful accessories for fun), but I'd like to see how it fares with a colorful pencil skirt, tights and boots. Hmm, the outfit in my head is coming together quite nicely...

Earrings - Lane Bryant / Ring - The Limited / Necklace - Ten Thousand Villages

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Told You So

Whoops, I kind of disappeared there for a minute! I got so much accomplished over the long weekend (new closet hangers! finally-hung-up bedroom curtains! newly-hooked-up Wii on which to stream Netflix and become addicted to Downton Abbey!) that it has - once again - been difficult to resume regular life. But alas, it resumes whether you're ready or not.

Burgundy tee - LOFT / Olive ponte pencil skirt - Lane Bryant / Boots - Coconuts via DSW (gifted) /
Handbag - Coach (gifted)

Makes for a great day to fall back on old reliable outfit formulas, no? See, I told you you'd see it sooner than later. =)

I might have cheated (and heard from lots of you who do the same) and tied a regular scarf in the back to turn it into my ever-preferred infinity scarf. It's genius, really.

Chain-print scarf - Affordable Scarves / Ring - Ruche / Earrings - Anthropologie

Friday, January 13, 2012


Between the gloomy, cloudy day and my relatively colorless top, today's outfit pictures look pretty drab. I had considered layering with a blazer of some sort (olive? navy?) and decided against it at the last minute, but I do think it needs a little something extra. Like a...

Top - Anthropologie / Tank - Anthropologie / Denim - Lane Bryant / Belt - Talbots /
Booties - Nine West (via Amazon) / Handbag - Gustto

...bright pink handbag! Since the bag pretty much just sits on my desk at work, though, it can only do so much good. Maybe bright pink belt for next time? Or maybe some sunlight. Yeah, I like the sound of that...

Necklace and earrings - Banana Republic / Ring - Ruche

What is everyone doing this weekend? Do you have Monday off? I ordered a bunch of slim flocked hangers to completely redo my closet. Hoping for more space when I'm done!

Thursday, January 12, 2012


I've stumbled onto another outfit formula. Well, it's really the same formula as this one, but the use of solid tees rather than striped ones has doubled the remix potential. And I have lots...

Blue tee - LOFT / Grey ponte skirt - Lane Bryant / Tights - Lane Bryant /
Boots - Coconuts via DSW (gifted)

It also makes me revisit my small but growing scarf collection. As you've probably noticed, I prefer infinity scarves, and I want more. And more. They're a fool-proof accessory - such a great way to get a little print or pop of color into an outfit, and you don't have to worry about how to tie the darn things.

Scarf - Affordablescarves.com  / Ring & earrings - Ruche /
Nails - Frankly I Don't Give A-dam (Sephora O.P.I.)

I'm just warning you, but you will likely see yet another variation of this outfit sooner rather than later.

Handbag - Urban Outfitters