Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Blue Crush

You may recognize this shirt - I have it in white. You should know by now that I will buy items in multiples more often than not. It's a problem. Or it's a solution, depending on how you look at it.

Top - eloquii / Ankle pants - Lane Bryant / Sandals - Bandolino (via

It's such an easy, flattering top - a perfect piece to hide in when the body flaws are acting up. And the vibrant cobalt blue seems to stop people in their tracks and distract them from said flaws as well. Ah, the powers of redirection.

Belt - The Limited / Ring - Ruche / Necklace - Banana Republic / Earrings - Maurices

An animal print belt was the winner when I first wore the top in white, so I thought I'd follow suit and pair another animal print belt with this one. (Yep, I even have multiples of animal print belts.) This top was made to be belted, pure and simple.

Handbag - "City Girl Satchel" via Ruche

Oddly enough, I think my bag might be the real star of this post. I simply had to have it, especially since it would probably be my only mint item from the mint-obsessed trends of spring. (I'm late to that party, I know.) It was basically an accident that made me decide to wear the bag with the outfit, though - as in, running out the door and need to grab one of my zillion bags hanging off the dining chair; the newest one spoke the loudest. But the mint and cobalt play off each other in really unexpected ways - and I totally love it. So then I had to throw in a few other minty touches - ring, manicure - to seal the deal.

But I sure am loving myself in this shade of blue, I have to say...

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Summer Lull

Summer brings so much laziness I can't even tell you. It brings many more days of unwashed hair, many days of outfits repeated in entirety or really just outfits comprised of pieces I only threw on so I wouldn't go out naked. I'm not even talking about the hot topic of "blog-worthy" - it's more, I'm barely tolerating this outfit and plan to change immediately into yoga pants and a tank as soon as I get home. And then there's the sitting down to edit/choose pictures and write. Clearly, I'm uninspired... Lately I'd rather spend the evening prepping my mise en place for dinner. (A rather relaxing activity, actually.) And then eating it. And then cuddling in my favorite chair or in bed with the Kindle I got Bob for his birthday. (I may have re-appropriated it.) Yep, that's my summer modus operandi, for better or worse.

But when I do put on clothes that I love and don't mind braving the sweltering heat for a round of pictures, this is it. It's definitey on the dressier side of my summer attire, though. My preference for maxi dresses as summer casual wear has already been well-documented, and a few cute little summer dresses have also made their way into my wardrobe, but they've yet to be photographed. (Laziness.) Ironically, this outfit would be on the casual side during the regular season. Such is the way of summer in the performing arts world...

Top - Dorothy Perkins / Denim pencil skirt - Dorothy Perkins / Sandals - Bandolino

I've had the top for a while, photographed ever-so-fleetingly a la Instagram quite some time ago. (Think I wore it with skinnies at the time.) Pastel birds make for a rather tricky print to wear without being too kitchy, though. Or elderly. Thank goodness for accessories and a denim pencil skirt. And purple. Of course, I love all the colors in the top - I'm pretty sure I have a pencil skirt in every single one, but lest I look like an Easter egg, I must choose carefully. Purple and maybe coral will be my first two once the season begins...

Clutch - eloquii / Necklace - The Limited / Earrings - The Limited / Ring - Ruche / Belt - The Limited

"Once the season begins." I find myself saying that a lot with potential outfits lately. This is rather revelatory in how I view my style during the course of the year: totally dispensable in the summer; center stage (no pun intended) during fall/winter/spring. During the summer, I see no one except a few office mates, and I rarely work an evening event. The idea of going to work on a muggy 97° day in a lined pencil skirt and killer heels, laden with accessories, makes me sweat just thinking about it. (Even though a pencil skirt is clearly my strike zone when trying to dress my body well.)  But it's summer. I'm, like, off-duty. Where the blog is concerned, this means far fewer posts, even though I have much more leisure time to write them. During the season, I have far less time to post, but I have far more to show and tell.  I'm constantly "on" - always dressing to be seen by a lobby full of patrons, bosses and even the occasional artist.  Working harder to look better pays off more. And there it is.

I'm clearly self-conscious about this, though, aren't I? Maybe I should just let it be how it is. At least for as long as I have this particular job, anyway...

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Triple Threat

A week late, but still on my mind (and my photostream): Fourth of July extravaganza in Chicago. Bob and I had the crazy idea to find a deal on a hotel downtown near Navy Pier, with the intention to walk to the lakefront to enjoy the fireworks. Mostly, however, we wanted to spend the week catching up on a downtown life we wish we had, and especially to make our foodie pilgrimage to Charlie Trotter's before it closes in August. Lots of fabulous food, our favorite works at the Art Institute, incredible exhibits at the Field Museum (Bob), shopping (me), more fabulous food... Did I mention we're foodies? ...And fireworks, right from the view of our hotel room. Thank you, hotel upgrade, for sparing us from having to walk in the 100 degree heat into an overheated crowd of other fireworks-goers, especially when we were too ill (thanks to some possibly bad fish at dinner) to venture out anyway. Best.Surprise.Ever.

Our view from the InterContinental Hotel (historic side)!

And what I actually wore for the holiday really did have red, white and blue. Belts, that is. Still minimal, but pitch perfect holiday wear for the crazy hot weather, walking all over town earlier in the day, and trying to look chic (and maybe a smidge sexy) all at the same time. I felt statuesque. I was the Statue of Liberty! Or something...

Dream Chaser Maxi Dress - Ruche

The dress, from Ruche, is itself the result of a hunt for a black maxi dress. I have no idea why I needed one (apart from wanting more maxis), but I did. I even hesitated on the one-shoulder bit, but I'm glad I went for it because it's easily my favorite part about the dress. The sleeve is actually supposed to sit on top of the shoulder, like a tank, but once I figured out I could wear it off-shoulder, and that it looked a kazillion times better, I was over the moon. It comes with a wide woven stretch belt in cream and brown, which I quite like, but it was the width of it that even gave me the idea to wear multiple belts in the first place. The fact that it had the effect of corset made it even better.

Ring - Ruche / Blue belt - Kohl's / Red belt - Lane Bryant / White belt & earrings - LOFT

The trip really tested my skills at dressing for hot weather and lots of walking, though. Such a thing usually stresses me out because 1) nothing but heels seems to be in my shoe vocabulary and 2) I've always felt too uncomfortable baring so much skin, preferring to cover up/layer and, well, hide... And then feeling more uncomfortable cuz I'm sweating buckets in all those clothes and my feet are killing me. But, in part because of curvy self-love realness (thanks in no small part to the plus-sized blogosphere), a whole slew of comfy AND flattering (who knew?!?) summer dresses, and some seriously cute sandals, I'm finally getting over all those usual summertime dressing obstacles. I'd say that's a win.

Clutch - The Limited / Sandals - Nine West

This is the only outfit I documented on the trip, but I can assure you it was the no-contest winner. =)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Alternative Holiday Style

Well that was some vacation! I had off since the Thursday before the holiday and I reveled in every minute of it. (Oddly enough, going back to work yesterday wasn't even all that difficult!) I didn't mean to take off from blogging, too, but it just sorta happened. You know, the way sleeping in until 1pm just sorta happens. Same idea. We did spend most of the holiday week in Chicago, though, celebrating by eating fabulous food and trying not to melt in the heat. I'll have these Chicago adventures in my next post, but I thought I'd start of my return by sharing an example of how I do Independence Day style: minimally.

Melrose Mesh Top - c/o Kiyonna / Ankle pants - Lane Bryant / Sandals - Bandolino

I'm really not one to go all red, white and blue - even on the one day of the year it's called for. I guess it just makes me feel ridiculous - kitchy, even - like the old lady tourist in the Walgreen's on Michigan Avenue asking the clerk for hats that had a big ol' American flag on them. (Seriously, please don't let me be her when I grow up.) So what I generally do is build an outfit around blue (the color I have the most of in my closet) and subtly throw in the other two colors with accessories. Besides, this vibrant cobalt blue top (Kiyonna's Melrose Mesh Top strikes again - I told you I needed to have this color) is all I needed to make a statement of patriotic pride anyway. I must confess that I was originally wearing a pair of white pedal pushers with the top, but after realizing how unflattering they looked on me, I quickly switched them out for these when-all-else-fails black ankle pants. Pretend they're the flag pole?

Ring - The Limited / Necklace - Urban Outfitters / Nails - Cute as a Button (Essie)

When I'm feeling particularly rebellious (or just at a loss for anything red), I'll swap out the red entirely for dark pinks, as I've done here. (Besides, these were only pre-holiday festivities I was attending.) I came upon this alternative last year, deciding that it was not only a good way to hint at the patriotic without being overtly so, but also an outfit I'd conceivably wear again!

Handbag - Gustto

Or, I just have an unnatural fear of wearing the colors of our nation's flag together...