Friday, November 29, 2013

Red Friday

Happy Thanksgiving AND Happy Hanukkah, everyone! I hope you all are happily recovering from your feasts and/or getting the deals of your lives out in the mad Black Friday world! We're actually celebrating our family thanksgiving this weekend, and I'm ever-so-looking-forward to all the (real) cranberry sauce I can eat.

Prep will begin a little later this evening, but I've just returned from braving some Black Friday craziness myself. (And by "braving" I mean one store and by "craziness" I mean TJ Maxx. Black Friday's not really my thing, folks.) What does one wear to navigate the, er, masses? Flat boots, of course, and a little frenchie Breton stripes with a perfect red pencil. And a warm, warm scarf. Cuz it's cold out there, my friends.

Striped top - Banana Republic / Curvy Pencil Skirt in Romancing Red - c/o Kiyonna /
Handbag - Steve Madden via TJ Maxx / Boots - Ciao Bella via DSW

It occurred to me recently that I still, after all these years, did not have my perfect red pencil skirt, yet. I have one in nearly every other color, but not red. What was the world coming to?? My love of Kiyonna's perfect pink pencil (the Curvy Pencil Skirt) that I received a few months ago made me realize that their red version just may finally fulfill my every red pencil skirt desire. And it does, my friends. It does.

At the risk of being repetitive, I'll once again hail its length, stretch, and shape. A pencil skirt trifecta! Most importantly, its hue is the perfect shade of cherry red, and there isn't a better complement to navy stripes and tall boots. C'est magnifique!

Scarf - Gap / Ring - Ruche / Earrings - The Limited /
Nails - Essie "Midnight Cami" (via Ulta) with Essie "Matte About You" Top Coat

But let us not forget the scarf, my friends. A scarf that, without it, I sure as hell would not have braved the temperatures for outdoor pictures.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Give Pants a Chance

If you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you'll know that I rarely wear dress pants. The fact of the matter is, they I hate me and I hate them. Try as I might to find a suitable pair that fits and flatters, I always come out worse for wear in the experience and predictably empty-handed. But a basic dress pant is a wardrobe staple, right? I mean, as much as I love the skirt thing, sometimes you just want to put on some damn pants and call it a day, amirite? Happily, though somewhat frustratingly, I was able to find a basic black trouser that fit all my pant requirements: no muffin top (a somewhat higher rise is therefore my preference), no camel toe (DUH), longer length for heels (I'll never wear them with flats), and a leg opening on the wider end of things. Thank you, Lane Bryant, for having this pair not only in my size but also length in store so I could spend about an hour trying to figure out if they were worth it or not try and actually buy (with a coupon, of course.) But seriously, as basic black trousers go, these fit the bill nicely. So much so that I was finally, really, actually, able to give pants a chance...

Bolstered by this success, I decided to try Gap's Perfect Trousers a few weeks ago. They truly might have been "perfect" if not for my current size/weight/shape. Great colors/textures, ideal length, slimmer through the thigh, wide-but-not-excessively-so leg opening. YES! But, no. I couldn't keep the camel toe away long enough to convince me they were a good idea. I even went up a size, but then everything else I loved about the fit went away. And I just don't have the patience for a tailor. I may return to them when I shed a few pounds, but until then, black pants is alls I got. And if I'm being honest, maybe alls I need.

Smocked Waist Blouse In Chevron - TBags Los Angeles (via Gwynnie Bee) /
T3 Classic Trousers - Lane Bryant / Half-cami - Coobie (via

But the real victory of this outfit, and probably therefore of the pants, is the top. It just might be the nicest, comfiest, flatteringiest thing in my closet, and I don't even own it. That's right, Gwynnie Bee to the rescue once again for nice things that I could never own even if I wanted to. (Have you tried Gwynnie Bee yet???) I would LOVE to purchase this top - every time I peruse these pictures I sigh happily - but it's well over $100 even discounted though GB, and if I'm being honest with myself, I can only see myself wearing it like this or with my favorite jeans (which I've done a few times now as a great date-night get up - take away the cami and HELLO LOVELY CLEAVAGE!) No, I think I'll just continue to hoard this one a little while longer...

Ah, but the chevrons. And cobalt blue. And silky smooth fabric. And belly coverage. And cleavage (when appropriate)...

Handbag - Furla / Sandals - Nine West / Ring - H&M / Earrings - Lane Bryant (?) / 

And, oh yeah, pants.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

A Floral Affair

The cleaning out of unblogged outfits continues! I wore this outfit numerous times in the waning summer days. It became the perfect go-to outfit for all those body-conscious days and then some - it was concealing, to be sure, but it was also feminine, flattering, and on-trend. It began an obsession for all things floral, in fact.

Ring - Pim + Larkin (via Piperlime) / Earrings - Ruche / Nails - Stylenomics by Essie (via Ulta)

This Kiyonna top, and I realize I'm sounding like a broken record here, is yet another Gwynnie Bee rental. (However, after wearing it so many times, I found I couldn't part with it and finally just bought it!) When I first received it, I was a bit concerned it skewed too matronly, but pairing it with skinny jeans was really the best way to offset that concern. I think you could wear it with trousers or a skirt and accessorize accordingly, but I loved how fresh skinnies made the print look. (For what it's worth, I also tried the emerald version, but I didn't like it nearly as much. The print really is part of its charm!) Plus, its billowy sleeves and longer length were, as I always say, the perfect complement for close-fitting bottoms.

Chantal Chiffon Blouse In Black Floral - Kiyonna (via Gwynnie Bee) /
Skinnies - Lane Bryant (old) / Sandals - Nine West

The great thing about the print is its numerous colors, too. I like the black background as a "winter" floral option, but you can really pull out any color you want to make it seasonally appropriate. Fuschia and kelly green were my pop-of-color du jour for warmer days, but I can absolutely see mustard yellow and darker green options to come.

Handbag - Gustto "Pavia"

You know, I've been in the market for new skinnies, but I can't get over how good this older LB pair still looks on me. When I first started wearing skinnies, I swore by Gap's Always Skinny Jean, but no matter how many times I give them a try these days, they don't seem to work as well on me. I blame their uncomfortably low rise (and the ensuing muffin top), so I've just decided to stick to these trusty LB skinnies until I absolutely wear them into the ground (and possibly even shed some weight). Do you guys have any favorite brands for skinnies to recommend?

Monday, November 4, 2013

Galaxies Away

So in efforts to clean out my picture albums and to get on a more regular blogging schedule, I'm pulling out a few unblogged outfits from the summer that I simply have to post. It's so odd to see the freshly clipped bright green grass rather than the piles of golden leaves everywhere, but it's actually a nice reminder of the joys of changing seasons!

This outfit was fondly worn for a weekend outing to our favorite downtown bars during a wonderful summer visit with my sister and brother-in-law. I love when they come to visit - I wish they did more often! - but it's a great way to rejuvenate our love for our town by experiencing their own enjoyment of it!

Wrap Top in Galaxy Print - ASOS (via Gwynnie Bee) / Ankle pants - Lane Bryant /
Instant Sleeves in Black - LucieLu / Sandals - Nine West

The top is, you guessed it, another rental from Gwynnie Bee. Yet again, it's definitely a top that I would never have purchased for myself, especially considering its potential cray-cray involving an exaggerated shape at the hip. But it is exactly its silhouette that makes it so unique and worth trying, and it just so happens that the same hip exaggeration makes a perfect balance for skinny ankle pants and killer heels. The print itself is fabulous too, and it was lots of fun pulling out various colors from it - coral, cornflower blue, purple - some of my favorite hues, to be sure.

Ring - The Limited (old) / Necklace - Banana Republic (old) / Earrings - Lane Bryant (old) /
Clutch - Lane Bryant (old) / Nails - Suzi Says Feng Shui by OPI (via Ulta)

Bottom line, it was kind of perfect night-out ensemble - attention-getting, comfortable, and just plain fun. Much like the margaritas and fabulous company. =)