Thursday, September 30, 2010

Twice as Nice (Side-by-Side Fitting Room Reviews)

It's been a long time since Kathryn and I were able to get together to do some side-by-side fitting room reviews for everyone, so last weekend, we went to check out some of the in-store fall offerings! Please forgive that dratted dust speck that's blurring the photos - sometimes it shows up (like in this batch) and sometimes it doesn't. I have no idea why it does sometimes and not others. Sigh. Grumble...grumble...

This is Anna Sui's Roaring Olive Dress ($298), which I'm wearing in a size 2 and Kathryn is wearing in a size 4. It has a very "roaring 20's" silhouette (hence the name), and is evocative of days long past with its undefined waist, rich velvet, and ladylike embroidery. I thought the dress was darling, and would look amazing with tights, high heeled oxfords, and a cloche hat - hey, if you're going to do it, why not go all out? ^_^ For an Anna Sui dress, it's got a downright reasonable price, and is well made with lovely details. It'll be a pass for me, simply because it's not the sort of look I gravitate to, but if this is tickling your fancy, I give my wholehearted endorsement - really pretty. This dress has a back zipper, no pockets, and is dry-clean only.

Kathryn: To be honest, this dress gives off an “upholstery-like” vibe to me. Like I felt a little like I was wearing my grandmother’s curtains when I had it on…except my grandmother lived in the Philippines, and I’m pretty sure she didn’t have velvet curtains where the temperatures hover around 90 degrees year-round. I’m with Carol – this dress is totally not my thing at all, though I will say that there are some pretty details and it feels very well-made.

Close-up shots of the embroidery and the zig-zag seaming (there's probably a technical term for these...don't know what. Kristina, do you know?)

This is the Puckered Plaid Trench ($188), which I'm wearing in a size 2. Truth be told, I was totally going to pass on this jacket, because I had a feeling that the voluminous collar and skirt would overwhelm my small frame. But after getting a picture mail from Kathryn, wearing this jacket in the Fashion Island Newport Beach store, I had to try it. I think it isn't half bad! The saving grace to this jacket is that its bodice, when buttoned, is beautifully fitted, creating a nice contrast to the fuller bottom half and the huge, "puckered" collar. I really enjoyed the dress-like silhouette of the jacket too. It's made of a heavy cotton twill, so don't look to it to keep you warm in a snowstorm, but it'll probably be fine for most San Diego winter evenings. This jacket has pockets, is handwashable, comes in petite sizes, and fits true to size. I kinda loved it! I don't feel like I can justify buying this, since I have another lighter-weight jacket already (the Frill Force Jacket), but who knows? Maybe by the time this hits sale, I'll be able to afford it? We shall see...

Kathryn: The first time I encountered this trench was while I was with my good friend Debbie of Possess and Obsess during Fashion’s Night Out a few weeks back. Debbie was gracious enough to snap a camera phone pic for me so that I could send it to Carol with a message that said, “LOOK AT THIS!” I never did get around to posting a review of it, so it’s great to finally get to post a side-by-side review now!

I'm wearing a 4 in these photos, and I just love this coat. I might’ve actually cursed a little when I put it on, because I know there was no way I could take it home with me. I just adore how the bottom of it has a full skirt effect! And the collar is just darling! I love how you can kind of lay the collar flat (like in the product shot online) or “stand it up” a little for an almost turtleneck-like effect. A coat like this would be so much fun to have, but I must really watch the budget these days. Plus, if this coat and the Pattern Maker’s Coat both happened to go on sale and went head-to-head in a fight, I’m not sure which one would win. For now though, this one is totally wishlisted!

We love it! It makes us feel so pretty!

Here are the Easy Keeper Skirt ($138) and Trickle Down Top ($68). I'm wearing a size 2 in the skirt and an XS in the top. Both fit pretty true to size for me. The trickle down top was pretty, but again, sheer (hmmm, let me see...a top for the fall...not the summer...and um, making it a sheer is a good idea because...? Yeah, I couldn't figure it out either). Even were it opaque, I don't know that I'd spend $68 for it. I will say the origami-fold neckline is lovely and it's got interesting flutter-sleeves, but it'll be a pass for me. The skirt is a fun plaid, but I found that this is not the best cut for me. The high waist of this skirt shortens my already short waist, and the straight-down shape of the skirt creates a sort of boxy shape around my thighs which made me feel thick, even if I'm not actually. This is another pass for me.

Kathryn: While I generally tend to like higher-waisted skirts because of my longer torso, I’m with Carol in saying that the cut of this particular skirt wasn’t ideal for my body type. I think I’m a little too pear-shaped to really pull it off. I did like it, I just didn’t love it. Plus, I already have an orange plaid skirt from Anthro from yeeeeears ago, so I think I’m good on the orange-plaid-skirt front.

As for the top…er…what can I say about a $68 sheer top that hasn’t already been said..? Ugh. What the heck IS it with these sheer tops? I swear, this will not stand. I am thiiiiiiiis close to marching straight into Anthro headquarters and confronting the oldest, frailest-looking employee I can find and giving them a piece of my mind. They’ve messed with the wrong person. I’m the type of girl who has been known to machine wash items that are listed as “dry clean only,” so you know I’m serious. Mmmmmmhm. So I swear to you, this whole sheer top thing will. Not. Stand!

(So uh, that’s a “pass” on the top, if you couldn’t tell.)

Close-up on the collar detail for the Trickle Down Top.
(Kathryn: or, as I like to call it, the "bewb shot")

Here we tried the Tria Sweater Skirt ($128). I'm wearing an XS, and it fit fairly true to size. This boiled wool skirt has three absolutely darling rows of ruffles trimming its bottom hem. However, I had a similar problem with this skirt that I had with the Dried Leaves Dress - it's so unforgiving. I'm generally small and fairly slim, but I have given birth to two children, and I'm not Heidi Klum. Therefore, I do have figure flaws. This skirt does nothing at all to help me hide them. It was so cute on Kim (who recommends that you try sizing up on it), but it'll be a pass, pass, pass for me.

Kathryn: I think I was wearing a Small in this, and it felt a little too snug for my comfort. If I were to get this, I’d want to try on the Medium for comparison. From the online reviews, the sizing for this skirt runs all over the place. Well, if I ever wanted an article of clothing to make me feel fat, I think this is the one! While the ruffle trim melt my heart, I just can’t get over a boiled wool skirt being $128. So for the sake of my pocketbook (and my self-esteem), this skirt’s a total pass.

This is the Haute Skirt ($118) by Girls From Savoy. When I pulled this on, I was totally reminded of that denim-ish skirt from Tiny that was out last winter - you know, the one with the navy blue gingham tie-belt? (Someone help me here on the name of that one...). Anyway, I own it (the older skirt), and this skirt has a very similar cut and fit. I'm wearing a size 2 in this photo, and I found it to be true to size. There are side pockets, a back zipper, and it's dry clean only (boo!). Oh, and uh, the pleats in the back of the skirt? Well, they do add some volume in that area (which, I'd like to note, the Tiny skirt doesn't do, as it doesn't have pleats in the back), so if you're looking to increase the junk in your trunk, then here you go. If not, you might want to steer clear.

Kathryn: One word: gross. Sorry, just being honest. I just can’t stand the way this thing fit me. Not flattering on me at all.

Illustrating its rear-end enhancing effects...

We're wearing the Bianka Blouse ($68) and Steamer Trunk Skirt ($98) in these photos. We know we're late to finally reviewing the Bianka, but Kathryn was looking for it, and while we located the purple and the "blue" motifs on the floor, we couldn't find the "black" one that we'd been pining after - at least, until we asked Heather for it. Turns out, there were so few sizes left, they'd been moved to the back room - where she was able to find a size 6 for Kathryn and a 0 for me. I'm wearing the 0 in these photos, and I felt like it was just a little too small. I didn't really love the way the neck was pulling open and when I tried to tie it closed, the shoulders pulled too narrow. Maybe if I found a 2, it would have worked better. I'll probably never know, as it seems these are pretty well picked through, size-wise, in most stores. Very pretty, but a pass for me. I'm wearing the 2 in the Steamer Trunk Skirt - overall, I thought the skirt was very nice, and had a nice shape, but it's that boiled wool again, and it's just not helping out with diminishing or disguising my lumps and bumps. Albeit, it's not as clingy as the Tria Sweater Skirt, so it is more wearable for me in that regard, but it didn't inspire any gasps or quickening pulses, so I'll be passing on this one too. If you're looking for a fun, winter alternative to the plain black pencil skirt, you might want to try this one out.

Kathryn: Oh, my heart. Bianka lives! I was devastated when I saw that the Black Motif was sold out online, so imagine my glee (lower-case “g” – I didn’t break out in song, in case you were wondering) when Heather at Fashion Valley dug this out from the back room!

I just adore the colors and the ruffles on this blouse. Fashion Valley was completely sold out of the size 4, so I had to settle for the size 6. While I would’ve preferred the 4, I don’t think the 6 looks that bad. It still tucks into skirts beautifully, and the extra room makes it a little more tunic-y, to wear with jeans and boots. This little baby is quite possibly my favorite blouse ever. To quote the seagulls in “Finding Nemo”….”Mine! Mine! Mine, mine, mine!”

(A side note - thanks so much to all of you who chimed in a couple weeks ago to let me know that I could find the Bianka in other stores throughout the country. You guys rule!)

As for the Steamer Trunk Skirt, it was another case of trying on a 4 and needing a 6. Even then, I just wasn’t enamored enough of this skirt to even make the effort. I kind of feel like the material is the type to pill after wear. Huge pile of “blech,” for me.

Kathryn looking lovely in the Bianka!

Oooh, this is the Best of the Bunch Cardi ($228) - and ooooh, it really is! I love this sweater! It's such a fun piece! I think I'm wearing a small in this, and as you can see, the sleeves are a touch long on me, but I'd say the rest of the sweater fit okay, overall. If you're not patient with buttons, then this cardigan is not for you, but if you're willing to put in the time to play around with them, definitely try it on. It's fantastic! The placket with the buttonholes is cut much longer than the side with the buttons, so there's excess fabric that bunches, to artistic effect, between the buttons. And the way the collar can fold and lay differently, depending on how you button it - brilliant! The price is a bit too dear for me right now, but I'll definitely consider it, on sale. (And hopefully by then, it'll be cool enough to wear it here).

Kathryn: Oh dear. Oh dear, oh my. I abso-freaking-lutely LOVE this sweater. Gah, I can’t possibly love this sweater because it’s two-hundred-and-twenty-eight FREAKING DOLLARS. Thing is, I…actually think this sweater is special enough to justify the hefty (or, as one reviewer called it, “monstrously expensive”) price tag. I might need an actual rocket scientist to help me navigate the buttons, but even the haphazard way I threw this sweater on made me clap my hands with delight. I didn’t even mind that the wool was a teensy bit scratchy. Clearly, I’ve drunk the Anthro Kool-Aid.

I tried on a Medium , and it fit comfortably though a bit snug. I might want to try it again in the Large in order to layer underneath. Just like how Johnny Castle (RIP, Patrick Swayze) famously said, “Nobody puts Baby in a corner,” I wouldn’t want to hide this baby under a coat. BOOM. Wishlisted.

This is the Mirabell Skirt ($118), which I'm wearing in the size 2. I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised by this one! I wasn't expecting to like it all that much - it's lace and so a little high maintenance for me - but when I got it on, I found it to be really lovely. The bottom hem is made up of two tiers of lace, which I thought was a nice detail, and I found that it fit well and hung well too. I don't think I'd pay full price for this, but I'd definitely consider it on sale. Wishlisted for now!

Kathryn: Hm. Not sure what to say about this one. I'm wearing a size 6 in the photos, and I didn't find it particularly flattering or unflattering on me. Though I thought this skirt was very pretty, I already own a black lace skirt from Forever 21 so I’m not sure I really “need” this, right now.

That concludes this round of side-by-sides! I hope these reviews were helpful! And as always, thanks for reading!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Bountiful Harvest (Fitting Room Reviews)

Hi everyone!  Hope your week is going well.  Mine is sludging along.  We've been having an insane heatwave here, in Southern California, with temperatures well over 100 degrees in both Los Angeles and here in San Diego.  I don't know if you've heard, but San Diego is well known for it's nice weather. You know...usually ranging from the 60's on the cooler end of the climate spectrum to the 80's on the warmer part.  Yesterday, I kid you not, it hit 108 degrees here.  Obviously, the weather has mistaken these parts for Imperial Valley?  Albeit, late September and October are usually warm in Southern California - our "fall" weather doesn't really arrive until late October/November, but this sort of heat is totally out of bounds, if you ask me (and uh...obviously, I am the final arbiter of reality so...yes...out of bounds! ^_-) Regardless of the temps in the 90's this past Saturday, the staff at the Fashion Valley Anthro were decked out in their lovely fall outfits replete with coats and layered sweaters and long pants.  Yeesh.  Thank goodness for air conditioning.  It was blasting so high, I was perfectly comfortable trying on quite a few new cool-weather arrivals.  

Let's start with the Stucco Sequin Tank ($128) which was suggested to me by Lindsay, one of the managers at Fashion Valley's Anthro.  This tank is light and sheer enough for summer, but the color!  Oh, it's such a fabulously rich, deep, tealy-blue...I really feel like the color in the product shot just doesn't do this top justice.  I'm wearing a small, and I thought it worked okay, as this already has a blousy, loose feel to it.  I think it'd be just incredible under a heather gray sweater as a pop of color, or maybe layered boldly under something like the Van Wrinkle Sweater (which I'm quietly crushing on), to create some fun contrast.  The beading on the bust is beautifully done, and called to mind what Naeem Khan said to Gretchen on this past week's episode of Project Runway - that when you're sitting down to dinner, the front, top-half of a person's outfit is what you see, so it's important to make that part of the garment interesting.  Here's one thing to note, and a reason I'd probably want to go with an XS, despite the S looking okay from the front - please see the photo, above right.  In that side shot, you can get a glimpse of a deep armhole and racerback style cutaway that's a bit much for me, personally.  It was low enough to show the bottom strap of my bra, so if you're interested in this top, I recommend you stick with your normal size, and keep that back/armhole in mind, if you can't try it on first.

What a happy surprise this mystery top was, when I tried it on!  I can't seem to find it online and this is horribly distressing as I neglected to get its details (bad, blogger! bad!).  Still, I can tell you it also comes in a solid silvery/light gray color, but that this stripey pale orange top was really just too cute and comfortable, and I seem to remember it being $58 - but don't take my word for it.  I already have an affinity for horizontal stripes, but the neckline really clinched it for me - it was a cowl-ish neck without being a cowl, and as a petite woman who's often easily overwhelmed by cowls and other bigger necklines, I found this one to be pretty and drapey in just the right amounts.  I was thiiiiiiis close to impulse-buying this top - it was so cute and fun and easy (cotton, machine washable, wheee!) but made myself toe the line and take it back to the rack, according to my rule about not impulse-buying.  That having been said, I'd love to get this sooner or later, so it's absolutely mine if it goes on sale, and it may even become mine at full-price, next month.  We shall see...

Here is the Corinthian Top ($78) which I'm wearing in an XS.  I found this top to be true to size and cut nicely - along with the boatneck and pleats, there's also seaming defining the bust to create a very subtle empire waist effect.  The piece de resistance on this top, of course, is the embellishment on each shoulder - the beadwork is just gorgeous and for a narrow shouldered woman such as myself, was great for balancing out my figure nicely.  The beading, while elaborate, was still well supported by the fabric, which felt substantial without being heavy, and overall, I thought this top was just fabulous - really well constructed and worth the $78 price tag.  It's totally wishlisted for me.

Here's the Floral Frappe Top ($58), which I am wearing in the XS.  This top is also true to size, and looked much better on my body than on the hanger, where I felt dubious about the neck.  Was it going to be another one of those tops, like the Eze Sur Mer Top or the Whipped Topping Top that wants to be a boatneck, but really isn't and thereby suffers for it?  No! It's actually a pretty close approximation of a boatneck (though not with the conviction of the Corinthian Top), but that's okay, as this one is less likely to have a bra strap peeking out from the sides.  I thought this top was really pretty and nicely embellished (it was well named - the flowers and ruffles really are rather foamy and frappe-ish) and the gathers give the body and waist some nice definition.  I found this top very wearable, and at the risk of sounding indiscriminate with my favors, I'm wishlisting this one too.  

Close-up of the details on this top.

This is the Crossing Paths Top ($68), which I'm wearing in an XS in the brown and lilac, and a Small in the blue (which I notice is not available online).  As you can see, if you take a look at the three pictures (and yes, I did ask Heather to get me the other colors, once I had the brown one on, because I liked it so much) there isn't a whole lot of difference in fit between the XS and the Small, but I attribute this to the nature of the fabric (modal) and the draping and cinching.  The shoulders of the size Small top are a touch too big for me, so that's one way to tell the sizes apart.  I really loved the asymmetry of this top, as well as how it accentuates the curves of the bust, waist, and hips in such a flattering way.  One of the major benefits of all the gathers is that they hide any number of figure flaws.  The drawback?  They can look a little messy.  Still, this top is very comfortable and I'd definitely be happy to make a place for it in my closet.  My only problem?  Which color to pick...what do you think? Brown, lilac, or blue?

Overall, I was really quite happy with all the tops I tried on, and this isn't usually the case, when I'm trying on tops at Anthropologie.  Every one of these were comfy, flattering, and happily, opaque!  (Yay!)  Here's to hoping the weather takes a turn soon, and I'll actually be able to justify buying long sleeved, full-bodied tops for cooler weather.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Fashionable Friends (Anthro & AG Denim)

I got this email from Anthro, and then a personal invitation from Heather, the personal shopper at Fashion Valley's store, so I was pretty excited (mostly because it gave me an excuse - er, opportunity - to finally buy my AG Stevie cords, review here).  On Saturday, I arrived at the store with my husband's old jeans to recycle, and Kate asleep in her stroller.  The store looked awesome and the AG reps were super helpful and very nice.  Here's what went down:

Display of different available AG jeans cuts and the AG <3s Anthropologie shirt.

Refreshment table including hummus, cheeses, little sandwiches, fruit, drinks, etc.  These AG people don't play around with their snacks! Yummy!  (This table went a long way to bolstering my husband's shopping stamina, as he waited for me to come out of the fitting room.)

Bins for collecting old jeans that are being donated for recycling.  The donated jeans will be taken to a plant in Los Angeles, where the hardware is stripped from them.  The remaining fabric then gets shredded and incorporated into insulation and other post-consumer products.  Yay!

Free gift with donation or purchase!  If you brought in a pair of jeans to donate or purchased a pair of AGs that day, you received this awesome denim tote bag, tshirt, and hair-tie/zipper pull.  Such fun!

After trying on a ton of tops and the AG Stevies again (in both corduroy and twill - reviews to come in a future post) I made my way back to the refreshment tables to ask the AG reps if they made a petite cut jean - because as we shorter women can attest - it's a pain in the nether regions to have to constantly be taking new pants and jeans to be altered - not to mention annoying that we have to tack an extra $8 to $15 onto the cost of the jeans, depending on how much the alteration costs.  Generally speaking, I buy all my pants/jeans in either a petite size or at Nordstrom, whose in-store alterations department will usually take them in for free (if you buy at full price or Anniversary sale price; alterations on other sale-priced items have a charge attached).  I was delighted to hear that the "Angelina" is their petite cut jean - it's a bootcut, so an easy style that will flatter most - and extra bonus, there happened to be some on the sale rack!  I scored this pair of Angelina jeans for $49.95!  I'm wearing a size 25 in these photos (Kate woke up in time for what turned out to be my second round in the fitting rooms), and they fit me well, so I'm going to say that these jeans run a bit big, as I'm usually a 26 - in fact, I bought the Stevie cords in a 26.  The Angelinas fit well on my on-the-skinny-side legs (baggy legs can be a problem for me with some brands) and did good things for my butt.  Also, the denim was soft and comfy without feeling as thin as the Hudson brand denim.  

A quick note to answer a reader question - the Stevie cords have a 31" inseam, so they are a tad long on me - I probably will need to have them taken up.

Other fun factoids about AG Denim?  They're a domestic company, they manufacture all their jeans right here in Los Angeles, CA, and are committed to keeping their jeans made in the USA, they employ 900 folks in the company (here in the U.S. of A.), and they try their best to use environmentally sensitive practices in their manufacturing process.  I don't know about you, but these are all things I can get behind.  ^_^  They've succeeded in becoming my favoritest (yes, that's a word...for now) denim brand ever.  Thanks, AG & Anthro for a lovely shopping experience!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

We Have a Winner! ($65 CSN Stores Giveaway)

One of the best things about having a blog is that we have chances to give you, our readers, stuff.  ^_^  We only wish it could happen more often, because without you, this blog would be...well, nothing more than an electronic journal.  We wholeheartedly appreciate your support and time and feedback, and we only wish we could do this more often.

Without further ado, the winner of the $65 CSN Stores Giveaway:

Lin G.! 

Lin, please email either/or both myself (carol.prettythings[at] or Kathryn (kathryn.prettythings[at] so we can get you your prize.

The fine print: all entries were compiled in a list in order received, available for review here.  A number was generated at random, to choose the winner.

Thanks again to everyone who entered!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

A Nordstrom Party (Personal Styling Session, En Masse)

Last weekend, a very kind and gracious friend invited Kathryn and I to attend a special Triple Points pre-sale party at Nordstrom. It was a small, private party that included food, drinks, and of course, amazing clothes! Our very own Kelly McPheters ran the show, pulling outfits for us and helping us style them with accessories, shoes, and handbags! It was super fun, and we wanted to share some of the lovely things we got to try on with you.  (Please note: all of these items are available at Nordstrom, but not all of them were on the Nordy's website or online at all.  If there's something you're dying to find, call your local Nordstrom or Kelly McPheters at 619.295.4441.  When available, I provided links to other online retailers stocking the items).  Many thanks to my friend for inviting us and making this post possible!

Our outfits in our designated fitting room at the party. Piles of shoe boxes on the floor!

This is the Gigi HP top from Theory (not online, but $245 - geez Theory! - UPC# 883591174219; long sleeved version here) in size "P" and Citizen of Humanity Ava Jeans in size 26. The top is actually one piece - the vest is attached to the shirt at the collar and can't be removed, which is something I haven't seen in a long time. There's something very Hilary Swank-in-the-'90s about this top, but I still found it cute and fun. I confess to being a little confused by the sleeveless aspect of this top, when we're on the threshold of cooler weather, but there you have it. I actually really loved these jeans - the denim was really soft and comfy, gearing more towards Hudson Jeans soft and comfy, when in the past, I've known both Citizens and Sevens to be made of a slightly stiffer, sturdier denim. I recently bought a new pair of Hudsons at the Anniversary Sale, so these were a pass for me, but I think this outfit makes a fun, casual weekend look...if you have about $500 burning a hole in your pocket.

Rebecca Taylor Tweed and Leather Jacket and Flyaway Runway Tank

Kathryn here! First, let me start off by saying how much fun this event was and how grateful I am that I was able to attend! There's nothing more awesome than finding an entire dressing room set aside for you, stocked with pretty things while being served with food and drink. Too fun!

So, Kelly's "theme" for all the outfits she picked out for me for this party was, "Things that Kathryn can rock out in." And what a rock and roll fantasy this outfit was! I normally
hate blazers, but the cropped silhouette and ruffle detailing on this beauty is just adorable! The lavender silk-and-feathers-tunic-y top adds a lovely feminine touch to this outfit. I'm wearing a size 2 in the blazer and it fit me fine, but I think I'd size up to a 4 for maximum comfort. Underneath it all, Kelly pulled some comfy Citizens of Humanity skinny jeans for me. I'd happily rock out in this outfit if I had the dough to buy it all!

This outfit was constructed by accident. Kelly started by pulling the dress for me. She said she saw this Free People Lace Strap Floral Dress and it was calling, "Take me to Carol! Take me to Carol!" (Yes, pretty dresses talk. You didn't know this?) Kathryn suggested putting this amazing Rebecca Taylor cardigan (also not online...UPC# 884092201084) over it, and the shoes (gray suede Miu Miu Platform Pumps!) came from a friend in the next fitting room over, who'd decided against them. Happily, for me, it turns out. This is one of those outfits I didn't want to take off. I would have happily worn it out of the store, like I used to, when my mom bought me new shoes as a kid. The dress was a size 0, and fit me well - I think if I tried to size up to a 2, the neck would have gaped too much on me, so I stuck with the 0. Kathryn was also able to get this dress on, though it was a little bit more snug on her, so I think we can safely say it runs big. I'm wearing the cardi in an XS, and felt it ran a teeny bit big as well, but nothing I can't live with. The shoes are size 36, and fit beautifully. They were also pretty darn comfortable, despite their (gasp!) 5" heels. Whoa. I didn't even realize they were that high until I looked them up online. That's how comfortable they are. Huh. Who knew?

Free People "In the Trenches" Jacket, Citizens of Humanity Jeans, Bellatrix Cami

So this is a fun little jacket with trench-like details and a ruffle trim. The material is soft and sweatshirt-like, and the ruffle detail reminds me of last spring's Herb Field Cardigan from Anthro. The Bellatrix cami, though a beautiful pinkish-nude color and adorned with beautiful lace detail, was uncomfortably tight and difficult to pull on. Which is saying a lot, coming from a small-chested-narrow-shouldered girl like me. I needed Carol's help just to get this on and off. I do like the color combo that Kelly put together for this outfit though, and I would definitely consider pairing the pinkish-nude color with olive green for fall.

I'm wearing the perfectly adorable Theory Loraine dress (no Nordy's link available, so if you want to shop there, the UPC# is 883591166504) in a size 4 with the Kate Spade Genevieve Cardigan (also not online! UPC# 773460291324) in a size Small. These are finished with a pair of fabulous Prada patent loafer pumps (though, for eye candy's sake, if I were to be able to afford to buy Prada loafer pumps, I'd get these instead). When I saw this dress, I literally squealed with glee. You can bet I'll be stalking it for sale time. It's an ensemble dress with a knit cotton top and a tweed skirt bottom. How cute is that windowpane plaid skirt? The dress comes with a black leather (I think?) belt, which is actually nice enough to wear with other things, though I think if I bought this, I might change it out for something that gives the outfit a pop of color. The dress runs small, because this size 4 fit me pretty well. It was still a little big in the top, but the waist and skirt weren't too bad. For buying, I'd probably try the 2 on as well, just to compare. The sweater was equally darling, with crystal buttons and little bow-details on the cuffs of the 3/4 length sleeve. It's a pretty boxy fit, but a wonderful basic with a little extra. I'd probably need an XS were I to consider buying this. The Prada pumps, size 36, were a wee bit big for me - my feet definitely slipped out of them as I walked, and by the time I'd walked from one end of the store to the other and back (to see whether they were truly wearable and walkable) my feet were feeling a little pinched and unhappy. Good to know, because...uh, yeah...if they were comfy, I might have snapped them my fantasy world where I snap up $800+ shoes....

This might be the coolest jacket I've ever tried on. It's made of a neat, lightweight, floral-y knit eyelet material, and the corset tie and bustle back are just too awesome for words. I didn't think I'd like it that much, since I already have"junk in the trunk," as it were. But I didn't even mind the extra "bulk" it added to my formidable derriere. In fact, I really liked it! The downside? The price. It's just too prohibitively expensive for me to even think about. But seriously - this is the jacket I would wear if I was a rock star. It is so. Darn. Cool. What a great statement piece!

Ted Baker London Silk Panel Vest and Crinkled Cami

This vest has a divine cut and features a lovely silk back. However, while it may be pretty darn nice, it's not a $150 purchase, for me. I just feel like I don't need the silk panel in the back, and I could find a vest that would do the trick from H&M or Forever 21. For the price of this vest, I'd rather have a Refined Cord Shirtdress, if you know what I'm saying. The cami didn't do much for me, as the crinkled look just isn't something I generally go for.

"That's such a Kathryn top!" Carol exclaimed, as I pulled this oversized number over my head. And she's right. This top is extremely comfortable and I've been looking for a top like this. Give me dolman sleeves and a drapey cowl neck and I'm a happy Kathryn! As for the cargos, they were comfy and cute, though I feel like I'd rather have the AG Stevie's. The Stevie's win, as far as comfort goes.

This is the absolutely love Phyllis (hi, Phyllis!) who was modeling some pieces (oh, I forgot to get the details of her pencil skirt and top, but if you're interested, shoot me an email, and I'll ask Kelly for them) for us. She graciously let me take a picture of her - in particular, the shoes (and we're talking shooz) she's wearing: Prada wingtip pumps with Croc detail! Oh, this shoe, this shoe! It's at times like these, that I'm grateful to be able to live vicariously through others. Because if I were ever to be able to buy a pair of Prada shoes, I think they might have to look like these. Bliss!

What's a party without food and drink? Chocolates (one Godiva, another a spiced Mexican dark chocolate), smoked salmon on teeny toasts, and ice water with lime (they served a mixed cocktail too, with Elderflower liqueur in it - mmmm....) (Kathryn: I wish we'd gotten a shot of the "salad on a spoon" they served, but we kept eating it before we could photograph it!) with Marc by Marc Jacobs handbag.