Saturday, December 31, 2011

Looking Back: Carol's Favorite Outfits of 2011

Happy last day of 2011, everyone! For lack of anything else to write about, I thought I'd jump on the "Year in Review" bandwagon, and take a look back at the outfits that stood out to me, each month of this past year. Kathryn had quite a few stunners too, but due to my lack of planning (surprise, surprise), I didn't get a chance to ask her feedback.

(Note to self: add that to list of resolutions. Plan better. For everything.)

Anyway, here are my top 12 (one from each month of...sort of) OOTDs of 2011!

January 2011:

James Perse top, Anthro Peppered and Striped skirt, Miu Miu pumps

February 2011:

Anthro Dog Trot cardigan, Anthro Daring Dart blouse, Banana Republic skirt, Banana Republic cami, Anthro Rensselaer T-strap shoes, J. Crew belt, Ms. November Studio necklace

March 2011:

Alice + Olivia dress, cashmere cardigan, opaque tights, suede platform slingbacks

April 2011:

Anthro Happy Morning sweater, Citizens of Humanity Hutton jeans, Givenchy Platform Clog sandals

May 2011:

Anthro Neo-Refinement Pullover, Pure and Good Scoopneck tee, Citizens of Humanity Hutton jeans, Givenchy Platform Clog sandals

June 2011 (okay, okay, so this one's actually from early July. But I like it better than anything I wore in June, so we're just gonna pretend, 'kay? Thanks):

Benetton Blouse, Kate Spade Lillith Striped skirt, Tod's slingback pumps, Marc Jacobs Karlie

July 2011:

Forever 21 bow tee, AG Stilt jeans, Givenchy Platform Clog sandals, Until There's a Cure bracelet

August 2011:

H&M sweater, Anthro Heatwave Shorts, Givenchy Platform Clog Sandals, Michael Kors Crystal Chronograph watch

September 2011 (sssshh! Don't tell, but this one is from August too. Better than my actual September outfits...yes, I'm totally cheating.):

Gap tshirt, H&M Mesh Midi skirt, Jimmy Choo Phoenix espadrilles, Anthro Gleaming Intersection Scarf

October 2011:

November 2011:

December 2011:

Have a safe and fun New Year's Eve. Thanks for being with us this past year. We can't wait to see what 2012 brings us all!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

"Get In My Closet!"

Erm...did I say that out loud?

Can you blame me? It's a rainbow-confetti-polka-dot dress. Just sayin'. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Few Outfits More (OOTDs)

When I was a girl, my mom would say how easy I was to dress. I'd wear just about anything she brought home to me. I liked it all. Color, print, trend, etc - I didn't have a very defined style then, and when I think hard about it, I'd say that I don't have a terribly defined style now. I can tell you with something close to certainty what I won't wear (body-conscious skirts and tops not really my thing, for instance), but I'll also dabble in all the various "style profiles" that exist out there. I remember flipping through a book on style once (was it the Lucky book? Or the Instyle guide? Can't remember...) and it gave me all these profiles I should try to identify with - "gamine," and "classic," and "bohemian," and "runway," etc. I sort of liked them all. I like my cinched waists and full skirts. I love my skinny jeans and asymmetrical hems. I love ruffles and bows but I love clean minimalism too. 

It's the variety that makes getting up and getting dressed in the morning so fun - and for me, this sort of reflects the many hats I wear in life, from day to day. Researcher, mother, blogger, wife, educator, friend, daughter, bibliophile, fashion-fiend, geek, etc, etc, etc...

What stories are your clothes telling the world about you, today?

Sweater: H&M Cardigan (similar here and here)
Top: Anthropologie (similar here, here, and here)
Skirt: Anthropologie Hop, Skip, Jump Skirt (similar here, here, and here)
Belt: Anthropologie Snake Bite belt (similar here and here)
Necklace: Miss November Studio Ladybug Necklace
Shoes: Apeppazza Martin Boots (similar here, here, and here)
Tights: Simply Vera Opaque Tights (similar here and here)

There's something I really love about asymmetrical handkerchief hems on shirts. I'm not sure what it is, but maybe it has something to do with the fact that they give me explicit permission to keep my top untucked? Sometimes, less really can be more.

Pants: AG Stilt Skinny Jeans
Shoes: Miu Miu Suede Platform Pumps (similar here and here)
Watch: Michael Kors Clear Crystal (similar here and here)

Hoping you're having a great day!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Future:Standard Giveaway - WINNER!

Can you believe it? It's ANOTHER giveaway winner! The winner of the beautiful Willow Top from Future:Standard is none other than:


Congratulations, Hunguren! Please email me ASAP at carol.prettythings [at], and I'll get you in touch with the very lovely people at Future:Standard, so that they can get your prize out to you.

In case you were wondering, Hunguren's name was drawn via a number generated on (see below) that was matched against our list of entries (which you can see here):

I want to extend my thanks to all who entered this and our other giveaways this past month, and also to all of you for coming to visit us here, in our little corner of the 'net. We couldn't do this without you.

Jedidiah T-Shirt Giveaway - WINNER!

Hi, everyone! Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas (and if you don't celebrate, hope you were able to enjoy some nice time off) and are having a great Wednesday. I just want to extend a huge thanks to all of you who entered the Jedidiah t-shirt giveaway. The lucky winner of a Jedidiah t-shirt of their choice is:


Congratulations, LizS! Please email me ASAP at carol.prettythings [at], and I'll get you in touch with the lovely people at Jedidiah, so you can get your t-shirt.

LizS was selected at random from our list of entries (you can see it here), using's number generator:

Thanks again to everyone who entered, and even if you didn't win, I hope you'll consider supporting the good folks at Jedidiah and the very valuable work they do. 

Monday, December 26, 2011

My After-Christmas Wishlist (Ahem)

Because wishing is free. ^_-

1. Anthropologie Wingtip Mary-Janes (I got a gift card for Christmas! I think I might use them on these...)

2. Rachel Zoe 'Nico' Dress (after all, what else will I wear, while I shop at Target?)

3. Anthropologie Last Call Jacket (to do create an inverted version of RZ's outfit here)

4. Anthropologie Flared Brynsk Dress (a day-appropriate alternative to the Nico dress)

5. Future:Standard Dylan Dress (on sale now!)

6. Kate Spade 'Daycation' Lacey Wallet (and look - there's an adorable hedgehog version too! Can't decide which I like better...)

7. Kate Spade 'Flicker-Melinda' Satchel  (in Berry or Dark Lapis? Maybe both? This is a wish list, after all.)

And what I wore on Christmas Day:

Top: Banana Republic Merino Sweater (old! Similar herehere, and here)
Shoes: Apeppazza Martin Boots (similar here, here, and here)
Scarf: Faux Fur Necker, Anthro (similar here and here)
Necklace: J. Crew (similar here and here)

I'll be back later with the winners for the Jedidiah and Future:Standard giveaways. Hope your Monday is going well!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

We Wish You a Merry Christmas

A 2011 Holiday Greeting from In Pursuit of Pretty Things
Photos by Sean Estipona

We wish you a Merry Christmas

We wish you a Merry Christmas

We wish you a Merry Christmas

And a Happy New Year

Good tidings we bring

To you and your kin

Good tidings for Christmas

And a Happy New Year

Well, while figgy pudding sounds...nice? (what is it, anyway?) I'll leave off from the song here...

...and say that we're so grateful for another year of all your friendship and readership here at In Pursuit of Pretty Things. It's been quite a journey...

...and it's a journey we're happy to take, with all of you.

And so, we wish you a very Merry Christmas

And a Happy New Year.

Love, Carol & Kathryn

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Fistful of OOTDs

Obviously, I'm running low on post title ideas. I'm not sure if two OOTDs would make a whole fistful. And it's possible that Sergio Leone is rolling in his grave right now. And if Clint Eastwood actually ever heard that I'd cannibalized the title of the film that put him on the map, as it were - well... 

Suffice it to say, I'm pretty sure that when the DH, who is a huge fan of Sergio Leone's spaghetti westerns (particularly the Man With No Name trilogy) will do any or all of the following when he sees this post: sigh, shake his head, groan loudly, roll his eyes, and/or look at me in bewilderment. **EDIT** Just wanted to update you, that my DH's response was, "Awesome!" And then he went on to suggest my next post be called, "For a Few OOTDs More," and the one after that, "The Good, the Bad, and the Fugly" (his words, I swear). Just goes to show that even after nearly ten years of marriage, we continue to surprise each other. Or something. ;)

Yes, so there's no relation between the title of the post to this post's content either. I'm just having one of those days.

This is what I wore yesterday - I was running lots of errands, sitting on the floor wrapping lots of presents, taking the kids to the park, etc. When I was getting dressed, I did consider putting on a skirt and tights with this top and cardi, but practicality won out over cuteness, and I went with the jeans and Sperry moccasins.

Sweater: H&M cardigan (similar here, here, and here)
Necklace: Bib Necklace, Nordstrom (similar here, here, and here)

Today, despite having more errands to run, I decided that since there was going to be much less floor-sitting involved in today's activities, I'd be more adventurous in my outfit selections. I recently ordered this fur collar from Anthro, when it went on sale, but haven't worn it until today. I think I kind of love it! In this outfit, I think I was channeling some of the colors and textures of the Fossil Clarissa Jacket, which I love, but not as much as the Rachel Zoe Sullivan Leather Jacket (I know, sorry, I'm a little obsessed...).

Sweater: Cable Knit Sweater, Future:Standard
Skirt: Hellebore Sweater Skirt, Anthropologie (similar here, here, and here)
Scarf: Faux Fur Necker, Anthropologie (similar here and here)
Shoes: Apeppazza 'Martin" Wedge Heel Boot (similar here, here, and here)
Necklace: Oh Hello Friend Pocket Watch Necklace 
Belt: Oh Hello Friend Bow Belt (similar here and here)

And before I close out this post, I want to wish a very happy birthday to my sister, Irene. Much love and big hugs, lady! 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Black, White, and Red All Over (OOTD)

 Sometimes, there's no flattering shots but the side angle. Yep. It was that kind of OOTD-photo day:

Shoes: 'Eddie' Pointed Toe Flat, Tory Burch
Black and Crystal Necklace, J. Crew

On the other hand, I spent a very productive day getting the rest of my holiday shopping done. Now just to wrap. And prepare some home-made goodies.

Also, thanks to those of you who weighed in on all of my fitting-room tweets today. That Rachel Zoe Nico Dress (see photo below) is so fantastic. I tried it on, at Kathryn's behest, to see "what it looks like on a real person." If you're interested in it, take note that it definitely runs small, compared to Anthro and J. Crew sizes - no vanity-sizing going on here. I was wearing a size 2 in that photo, and it felt snug (but in a good way, since really, no one wants to be wearing a strapless dress that's too big...). I love the dress, but have nowhere to wear it. Except Target. And the grocery store. I want it regardless:

Can I borrow someone's glamorous party-filled (and I'm not talking the kind that comes with bounce-houses and over-sugared 6 year olds, thanks - got that covered already) life for just a day? Just so I can have an excuse to wear something like this?

No? Thought not. But if you change your mind, you know where to find me: in the Nordstrom fitting room, hanging out in my new favorite dress. ^_-

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Rachel Zoe and Nordstrom

Last Thursday night, I had the pleasure of attending a Rachel Zoe personal appearance event at Nordstrom, here in San Diego's Fashion Valley Mall. Rachel Zoe is a pretty well known figure in fashion and pop-culture circles, but for those of you who don't know her, let me introduce her as a celebrity stylist (she's done red carpet styling for Hollywood A-listers such as Cameron Diaz and Jennifer Garner), the founder of  The Zoe Report, author of Style A to Zoe, star of Bravo's hit reality series "The Rachel Zoe Project," and now a designer of her own line of apparel, footwear, and accessories collections.

Yeah, did I mention she had a baby this last year? Mmhm. I'm exhausted just thinking about it.

Anyway, while I knew of Rachel Zoe, prior to this event, I didn't know a lot about her. So, I did my research (consisting mostly of signing up for The Zoe Report - super fun stuff - and watching some clips of  "The Rachel Zoe Project" online), and well - she's this incredibly energetic, creative, and well...wacky (you'll understand if you watch the show) individual. She's also an incredibly gifted stylist and designer - listening to her talk about the pieces in her collection was truly fascinating. She came across as funny, articulate, and really intelligent about what looks good on women's bodies (I know people say that about all the designers, but it's really true) and what might be useful in a woman's wardrobe.

The event took place in the Collector's department of Nordstrom, which was curtained off to provide a sense of intimacy and also exclusivity (I heard that only 100 people were invited to attend) and featured a fashion show of Rachel Zoe resort and spring 2012 collections, narrated by Rachel Zoe, with some additional commentary by Ferdie Lopez, Nordstrom's national senior designer retail director. The clothes were really beautiful, and listening to Ms. Zoe discussing each glamorous piece (you'll see what I mean below) actually made me start to think that I could pull some of these off, even with my very ordinary life.

All of the Rachel Zoe pieces featured in this post are available through Nordstrom, however, many are not yet available on their website. For more information on purchasing, contact Nordstrom customer service.

Please note - this is a very photo-heavy post.

The setting for the event, as people were beginning to enter.

I attended the event with the lovely Maya, of Kinzie Says, and we had nearly as much fun admiring the clothes, shoes, and handbags (oh, the handbags!) of the other attendees as we did looking at Rachel Zoe's collection.

Sipping grapefruit liqueur cocktails while we waited for the show to begin. Wine, still and sparkling water, and a variety of delicious hors d'oeuvres were served as well.

Rachel Zoe introducing herself to the audience, with Ferdie Lopez, Nordstrom national senior designer retail director.

First, I love the color and drape of this dress. The way the silk moves as the body does, is just fantastic. It manages to be stunning, despite walking a fine line (or maybe because of?) between ancient Grecian nobility and peasant-dress. Rachel mentioned that she's worn this dress herself on a number of occasions, and finds it very versatile - can be casual and also very dressy, depending on how you style it.

I about died when I saw this outfit. Those of you who follow my twitter account may already know that I'm obsessed with that leather blazer. The cut of it is so fantastic, and the leather is buttery soft as well as un-stinky! (I'm not a fan of strong leather smells.)  Love, love, love!

Um, shirtdress? Ruffles? Understated houndstooth print? Yes, please!!! (I tried this on and loved it. See photo at bottom of post.)

Rachel Zoe Print Silk Halter Dress and 'Blake' Sandal

Rachel talked about how she loves animal prints, but likes to do them like this - and to be honest, I have to tell you, until she said, "animal print," I didn't even realize that's what it was - it's pretty subtle. This dress is just astonishing - so dramatic and beautiful and elegant. Added bonus? Rachel mentioned that she travels with this dress a lot, and the silk doesn't wrinkle or crumple in her suitcase! (Good for the iron-challenged, such as myself.)

Maya and I both gasped when this dress appeared, and I can tell you that Kathryn has also noticed it (and has asked me to try it on - which I plan to do tomorrow - keep an eye on those tweets!). It's just darling, and it kills me that I don't have anywhere to wear this sweet little number. How perfect would it look layered under any number of cardigans in my closet? Or that fantastic leather blazer...? (Someone, please, invite me to a dress-up party, now.)

No joke. If ever I were to decide I was going to wear a sequin dress, this would be it. Really.

Rachel Zoe Gold Sequin Mini Dress

Um...unless, of course, I decided to wear this sequin dress (more animal print! Again, not totally obvious, right?) How does a gold sequin mini manage to look this adorable

Rachel Zoe Sheer Silk Blouse and Palazzo Pant

The outfit above is in striking contrast with the one that follows:

Rachel Zoe Empire-Waist Gown and Cardigan

I wish you could have heard the collective gasp that went up from the audience, when this number appeared. Just beautiful.

Rachel Zoe Printed Silk Halter Dress

There's something incredibly provocative about a woman's shoulders and back, and Rachel Zoe's halter dresses really know how to capitalize on that allure. The print of this dress really grabbed me. It makes me think of the patterned coloration that happens as waves wash in and out at beaches with variegated sand colors. Or layers of sediment under a river. Either way, it evokes both earth and water for me. I really love that.

Maya, Rachel Zoe, and myself 
As Maya put it so eloquently, we had to fight our way through a throng of women dressed in fur-vests and leather pants to get to Ms. Zoe in order to take this photo. (I love her outfit. Can I have her outfit please?)

Rachel Zoe dresses being live-modeled after the fashion show portion of the evening.

What shopping event would be complete without some shopping? I tried on two things - and loved both. My budget being what it is right now (eaten up by holiday expenses), both had to stay in the store. But they're totally wish-listed for sale time. (Though I am trying to convince the DH that he really wants to get me the blazer for Christmas. ^_-)

And the jacket I keep raving about - the photo on the left isn't that great, but the one from the back (above right) really shows off the amazing cut of this blazer - it makes my waist look so tiny! And I can tell you right now that the truth is nowhere close to that. It's like a magic blazer. Magic.

Thanks for sticking with me through this epically-long post. And thank you to Nordstrom for the invitation to this fabulous event. I had such a great time, and am so glad I got to share it with you!