Friday, March 30, 2012

In the Running: April (Wishlist)

Sooo...April is just around the corner (wow, where is the time going?) and I've got a hefty list of things I've got my eye on for purchase during my "birthday month" (we all know that's code for "an extra 15% off at Anthro, right?). I'm trying to be more mindful and cut back on the number of things and the amount of money I spend on clothes. I'd like to limit myself to 2, maybe 3 things. But how do I pick? Which do I choose?

It's ridiculously hard. (Pretty clothes, shoes, and accessories are my drug of choice, you know.) Did I mention I haven't been to the mall all week? I think I may be experiencing a withdrawal headache.

So, here are the items that are in the running for my April purchases:

Kinda thinking these three together might be fun (per Nicolette Mason's styling here):
7. Equipment 'Brett' Silk Blouse (in super lemon)

Of course, if I were to try and buy the last three items all at once, the cost would take me way past April and May's budgets and probably into June's as well. Sooo...with that in mind, I think I'll just admire from afar, for a bit. ^_- (Can I at least has the pants?)

And, here's some spring/summer-fantasy-shoe eye candy for all of us. You know, if we were to win that half-billion dollar jackpot...



Have a happy Friday! Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Fashion Bucket List: Loubs

"It's a tough call...they're so different."



Kathryn here. Hi! *waves*

It's embarrassing to admit, but I actually kinda loved this moment in The Devil Wears Prada when Miranda (Meryl Streep) goes off on Andy about how her cerulean sweater represents millions of dollars and countless jobs; and how Miranda explains (rather condescendingly) the trickle-down effect that high fashion has on even the everyday person who thinks that they take themselves too seriously to care about what they put on their back. It's a great little scene, and in my opinion it holds true, since I feel like I can see how the trickle-down effect in fashion comes to fruition each season when I "oooh" and "ahhh" over new arrivals at places like J.Crew and Anthro and even Target.

Not that I'm really trying to make a bold analytical statement with that. It's just one of my favorite scenes in the movie, is all.

But lately I've been putting together a "fashion bucket list" in my mind, and I've decided that first on my "bucket list" is a pair of Christian Louboutin pumps.

Throughout my search for "the perfect black pumps" (staring at different styles on the internet, sneaking by the Louboutin boutique, dragging my husband along with me as I do my "research"...you know, really healthy things!), I must say that I can definitely understand why my husband or anybody else would snicker at me like Andy snickers when the assistant says that the two nearly identical-looking turquoise belts are hard to decide between because they're so different!

I've been staring at a lot of nearly identical-looking black patent pumps. A lot. A lot a lot. And I feel like I might care a little too much about them.

But I wanna feel like Malcolm Reynolds did, in Firefly...the first time he laid eyes on Serenity. I want a pair of Loubs. I want to treat them well, and I want them to be with me for the rest of my life.

#srsbsnss

Anyway, I think I've narrowed down my finalists to the following:





So, yeah. Nothing really serious about #srsbsnss, but Loubs are just one of a handful of items I hope to check off on my "list" in the near future.

Do you have a fashion bucket list? If so, what's on yours?

As always, thanks so much for reading!

xoxo

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Borrowed Feathers: La Boheme (OOTDs)

Hi everyone! Sorry to have been away for a few days. I've been trying to catch up with a ton of work and this evening is the first day this week that I've really felt able to take a breath and catch up with the blog. I haven't even had time to keep up with other people's blogs (waaaaah!). It's been one of those weeks.

So, March is winding down and I wanted to share at least a couple more "borrowed feathers" outfits with you, for the month, before I have to return these lovely clothes to Dea. Here's the first of them. Both the sweater and the skirt are borrowed items - and I love how they look together. I feel like I should be an artist living in New Mexico or something, wearing this outfit (is that weird? I've never even been to New Mexico. I just imagine that if I were an artist there, this is what I might wear).

Sweater: Anthropologie Sweeping Stitches Pullover (similar here, here, and here)
Tank: Banana Republic (not visible, similar here)
Skirt: Madewell Silk Canyon Skirt (similar here, here, here; designer versions: here, and here)
Boots: Tod's Leather Ankle Boots (similar here, here, and here)
Necklace: Gift from in-laws (similar here and here)



I've gotta admit - I've pretty much worn this sweater practically every weekend I've had it. It's so comfy and perfect for the cool, early-spring weather we've been experiencing here in San Diego these past few weeks. Also, this skirt? It's so beautiful and yet so horribly stainable. The first time I wore it, I had little internal freak-outs all day, because it seemed like it stained every time you touched that perfect, smooth silk, and well...I have a 2 year old, who doesn't understand why she oughtn't to climb all over her mother. Soooo, it pretty much went directly to the dry cleaner the very next day (I was hyper-sensitive to the fact that it's not my skirt to wreck) and while it came back all pretty and new-looking, I've only worn it one other time since, and then, on a day that Kate was not with me. Sigh.

I've also got a quick snap of an at-work OOTD to share. This is what I wore to a conference I attended in Santa Clara last week:

Jacket: Rachel Zoe 'Sullivan' Leather Jacket (also here and in a great rusty red here)
Pants: Classiques Entier Wool Slacks, Nordstrom (similar here and here)
Shoes: Lanvin Platform Ankle Strap Pumps (similar here, here, and here)
Scarf: Lulu Floral Scarf, Nordstrom
Bag: Anthropologie (similar here and here)


Hope your week is going great! Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Black Leather Jackets, Revisited

The other day, I was able to swing by Nordstrom and try on the Rachel Zoe 'Jimmy' Leather Moto Jacket. I have to admit, I didn't love it on me, the way I loved it on the model in Neiman Marcus' product shots. The leather was much more smooth and supple in person - which is not a bad thing, but I almost wish it had been a touch less matte, if that makes any sense. The jacket had a very snug fit - I tried it on over a short sleeved dress, and it felt pretty snug on the arms. In fact, when I tried to scrunch the sleeves up a bit (they were a touch long, and I wanted to see if scrunching them would help mitigate the length), I thought I might do some permanent damage to my arms, by completely cutting off circulation, so I gave up.



This jacket is cut pretty small, too. Please note that I'm wearing a size 4 in the jacket in these photos. I picked it up simply because it was the smallest size in the store on the day I went in to try it on. Imagine my surprise when it fit nearly perfectly. The good news is that really petite women might have luck with the size 0 and 2, when they might otherwise be sized out of something like this. But as I was saying, the sleeves were problematic for me. They fit tightly, which would make it difficult wearing this over something with sleeves, and they were also a touch long. I did like the way the back of the jacket was cut (see photo below right), but wasn't thrilled by the look of the front, when it was zipped up. This one's going to be a pass for me, and I'll keep looking.



I'm hoping to maybe see the Lucky Brand 'Kira' Jacket in person and try it on. I'm also tempted by Boden's  version as well (love the belt!):




By the way, are any of you "My Lucky Rewards" members? Did you see that Anthropologie is now one of the companies providing a rebate via the Lucky shopping site (similar to Ebates shopping site), and is offering 3% back? I'm hoping they'll sign up with Ebates too. It's a long time coming.

Hope you're all having a great weekend! Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Happy (Belated) Birthday, Kathryn!

A snippet of "conversation" between me (the butterfly) and Kathryn (Bubbles, the blue Power Puff Girl):


Bubbles: Kathryn; Butterfly: Carol

I know. It's compelling stuff.  ^_-  But it's also reason #239 for why I ♥ Kathryn and am so glad we're friends. She gets why I always need to stop in Zara when I'm at a mall that has one, even if I never ever, really rarely, sometimes, maybe find something I actually want to buy.

Happy birthday, Kathryn! (It was yesterday. I know, I shoulda posted this yesterday. I'm a bad friend.) Hope this year is the best one yet. ^_^


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring Prints

This spring's prints are abundant and diverse. Everywhere I go, they keep catching my eye. I've always loved prints and color, and those are two things Spring 2012 seems to have embraced wholeheartedly.














What about you? Are you a fan of bright colors and bold prints? Or are you wishing for quiet and calm in your clothing?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Going Green

In honor of St. Paddy's Day, I did what every properly green-blooded style blogger would. 

I went shopping. Specifically, I was hunting for a mint-green top. I wanted something with sleeves. I preferred something with a crew-neck. I was hoping for a light sweater, not just a t-shirt. I didn't want to spend a ton of money. After H&M, F21, Nordstrom BP, J. Crew, and AE failed me, Gap came through.

Good ol' Gap.

And today, Shopping With M did this great post talking about how we bloggers never show you what our real lives are like - usually totally messy and imperfect and all about multiple takes. So, since my mother (and MIL) would just die if I showed you what my house looks like on a normal day, I'll share my OOTD "outtakes" instead. (The OOTD, btw, was inspired by this Kendi look. I'll try it again on a warm sunny day, with my my pink shoes.) It's been cold, rainy, and blustery here in San Diego (totally out of character for this part of the world) so I snapped these while we had a brief break from the rain. Not the wind though. Nope.

This might have worked had my skirt and sweatshirt been pulled straight and were not off-kilter and lopsided. Was I walking around like this the whole day??? 


Gust of wind #1.

Gust of wind #2.

Gust of wind #3.

And then, photo-bombed by a gleefully shrieking Kate.

Outfit details:
Shirt: Burberry Button-Up (Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2010; similar here, here, and here)
Skirt: Gap Pleated Skirt (2010; similar here, here, and here)
Shoes: Burberry Rain Boots (similar here, here, and here)
Necklace: Kate Spade 'Hang in There' Necklace (similar here)


Life is good, yes? 

Oh, and thanks to everyone who left input on the black leather jacket situation from yesterday. I just discovered that the RZ jacket is currently in stock at the Fashion Valley Nordstrom - I'm going to have to dash in and try it on. See if it's worth lusting after, properly. ^_- And never fear, I'll report back of course.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Ahem

Sooo...I was just browsin'...you know, killing time...when I realized that I need really want a proper black leather jacket. This faux leather one from F21 isn't really doing it for me. I'm never quite convinced that I'm pulling it off. I think that this one *cough* is more my speed:



I'm drawn to the collar (I think the more flappy ones sort of overwhelm my smaller frame) on this one, and the slightly longer length, as sometimes leather "moto" styled jackets tend to be shorter, and again, because I'm shorter, they don't hit me quite where they should. A silhouette like this, might just be more flattering overall. Also, I noticed that the back of the jacket has a touch of Ms. Zoe's fit-and-flare going on, which I love.

What I don't love? The price. *sigh*

Some similar but less kill-my-budget-dead options include: 
What do you think? Which of these seem the most promising to you? And what are you suddenly needing currently considering adding to your closet? 


Friday, March 16, 2012

New Spring Dresses (Anthro Fitting Room Reviews)

Happy Friday, everyone! Hope you're all doing well today. Happily, I have a day off, so I'm enjoying some fun time with Kate (Rowan's in school during the day). In fact, I'm going to try and write up this post really quickly, while she's busy watching her favorite show (Mickey Mouse Clubhouse) as she eats breakfast, eats lunch, has her afternoon snack (sigh - this is the life of a mother. LOTS of unscheduled interruptions...) so that when she's done, we can go out and have adventures (ahem...none of them including things like searching for $14.95 floral print pants at H&M...no, nothing like that...*innocent whistling*).

Last weekend, I stopped by the store and tried on some dresses, you know, as research. Here's what I found.



I'm wearing the Sincerely Paris Dress in a size 0. I was really excited when I saw this, because I feel like I've been longing for Girls From Savoy's halter dress for years (starting with the Traced Twirls which I reviewed here, in the early days of our blog - don't you love how I put the camera directly in front of my face, like I'm hiding something? Yes, good times) but because I'm so short, those dresses have never quite worked for me. So, while this dress is not exactly the same silhouette, it's close enough - and short enough - for me to feel happy to wear it. The dress is made from cotton, has a back zip, a smocked panel in the back to provide a bit of give, a removable halter strap (which converts it into a strapless dress) and pockets! I think it's love, and this may be one of my "birthday month" purchases in April. Wishlisted!


Montcada Dress:


Color-blocked dresses are hot this spring, so the Montcada Dress caught my eye as I walked through the store. I'm wearing it in a size 0, and I have to say, I liked it despite a couple things to consider. The first is the cut of the shoulders - because they cut inward, in that athletic work-out top-like fashion, you can't wear a normal bra with it at all. I know, because I made the mistake of putting it on over my bra, and yeah...that's not a recommended styling strategy. Also, I was surprised by how short the front of the dress was - as you can see, it hit at the top of my knee, which will make it shorter on taller women. This wouldn't be such a huge concern if it were a straight-across hem, but with the asymmetrical styling...I don't know. It's almost as if my knee caps are being framed and featured by the dress, and I'm not sure that's the look I'm going for. The dress is made of silk, is dry-clean only, and is pull-on. I love the fuchsia and navy color scheme, but would need an occasion to wear it. Pass for me.


Konza Dress:


I picked up the Konza Dress for its soft, springy color and pretty eyelet details. I'm wearing it here in a size 0, and oh, I liked it better than I thought I would, to be honest. While I love sweet, light, airy dresses (which this one is), I don't always love having to deal with 2 separate layers (aren't dresses supposed to be easy?) as you must with this one. The top layer is pretty sheer, so though you can't tell from the product shots, there's a slip, and well, I find having to wrangle slips while getting into a dress just annoying. Minor complaint, but there you have it. Otherwise, I liked it quite a bit. It's got a draw-string waist, which allows you to wear it different ways, adding to the versatility of this dress. For instance, in the photos above, I loosely knotted the drawstring without cinching at all, creating a shift-like silhouette. In the photo below-left, you can see that I tightened and tied the string just a tiny bit, which gave the dress a little bit of definition, while still retaining a very laid-back vibe. In the photo below-right, you can see that I pulled it tight, to my true waist, which shortened the dress by a couple inches and created a very different sort of dress. I really like this aspect of the dress, and it nearly made me walk the dress directly to the register. However, I do have to admit I think the dress is a little pricey and the cotton is so light, I imagine it will wrinkle easily. The dress is a pull-on style, dry clean only (boo!), and I think it's definitely wish listed for sale-time, maybe at FP during my birthday month...*innocent face.*  



 Blooming Whin Shift:


I couldn't walk past the Blooming Whin Shift. I just couldn't. It's like a Carol-electromagnet. I'm wearing it in a size 2, because my store was sold out of 0s, but I think it fit okay, even though with its shifty-shape, I could probably have sized down. I thought this was silk (and really, the pricey-price seems to call for it), but it's actually a synthetic, according to the product page. Anyway, I don't care. I have nowhere to wear it, really. But I will invent an occasion for it. I will throw a party, just to get to wear this dress (what are you doing next weekend?). There's this interesting non-cape thing going on in the back of the dress - it's like fabric origami or something. I don't know. Am I nuts? I really think I love it the way I love Blue Bottle coffee, which is saying quite a bit. 

Because I love Blue Bottle coffee. 

Wishlisted. (Until this afternoon, Until my impromptu party next weekend Until April. My birthday month.)

And two notes before I sign off for today - first, I've decided to revive my long defunct Material Good blog, where I'll be posting more frequently (I hope) about a range of non-fashion related topics, though mostly having to do with education, I think. I hope you'll all take a look, but especially if you're an educator (I know there are a lot of you out there). For those of you who weren't aware, I work in the field of education (though no longer in the classroom), hence my interest in that topic. 

Also, I mentioned a few weeks ago that I was hoping to start up our next book club read: Tim Gunn: A Guide to Quality, Taste and Style (Tim Gunn's Guide to Style). I'm going to put up the book club post within the next two weeks, for those of you who are interested in discussing. This book is a really great read (I found it both entertaining and informative) and I hope you'll join us, to chat about your take on Mr. Gunn's perspective on style. (Hint: It goes beyond, "make it work.") 

Have a great Friday and thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Borrowed Feathers: Fade to Black (OOTD)

Happy Tuesday, everyone! Hope your day is going well. Just wanted to take a quick moment to share my next "Borrowed Feathers Project" outfit with you. This one features the J. Crew Polka Dot Tee, which I decided to pair with black, in a fairly unimaginative fashion. Still, with the addition of the blush-colored accessories and the pop of acid red in a necklace, I felt pulled together, professional, and ladylike. 

These shoes I'm wearing (which I scored on super-clearance at Nordy's last year), always make me feel graceful and ladylike - no matter what I'm wearing them with. On stressful days like the ones I've been experiencing lately, I'll take the help, anywhere I can get it. I ♥ these shoes!


Shirt: J. Crew Polka Dot Tee (similar here, here, and here)
Shoes: Tod's Slingbacks (similar here, here, and here)
Belt: J. Crew Patent Skinny Belt (similar here, here, and here)
Necklace: J. Crew Polka Dot Necklace (more colors available in stores) and Anthropologie necklace (old; similar here and here)




I just wanted to let you know that I've begun the process of curating my closet better, which means I'm winnowing out the items that I just don't wear enough, can't fit into, or just don't need anymore - including a few Anthro dresses, to start. I'm going to offer them for sale here, first, before offering them up on ebay or a consignment store. Take a look, and if you're interested in anything, feel free to email me. 

Thanks so much for stopping by! Have a great day!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Kate Spade to Rule Them All (Fitting Room Reviews)

Hullo there.

Whoa, three posts in three weeks, this is crazy. Next it'll be fire and brimstone coming down from the sky! Rivers and seas boiling! Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes! Human sacrifice! Dogs and cats, living together! Mass hysteria!

Or...you know. Not.

Anyway, I had a rough day at work last week. So when the going gets tough, the tough get going to Nordstrom to try on a bunch of pink clothes to cheer themselves up.


So here goes!


Caroline Bow Sweater & Melody Silk Skirt (shown in size Small for the sweater, size 4 in the skirt)


You might remember this little ensemble from when Carol blogged it here. I'd never tried on Kate Spade clothes before, so when I saw these pieces at my Nordstrom, I squealed with glee.

I CAN HAZ PLZ?!

Pink + polka dots = happy Kathryn. The small fit me well in the sweater, and while I'd say the 4 in the skirt fit me as well, I wanted to mention that the waist did feel snug. I liked where it sat on my frame though, so I'd be hesitant to size up to a 6.



The skirt is a really pretty beige-y gold in person, though I worry that there isn't much in this world that it matches with other than that bright pink sweater (the color is called "Gulabi"..?). And there are no pockets, which is something I tend to expect in my skirts these days.

Do I love this outfit? Yes. Will I buy it? Probably not. Not at full price, anyway. Don't get me wrong...I don't think of it in a Faramir-ish (from the books) type of way, "I would not take this thing, if it lay by the highway"...because, let's face it - I would. I just haven't reached the point in my existence on this earth where I can stomach spending almost $550 on a sweater and a skirt. Maybe someday. But it is not this day.

But, if it were lying unattended on the roadside...


sweater, not tucked in


Aaaaand...one last shot of this pie-in-the-sky wishlisted ensemble:



Wishlisted. Waiting. WANT.



"Siren" Ruffle Hem Dress (shown in Size 6)


So this dress is supposed to have a belt. I'm not sure what happened to it, but oh well.

I was having a conversation with Carol about Kate Spade clothes this afternoon, and she and I agreed that "flattering" was probably not a word we'd use to describe their fit. They either fit or they don't. Which sounds kind of obvious (like Legolas in the movie version of Return of the King, "A diversion!"), but it's true. I didn't feel like they were really cut to flatter or make magic of your figure. I feel like you can see my dinner peeking through the dress.

As for sizing, the top was predictably a bit baggy. However, I couldn't size down due to my hips.


My hips don't lie.

Love that ruffled hem, though.

Unfortunately I didn't grab a picture of the back...there's an exposed zipper detail along the back which is pretty neat-o. And being that it's Kate Spade, details like that are so cool.

Again, if I found this dress laying on the highway I'd grab it faster than you could say, "The Ring will go to Gondor!" (which is one of my pet peeves with the movie version changes from the book, though not nearly as offensive to me as, "Go home, Sam"...and let's not forget the Elves magically appearing at Helm's Deep or all of the superfluous Arwen additions. But let's be clear: the "Go home, Sam" sucks!)


"Silverscreen" Stripe Bow Dress (shown in size 4)


I really only tried this one on because the sales associate said I should.

The size 4 fit me well; though, again, I feel like you can see my dinner (a really really great mushroom risotto, which was the chef's special that night at Nordstrom Cafe) through the dress.


Truth be told, I liked all these pieces quite a lot. Just trying them on brightened my spirits a little bit. The construction and the detail are truly fantastic, but...I guess I'm just not ready to pull the trigger on these beauties at full price yet. Shave off about $100-$150 and maybe we can talk. But until then, woo boy. Sticker shock. So I'll be watching the skirt (and maybe the ruffle hem dress too) to go on sale.

Until then, I'll continue to dream of finding Kate Spade clothes at non-Kate Spade prices.

*dreams*

Allrighty, that does it for this round of reviews. As always, thanks so much for reading!


The road goes ever on and on...

Borrowed Feathers: Simply Striped (OOTD)

It's been an exhaustingly busy weekend (errands followed by a family outing to the San Diego Zoo on Saturday- Kate's first visit! - and a visit to the OC to celebrate my younger brother's birthday followed by a catch-up with an old friend then a drive back to San Diego). And as I promised to post the winners of our Blogiversary Giveaway this weekend, I stayed up to do it. And having done that, I found I couldn't not post an OOTD post along with it.

Here are the four items I borrowed from Dea for the month of March:

Left: Anthropologie Sweeping Stitches Pullover; Right: J. Crew Silk Polka Dot Tee


Left: Madewell Silk Canyon Skirt; Right: J. Crew High Tide Tunic Dress


I have to say - I can't even tell you how much I love these four pieces of clothing. That High Tide Tunic Dress? I've been wanting to buy one of J. Crew's stripey tunic-y dresses for quite a while now, and now that I have one in my hands, I just kind of want to live in it. In fact, I don't know how I'm going to bring myself to send it back to Dea, at the end of the month. (I kid, Dea, I kid! I promise to send them back. *sniffle*)

So here it is - the first of my Borrowed Feathers outfits, featuring Dea's High Tide Tunic Dress. I went super simple to start (the better to appreciate its incredibly high comfort factor):


 Dress: J. Crew High Tide Tunic (similar here, here, and here)
Necklace: Nordstrom (similar herehere, here, and here)
Watch: Michael Kors Crystal Chronograph (similar here and here)
Bracelets: Until There's A Cure and




Thanks so much for stopping by. Hope you're having a great day!