Thursday, February 21, 2013

Shopping Confessional (wishlist)

Hi everyone!

Hoping you're doing well. I've been having one of those weeks where I've been sort of super-non-stop-busy, including late nights and work-related phone calls as I drop off kids (at babysitters) or pick them up (from school) and all that sort of thing. And then, this afternoon, it all sort of came to a halt.

I least as much as I can do for now...on most of the things I'd been working on and well...

I'm not quite sure what to do with myself.

Soooooo, I've decided to do some virtual window shopping instead. And in the process, I'll update you on the types of purchases I've made or am planning to make or even unmake, as the case may be.

I'm sorry - my creativity is completely sapped right now. I promise I'll try to do better tomorrow.

Okay, so you already know that last weekend I went shopping and bought some boyfriend jeans. I had a whole list of things I wanted, but that was the only thing I actually checked off the list. Here are the other items I had in mind:

1. Charlie Fatigue Jacket (I was worried this one would be way too long on me, when I first saw it in one of J. Crew's ubiquitous emails. But then I saw it in the store and tried it on. It is long - but I think it still works. The store only had a size small, which is a bit big on me in the body, so I'm holding out for an XS, which I'll hopefully be able to track down soon. It helps, of course, that I've got a gift card burning a hole in my pocket...)
2. Glazed/Coated Denim (not so sure on this one...still mulling it over. I love the sheen and the finished, sophisticated look of these jeans. But are they too rockstar for me? Maybe black instead? Questions, questions...)
3. Sassy black sandals (I came across these and these online and love them both. Also these. They're all super $$$, so I'm going to keep looking. These and these are more reasonable possibilities, but will need to have them on my feet to know. These are pretty different from anything I own but I kind of like them for some reason. And these are crazy, pretty, and fun but practically a mortgage payment. Will continue to look and be sure to update you as I go along.)
4. Ted Baker Dotted Dress (I bought this. I received this. I actually don't like this in person. First, it's polyester which I think is ridiculous for a dress that cost over $200. Second, the color is a bit odd on me. And last - the cut doesn't work for my body the way I hoped it would. Back it goes.)
5. Rag and Bone Dress (I bought this on impulse the day I bought my jeans. I love it - it's totally cute and it fits really well. It's really pricey though. And that very day, I saw a woman carrying a black Celine handbag, which has now completely eclipsed the Sophie Hulme Buckle Bag I was obsessing over, so I think I should take this dress back and save for the Celine, yes? Yes.)
6. Anthropologie Lousa Shift (I love the green of this dress. And shifts are so lovely and easy to wear. This one looks extremely promising - and it comes in a petite version!)
7. Anthropologie Kanshi Dress (How sweet is this dress? Can't you just see it with a denim jacket thrown over it? Or a cardi? Or a blazer? Love!)
8. Anthropologie Firebloom Cardigan (So pretty. WANT.)

So, yes, all that talk a few weeks ago about not having interest in shopping? Mmm, it seems to have passed. Or maybe it's just that after lots of intense thinking/working, the abrupt halt has left a vacuum, and well...we know that nature abhors a vacuum.

Yeah, that's it. This is just a law of nature. Mmhm.

What about you? Any current cravings?

Monday, February 18, 2013

Boyfriend (OOTD)

If you follow me on Twitter (@raphaela235), then you know I went shopping a couple days ago for the first time in what feels like a reeeeeeeally loooooooong time. You'll also know that I had a list of things I wanted to find - the first and foremost being a pair of boyfriend jeans.

Sweater: Celeste Cashmere Cardigan (similar here, here, and here)
Shirt: Gap Stretch Cotton (similar here, here, and here)
Necklaces: J. Crew Necklaces (similar here, here, and here)

I've been wanting a pair of proper boyfriend jeans for quite a while. These Joe's are great. The denim is so soft I could literally sleep in them. I tried on a couple different pairs, and for whatever reason, these worked best on my frame. Stephanie tweeted me a recommendation for the CoH Dylan jeans (these run pretty big - size down 1-2 sizes) which were also cute, but didn't hang from my hips with the kind of slouchiness I was shooting for.

And now you know - in my world, "slouchy" can get that specific.

A couple tips about wearing boyfriend jeans that I picked up from Kelly (who helped me find this particular pair - thanks, K!): roll the cuff narrow, rather than wide, especially if you're shorter like me. A wider cuff can serve to shorten the leg proportionally, to the eye, and when paired with the relaxed leg, can make a person look positively stubby. Also, don't be afraid to keep the cuff rolled low. You don't need to roll them so high that they make you look ready to wade through a kiddie pool. After all, these are boyfriend jeans, not clam-diggers. 

For those of you who are curious, I got these in a size 25 - and I usually wear a 26. It's worth noting that the size 25 is roomy - I think I could have gone with a size 24, but the whole point of boyfriend jeans is that they're big - like you took them from your boyfriend, right?

That's my story and I'm stickin' to it. 

I hope you're all having a great Monday and for those in the USA, happy President's Day weekend! 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Black and White

Black is the new black, my friends.

You know, I feel like sometime in 2010, black fell out of favor in my closet. I really much preferred to wear lots of colors. All kinds. Preferably all together at once. I'd only occasionally wear black for work - my black twill Minnies were and still continue to be a go-to for professional situations. But black was rarely any sort of creative choice for my wardrobe, until fairly recently.

It started showing up earlier this winter, paired with grays or creams. Then with white. And now?

Now it's everywhere, constituting its very own, real-live actual trend.

Most of us have plenty of black and white in our closets already, but I decided to research the black-and-white offerings of some of my favorite designers/retailers. Here are a few of my favorites:

1. Kate Spade Striped Dorothy Coat (Quirky and playful - signature Kate Spade. Can't you just imagine Zooey Deschanel wearing this? *happy sigh*)
2. Prabal Gurung for Target Skirt (This latest designer collaboration for Target has been less buzzy than past collaborations, and while I love the way it looks in product photos, I found it not as wearable for myself personally. But I do love this skirt. It makes me want to try to recreate this Jason Wu/Lea Michele outfit from a couple years ago.
3. Miss Wu Embroidered Faille Dress (Speaking of Jason Wu, this dress is beautiful in person - the texture, sheen, and sparkle of the fabric and trims just don't come through in the product photos. Whenever I see it in the store, I find myself wanting to touch it.)
4. Alice + Olivia Vix Chevron Dress (Such a fantastic graphic print and so fun.)
5. Miss Wu Contrast Sleeve Sweater (I tried this sweater on this weekend, and I loved the enlarged houndstooth knit in the sleeve and the metallic sparkle in the body. It's a bit of a chunky cotton knit, but I liked it, even though it verged towards the shapeless side. Unfortunately - or fortunately for my budget? - I needed an XS in it, and the Fashion Valley Nordstrom only had a Small. I'll definitely be sale-stalking this one.)
6. Kate Spade Checkered Sadie Skirt (So cute. I love a good windowpane plaid, don't you?)
7. Marc Jacobs Optic Spot Blouse (How adorable is that ruffle detail on the collar? Super cute, right? My only regret? That the price isn't cuter. Something tells me that this one won't make it to sale, but a girl can dream.)
8. Anthropologie Greenwich Pencil Dress (I love the clean lines on this dress. Great for all kinds of occasions, including work.)
9. Anthropologie Gemma Lace Buttondown (Okay, okay, this isn't exactly white. It's more creamy. But I still love it. I'm saying it counts.)
10. Anthropologie All-weather Chemise (This looks so super comfy and cute! It's sitting in my shopping cart right now, and my fingers are just itching to hit "checkout.")

So, have you found yourself wearing more black and white?

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

My Current Obsession

I totally blame Ahn of 9 to 5 Chic.

I do this. (I suspect quite a few of us do this, actually.) I get totally hung up on one item - goodness knows it's something I don't really need. But it's just there, always on the tip of my consciousness, hanging out, pestering me. It's like a scratch you can't itch, so you can't get your mind off it and soon you can't think of anything else. You obsess over it, tell stories in your head about it (any of you read the "Shopaholic" books? Remember how she was always, "The girl with the green scarf?" Or "The girl in the lilac sandals?" Or whatever purchase it was she was trying to rationalize?), and then finally, cave and just buy it. 

For a while, it was like a disease - there was always the next thing, and then the next thing, and then, yes, again, the next thing.

I've been relieved lately, to find that when I'm excited about or busy with other things - non-fashion-and-style-related things that I really love (oh my gosh, what do you do if fashion is your vocation?) - then I'm much less prone to these consumerist obsessions. I can honestly say I haven't had one in months - and aside from some J. Crew sweater-related indulgences back in December and a certain Christmas present I had to have, haven't been shopping a whole lot either. 

But I gotta say, this bag is starting a carve itself a spot in my psyche and well...I kinda want to let it!

C'mon, 'fess up. What about you? What's your current obsession?