Thursday, January 21, 2010

Gray day, gray outfit

Okay, I'll admit it. Some days you cannot fight the trend. The weather is still monochromatic, gray and dreary. So rather than buck the trend, I'm embracing it! Today's inspiration calendar was a dress with a statement necklace. Well, that didn't inspire me, so I pondered my closet. I bought a Flora Kung black/gray/white silk dress a while ago at the Scholar Shop, intending to wear it as a tunic. I paired it with skinny black jeans, black turtleneck, and gray "biker" ankle boots. Looking at the photos, I'm not sure the gray boots were the right choice, but overall I like the look.

I've topped it off with a new coat I got from Rue La La (an invitation-only shopping website - if you want an invite, leave me a note in my comments). It's by Free People, it's hard to see the details in the photos, but it's a slouchy black wool, double-breasted, with a sweater collar and cuffs. The retail price was $198, I got it on Final Sale for $69. I've been looking for a coat this length all season and I'm happy with this one.

Of course, that purchase takes us back to yesterday's post about shopping. I realized recently that I'm feeding the shopping monster by subscribing to so many different shopping website email updates. I've started unsubscribing to some; those I want to keep active I've reduced the notifications to once per week. I don't want to be a mindless consumer. I am striving to buy things only if I love them and want to keep them for a while. It's harder to do that when I have chosen to be bombarded with shopping opportunities. I was really struck by this yesterday, when I got a shipping notice from one of these invitation-only sale sites and I couldn't remember what I bought! So, that's my current goal - to slow down and think about things before I buy them. I'll keep you posted on how that's going.

Details: Work, no meetings
Coat: Free People -
Turtleneck: Juicy Couture - Marshalls in Houston
Tunic: Flora Kung - The Scholar Shop in St Louis
Belt: Lucky Brand - The Lucky Brand Store in St Louis
Jeans: Vanilla Star - TJ Maxx
Ankle Boots: No 704b - DSW in Houston

I think this is my Victoria Beckham pose (haha):
2010 Jan 21-6

Here's a picture of me wearing the coat (thanks for asking, Chelsea!):
2010 Januar 21-1

Here's a closeup of the coat:
2010 Jan 21-7

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Frizzling Day

No, it's not Snoop talk - it's freezing drizzle outside, so I'm naming it Frizzle!

Today's Inspiration Calendar is Stripes with a Vest. However, I don't own a vest, so I've improvised. I layered the striped funnel neck sweater under a sweatshirt blazer, and topped it with a scarf. I decided to try the layered tights I've seen other bloggers wear, so I'm wearing opaque black tights with a pair of black fishnets under a black skirt. The Uggs reappear, as they have a stable rubber bottom so I don't fall on my butt out there today.

Unfortunately my camera battery died after one photo, so I didn't get to experiment with the scarf off, or the blazer open, or...

2010 Jan 20

Sweater: Linq, Ebay
Blazer: J Crew Outlet, Napa, CA
Skirt: Theory, The Scholar Shop
Scarf: I can't remember
Boots: Uggs, remixed
Tights: Black and black fishnet, Target

As I mentioned, I'm enjoying the inspiration calendar as a - well, inspiration - to plan my outfit for the day. Many bloggers have mentioned falling asleep to outfit planning, which I've done for years. So nice to have validation that I'm not the only obsessive one out there!

I've been catching up on my blog-reading. There was an interesting post by Secondhand Shopaholic about obsessive shopping which I could definitely relate to. My friend Ruth calls it lust; sometimes when you're lusting over an item you need to walk away. If you are still thinking about it a day or two later, and the item is still available; then you can decide whether to buy it - when you're not in the throes of passion. I don't think I'm the only one that can get into an altered state of mind when I'm shopping. It helps if you shop at stores where they make the returns easy. If I experience buyer's remorse - I need to be able to take things back!

I tend to buy multiple items of staples, like tanks, layering t-shirts, tights, etc. Every three months or so I take a look at my dresser and my closet and purge items I'm not wearing. I am past the three month mark right now and I can tell - it's hard to find clothes and I get slightly anxious about having too much stuff.

I hope you all have a fun day, and hope that it's not frizzling where you are!

P.S. I just read this post by another favorite blogger, Fashion for Nerds. It's right on topic for what I was talking about regarding shopping.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Mix Navy & Pants: Inspiration Calendar

Day Two of the Inspiration Calendar Mix. The challenge is to mix navy and pants, and I hardly ever wear navy. However, you may remember that last week's shopping extravaganza produced a midnight navy jacket from The Gap. I'm wearing it as a blazer today, with a French cuff Ralph Lauren blouse and pinstriped Tahari slacks.

The one color I find challenging to wear is navy, it always seems blah on me. However, this midnight navy blue color is more intense and I like the look. I'm wearing it as a blazer, with a trench coat over the ensemble for the rain/fog today. I like the length of this worn as a blazer, I think it adds oomph to the outfit.

Are there any colors you find difficult to wear? I used to think pink was a bad color on me, then I found different hues of pink that work really well. I also heard that blondes should wear black, and I still wear a lot of black, but I've branched out in my color choices.

Today was supposed to be sunny - but instead we get a repeat of the monochromatic grey fog and rain. I could really use a dose of sunshine, these are the days I miss sunny California the most!

I hope you're all having a sunny day, at least on the inside - if the weather won't cooperate!


Ha ha, this one makes me laugh - you can tell by my expression that I'm sick of the weather!


Monday, January 18, 2010

Inspiration Calendar

One of my favorite bloggers, Kimberly, has developed an inspiration calendar, which I'm going to use as a tool when planning my outfits over the next few days. I find that I work well with parameters, so this will give me a focus.

Today's outfit may have veered off topic slightly - the look for the day is Light & Dark Mix - and although I think tan & black qualifies, I didn't get anything lighter into the mix.  My main focus today when getting dressed was wearing my new boots! I bought these during last week's shopping binge in St Louis - they were on sale at Nine West for about $90, and they meshed nicely with my current tall boot obsession.

Details: Work, meetings
Swazer (sweater/blazer - named by my lovely daughter Chelsea): Iisli - The Scholar Shop
Tank: H&M
Skirt: Banana Republic - ancient
Tights: Target
Boots: Nine West


(I'm experimenting with Picasa, and have liked the collage effect others have used.)

I wore these boots for the first time on Saturday. I also wore jeggings for the first time since the early 90s, nice flashback! I love the way the jeggings fit with the tall boots, I'll be wearing them again! I decided after the day was over that I don't really like this oversize wrap sweater, but I decided to post anyway in the spirit of full disclosure. The T-shirt / wrap sweater didn't really work well together either. Oh well, you can't hit it out of the park every day!

Details: Work, casual
Wrap sweater: H&M (on sale)
T-Shirt: Lucky Brand, 2007
Jeggings: H&M $20
Boots: Nine West



Friday, January 15, 2010

Butterflies are Free...

You have to be of a certain age to get the reference in the title - it was a TV Movie with Goldie Hawn and Eddie Albert Jr.  Anywhoo - I had to be in St Louis, MO yesterday, so I spent a little time at the mall before heading home to Springfield, IL. So many of my favorite bloggers have mentioned H&M, and I decided to take a run at it.  I loved the layering pieces they have in the store. I'm wearing a grey turtleneck and oversized T-shirt with the aforementioned butterfly (with sequins, no less). I also visited the Gap and found this cute wide wale corduroy trench in midnight navy blue. Brag on the bargain - the coat was originally $118, it went on sale a couple of times and yesterday it was priced at $42.99 - then they had an additional 50% off sale items - so the net result was I paid $21.50 for this beauty!  I found the cool motorcycle ankle boots at a DSW in Houston when I visited in December.

Occasion: Work, casual Friday (and not as warm as I had hoped, darn it)
Details: Turtleneck & T-Shirt - H&M
Jeans: Joe's Jeans
Boots: No. 704b - DSW
Coat: The Gap

2010 Jan 15-1

2010 Jan 15-2

2010 Jan 15-3
2010 Jan 15-4

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Warming Trend!

We may get temps in the 30-40F range today! How exciting is that? Anyway, today's outfit is inspired by the many bloggers who are layering wrap dresses, tights and sweaters.  Yesterday was a brown day, today is black and grey.  Since it's almost warm outside, I quickly snapped a few photos outside  before I got too cold.

Details: Work with meetings

Dress: Norma Kamali for WalMart (OK I know people HATE WalMart, but at $20 this dress is an amazing find. I ordered it online and the jersey material is soft and silky. The black / white / grey leopard print is an awful lot of fun, and it's amazingly flattering..)
Turtleneck: Juicy Couture, remixed
Cardigan: Banana Republic via The Scholar Shop
Tights: ?
Boots: Ralph Lauren via DSW circa 2006

2010 Jan 13-2

2010 Jan 13-1

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Boots-Tights-Skirt v1.0

I've seen so many other bloggers wearing the boots-tights-skirt combo that I decided to brave the cold and give it a try. So far so good; my big coat keeps my legs, etc. warm when I dash from the office to the car.  I like the tonal look, so I built up from brown suede boots, brown patterned tights, and a brown tank top; topping it off with a caramel colored (maybe more of a khaki) blazer. I added some peachy freshwater pearls to pop it up a notch.

Details: Work - Meetings

Blazer: Tahari - Nordstrom ?
Tank: Express
Skirt: INC - gift
Tights: Spanx - Neiman Marcus outlet
Boots: Stuart Weitzman - St Louis shoe store, can't remember the name
Pearls: Gift
Coat: Calvin Klein - Filene's Basement
Scarf: Burberry

2010 Jan 12-7
(Sorry about the blurry photo - I am still experimenting with my camera)
2010 Jan 12-8

2010 Jan-4

Closeup of the boots:
2010 Jan 12-9

Monday, January 11, 2010

Outfit Log - Crawlling around today

Today I will be crawling around on the floor putting together computers for the campaign's phone bank.  So, I thought I'd better wear jeans and a top that will cover my butt if I'm bending over (no plumber cracks for me)! The sweater/jacket is a cozy, flexible piece that will keep me warm yet mobile while I'm putting things together.  As I said in an earlier post, I'm still in my Uggs since we may get to the 20F range today.

So here's today's outfit, starting with the overcoat, scarf, sunglasses.


Coat: Armani - remixed
T-shirt - TJ Maxx
Sweater/Blazer - Ralph Lauren Black Label - The Scholar Shop
Jeans - Joe's Jeans, remixed
Boots - Uggs, remixed

2010 Jan 11-1

2010 Jan 11-4

2010 Jan 11-2

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Another snow day!

The weather-folks are getting it right this time. The snow started falling last night around 9pm, and it's still coming down. I finally broke down and bought a snow shovel this morning, and today I'm carpooling with my husband in the 4WD SUV.

I'm over my cranky pants (see previous post). I realize that writing and sharing about it helps ease the feeling. I have always wrestled with the ability to acknowledge negative feelings - thinking that if I feel negative then I must be negative. Well... not so much.  I keep forgetting that once I've acknowledged the feeling - I'm no longer fighting it - and it becomes much less powerful  - and I get through it. Easy peasy, right? Lifelong learning...

Today I needed a bright pop of color to contrast with the whiteout conditions outside.  I've had this beautiful orange cashmere V-neck Theory sweater for years, and I decided to try pairing it with a black button-up shirt and pinstriped slacks. Oh, and yes, I am wearing the Uggs! I may not come out of these bad boys for the next 10 days. We're supposed to get wind chill temperatures in the minus 15-20 range (yes that was -15 to -20 F).  BRRRRR.....

The overcoat I've had for probably over a decade now. This coat was one of those fashion finds that stays with you. I had just moved to Washington, DC from sunny southern California, and I had no coats except for ski jackets. I was cruising the Filene's Basement store in DC and found this charcoal/black double breasted wool/cashmere Armani overcoat for $150. The original price tags were still on the coat, I think it retailed for $2,500. And I'm still wearing it 12 years later!

2010 Jan 7-4

2010 Jan 7-1

2010 Jan 7-3

2010 Jan 7-2

Work - snowstorm - meetings
Sweater: Theory
Blouse: Facconable, Scholar Shop
Slacks: Tahari, Marshall's
Boots: Uggs
Coat: Giorgio Armani
Scarf: Burberry
Button: Quinn for Illinois campaign button

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Cranky pants - not the fashion kind!

Some days I'm wearing my cranky pants.  Don't get me wrong, I know how lucky I am. I love my life and I'm a happy person, generally speaking. But today is one of those out of kilter days. I know that it probably started when I weighed in this morning - and my weight is up. I've been wrestling with 2 pounds for a couple of months, but this morning another pound crept into the equation.

So - that started my grumpies. Then I was on a conference call for about 45 minutes with half a dozen people - half of whom treated the other half like idiots ("I have idiots on my team" - bonus points if you know the movie). That was 45 minutes of my life I'll never get back. The only positive note was that I was multi-tasking - so I got my makeup on and dressed for the day during the call (please God - don't make video conferencing part of my future). So I started my day with a grrrrrr.

Things have improved since then. I've contacted the local yoga studio to see if they offer individual instruction - the class schedule is fairly limited, so I'm hoping I can get some individual class time. If not - I've got the inimitable Rodney Yee at home, and I'll spend more time with him.

I also had lunch with my sweet husband. He's always supportive of me and makes me feel good about myself. I've been accomplishing a lot at work this morning, and now I've taken a break to catch up with some of my blog reading. You all inspire me - not just about fashion - but by talking about your lives and your ups and downs. So, no photos today - I didn't have time this morning what with that very important call - but I'll work on getting some more shots soon.

Oh - wait - I do have one photo to post.  My absolute favorite slipper - this was happy birthday to me in December - and with the below freezing weather we've been having these are WAY better than my usual flip flops!

Uggs Slippers1

Uggs Slippers2

Details: Uggs "Fluff" slippers, Mosser Shoes - Springfield