18. June 2012 10:55
Oh, Anthro, you rarely disappoint. Seriously, I am addicted to this store. I purchased the very lovely Allegra Boatneck Dress, online, without trying it on, which I do not typically recommend. However, I did read the reviews, so I decided not to size down this time (good move). This dress is perfect for my body type (ample bosom, small waist, plenty of hips). Side bar: this body description means I am curvy. "Curvy" and "plus size" are not synonymous.
The back detail is great, too. No visible bra straps.
Just be warned: The skirt has a mind of its own. Beware of a strong breeze! This could have been dangerous.
17. June 2012 19:34
Last weekend, I was in New England for my sister's bridal shower. I wore a very proper a-line dress from L.L. Bean Signature. These clothes are very well made; in fact, the website claims they are "guaranteed to last." This particular dress is fully lined, and even includes bra-strap snaps (probably not an official term) to prevent your bra strap from peeking out or falling down. You can see from this back view that no bra can be seen. I love that! Also, as you can see, the hemline is long enough so that I can sit cross-legged without flashing anyone. Here I am keeping track of the shower gifts and respective gift givers. Oh, the many joys of being a [maid]-of-honor. (I'm no "matron.")
Back to the dress: I bought it about 2 years ago before L.L. Bean Signature carried smaller sizes. I didn't check the size charts and didn't realize that I was sized out. Always check the size charts! The dress was so well made and so in keeping with my style that I just couldn't return it. First, I tried to make it fit by adding a thick, stretchy belt. Can you see how much extra fabric is gathered down the center of the garment? It's hard to tell because of the way I am slouching my shoulders, but the bodice of the dress is much too loose, as well.
Eventually, I decided to take the dress to my local tailor who took it up at the shoulders, took it in at the waist, and hemmed it slightly. Now, the perfect picnic dress is a perfect fit! Look: No bunching!
5. June 2012 16:27
When you can't think of anything to wear on a mediocre day, jeans and a t-shirt is an easy choice. My favorite go-to denim piece for Spring is a wrap skirt from Madewell.com. I had been looking for a longer, a-line denim skirt for quite some time, and this frock fits the bill. I like it because it is comfortable, versatile, and helps give this slouchy gray t-shirt a much-desired upgrade from gym wear to casual wear.
1. June 2012 14:56
I have always loved colored jeans and pants, so it was only a matter of time before I upgraded to prints. Citizens of Humanity has a gorgeous pair of floral-print jeans that I found at a local store, called Tag Denim. The best feature of these jeans is definitely the print, but I have to say the fit comes in at a close second with a much higher rise (that's not too high). Thirdly, these jeans are surprisingly versatile. I quickly found four ways to wear them, without breaking a sweat.
Look 1: This is the most obvious choice. Select an off-white or white Henley or button-down that drapes loosely over these bold bottoms. Instead of going with the usual Oxfords, I dusted off a pair of white leather moccasins with pink beaded detail (Steve Madden, circa 2006).
Look 2: Play up the femininity of these pants with girly, yet subdued, details. I selected a not-so-plain white tank and mid-heel, pink pearly peep-toes.
Look 3: Subtly down play the floral pattern with a slightly masculine button-down and menswear-inspired Oxfords. Keep it neutral.
Look 4: Floral turns ultra-casual with a simple crew-neck pullover.
23. May 2012 11:03
This past weekend was my cousin's wedding, and I wore an adorable dress from J.Crew. I wrapped up the look with my fabulous Coach wedges (see Exhibit A) and a Nantucket lightship basket as a purse. Unfortunately, I don't have a head-to-toe snapshot, so you'll just have to take my word for it: The look was cute. Here I am with my cousins right before the ceremony.
The only thing that ruined my über cuteness was a woman wearing the same exact dress. As soon as I saw her, I minimized the tension by saying, "Great taste," though I was incredibly annoyed that I had a clone (Was she wearing my dress, or was I wearing hers?). For the rest of the night, I referred to her as "Dot" to my husband and kept telling her to "ske-dot-dle" under my breath. Witty, right? To be honest, she did wear the dress differently than I did—with a red ribbon as a belt and white strappy sandals. The red ribbon was a nice touch, but I was not a fan of the strappy sandals. I think an espadrille wedge or Mary Jane would have been a better choice. But no matter how different our looks actually were, they were still very much the same because we were each sporting a very distinctive polka-dot dress.
My take-home: Never wear a J.Crew dress to a wedding. I like J.Crew, but so do a lot of people; therefore, the chances of dress duplication are pretty good.
16. May 2012 14:57
My Latest Splurge inspired me, or rather reminded me, that my toe nail polish needed to be updated. My favorite brand of nail polish is Essie because of the variety of color choices and the smooth application of the polish. I do all of my pedicures myself. ( I had a bad experience once. It was really bad. And gross.) Anyway, pedicures are too risky for the expense, and I do a pretty good job. The keys to a great-looking pedi (or mani) are as follows:
1. Remove all excess polish. Clip and file nails before Step 2.
2. Soak or wash hands and/or feet, or take a shower before Step 3.
3. When cuticles are still soft, push them down. No need to trim them! Wipe away excess nail clippings or cuticles with a damp paper towel or cloth.
4. Apply a thin coat of polish. Let dry for at least 5 to 10 minutes before applying the next coat. Apply 2 to 3 coats of color in total.
5. Allow color to dry completely. Apply a top shine coat. You can even wait until the next day for the top coat.
The result? An inexpensive, risk-free pedicure.
14. May 2012 18:26
Happy belated Mother's Day! While shopping for a Mother's Day gift for my mother-in-law, I bought myself a little pressie a week advance of Stepmother's Day, which is a legit day, even if no one knows it exists, and no one acknowledges it. This was definitely an out-of-the-ordinary splurge. Behold: The most decadent (and expensive) pair of flat sandals I have ever owned.
I got these bright delights at Nordstrom. They cannot be found online, and they are not currently carried in Coach retail stores. Now I need to go out into the world and wear them so that I can further justify their value.
10. May 2012 20:05
I am visually attracted to various things: ladybugs, bumblebees (the cute, fuzzy ones), strawberries, and giraffes, to name a few. For example, when I see a ladybug in my house, I pick it up and say "hello" before bringing it outside. I also like ladybug key chains, ladybug jewelry, and so forth. In fact, Tiffany makes an adorable ladybug charm that is darling. What is it about ladybugs? (Side note: Just noticed the T&Co has a painter's palette charm. How friggin' cute is that? Moving forward, I'm adding "painter's palette" to my list of attractable items.) My mom, as another example, likes scallop shells.
My point is, if I like ladybugs and bumblebees and strawberries, I don't have a problem wearing clothing with prints comprised of these nostalgic items—not together in one print; that might be pushing it. For instance, the dress I wore walking around DC this past Saturday had a bumblebee print. Fuzzy ones, of course.
My most recent clothing purchase is a classic button-down that I could not resist because it has strawberries all over it! How could I pass up something so delicious? Well, I couldn't. Thanks again, Anthropologie, for being the source of 70% of my current wardrobe.
See how happy I am wearing scrumptious strawberries? If you see clothing with a print of something you love (four-leaf clovers, sailboats, bicycles?), consider it. It might just boost your mood.
8. May 2012 23:39
I am very excited that my [favorite] cousin is marrying an amazing girl in a week and a half. I am also excited to wear a very adorkable polka-dot dress with a full skirt and feminine silhouette. This dress is so prim and proper and is therefore perfect for a family event. (It would also be perfect to don while having tea with the Queen.) Although I would love to have another excuse to buy a new pair of shoes, this dress is just not that excuse. I have at least three pairs of shoes in my closet that are ready to wear.
Exhibit A: Fabulous neutral Coach wedges from last Spring.
Exhibit B: Classic Nina red satin pumps. I wore these with my wedding dress!
Exhibit C: The sexy pin-up Guess heels I wore in my last post.
Stay tuned when I reveal the which shoes I shall choose!
7. May 2012 15:09
This weekend, my husband and I decided we needed a change of scenery, so we took an impromptu mini trip to Washington, D.C., which is a 3-hour drive from Philadelphia. We stayed at the Capital Hilton where we enjoyed a spacious room and a delicious breakfast buffet. I'm not normally one to partake in a buffet (food sitting out under hot lamps?), but breakfast buffets are a personal favorite. We spent most of Saturday on our feet. We started at the National Museum of American History around 11:30 AM and didn't leave until 2:30 PM. Next, we made our way to the Smithsonian American Art Museum & National Portrait Gallery, which is my new favorite museum in Washington. We spent about 2 hours there.
When I travel, domestically or internationally, I want to be comfortable, but I do not want to look like a tourist (think t-shirt, shorts, sneakers, and fanny back—I'll pass!). For our long day on Saturday, I wore a comfortable a-line shirt dress, an easy-to-carry cross-body bag, and neutral flat sandals.
Later in the evening, my husband treated us to a steak dinner at Bobby Van's. I wore one of my favorite dresses (bright red, of course!) with matching heels from Guess. I was probably a bit overdressed for the restaurant, but I'd rather be overdressed than underdressed.