Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloweentime and new news.

Happy Halloween ya'll! Sadly, my dreams for a Lady Gaga meat dress and meat hat were never realized as I was so incredibly swamped this past week and weekend to even go out anywhere. My halloween costume for today? Dress code as I head to work. Exciting, I know.

In related news, part of the reason I've been so bad about writing or posting at all these past two weeks is because of some very exciting life news. (Drumroll, please) After a year and a half of searching, I've finally found a full-time job! I'm very exciting and nervous at the same time, but its about time! This opportunity completely came out of left field, and the transition from giving my two part-time jobs their two-week notices, training at my new job before the person I'm replacing leaves, and trying to finish my business classes has left little time for either a social life or time to blog! I am eager, however, to get into the regular schedule of a 9-5er for a change, and be able to get back to blogging, which I have enjoyed so much since I started. :)

And, because this cannot be a completely style-free post, I leave you instead with Rosie's Halloween costume, which is infinitely more exciting than mine:

She's a submarine! I found this awesome costume at Target :)

Strike a pose.

Tucker doesn't enjoy it as much...he'd much rather go naked.

Have a good halloween you guys!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Brand Love: Fossil

Bad blogger! Bad! No, no, no! *shakes finger*

Ok, its hard to give valid excuses for having not blogged (is that the past tense of the verb 'to blog?') for a week. But I have a few anyway. The one outfit post I had scheduled in perfectly to photograph, the light was perfect, the wind was perfect, I was having a perfect-hair day, I had set up the camera angle perfectly, my test shots were taken and adjusted perfectly, the dogs were perfectly occupied for just long enough...and my camera battery died. *face-palm* And I didn't have to time to charge my battery because I had to run to class and...yeah. I've also had some major  and exciting life changes fall out of the sky this past week that I will share with everyone maybe next time! :) I will try to re-photograph that outfit along with some others soon!

Anyway, I wanted to start a new segment that I've had swirling in my brain. I'm still toying with the title, but I wanted to spotlight brands that I love! I don't consider myself a slave to specific brands or designers by any means, but there are certain brands under which I know I can always find something to adore. Fossil is one of these, and increasingly so as they extend their brand to include shoes, clothes, jewelry, and accessories. I haven't had the chance to buy anything beyond their bags, wallets and watches, but the stuff on their website is too cute! And (thank goodness) affordable too!

I first wore their watches in about eighth grade when I figured I should forgo my plastic digital timex for a more "grown up" analogue watch. They have great basic watches in a ton of different styles that I can whack around and wear everyday without feeling too bad about scratching it up a bit. I usually have a simple, inexpensive watch that I wear day-to-day and I save my nice watches for special occasions. My favorite "special" Fossil watch is this bubble one that I saw in In Style a year (two years?) ago. I dropped major hints, and by golly Santa delivered that year:

Fossil's got a laid back, boho feel about them that I really love, particularly with their handbags and shoes. They also use a lot of gorgeous and fun prints with their bags and wallets that I always like. Who wants a boring black wallet? Not when you can have one like this:

The most boring wallet I own is this solid red one, and I'll only carry it in my purses that are lined in dark fabric so I can find it more easily. But we'll talk save my obsession with fun wallets for another day...

And then this last bag that I'm (also) obsessed with. Its less professional and more fun, but I love that I can extend the strap and make it into a cross-body bag. And its very boho. Holla'.

So go check out their stuff! Does anyone have any experience with Fossil's clothes?

(And, in case anyone is wondering, this isn't a sponsored post by any means. I'm just talking about the brands/clothes/fashion I love!)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Things I'm Craving

Ack, its been too long since I've posted! Although between two classes, two part time jobs, one of my best friends moving away and trying to also find a full-time job...eesh, I need to work on my time management.

Anyway, I'm dying to find these/versions of these things for myself!

I want bright red pants! Denim, cords, or other, I'm not sure yet...

Eileen Fisher
A leather obi belt, that wraps around to tie in the front. This one is fantastic, I've tried it on!

Free People
This freakin' awesome cardigan from Free People!

Farhi by Nicole Farhi,
Batwing sweaters! I just need to find one that doesn't make me look like I'm trying to hide a pregnancy, or like I have a shapeless torso...

Marc Jacobs,
Pleated skirts like this gorgeous one by Marc Jacobs!

Over-the-knee-socks with heels or booties! I don't know if I can pull it off, but I want to try :)

I want to incorporate these into my fall wardrobe somehow! Have any of you guys tried these looks?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Shopping Vintage/Thrift Part II (or) Every (Wo)man for Themselves!

So I made it through my first major rummage sale. I posted last week about going to a huge annual church rummage sale in my area, and how I felt very uneducated on how to go about navigating the sheer volume of goodies. Unfortunately, the friend I had planned on going with had her car battery die that morning, so I was on my own for this one.

Another friend of mine suggested I/we get there really early. Like, really early. Doors opened at 7 am and she told me to get there between 5:30-6:00 am. But, she promised me, its totally worth it. So I got there around 6:15 (even for the sake of cheap clothes its hard to get up earlier than 5:00 am...) and good heavens, the sheer size of the crowds was staggering. There were police directing traffic and guarding monitoring each room to ensure not too many people were inside at one time to create a fire hazard. Church volunteers were handing out maps to help people navigate each area! And the lines were starting to curl around the block! People had brought carts to haul away goods! I even saw one girl who had two huge Army issue duffle bags (like this!) strapped over each shoulder! I was a little intimidated.

I quickly got in line and collaborated with another girl waiting in line about where we each were going first. She wanted to hit up the purses section and try and find a Coach bag. I decided to make a run (literally) for the area labelled the "French Room," where, apparently, the higher end clothes in the best condition were waiting for all the scrambling women. With the sheer number of people (women) waiting in line I was unsurprised to hear that "the good stuff" is usually gone in a matter of minutes. When the doors opened it was a free-for-all.

All in all I came away a pretty good haul considering it was my first time at this game. I found a black, Banana Republic marino wool dress with the original tags still on it for only $18! (the tags retailed it at $98!) I was really tempted to buy an Oscar de la Renta silk caftan, but it was a size 16, and I don't trust my sewing skills yet to properly take things in: and for the $25 price tag I can buy a couple of yards of colorful silk and probably find a pattern to make my own caftan :) There was also an exquisite wedding dress that looked like it was from the 30's or 40's. It had 3/4 length sleeves and buttons all the way down the back. I wish I had brought my camera to take a picture! But I needed both my hands to dig...

So here's the run down:
        -Banana Republic brand new wool dress $18
        -Red snakeskin belt $3
        -2 pretty silk scarves $2 of them is a Liberty of London!!!
        -A gorgeous blue glass vase for $2.50

Dress: thrift, Banana Republic
Scarves: thrift, Liberty of London and ?
Booties, Jacket: J. Crew
Belt: thrift
Earrings: Target


Not too shabby, I'd say, for my first rummage sale :) Any thoughts?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Interview Chic

Taking a leaf out of Academichic's book, I decided to post my favorite job interview outfit. I'm still in the stages of finding that elusive full-time job, and this outfit is a real confidence booster when going into interviews.

I love this honey colored sweater. I think yellow's can be tricky to wear, and you need to find the right shade for your skin tone and hair, but it has a very cheery and unexpected effect when done correctly. And when I saw this skirt at Anthro and how perfectly it would match the sweater, I had to have it.

Cardigan: J. Crew
Cami/tank: Jockey
Skirt: Anthropologie
Tights: Hue, from Marshall's
Shoes: Graffiti 
Bag: Longchamp, borrow from my mom's closet!
Earrings/ring: birthday gifts

This is my "power suit." Unless its an incredibly corporate environment that calls for a straight-up suit, I like to try and look profession and pulled together while still having some fun with my outfit. I'm not about to try and really stand out with my wardrobe (I want to be remembered for my interview and not my clothing!), but I like the brightness of this outfit without it looking too crazy. I think I still look pulled together and pleasantly conservative, but not stuffy. At least, I hope so. With such a bright, eye-catching color I went with minimal jewelry and basic accessories. Hopefully I come across as pulled together and confident. And this color gives me a boost if I'm feeling nervous. :)

Note to self: Don't try to take pictures of a fall/winter weather outfit when its freakishly 75 degrees out in October.

Oh, and the worst part about taking these photos, besides the heat? The bees. Maybe it was my outfit that attracted them to me...

Thursday, October 7, 2010

My Goals for This Blog

Alright, so I've been enjoying my time here immensely in the past week or so I've been here; I posted a few times, on various topics and outfits I like; I've gotten a few comments *jump up and down!*; I have a 2 (that's two) people following me *jump up and down!*; and I've been able to greatly broaden my list of fashion blogs and bloggers that I find are all amazing.

I'm not just here to jump up and down about how many people are following me, or how many people have looked at each and every one of my posts. Its just really exciting to actually put something out there and have a response! I am so looking forward to getting to know other readers, bloggers, and fashion-impassioned people in general! What I want most is to generate a dialogue with others who have similar interests. I've been looking at fashion blogs for years without actually considering becoming part of the discussion, until I finally asked myself "why not?"

So, in short, I'm extremely excited to be starting this journey. And with this journey I am imparting on myself some goals and semi-rules! I'm sure I will be adding to this list and editing it as I go, but if I don't write them down now I will start to forget!

Goal #1 Add color to your wardrobe! 
I look back on my 23 years, mainly starting with high school, and my fashion sense was always I have my mom the thank for my appreciation of classic styles, and a love of black. But in that attempt to not put myself in the spotlight (of which I was terrified for so long...but who wasn't in high school?) my clothing choices were always very basic. A lot of black, grey, chocolate brown, and pale blues. And that was it. Now add more color!

Goal #2 Add pattern to your wardrobe!
(Please refer to goal #1, above) And mix and match with abandon!

Goal #3 Don't be afraid to try new shapes and cuts!
 I can't live my life in jeans, a t-shirt (and a cardigan if I'm feeling really wild)! I must try dresses! And more skirts! And be brave and try things that are outside what's considered "in." Along the way, make sure to learn what fits my body best! The colors and patterns may be good, I don't need to look ridiculous, for goodness' sake...

Goal #4 Ban those PJ's and sweats (most of the time)!
Don't get me wrong, everyone is allowed to have a day where they bum around the house and don't get out of their PJ's until mid-afternoon. And trust me, I lavish in those days. But the ratio of non-PJ-days to PJ-days should be much greater than it currently is...
(Oh, and this rule doesn't apply to sick days. Like, legitimate "I'm-really-sick!" days. That's my one loop-hole.)

Goal #5 Enjoy the process!
Hopefully this one will be a no-brainer for me :)

So that's my start. My manifesto. My credo. Or at least the beginning of it. I'm so excited to be starting this, and I hope I can get to know as many of my readers/fellow-bloggers as possible! If anyone ever has a question or comment, please don't hesitate to contact me! I readily welcome and encourage constructive criticism, comments and opinions. I am more than happy to oblige. :)


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Let's pretend its always summer...

I assumed that my last outfit post would be my last summer-themed one, but it appears that I'm wrong. Its almost 80 here in Chicago today! So I pulled together an outfit I had in mind for next summer. I feel tall in this outfit! You can't really tell in the photos but my shoes have a platform that makes me feel like a giant.
I tried to have my puppy Rosie be in the photo shoot, but she doesn't really get it. As you can see, I gave up after a while. I love her to pieces: she's the lovliest, sweetest girl. And she just turned 1 year a few weeks ago!
And I usually don't post this many pictures, but I like the "story" these make :)

Top: Gap
Pants, Belt: J. Crew
Shoes: Cordani 
Sunglasses: Target
Earrings: borrowed from my mom!
Labrador: Rosie <3

I just got this top on sale at Gap and I love how flowing it is. I'm trying to think if there's a way I could transfer it to fall/winter...any ideas?

Monday, October 4, 2010

How do you shop vintage/thrift?

I have a strange dilemma. Or is it a "problem?" Maybe its a state of mind... Either way, I feel a somewhat clueless when it comes to shopping for clothes at thrift stores, rummage sales, and vintage shops.

I love all these fashion blogs I have been discovering over this past summer in my free time, and they've inspired me to start one of my own (I'm having so much fun!). But I'm always envious of people who post about finding a fabulous (insert cool piece of clothing) at thrift/rummage/vintage shops and markets. I always think, "Where did they find that? How did they find that? How come I never find stuff like that..."

Don't get me wrong, I adore thrifting and vintage shopping: you always find the coolest things whether its clothes, accessories, furniture, random knick-knacks, etc. And when you find them, its literally like finding a gem in a pile of rubble: the thrill of the hunt is addicting. I feel the same way about mega-sale shopping (Loehmann's, Nordstrom Rack, TJ Maxx, I'm looking at you guys). And finding accessories is old hat to me: I'm like a bloodhound on the scent when it comes to funky purses and jewelry (don't think you can hide from me! I see you at the bottom of that pile there!). But there's always something about the clothes department that throws me. Why is this?

Is it the overwhelming amount of stuff you have to dig through to find those gems? Is it the strange mish-mosh of clothing from different years, styles, age groups, and stores? Sometimes I fear its that little imp sitting on my shoulder (she looks and sounds strangely like my grandmother...) saying "Do you even know where that's been?" (Hush! That's why washing machines and dry cleaning were invented!). Its after these particular thoughts that I start to feel a little snobbish, and that's definitely not what I want. I usually leave somewhere after all these thoughts collide, empty handed, flummoxed, and a little disappointed. What am I missing?

Is there a method to the madness that I'm missing (kudos for alliteration! *geek*)? Is there some secret technique that my mother forgot to pass down to me from her ancestors? How do all these people find the coolest clothes for those rock-bottom prices? My friend and I are waking up early, bundling up, and heading down to this church rummage sale this Thursday morning, October 7. A friend of mine tells me its huge, and last year she found a Gucci belt for $10 and a pair of designer leather pumps that she googled when she got home: they were like $400 shoes that she got for $15! I'm stoked.

Basically, does anyone have any advice? Is there a "technique" you employ for sniffing out those cute tops, skirts, sweaters, shoes and jackets? I'd love to hear from any veteran thrift/vintage shoppers who might help a girl get a clue! Or share you best find!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Its In The Books

Sorry this isn't an outfit-post like I wanted it to be, but I think I'm coming down with a cold, and it gets so dark so quickly this time of year!

Every summer my local library has a used book sale where all the books that people have donated throughout the year are marked down and sold to benefit the library (support your local library! Yay!). Its almost as fun as digging through a rummage sale to find that one diamond in the rough in a piece of jewelry or awesome clothing. This year I found an awesome book that I believe was (or could be used as) a textbook for studying fashion and its history over the past century. And it was only $6!

Before I go any further, I cede all credit of these photos to the writers/editors/makers of this book: "Fashion: The Century of the Designer 1900-1999," Verlagsgesellschaft mbH, Könemann, Bonner Straße 126, D - 50968 Cologne, 1999. (And Charlotte Seeling writes the forward of the English translation version)

(See Mom, all those years of tuition paid off: I know how to properly cite a text! And no, my cat didn't walk over my computer while I was typing the author's name. Apparently this book was originally published in German in Cologne, then translated into English. Either way, the authors/translators did a very nice job!)

This thing is over 600 pages long and filled to the brim with gorgeous photos from each decade to illustrate the trends, influential designers, iconic fashion statements and milestone, and social impacts on fashion. I wanted to share a few photos I took of the book because it is too large for my scanner. I apologize for the flash points against the pages, by the time I got home from work it was too dark out for photos!

Its pretty in pink!
The beauty standard in the 1900's. She's so beautiful! And definitely not a size 2 :)
I also wish I could find hats like the one she's wearing.

Showing how older designs and fashions past can influence current/future trends.

I think this book was actually someone's textbook at some point.


Some of the most beautiful ever!

Not today, I don't think. This is where the book stops, as it was published in 1999. I feel old! I think I was still rocking out to the Spice Girls in 1999, and fancied myself a Baby Spice wannabe. That's right, I rocked the pigtails/buns. With a feather boa for Halloween.

I haven't read this whole thing yet, but read bits here and there that looked interesting. I mostly like the pretty pictures, but its interesting how it discusses the evolution of "the designer" as a producer of specific fashions. I looked on Amazon, and if anyone wanted to look for this book I found the version published in 2000 here. I think its slightly updated from my version published in 1999.

What do you guys think of the book's prediction that fashion after 1999 would be minimalist?