Friday, March 30, 2012

Lemon Fresh

I wanted to wear stripes today, simple as that.

Specifically, I wanted to take this new grey and white striped version out for a spin. I seem to like my stripes best with pencil skirts, so I figured I'd go monochromatic with one in comfy grey ponte. But then a girl needs some color. Since I'm always drawn to yellow with grey, yellow it was. Bright, fresh, clean, lemony yellow scarf and belt.

Striped top - Dorothy Perkins / Pencil skirt - Lane Bryant / Scarf - Gap /
Belt - Kohl's / Sandals - Bandolino (via Endless)

I wonder if I went overboard with the belt, though. Not merely in color but also for the sake of proportion. Usually a belt serves to highlight shape; I feel that perhaps here I've muddled it. (You know what else muddles shape? Fifteen or so extra pounds, right in the midsection. I should probably do something about that...) Ah, whatever. MUST!BELT!EVERYTHING! MOAR BELTS! MOAR COLOR!

Handbag - Tano "Minilisa"

Ahem, sorry about that. But let's focus on the best part, shall we? My fresh cut and highlight! Lord bless my stylist. Even he was ridiculously (if not deservedly) impressed with himself on this one.

Ring & earrings - Banana Republic

Thursday, March 29, 2012

How Graphic

It just occurred to me that this skirt photographs much bluer than it is in real life. There is a lot more green in this skirt than these posts have been letting on! It's a true teal, methinks, rather than an aquamarine blue. Or maybe it's yellow to you, who knows...

Top - Cynthia Steffe (via TJMaxx) / Pencil skirt - eloquii / Sandals - Bandolino (via Endless)

But that's where the wonder of post-processing (which I normally shy away from at all costs) comes in. In fact, this was one of those outfits I loved much more in real life than in my usual unedited pictures. To be honest, I almost hated it after reviewing the pictures; the graphic print of the top with the vibrant teal of the skirt was quite striking in person, but for some reason it came across much duller in the untouched photos. Cue a little magical tool called cross-processing (oooooh), and I was able to get the color of the skirt closer to what it's supposed to be. And make my pictures artsy. It's a win-win.

Handbag - DKNY (via TJMaxx)

I will say that I decided to change my shoes after taking these pictures, though. The ankle strap against my pale legs wasn't doing me any favors here, and the white also seemed to contribute to the outfit's apparent dullness. I bet you can't guess which shoes I swapped them for? Yep, that's right, yesterday's coral lovelies. At first I thought it might have been too much color, but the ol' BF - of all people - talked me into it. Go figure! Unfortunately, I didn't have time to redo the photo shoot, so I can only leave it to your imagination. And maybe this picture. =S

And actually, the skirt's color here is even closer to its true color! (The shoes - not so much.)

Ring - The Limited / Necklace - Banana Republic / Earrings - The Limited

I also introduce to you yet another photo location with this post. Thanks to some beefy masons working away on our neighbor's brick porch/yard/sidewalk, I was too embarrassed to take pictures of myself so close to them, possibly encouraging questions (gasp!) or comments (blurg), so I was finally forced to find a new (and improved!) shady spot nearby. (Ah, the brick background - the style blogger's best friend. Amirite??) However, I did take one picture of my would-be location (in an effort to pretend I wasn't doing anything strange whilst the beefcakes looked on) and thought it rather pretty on its own. Ah, spring's bloom...

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Shoe Power

Another new pair of shoes; another day's outfit that must surrender to their will.

Coral wardrobe pieces have all I've been able to think about lately. I might have found a coral pencil skirt (either some tailoring or a return is necessary), but I was overjoyed at finding these sandals. They're just the perfect shade of pinky orange I've been looking for! Though I've worn them with long denim that almost hides them here, I can't wait to break them out for, oh, practically every outfit I plan to wear this spring and summer.

Sandals - Nine West "Bigspender" (via Endless) / Nails - "Tart Deco" (Essie)

The sweater is a relatively new clearance find at LOFT, too. I've had some difficulty finding the right outfit for it, though. Ironically, I thought I would wear it with everything when I had tried it on in the fitting room. Isn't that how it is? Fitting room mirrors seem to be enchanted, luring a shopper into believing absolutely anything about a potential new clothing item. I figured I could wear it with pencil skirts, skinnies, jeans...but with each of these (I've now tried two options) the proportions were off, and additional layering or accessorizing with the top is rather difficult. I definitely love the colors, but I'm not sure this particular use of stripes is my friend - maybe just a distant relative.

Hence the shoes. One almost plus one OMGILOVEYOU equals not too shabby right? Let's just say yes. Besides, I found another outfit for this necklace!

Sweater - LOFT / Jeans - Lane Bryant / Ring - Ruche /
Necklace - Modcloth (gifted) / Clutch - eloquii

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

March Madness

Well, I had a joyous, productive vacation and, as always, it is hard to go back to work and all other manner of one's normal routine. In fact, I might have also taken off yesterday in an effort to recoup before I had to dive back in. I would have loved another week, of course, but I'm quite happy to report an extra day did quite nicely. I spent most of last week completing apartment cleaning/organizing projects, with windows wide open and music blaring, dressing in cute (and blogged!) outfits to run errands about town. I spent the weekend in WI with family, enjoying a little shopping and much-needed pedicures with mom and sister. All in all, delightful, relaxing, and totally rejuvenating.

Blazer - LOFT / Striped top - Banana Republic / Scarf - Banana Republic / Skinnies - Gap

I'm kind of enjoying the vacillation between mid-summer and early spring, though. (March madness, indeed.) I get to break out cute tops, skirts and sandals one day (and all of last week, really), getting to layer with blazers and scarves the next. Never a dull (sartorial) moment. Wearing scarves with my hair down reminds me that it's waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay past time to get a hair cut, though.

The scarf, a recent acquisition, was the star of this particular show. I love its color palette of blue, pink and a splash of orange; it just might be a herald of my ideal spring/summer wardrobe. For some reason, I've been all about stripes with printed scarves lately (easy pattern-mixing, methinks), so that plus blazer, skinnies and nude heels came together for yet another (and last for a while) leisurely girl-around-town outfit.

The colors of the scarf, and of the luminous spring foliage behind me, brought much-needed color to the day, as well. Cloudy and chilly, it was a day that reminded us all that, yes, it's still March after all.

Ring - Ruche / Scarf - Banana Republic / Earrings - Lane Bryant

Pretty sure I've found a favorite new photo location, however...

Shoes - Nine West "Hollyce" (via Zappos) / Handbag - Tano

Friday, March 23, 2012


And yet another outfit built solely (no pun intended) around the shoes. I just scored these cuties at Payless a few days ago and couldn't wait to wear them. I almost wore them with the zebra print top from yesterday's post, but I thought it was a tad too many things going on. (I may change my mind later on, though.)

T-strap wedge - Christian Siriano for Payless /
Nailpolish - "Bare It in Trafalgar Square" (O.P.I.)

I realize I didn't get very creative here, but it was a very casual-but-cute kind of day. I pretty much only went grocery shopping and ran to Target (I'm on vacation this week, by the way), but it was over 80 degrees by mid-afternoon so I thought this did the job nicely. (I can't believe I'm wearing such an outfit in MARCH!! GAH!)

Tee - The Limited / Denim pencil skirt - Lane Bryant /
Handbag (in first picture) - Furla (via Filene's Basement)

Basically, I wanted all the attention to go to the shoes, wearing more turquoise in my other accessories to accentuate them further. Simple but interesting white tee, casual denim pencil skirt, nude pedicure - just look at the shoes, k?? They are crazy comfortable, too, and I can't get over how flattering that t-strap is on my foot. Imma need to get more...

Earrings - Banana Republic / Ring - Ruche (gifted) / Belt - Dorothy Perkins /
Nail polish - "Cartwheels on the Catwalk" (Sephora by O.P.I.)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Zeal of Zebras

Did you know a pack of zebras is referred to as a "zeal"? Well I sure didn't, not until I looked it up for this post. I can't think of a better collective noun for, well, anything...

Zebra print top - Dorothy Perkins / Black ankle pants - Lane Bryant /
Tank - Anthropologie / Handbag - DKNY (via TJMaxx) / Sandals - Nine West

I love the quirky print of this Dorothy Perkins top, though. A fun, literal play on the usual animal print, methinks! Those Brits are oh-so-cheeky... Ironically, I was not terribly attracted to this top when I first found it. (I had been searching for "coral" items.) But I kept coming back to it, drawn first to its perfect coral color, and then finally succumbing to the undeniable cuteness of all those topsy-turvy zebras. (It apparently also comes in ivory if the coral isn't your thing.) Add a 20% off coupon (not that DP prices are all that extravagant anyway, but I can't ever go without a discount) and free expedited shipping, and done.

Belt - Talbots / Ring - Ruche / Earrings - LOFT

It is a very blousy, shapeless top on its own, though. I'll need to tuck it in (for a future wearing, I'm sure) or continue to wear it with a belt as a result. But you know me - I'm never adverse to belting anything. Fun with accessories! Or as the beloved Highlights magazines we got as kids (anyone else get them?) told me, fun with purpose!

I now have tons of zeal for these zebras, for sure... ; )

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Heart of It

Peplums are all the rage this spring, I hear. Trend or no, I wanted to get my hands on some. Dorothy Perkins, a site I stalk daily, has the corner on the peplum market, it seems, so I didn't have to look very far. Just once little search for "peplum" yields an ample number of crazy cute options - dresses and tops, prints and solids. What to choose! This darling pink heart-print top was one of the first items to hop in my cart. A graphic print dress and nude-colored dress were next to follow. I'm quite close to pulling the trigger on this contrast print one, too.

Peplum top - Dorothy Perkins / Pencil skirt - Dorothy Perkins

I can't get over how perfectly this top fits, though. If I wasn't confident in DP sizing before (I'm a solid 14, a full size down from my usual US size), I surely am now! I mean, even the sleeves are perfect. I was afraid they'd be really tight and therefore unsightly, but they sit neatly on top of my broad shoulders. Sure, the top is a little snug across my bust, but that was almost unavoidable; still, even that isn't very noticeable. And it's darling, darling, darling. I've done it up rather casually here with a denim pencil skirt (DP again!), though skinnies would be a great option too.

Handbag - Urban Outfitters / Sandals - Payless

I already have a few minor changes in mind for the next time I wear it: these cute strappy turquoise wedges I just picked up and other turquoise accessories. Naturally, I look forward to dressing it up as well!

Ring - Ruche / Earrings - LOFT

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Today was one of those days that I had a completely different outfit in mind than what I actually walked out of the house wearing. I had been looking for another way to wear this top, though, and this is what I came up with. My default is always a pencil skirt, you know...

Yellow and grey is a favorite combination of mine, so I went for one of my more casual, ponte versions. I'm not sure I love the proportions with a skirt, but the way the lace print thins out near the border seems to help a bit. What really brings the whole outfit together for me is the handbag, though. I've been looking for a funky black handbag for a while now, and this DKNY black nylon and (lots of) gold hardware TJMaxx find was IT. I'm rather impressed how perfectly it completes the outfit, really.

Amber Room Top - Anthropologie / Pencil skirt - Chloe Dao (eBayed) /
Heels - Nine West  "Hopefloat" / Handbag - DKNY (via TJMaxx0

As a top I was over the moon to get my hands on, I really am having trouble how else to style it. Any suggestions?

Ring - The Limited / Earrings - LOFT

Monday, March 19, 2012

Go Green

I'm not a lick Irish, but one of my good friends/co-workers is, and since she was throwing a St. Patrick's Day bash this past Saturday (beginning at 10am, I should mention), I wanted to pay my respects. A green zebra print seemed like just the thing.

I knew we'd be walking the mere 5 blocks to her house, especially since the weather was simply divine that day, so walkable footwear was necessary. (In fact, we snapped these pics on our way home!) Walkable footwear typically mandates wearing a skirt as well, since pants or jeans likewise requires heels to lengthen out my stumptacular legs. Happily, this perfect denim pencil skirt from Dorothy Perkins had just arrived on my doortep a few days before, and I didn't want to wear anything else. Can the length and deep indigo color be more ideal??? Incidentally, this is about my third order from DP in two months. I'm soooo very hooked. More DP goodies to follow over the next few posts, by the way...

Cardigan - Banana Republic / Camisole - Anthropologie / Pencil skirt - Dorothy Perkins /
Sandals -  Moda Spana (via

I always like belting a buttoned-cardigan-pencil skirt combo. When wearing anything untucked over a skirt, Tim Gunn's rule of thirds is best obeyed if I can create more definition at my waist. (This is also why I don't need a belt when tucking pieces in - the waitband creates that definition for me.) But what color, I pondered? Well, gold, of course! That was the only answer for the rest of my accessories, too.

Necklace - LOFT / Earrings - Maurices / Belt - Talbots /
Ring - Ruche / Sunglasses - LOFT

Friday, March 16, 2012

Blog and Learn

This outfit is brought to you by more leopard and teal! I had forgotten about his top in my small arsenal of teal choices, so I thought I'd take it out for a spin.

Top - The Limited / Skirt - Banana Republic (thrifted) / Belt - Old Navy /
Heels - Christian Siriano for Payless / Clutch - eloquii

I liked it the last time I had belted it, but this iteration doesn't quite do it for me. There's something about the top's proportions that just don't lend itself well to belting with contrasts, at least on this short-waisted bod of mine. In fact, I removed the belt - the lone leopard print - near the end of the night. In hindsight, I would have done without the belt (or the with the same tone-on-tone belt as last time) and worn my perfect leopard print heels instead. Oh well, that's why I blog, I guess: Take pictures and learn!

Ring - Banana Republic / Necklace - Banana Republic / Earrings - Anthropologie

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Ruffles Have Ridges

I think we've skipped spring altogether and jumped straight into summer. Don't get me wrong - I'm over the moon about the return of warm, sunny days, but I'm confused about how to get dressed. And I haven't had my first spring pedicure yet...

Cardigan - LOFT / Ruffled shirt - Lane Bryant / Tank - Anthropologie / Ankle pants - Lane Bryant /
Belt - Talbots / Clutch - eloquii /  Heels - Max Studio (via DSW)

Ankle pants seem to be where (wear?) it's at, though. They grow on me the more I wear them. I had hoped they'd be a wardrobe staple and I haven't been disappointed! Basically, showing my ankles is helping me transition into, er, whatever the helluva season we're having. Shoot, it could snow tomorrow (and it might) and I guess I could make it work...

The rest of the outfit was put together on the basis that I really did want to wear more teal and leopard together. What's easier than a teal cardigan and leopard heels? The (very fussy and rather old) ruffled shirt was the middle man, the simple print (stripe) to tie it all together with some kind of visual interest. Maybe too much, though, eh?

Ring - Ruche (gifted) / Necklace - The Limited / Earrings - Banana Republic