Sequins, ruffles, jewel tones!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Cardigan: Target
Blouse: J Crew
Belt: gift from Ann Taylor (thanks Mom)
Skirt: borrowed, Forever 21 (thanks Emma)
Tights: Banana Republic
Shoes: thrifted, originally Forever 21
Earrings: thrifted

I've worn this outfit on a couple of different occasions - to work, to the bar, to dinner. It was inspired entirely by the blouse, which I found on ridiculous, jaw-dropping mega-sale at J. Crew for $20 (originally $150). It's a size large, so as usual it's enormous on me, but with a cardigan and a belt you can barely tell. The sequins are a gorgeous neutral tan color that somehow reflects light of every different color. It's beautiful.

I don't have too much to say about this outfit except that I feel like a princess when I wear it - in the best possible way! The skirt reminds me of Belle's gold dress in Beauty and the Beast, the sequins make me feel girly and light, and the animal print belt makes it just funky enough.

Big news - these photos are being taken on my brand new camera! My sister Danielle gave me her old Rebel, which is just a much nicer, newer version of the camera I already have, so I'm pretty thrilled.

Also, forgot to mention my very favorite part of the outfit - the back-seamed tights!

Keep on your mean side

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

[image via]

I hope all of you had a wonderful, warm Christmas! Mine was perfect - the longest, most relaxing vacation I've had in at least a couple of years. Now that I'm rested I will be returning to the blog full force, so expect pretty frequent updates in the coming days.

Today's tune comes to you from rockers The Kills, from their 2003 album Keep On Your Mean Side. The track, "Hitched", is noisy but somehow simple. I can almost hear them chain smoking between phrases.


"Hitched" - The Kills
[scroll to the bottom and click the orange "download" link]

A Holiday Drink

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Shirt: Forever 21
Bra: Calvin Klein
Belt: thrifted
Skirt: thrifted/gift (thanks Mai)
Pueple tights: HUE
Black patterned tights: Calvin Klein
Shoes: Nine West (thanks Mom)
Earrings: Claire's
Nailpolish: Wet 'n' Wild, "Private Viewing"

I went out for a holiday drink with some of my coworkers last night to Webster's Wine Bar in Lincoln Park, and then downtown to Angels and Kings. I got picked up and dropped off, a luxury I am not used to - I may have gotten a leeeeeeettle bit too excited about not having to walk, and wore ridiculous open toed heels even though there was a major snow/icestorm. What can I say? I hate winter and I will use any excuse to pretend it isn't happening!

I also tried layering two pairs of tights for the first time. Not the most comfortable arrangement, but I loved having a sheer purple color underneath my witchy black tights. It made the pattern a little more subtle and added a nice touch of color.

This is still my current favorite shirt, by the way. The belt is also a major wardrobe player since it goes with everything. The skirt was a gift from Mai on one of her recent visits to Chicago, and I love it but it is precariously short and also missing a couple buttons (yet another reason I wore double-layered tights)!

I'm thinking about doing a "Best Of" list for the greatest clothing gifts I've ever received in honor of Christmas coming up - - or maybe a general list of my closet MVPs. What do you guys think?

Ilja Visser Spring/Summer 11

Sunday, December 12, 2010

[Ilja Visser, image via]

I don't often write posts about specific collections or designers because I consider myself entirely uninformed about those things - I don't pay enough attention to have a complete picture of any one designer's career or output. But I really loved the Ilja Visser Spring/Summer 11 show. So romantic, but cheese-free - just the way I prefer my romance!

My favorites:

The Amsterdam-based Visser never dissapoints. See more on her website!

Getting bundled up

Monday, December 06, 2010

Blouse: J Crew
Blazer: thrifted
Pants: Banana Republic
Socks: H&M
Shoes: Nine West (thanks Mom)
Scarf: Banana Republic
Purse: thrifted
Earrings: vintage/gift (thanks Gram)
Lipgloss: Colorlab, "Rogue Wave" (thanks Marie)
Nailpolish: Forever 21

This outfit is the result of me not having enough quarters/motivation to do laundry this weekend. I had to pair things together I wouldn't ordinarily choose, but I'm very happy with the way it came out, particularly with all the color combinations. As they say, from humble beginnings!

I wear both the scarf and purse pictured here daily - the scarf is impossibly warm and soft, and the bag is just big enough to hold everything I need. I love the peach color, and bags with a ton of ornament can freak me out so I love that this one is simple. It's meant to be a short shoulder bag, but I attached the two straps to each other to make one long loop I can throw over my shoulder.

As its cooling down in Chicago I'm facing two problems I face every single winter. 1) I rarely wear pants, and thus always have cold legs. 2) On the off chance I do wear pants, they are always cropped, and thus I always have cold ankles. My solution this year has been layering tights and socks under absolutely everything, including baby pink patent leather open toe pumps :)

I don't typically wear cords (they make me look enormous), but these have a very narrow wale and are a boyfriend cut, so they fit perfectly. And I love the dusty rose color - it's a color I've tried to wear on top so many times, but the close proximity to my pink-ish face just makes me look sick. Ha.

The lipgloss is the same shade as the lipstick I had made by my darling name-twin Marie at Colorlab on Armitage last winter. Its matching matte lipstick was stolen a couple of weeks ago (along with this dress, this belt, and two cardigans- - I am still reeling), so the gloss has taken over as my favorite lip shade. The earrings are another incredible hand-me-down from my awesome grandmother.

Though the outfit has a lot of beautiful pieces, I am rather proud of how little I paid for it overall. $3.80 (blazer) + $11.00 (pants) + $79.50 (blouse) + $21.00 (scarf) +$3.00 (socks) + $0.00 (shoes, earrings) = $118.30. Not bad at all.

Hope you are all staying toasty.

20 seconds til the last call

It snowed, it snowed, it snowed - time to say goodbye to my favorite season. But first, one last nostalgic fall video.

I love this little video of Phoenix playing at the Eiffel Tower on October 9th, 2009. I saw this video forever ago, but the recent onset of the cold in Chicago, and my subsequent misery about it, reminded me of how everyone in this video still looks so content to be outside. Though I've never been to Paris I hear it's gorgeous in the fall. Love me some Phoenix, love me some scenery, love me some fancy camerawork, love me some happy newlyweds.

La Blogotheque's entire Take Away Show series is wonderful, I highly recommend it. Other acts include Beirut, the Kooks, Bon Iver and Grizzly Bear.

Mixing up the seasons

Monday, November 29, 2010

Hat: Banana Republic
Necklace: World Market
Earrings: Claire's
Shirtdress: thrifted
Belt: Ann Taylor (thanks Mom)
Tights: Calvin Klein
Socks: H&M
Shoes: Banana Republic
Nailpolish: OPI "Kennebunk-Port"

This outfit was inspired by the dress - I found it this morning rifling through a thrift store and I'm pretty excited about it. I'd been eyeing a similar one at Banana, but this one is a fleecier, more cozy material (not to mention it cost $50 less!). It's a very wintry piece so I decided to try to mix in some of my warmer weather accessories to keep it from looking too holiday-y. Hence, my summer fedora and stacked grey heels making their first appearance in months :)

I've been dying for an outfit to try tights/socks/heels with. I think the subtle green and light grey go nicely together. They do a great job of softening up the tights, which can otherwise look pretty witchy. Not that witchy is always bad...

I'm not sure where I'll wear this ensemble yet - maybe work, maybe out!

This necklace was such a major find - I tend to have very good luck looking in the World Market jewelry section. The earrings are probably about 7 years old from Claire's - one of the only stores I know of that consistently carries a selection of clip-ons. You have to dig to find ones that aren't too young, but when you find them it's worth it.

Sorry. I couldn't resist. This picture cracks me up!

Charm your way across the Khyber Pass

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

[image via]

I've always been on the fence about Vampire Weekend, but I so enjoyed this acoustic performance that Danielle sent around that I thought I should share it!

I'll be listening to this all day while I prepare for my first Thanksgiving away from home.

The girliest little thing.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Shirt: Forever 21
Skirt: Forever 21
Bra: Calvin Klein
Tights: ...can't remember...
Shoes: Sears
Earrings: thrifted/gift (thanks Emma)

The new Forever 21 on North Avenue opened this past week!!! I may or may not have gone on opening day...I may or may not have a shopping problem. But to be fair, it's RIGHT next to where I work, and the windows were so shinyyyyyyhjdklsfhjdklsaf.

I was confused by this shirt when I first saw it, but my curiosity got the best of me and I decided to try it on. Once I did I didn't want to take it off. It's the most perfect blush color and I love that it's see-through. I can wear a pretty bra underneath it and it still manages to look demure and pretty. If you've been reading my outfit posts for a while you'll know that I am a sucker for girly little things, and this may very well be the girliest blouse I own. Since I rarely wear pants I'm always looking for basic skirts and this one is perfect. It's lycra/cotton and the perfect length. And it cost $5.80.

The earrings were part of my Christmas gift from Emma J last year. They go with everything.

Believe it or not, I found these shoes at the giant depressing Sears next to my apartment. I was looking for laundry baskets and while passing through the sale shoe section this pair caught the corner of my eye. They cost $7 dollars. SEVEN DOLLARS. For adorable ankle-strap knotted-leather heels!! Thank you universe, for teaching me once again not be a shopping snob.

Happy early Thanksgiving!

I will walk through the long, long grass and say your name

Friday, November 19, 2010

[image via]

This song is chock full of all kinds of nostalgic associations, but I'll spare you. It's beautiful and makes everything feel like it's in slow motion.

I highly recommend Ed Harcourt's entire debut album Here Be Monsters. You can buy it here, check out my other favorite tracks "She Fell Into My Arms" and "Something In My Eye".

"Wind Through The Trees" - Ed Harcourt
[scroll to the bottom & click the orange download link]

Outfit of Indecision

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sweater: Marshall Field's (circa 2003)
Shirt: Target
Necklace: Forever 21
Earrings: Bought on the street in New York
Skirt: Forever 21
Shoes: BCBG
Tights: I honestly can't remember...!

I absolutely could not decide on what to wear today. I was feeling like wearing a witchy all-black ensemble but couldn't find any tops I was into. Then I looked at my preppy white and grey striped cardigan and thought I'd do a weird mixer. It turned out nicely, I think. One half pessimist, one half optimistic prepster.

Both the cardigan and the shirt are at least a couple of sizes too big - - I swear I've never bought a shirt in the correct size. I bought both pieces because they reminded me of menswear but were still pretty feminine. Except for the fact that they're like tents on me. Sigh. At least the small skirt and tights work to balance it out!

I just bought this necklace because I realized I don't own a single silver necklace. I almost always wear gold jewelry but every once in a while I need something to match my silvery-pearl earrings, and I thought this necklace was flashy but still relatively controlled. While I love big, crazy flashy gold jewelry I like my silver to be a little more refined.

I plan on wearing this out one night soon. All I need now is a venue to match the outfit! Chicago readers, suggestions are welcome :)

PS - I wanted to say a big thank you to all the recent followers and commenters - - you guys really make this so much fun! I love reading what you have to say. XOXO

I wear a lot of dresses with blazers, don't I?

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Blazer: J Crew
Dress: Thrifted (label: Jovovich-Hawk for Target)
Tights: Gap
Necklace: Banana Republic
Socks: Banana Republic
Shoes: Thrifted
Necklace (worn as bracelet): vintage/gift (thanks Gram)

It's Saturday and I have the day off - - I honestly cannot believe my good luck. In celebration, here's an outfit post! This is what I wore shopping and working yesterday.

This dress was first featured way back when, in one of my very first outfit posts. It remains one of my best second-hand finds, and even though it's designed as a summer dress I thought that the colors were muted enough for a fall wear as well.

One thing you should know, dear readers: I absolutely hate socks. It's completely irrational, but they drive me nuts. As a result, I don't really own any socks. Now that it's cold I've accepted I have to own a few pairs, but I will no longer be buying boring ugly short athletic socks from TJ Maxx. No sir. I will now only wear brightly colored, pretty, textured socks! (Well, and these once I get my hands on some more of them. Despite my sock hatred I love having toasty toes, so when I've HAD to wear them these are the only kind I've worn in the past.) I just got these pink ones and they're like a shot of espresso for any outfit, particularly with my favorite thrifted booties.

The navy velvet blazer is from J Crew about three years ago - an extremely versatile wardrobe staple. It has hot pink satin lining in the sleeves which is half the reason I made the investment, honestly.

I originally wanted to try a new necklace with the dress, but this one is just too perfect. The bracelet is actually a necklace and matches the earrings from this post. I'd love to wear them all together but I don't think I have quite the command and elegance that matchy-jewelry requires. Maybe when I'm older and/or slightly more mature.

Olive likes to be included in the photo-taking. Perhaps she'll write her own blog someday :)