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.