September 30, 2011

Polka Polka Friday

Polka dots are one of the true classics! It's a great go-to, timeless pattern. I built this outfit around the skirt and loved the idea of simple accents.

And in other news... I recently learned to polka. For real. Here's a great polka ditty you may enjoy.

Top:  Gap (old)
Skirt: F21 (old)
Belt:  Thrifted
Headband:  Gift from LC, Target
Earrings:  Hello Kitty, Claire's (I love these!)
Shoes: Versie Pump, Mossimo | shop

September 29, 2011

Banana Republic Classic Trench

The weather's getting a little chilly here in the Midwest, so I took advantage of the opportunity to bust out my Banana Republic trench.  I'm a fan of this trench; when I purchased it, I couldn't decide if I needed petite sizing or not... the sleeves are a touch long for me, but otherwise I think it's okay.  It fits in the shoulders, and the length works on my frame.  Overall, it's well-made, decently priced (especially with BR's occasional 40% off sales), and classic.  It's no Warhead, but it definitely does the job. :)

The silver hook bracelet was a gift from my ultra-stylish and generous friend, Carly. She purchased it in St. Croix, and it has its own Cruzan folklore: it's supposed to bring the wearer luck in love, and depending on how it's worn, indicates one's romantic status--much like the claddagh ring.

Earrings: Loft - Winter 2010
Shoes: Charcoal Chuck Taylors, Converse | shop
Bottoms: Bullhead Super Skinny Jeans ($39.50 2 for $47) | shop
Cardigan: Jackie Cardigan in Sweet Hyacinth, J.Crew | shop

Top: Cotton On - Spring 2010 ($3)
Outerwear: Classic Trench in Khaki, Banana Republic | shop

Bracelets: Silver cuff, Tonghua Yeshi in Taipei (NT$70 = just under $2.50 USD); Cruzan Hook Bracelet, Gift from Carly; Heart-links Bracelet, Gift from mi madre 

September 27, 2011

All Things Pencil

School is back with a vengeance and in honor of Fall I thought it was fitting to discuss one of my favorite topics - Pencils.

Pencil Review
Remember when you were in class and you had that terrible eraser that would smudge on a scantron test and get all over your hand? That was legitimately the worst! Over the years I've had tested my share of pencils and have discovered a wonderful utensil - the infamous Ticonderoga. This pencil is amazing. No smudging and it never goes out of style. To this day, I still turn to my trusty pencil for any important meeting.

Other winning combos:
Palomino Blackwing 602 - perfection
Dux Adjustable Brass Pencil Sharpener
Dux Aluminum Pencil Sharpener

Shirt:  Banana Republic
Skirt:  Banana Republic
Shoes:  Lela Rose, Payless
Belt:  Nine West
Bag:  Target
Earrings:  Target
Bracelet:  Everything Engravable


Roomie Will is back and looking fly! He's all set for another semester on the Dean's List.

T-shirt: Macy's 
Vest:  Rue 21
Pants:  Old Navy
Shoes:  Shoe Carnival
Necklace:  Rue 21
Glasses:  Hot Topic
Watch:  Everything Engravable  
Black Bracelet:  Music Fest

September 26, 2011

Gap Denim Jacket

I was moving my fall and winter wardrobe into my closet, and I came across this old denim jacket, purchased circa 2005, that I haven't worn for several years.  To my surprise, this classic piece still fits!  It's in great condition and has become a staple in my closet.  This jacket has helped me re-evaluate my wardrobe for quality, cut, and potential for a classic "never goes out of style" look.  As a result, I've gotten rid of a ton of pieces, and I'm shopping more carefully than ever.  I've even been agonizing over a pair of ponte legging jeans from the Gap that I scored for $24.  I love nearly everything about them (cut, fit, color, fabric, comfort) except that the fly gapes slightly, and as a result, I'm thinking about returning them.  We'll see if they can win a permanent spot in my closet.  I'll keep you posted.  :)

Skirt: Loft ($12)
Belt: JCrew
Top: PacSun
Shoes: Nine West - Fall 2010
Scarf: Taiwanese Boutique
Headband: Banana Republic
Jacket: Gap - 2005 (Still a classic!)
Bag: H&M - Fall 2009

September 23, 2011

Halogen Seamed Pencil Skirt

I'm feeling inspired by color this Friday and color blocking is so "hot right now." This pink and green combo is unexpectedly chic. Pretty sure this will make my Friday go a little faster...

Happy First Day of Fall!

Top: H&M (old)
Neckalce: F21 (old)
Skirt: Seamed Pencil Skirt, Halogen ($68 $44.90) | shop
Shoes: Versie Pump, Mossimo | shop

September 22, 2011

Ann Taylor Lady Bag Review

Today I'm taking a color cue from a blog that I really enjoy reading, the Economy of Style.  You can't go wrong with red, black and white.  I love how Ms. Economy of Style rocks color, mixes patterns, and always finds fabulous deals.  :)

I am really attracted to the style and fabulous color of this bag from Ann Taylor.  I was so excited when I first spotted it on Ann Taylor's website since I've been on the lookout for a bright red leather bag.

The Lady Bag bag is extremely narrow, but it is rather deep; take those dimensions combined with a boxy shape, and you can't fit too much in there.  Fortunately, I carry just the essentials: lip balm, JCrew's magic wallet, candy to assuage my sweet tooth, & cell phone. I do wish the longer strap was detachable, but despite that minor issue, I love the style and color of this ladylike bag so much that when I shop at Ann Taylor, I even try on the black version!

Who knows?  The lovely black ladybag might end up in my closet next!

Earrings: Large Metal Stud Earrings in Shiny Silver, Express | shop
Top: Loft (may still be in stores)
Necklace: F21 (old)
Skirt: Express (old)
Shoes: Versie Pumps, Mossimo | shop
Bag: Lady Bag in Red Maple, Ann Taylor | shop

September 21, 2011

Frye Melissa Button Back Zip Boots

Oh snap - she's wearing white post Labor Day! Gasp..shock..sigh.

Lovely fall is here with so it's time to try out some new boots. I picked up a great pair at Nordstrom's during their annual anniversary sale. These boots are perfect for jean tucking and leaf crunching. I think these boots are cool, and this grey is an unexpected color. The Melissa Button also comes in a really pretty brown - which I prefer.

I do have a few issue with these boots. For instance, the buttons on the back are a bit hard to buckle, but with some brute finger force you're good to go. Also, if you have larger calves, you may have trouble zipping into this pair. I had struggled a bit...

Nevertheless, here's a rocking pair of boot and a clean cut blazer to jump start our fall.

Blazer: Polished Sateen Blazer, Ann Taylor | shop
Top: Seamless Scoop Cami, The Limited | shop
Shorts: F21
Boots: Melissa Button Back Zip in Grey, Frye | shop

September 19, 2011

Photography in the Park

I helped my friend Kate, a budding black & white photographer, out with a photo shoot at the park. She graciously took my outfit photos, as well, so a big thanks to her!  Cooler weather is coming (or for some, is already here), and I'm trying to get a few more wears out of these peep-toe flats. 

Meet my new friends and their babies!

Dress: Floral dress F21 (Fall 2010)
Cardigan: Jackie Cardigan in Orchid Shadow, J.Crew | shop
Shoes: Gap Outlet (Fall 2010)
Earrings: Taiwan
Belt: J.Crew

September 16, 2011

JCrew Belinda Dress

Fall is around the corner so, I'm busting out some warm tones that can easily transition into Fall. My days are numbered as I try to wear these great, open strap wedges. Alas, I'm giving into the next season and enjoying the last bit of warmth before the cold gusts transpire. :)

Dress: Belinda Dress in Vintage Wisteria, J.Crew ($195 currently on sale for $49.99) | shop
Shoes: Laredo Hand-Woven Wedge in Old Gold, Banana Republic | {12}
Earrings: Charlotte Russe
Sunglasses: Original Way-Farer, Ray-Ban | shop 
Clutch: Stone Foldover Clutch, Banana Republic (seen here)

September 14, 2011

(Slim) Shady

Shades make this outfit infinitely cooler, right?  Speaking of shades & shady.  I do love Slim Shady. And I also love this combo of navy and cobalt + pop of bright pink.  I love a little bling when it adds just the right amount of glam to a look.  I love when the weather cools enough for a classic blazer.

Happy Wednesday! :)

Dress: F21
Blazer: Gap
Belt: J.Crew
Earrings: Banana Republic
Shoes: Enzo Angiolini 
Shades: Random Gas Station
Bracelet: Express

September 12, 2011

Hot Pink Wedding

My beautiful friend, Karyl, recently got married! Dressed in a hot pink floor-length gown, I was thrilled to help one of my dearest friends down the aisle.

Our wedding party could not be missed in this fun, pink dress. Bonus:  the gown had pockets--perfect for a cell phone and some lipstick for touchups. The wedding was beautiful and warm wishes go out to the newlyweds - congratulations Karyl & Rick!

Dress:  Alfred Angelo

*Post wedding plans:  Pretty in pink... can I wear this dress again? I'm visiting my local dress shop to see if I can shorten this into a knee-length, cocktail number. Additionally, the pink is quite striking so, I may tone it down by dying it black. More to come in the future as I try to finagle another wear out of this one!

*Update:  Check out Jane's reworked bridesmaid's dress here.

September 9, 2011

From the Fitting Room: JCrew & Lands' End

Don't forget to check out the Janes try on more JCrew. :)

Left: Candace Dress in Ink Dot ($89.99) | shop | - Not a fan of the fit on this dress, though I think I prefer the Ink Dots to the paisley (also $89.99) or floral ($69.99) version.  The ruffles didn't flatter the bust, and it runs a bit big.  On the plus side, it's fully lined & is comprised mostly of a nice silk.
Right: Lace Bluson Dress in Black ($69.99) | shop - I actually picked this up in the Old Lace colorway ($69.99 + an additional 30%)

Top: Linen Popover | shop - I think I linked you to the right top, but I'm not sure because I don't think this top is linen... Anyway, this sweater is easy, cute, and casual.  I enjoy the button detail, the color is really fun for fall, and I imagine it would be a fun color blocking piece.  I do like it, I just don't love it.  So pass for me.
Shorts: 3" Chino Short in Ceylon Tea ($29.99) | shop

If you're making a purchase at J.Crew don't forget to use code LOVEIT for an extra 30% off final sale items.  I believe today is the last day that the LOVEIT code is valid.  Also, J.Crew is offering free shipping on women's tees & knits.  Free ground shipping is applied automatically at checkout.

After J.Crew, we checked out Lands' End.  This was our first experience with Land's End, and overall, we're fans.  The cut, fit, and quality of Lands' End Canvas pieces were all nice; I wouldn't call them premium items, but for the price (of sale items, at least), it's worth checking out.  I think I'll be shopping Lands' End more frequently.

Lands' End carriers a variety of sizing: petite, plus, wide & narrow shoe sizes.  Lands' End Canvas, on the other hand, is considered a "trendier line" and is only available in regular sizing.  I think most items from the Lands' End Canvas line would be too big for a smaller petite woman; Lands End Canvas is available at some Sears locations.  Plus, you can score a 15% discount with student ID.  :)

Dress: Ballerina Dress in Clear Blue ($69.50 $39.99)| shop - This also comes in a reddish pink tone.  The fit-and-flare silhouette is one of my favorites, but I think there might have been a little too much flare (makes the hips look a little wide) and not enough fit (in the bust area).  I do like this crisp cotton material quite a lot.  No pockets.  Didn't fit beautifully in the bust.  Cheap zipper.  Well the one I tried on at least had a sub-par zipper... and is there anything worse than a terrible zipper on the perfect dress?
Blazer: Heritage Navy Blazer ($190) | shop - Aili and I both tried this on, and it runs a little small.  IT's definitely a dark navy that could easily be mistaken for black.

Top on Right: Patterned Stretch Poplin Shirt in Orange Sunset Tattersail ($49.50)| shop - As far as button downs go, I can't really complain.  The fabric is lightweight and contains a hint of stretch--perfect for layering under a blazer or cardigan.
Skirt on Right: Pleated Skirt in Dusty Jade ($49.50 I scored it for $13) | shop - This skirt is made of crisp cotton--the same material as the Ballerina Dress.  I think it might wrinkle fairly easily, but I don't really mind, as it's a perfect summer piece.  It's fully lined, has pockets, the color is beautiful and for $13, I'm a happy girl.  It also comes in a light blue & a pink colorway.
Cardigan on Right: Heritage Cardigan in Camel, Land's End Canvas ($39.50) | shop - This is nice; it is similar to the JCrew's Jackie cardigan but has full-length sleeves.  
Patterned Chambray Shirt in Dark Chambray Dot ($49.50) | shop
Skirt on Right: Gathered Wrap Skirt in Cardinal Red on Ailyn and Black on Aili ($39.50) | shop - We were a little puzzled by this skirt.  It fits nicely and we do love the pockets, but the sporty skort look feels more appropriate for hitting the tennis courts.