July 30, 2011

Just Call Me Picasso

Big thanks to my photographer and platemaker extraordinaire, Carly of Carly in the Capital

Carly and I checked out a local paint-your-own-pottery studio, where I painted an adorable monster bank  to look like Mike Wazowski's chubbier blue cousin, while Carly created a plate for her mother's dining pleasure.  I think the bank turned out pretty cute pre-firing-in-the-kiln despite the fact that I'm one of the least artistic people you'll meet; I don't draw, paint, sew, sing, dance, play an instrument, throw pots even passably well.  But I do have a knack for ordering winning dishes at restaurants I've never frequented.

We all have our skills, I suppose. :)

Earrings: Charlotte Russe
Dress: TJ Maxx
Bracelets: F21
Bag: Target - See Aili rock it.
Shoes: Taiwan - Aili also wore them here.

July 27, 2011

Shop It to Me

The Janes here at Jane Squared have been shopping like mad!  What do you think of our recent purchases?

1. Triacetate 1-Button Jacket, Ann Taylor (sale + 50% off = $80) - I love the tips that Extra Petite gives on suiting.  Aili plans on keeping this jacket at work for unexpected meetings.  Not only is it super flattering, but it's her first foray into the world of petites.  She won't admit she needs petite clothing, though she only stands at 5'3".  :D
2. Orangey-Red Knit Dress, Loft (originally $49.50, purchased on sale + promotion for $20) - I can't find this dress online, but I purchased it at my Loft at the beginning of July, and they still carried it in several sizes & colors, both petite and regular.  If you only have access to Loft's website, then check this similar knit dress out... when I was hunting for my dress on the website, I even thought it was the same dress!  This dress fits me extremely well and it definitely flatters my body, but I wish it had pockets!  I still picked it up since the color & fit are both great.  FYI: There's an extra 50% off sale promotion going on at Loft right now.
3. 3" chino short in Ceylon Tea, J.Crew ($20) - The length of these shorts are perfect, and they also come in lots of fun colors.  The 5" are more conservative, but I think these shorts flatter more petite women.  They also pair easily with lots of different pieces.  The downside: they are a bit wrinkly.
4. Stone Foldover Clutch in turquoise, Banana Republic  (originally $98, but purchased for $40) - You know how I love the crossbody bag, so if you're prefer a hands-free option, try the Stone teardrop cross-body ($59.99-$69.99).  Overall, this bag is well-made; it's not overly roomy, but the stones sewn on to the bag are firmly connected.  Check out how I styled this clutch here.

July 25, 2011

JET, Jordans, & a Three Piece Suit

Meet our nephew JET!  It's his big day and he is getting baptized! The newest member of our family is three months old and already a hip, stylish dude! Check out his 3-piece suit and classic Air Jordans.

A special shout-out to the hilarious ladies who've adopted us into their book club--Jane, Joy, & Maria! :)  They're a big deal.

What did I wear to this joyous occasion? I recently bought this great dress from Limited. The turquoise color is really pretty and fun. Sitting down in the dress was a bit challenging because the buttons don't lay flat, but I really enjoyed wearing this light and comfortable dress.

Earrings: I got it from my momma. lol
Dress: The Limited
Belt: H&M
Shoes: Taiwan
Check out the other Janes's outfit details.

July 22, 2011

Shoes & Accessories Galore

Scotty Essential Flat, Banana Republic (final sale price of $13) - I'm not sure if I can cross "Classic Black Flats" off of my Wishlist, but this pair of flats is cute and the patterned details keep things interesting.  The footbed is padded, and they're comfy... for the price and the quality, I definitely can't complain.

Pilar Strappy Wedge in Brown by Mossimo, Target ($14.99 at my local Target, but $29.99 online) - These shoes also come in nudepink, and black.  Seeing Rosa of Love at First Shop rock DV by Dolce Vita's Pali Wedge, gave me shoe envy.  So when the Pali Wedge went on sale at Piperlime ($49.99), I picked them up.  After I put in my order, I spotted the Pilar Wedges at Target, and they look suspiciously similar to the Pali Wedge.  :)  The Pilar Wedges fit TTS, are comfy for the most part, but on first-wear the top straps cut into my ankles making them a little uncomfortable, but nothing I can't get over.  The Pali Wedges have a synthetic lining & outsole, so I'm not sure if the Pilar Strappy Wedge differs significantly in quality from the Pilar Wedges, and I sent the Palis back to Piperlime (free shipping + free returns!).  Anyway, $14.99 in my book is a good deal.  See them styled here.

1. Large Metal Stud Earrings in shiny silver, Express ($14.90) - Express currently has a buy 1 get 1 50% off jewelry deal.  The Janes at Jane Squared really like Express jewelry as seen here and here.
2. Loft ($13.99) - The clasp on this earring is clumsy, and taking them off makes me slightly nervous that I might damage the earring, and more importantly my ear. 
3. Loft (final sale price of $3.42)
4. Loft (final sale price, including sales tax, of $3.42) - Earrings numbered 2 through 4 were purchased at my local Loft on July 9, so I'm not sure if they'll still be in stores, and I couldn't find them online.

From top to bottom: Faceted Gem Stretch Bracelet, Express ($19.90); Pearl Bead Stretch Bracelet in mother of pearl, Express ($19.90); Pearl Bead Stretch Bracelet in pearl, Express ($19.90) - Though, I like Express's jewelry quite a lot, I sincerely despise their customer service and return policy; in my opinion, Express stocks low quality clothing for inappropriately high prices.  I used to love their suiting--pencil skirts & editor pants, in particular--but as of late, their pieces aren't as classy.   All that being said, I think I'll take a permanent long break from shopping there.  If you do, however, plan on picking something up at Express, their jewelry is currently buy 1 get 1 50% off. :)

July 20, 2011

Evacuate the Dancefloor

Check my fly dance moves. I learned them from XBox Kinect's Dance Central, which is easily Aili's favorite game, so next time you see her at the clubs, don't be surprised if you recognize her dance moves.  After we rocked it on the dance floor, I got a little fancy with a belt, some wedges, and a beautiful turquoise clutch.  I love turquoise & white in the summertime; the look is always crisp and pretty. 

Dress: Delaney Eyelet Dress in alabaster, J.Crew ($50). If you dig this pattern but don't feel like rocking the dress, try the Delaney Eyelet Skirt (currently on sale for $49.99).
Belt: J.Crew - Styled here & here
Clutch: Stone foldover clutch in turquoise, Banana Republic ($40 with extra 40% off sale items in stores).
Shoes: Pilar Strappy Wedge Sandals in Brown by Mossimo, Target ($14.99 at my Target, but $29.99 online).  They also come in nude, pink, and black. Look out for a review of these wedges (& the turquoise clutch!) later this week.
Shoes + Dance moves: Crocband Flat in navy - I know some of you out there will definitely be Croc haters, but I enjoy them.  They're comfy, and are my favorite commuting shoes when it rains.

July 18, 2011

Hint of Lime

Oh hi Monday...seeing you again so soon? Maybe a lime green cardigan will do the trick as I ease back into the work week.

Cardigan:  Gap
Tank Top:  Limited
Skirt:  Limited
Belt:  J. Crew
Necklaces:  Thrifted 
Bracelet:  Express
Shoes:  Nine West

July 17, 2011

Farm Girl

I put my Midwestern roots to good use when I visited Carly's farmhouse; Carly's one of my best friends and old college roomie, and today was my first time out at her farmhouse. :)

Her family has a ton of animals: this baby duck was one of my favorites.

Meet Stormy & Chocolate, two of Carly's prize-winning cows. Fun fact that's worthy of appearing under your Snapple cap: cows don't have upper front teeth. Apparently, the lack of front teeth create a gap in a cow's mouth that helps her eat more easily.

She also took me to one of the only covered bridges near my college town, and it is extremely cool looking. This particular covered bridge is also home to some silly stenciled graffiti.

Big ups (& thanks) to my always stylish photographer, Carly! :D

Dress: Oyster Bay dress in white by Gilly Hicks (originally $39.50, sale price $29.90)
Top: Jackie cardigan by J.Crew
Shoes: Chocolate peep toe flats by Old Navy (Fall 2010, $15)
Coat: Classic trench in khaki by Banana Republic (originally $198, purchased with 40% promotion)

Earrings: Night market in Bangkok

July 15, 2011

ϟ Harry Potter ϟ

Happy Harry Potter Day! I adore HP ϟ.

The Final Movie is out and I salute you fellow nerds...I attended the midnight showing and saw so many young fans dressed up, acting out scenes and running around casting spells. It was hilarious. I'm glad it's over and we have closure as I have thoroughly enjoyed the series. 

I may work in a corporate environment, but had to demonstrate my HP pride. 

Still need more HP? The adventure lives on via Pottermore

Shirt:  J. Crew
Blazer:  Gap
Skirt:  Gap
Tie:  Museum of Science & Industry
Glasses:  Hot Topic
Shoes:  Nine West
Earrings:  Target

July 13, 2011

Talbots Shoe Reviews

Before regularly reading personal style and shopping blogs, I had never really thought much of or about Talbots.  To me, Talbots always seemed like a brand that didn't carry pieces that would suit my sense of style, but I found lots of accessories that I liked, as well as a few flirty dresses.  Anyway, Ema of My Closet, My Baby, and I always writes about her favorite pieces from Talbots, and her review on the Pointy-Toe Pumps inspired me to check out Talbots' website.  I came across the shoe section of the Red Hanger Sale, and I was so excited to see that several of their shoes come in a wide width which is perfect for my wide (or "extra-stable" as my dad calls them) feet.  

Overall, my experience with Talbots was positive.  I felt the prices were reasonable, the promotional codes excellent, and the customer service helpful.  I will definitely keep an eye on their shoe selection in the future.

1. Pyramid-studded Leather Ballet Flats in Surf Blue ($42.72) - I think the color of this pair of flats is super fun.  These shoes fit TTS, and I do like the pyramid studs. They're made of leather, but aren't as nice as the Studded Leather Ballet Flats.  I think the studs are glued on, and I'm a bit afraid that if I pulled really hard on them (though I'm not sure why I'd do that. :D), they would just rip off.
2. Patent Leather Pointy-Toe Pumps in Cameo Rose ($35.52) - I ordered these shoes in 8W, but they're actually a half-size too big for me.  I've always purchased shoes in size 8, but have secretly suspected that I'm actually a 7.5 in terms of length but need the roomier proportions the size 8 offers.  I ordered them again in 7.5W, and I'll see how that fits.  If the 7.5's end up being too small, I think I'll just use some inserts for the 8W's or something.  Other than the sizing issue, I really love this pinky-nude color.  It's so pretty!  The color doesn't totally blend into my skin, but still elongates my legs.  I'm not sure my photos do the color justice.
3. Studded Leather Ballet Flats in Black ($33.10)- I'm not sure I love these flats.  I think I expected them to look a bit edgier than they actually are.  That being said, these flats are really well made.  The leather is soft and luxurious, but the material isn't supple; it's sturdy and will stand up to being scratched and stomped around in and will still hold its shape.  The footbed seems to be cushioned fairly well.  These flats have a sturdy half-inch heel that adds a tiny boost of height.

If you're planning on placing an order at Talbots, you should try using the code 023087249 for an additional 20% off + free shipping.  I believe you can only use this code once/Talbots account.  The prices I've noted include the July promotion code, as well as my my area's sales tax of 6.25%.

July 11, 2011

Hello Orange

Orange is one of my favorite summer colors. I paired this bright top with a patterned pencil skirt, allowing the orange to pop.  Pearls coupled with a gold chain add some flare. Now, to the office! Everybody is working toward the weekend.

Tank:  J.Crew Factory ($32.50)
Skirt:    J.Crew Factory ($69.50)
Shoes:   Nine West
Bracelet:  Banana Republic ($8)
Necklaces:  Thrifted ($1/each)

July 9, 2011

The Knotted Shirt

I'm trying out the knotted shirt look again... This is my second attempt, and I think it's pretty cute in my opinion, my first attempt wasn't so successful.  Something just looked a little off about it, but that's okay, I like this look better.

Looking through my last few posts, I've realized that I seem to be really into headbands.  I've got to try a new hairstyle!  In my defense, I firmly believe that the headband is highly underrated.

Dress: Target (Summer 2010)
Shirt: Gap Kids (this season's version); last seen at your local post office.
Shoes: Old Navy (Fall 2010)
Headband: Borrowed from my sister-in-law 

July 7, 2011

J.Crew Reviews

I've done a lot of shopping during the past few days due to all of the great Fourth of July and end of season deals that are both at the regular brick & mortar stores and online.  I've made purchases at LOFT, Ann Taylor, Talbots, J.Crew, Target, and Piperlime.  Look out for posts on those purchases, but here are my thoughts on my most recent J.Crew shopping extravaganza.

1. Maritime Dress in Sail Blue (currently $88): I love this dress.  The material is a thick slubby cotton that is comfy.  I purchased this during the MUSTHAVE sale (extra 30% off sale prices), and this dress wasn't on sale, but I later looked at my receipt and realized that J.Crew actually gave me 30% off the retail price. WIN! I love the color, but I'm thinking about purchasing it in navy.  What do you think?
2. Tea-Stained Dobby Dress ($69.99): I'm a fan of the red polka dots on this easy little dress, but I'm not sure if the color flatters my skintone.  I was sure I loved this dress because it fits ] well and it has sleeves, which I really enjoy, so I was stalking this dress, just waiting for it to be marked down.  When it was finally marked down, I almost bought it, but then decided to wait for another promotion.  When I was finally ready to purchase it, it was sold out online!  I worked with J.Crew's "We Will Find It" Service for the first time, and find it they did!  Overall, I'm satisfied with my experience with the We Will Find It service, but I still haven't made a final decision on this dress.  I may still return it.
3. Portfolio Dress in Wool Crepe in Black ($69.99): I believe there are only petite sizes left, but I purchased two of these dresses--one for Aili and one for me.  I'm in need of suiting, or I at least hope to be in need of suiting in the near future. :)  This dress is well made and is a flattering cut, but the arm hole cutouts are placed (and shaped) a bit awkwardly, so I'm not sure if it's completly workplace appropriate.  Additionally, the side-zipper has a tendency to get a little stuck.  So again, I'm not sure if it's a keeper.
4: Portfolio Dress in Wool Crepe in Dark Plum ($69.): This one is for Aili, but she's yet to try it on.  I'll keep you posted.

July 6, 2011

Polo on the Prairies - Easter Seals Event

Because of my job I have the opportunity to attend some local charity events. This particular event was for Easter Seals where they featured a polo match, wine samples and a tasting of many local restaurants. The attire on the invite said "casual chic." Hence, here is my attempt to look....casual chic.

Blazer:  Banana Republic
Dress:  J. Crew (convertible swing dress, 2009)
Belt:  Thrifted
Necklace:  H&M
Bracelet:  Banana Republic  
Shoes:  Payless Shoes

Meet Sarah - my wonderful friend who is smart as a whip, trendy and today's photographer. 


Dress:  Kohl's, Simply Vera
Shoes:  Macy's
Belt:  Thrifted, $1
Necklace:  Limited
Clutch:  Borrowed from Aili, Thrifted