April 30, 2012

Monday Blues

The cooler spring-weather version of a summer look.  Happy Monday!

Coat: Classic Trench, Banana Republic | shop
Cardigan: V-Neck Cardigan, Lands End | shop
Shirt: Ruffle Cami, JCPenney (S/S '11)
Shoes: Cece Suede Flats, JCrew | shop
Bag: Mini Mac, Rebecca Minkoff | shop

April 26, 2012

JCrew No. 2 Pencil Skirt in Citron

I love wearing bright colors, and today is no exception. I'm styled in one of my favorite skirts - JCrew's No. 2 Pencil Skirt in double-serge cotton. I'm a fan of these fantastic skirts, and reach for this crazy citron more often than I ever imagined I would. The only issue with the skirts are that they can get a bit crinkly, alas I still purchase them in many colors... Overall, I love the look and the ease of the No. 2 Pencil.

Have a great day readers!

Shirt:  Macy's
Sweater:  Jackie Cardigan, JCrew | shop
Skirt:  No. 2 Pencil Skirt, JCrew | shop, also styled here
Shoes:  Target versie pump | shop
Earrings:  Loft
Necklace:  Big Love

Linked up at the Monday Mingle, Rolled Up Pretty, A Little Bit of Lacquer, and The Pleated Poppy.

April 25, 2012

JCrew Teddie Dress Review

I have been eyeing the Teddie dress for months, but haven't pulled the trigger--especially during the dreaded final sale--because I haven't had a chance to actually try it on.  I spotted it for $119.20 in stores, (not final sale) and I took my regular JCrew dress size with no problems, so I'd say this bad boy fits TTS.  $120 isn't exactly a deal, but I have been looking a this dress for months; I also love the cobalt & camel colorways.  

The style is my personal favorite: a fit-and-flare silhouette + sleeves = an easy wear.  "Easy wear" is pretty much one of my favorite things; you can still look stylish and put together with a minimal effort and number of pieces.

My biggest issue with this dress is that it isn't fully lined; only the skirt portion is lined... If you look at the second set of photos, you can see the pockets of the shirt that I layered underneath it.  I feel like a lining might prevent that showing through.  Additionally, I can't tell where the sleeves are supposed to hit on me.  It's not a true three-quarter length, at least on me.  More like a 2/3, and I can't decide if that looks natural or not.  The material is thick, nice for at least 3 of the seasons, and it fits really well.  Personally, I could do without an exposed zipper, but I don't mind it.   

Sunnies: Necessary Clothing ($5 - cheap sunglasses FTW!) | similar by Vera Wang for $30
Necklace: So Good | similar
Shirt: Selvedge Denim Shirt, JCrew | shop
Dress: Teddie Dress, JCrew | shop or in red here
Bag: Mini MAC in Natural, Rebecca Minkoff | shop
Shoes: Nine West | similar
Drink: Green Milk Tea, Ten Ren 

April 24, 2012

Sweater Vests are the Best

I love sweater vests. My love of vests grew after watching years of a very special show -- The Cosby Show. Bill was always so funny and quaint in his sweaters. The sweater vest is a fantastic piece for work and perfect for a brisk day. I've picked up a few great ones from Limited. Here's to chic sweater vests and the always charming - Bill Cosby.

Coat:  Burberry Harbourne | shop
Vest:  The Limited
Shirt:  Gap
Pants:  Drew Bootcut Pant, The Limited | shop
Shoes: Perfect Pump, Ann Taylor | shop
Necklace:  Big Love  Earrings: Forever Audrey, Jewelmint

April 23, 2012

Totto Ramen

Before Aili & I caught our very first broadway show--How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying--we grabbed dinner at Totto Ramen in Hell's Kitchen.  We snapped these photos while waiting for a seat at the dinky restaurant. Much like our experience at Grimaldi's, the wait for an amazing bowl of noodles was definitely long... but well worth it, in our humble opinions!  This is the only photo of food that I managed to snap before slurping down my noodles and devouring the Avo Tuna.

I hope your week is off to an amazing start; happy Monday!

Cardigan: Gap | similar
Top: JCrew (old) | similar - In my experience, it's best so size down with these silky sleeveless blouses from JCrew.
Jeans: Bull Head Super Skinnies, PacSun | shop
Shoes: Suede CeCe Flats, JCrew | shop

April 19, 2012

Broadway & a Burberry Debut

It's been a long road to finding the perfect trench -- aka -- saving up money for a Burberry.  Fortunately, I found the perfect jacket and it was on sale at 40% off! One of our favorite bloggers Jean from Extra Petite shared her amazing trench score from Bloomingdale's. So, I jumped on the deal and am superbly happy with this classic piece that will hopefully last a lifetime.

Like Ailyn mentioned before.. I, too, like to preserve things I love. However, life is short and NYC is the perfect place to sport my classic trench. 

Ailyn & I also found tickets to our first Broadway show:  How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. I loved the show! The set, costumes and actors were fantastic. I was especially impressed with Michael Urie--who you may remember as Mark on Ugly Betty. 

Coat:  Burberry Harbourne | shop
Shirt:  Jack Creer, Hollister (plaid shirt styled here) | shop
Pants:  Ponte 5 pocket, Gap | shop
Shoes:  Cece Suede Ballet Flats, JCrew | shop
Necklace:  Big Love
Purse:  Gap
Glasses:  Loft

April 18, 2012

Brooklyn & Grimaldi's

As Aili mentioned, we spent a super fun weekend in NYC eating (Luke's Lobster, Momofuku Milk Bar, Wafels & Dinges, & Mad for Chicken are among some of my favorites), shopping, and spending some quality sister time together.

We walked across the Brooklyn Bridge and grabbed some thin-crust pizza at one of Brooklyn's most famous pizza places, Grimaldi's. Unfortunately, lots of other people had the same idea, so we ended up waiting about an hour for a table; the pizza was definitely good, and I'm glad we had the experience, but I probably wouldn't wait again.

Aili's outfit details here.

Shades: LOFT
Necklace: So Good in SoHo. | similar - Aili loves this place.  haha. We even went 2x!
Top: Puff-Sleeve Popover, JCrew | similar
Skirt: Jacob Outlet | similar
Bag: Mini MAC in Natural, Rebecca Minkoff | shop
Shoes: Nine West | similar

April 17, 2012

Denim-on-Denim on the Brooklyn Bridge

My sister and I spent the weekend in NYC. We did some classic New York "musts" like snacking on the famed New York bagel & crossing the Brooklyn Bridge. Luckily, the weather was perfect, so we got to enjoy a leisurely walk with beautiful city views. 

I was pretty excited about my denim-on-denim look since I'm a little wary of paring them together for many reasons (see Justin & Britney).  I'm a new believer in the look and may have to try out some other pairings. More of our NYC styles to come!

Top:  Selvedge Chambray, JCrew  | similar
Pants:  Bullhead, PacSun
Shoes:  Cece Suede Ballet Flats, JCrew | shop
Necklace:  JCrew
Sunglasses:  Soho find

April 16, 2012

Blue Dress & Banana Republic's Yellow Bead-trim Cardigan

I love the fun & bright colors in this look, but I really wish I had slipped on a pair of nude heel.  I'll have to remember to look for a nude pair of Ann Taylor's Perfect Pumps next time there's a promotion! Perfect Pumps are definitely loved by the ladies in my family--even my sister-in-law, a teacher who is on her feet all day--wears the comfy Perfect Pump.

Happy Monday! I hope you're rocking the perfect pair of shoes to start the week off right.

Cardigan: Bead-trim Cardigan, Banana Republic | shop in tall, regular & petite sizing
Dress: F21 | similar
Shoes: Perfect Pump, Ann Taylor | shop

Linked up at the Monday Mingle.

April 12, 2012

JCrew Lace Blouson Dress

I love the fit of this dress. JCrew, and sister store Madewell, produces this dress season after season in several different patterns & materials.  I find myself trying on the newest update whenever I step into JCrew.  

Dry clean only, but the dress is fully lined, and the timeless cut is ultra flattering.  I'm eyeing the striped blouson version, as well!  I feel like the blouson dress will usually hit the sale section, so I might snag it then.

Dress: Lace Blouson Dress, JCrew | shop the madewell version or shop the striped version
Belt:  Loft | similar neon belts here
Shoes:  BCBG | similar, but with a GLITTER platform ! 
Earrings:  Loft

April 11, 2012

Banana Republic Notched Front Colorblock Dress Review

I picked up this graphic Banana Republic sheath dress for $70 during a 50% off promotion because I was very attracted to its classic, but still very modern, cut and color.  This dress is available in regular and petite sizing, and I took my regular petite size, though I know many of the sizes were inconsistent, so I'd recommend trying this on if you're interested.  The fit is pretty nice, but it's uber-wrinkly and bunches up in lots of places, and I'm just not a fan of that.  Plus, it's hand wash or dry clean only, which makes this particular dress a little too high maintenance for me.  Overall, I wanted to really like it and think it had a lot of potential, but it didn't work fabulously for me.

Check out my latest black and white look.

Dress: Notched Colorblock Sheath Dress, Banana Republic | shop
Shoes: Perfect Pumps, Ann Taylor | shop

April 10, 2012

Green One Shoulder

The one-shoulder style can look fantastic on many gals, but I'm still fairly tentative when it comes to this particular style. I found this zigzag patterned dress in... Los Angeles -- of course. As I mentioned before... I bought many great dresses and unique pieces on my fabulous trip. This dress is swanky, and carefree -- perfect for a night out on the town with my lovely girlfriends. 

Check out another one-shoulder look here

This week, Ailyn & I are gearing up for a trip to the Northeast to hit up NYC. More to come on our quick get-away!

Dress:  Chantell, Melrose Boutique

Shoes:  Target versie pump | shop
Belt:  JCrew
Earrings:  Lia Sophia
Purse:  Kate Spade

April 9, 2012

Crawfish Boil + Online Shopping Tips & Tricks

On Saturday, my family and I celebrated my nephew's first birthday with a extra delicious crawfish boil.  JET is turning 1 at the end of this week, and I can't believe he's already so big!

On an unrelated note, I wanted to confess that I am an online shopping junkie.  Actually, I much prefer shopping online to shopping in stores; I find it convenient, stress free, and available to me at any time; plus, everyone loves receiving mail.  There are some downsides to online shopping (no chance to try on or examine the item prior to purchase, item may not meet expectations, etc.), but overall, it's my favorite way to shop, and I wanted to share some of my best tips for shopping online with you.

Tips for Shopping Online

1. Shop through a cashback site.  Your credit card company or bank might offer cashback for purchasing through their shopping portal.  I've had a lot of success with Ebates & Mr. Rebates.  (Referral links. If you sign up for Ebates via this link, then we'll each receive $5 or a $10 giftcard.).  Last quarter alone, I received a check for $74.53 from Ebates, so needless to say, I'm a huge fan.

2. Never pay for shipping.  Reach the free ship minimum offered by many retailers by simply purchasing an extra item or two; I don't want to encourage mindless consumerism, but I'd much prefer to put my money towards a desired instead of shipping charges.

If you have a B&M store you can also choose the "ship to store" option, and the retailer will ship your items to your local brick and mortar store at no extra cost to you.  Plus, if you decide to return the items, then you are generally not refunded shipping fees.  Alternatively, you can look for free shipping codes at sites like FreeShipping.org.

Amazon.com also Amazon Prime accounts if you are an "Amazon Mom"; paid Amazon Prime accounts are $79/year.2. Keep in mind that everything (well, nearly everything) can be purchased at a discount.  Even high end items that never seem to go on sale, like Burberry trenches, Manolos, etc.

3. If you avoid online shopping because you're apprehensive about how things will fit, then consider shopping at retailers that provide hassle free returns at no cost to you.  And most retailers with B&M stores  (Gap Family of Stores, Macy's, Kohl's, Forever 21, Target, Lands' End, etc.) will process your returns in store. My favorite retailers that offer free returns include

- Nordstrom
- Zappos (1 year return policy)
- Endless (1 year return policy)
- Sephora (free returns, but free ship minimum is $50)

There is also a service called ShopRunner, which provides two-day shipping & returns for a few different retailers; this is a fairly new service, and my credit card company was offering card holders the opportunity to try a free one-year subscription.  I've used it a few times, and it works just fine, but I don't shop ShopRunner retailers frequently.  Check it out here, if you're interested and ShopRunner also offers a 30-day free trial.

4. Get discounts!  Nearly everything goes on sale or can be had at a discounted price--even those items that never seem to go on sale from Hunter boots to Manolos & Burberry coats.  The easiest way to get a discount are coupon codes.  In order to access these codes, you can do one or many of the following:

- Sign up to get e-mailed coupons to your favorite stores. 
- Or if you don't want junk mail sent to your account, then find a coupon code at sites like SlickDealsRetailMeNot.com or Hip2Save.
- You can also check the social media sites of your favorite store.  Facebook pages and Twitter feeds often offer up exclusive deals & coupon codes.
- If you have a smart phone or tablet, then download your favorite store's apps.  Stores like H&M, Sephora, and many others offer exclusive promotions for customers that download their apps.

5. Use services like Savvy Circle or Sees the Sale to keep you updated on particular items that you're interested in.  Simply create a wishlist, and when items go on sale or are discounted, Savvy Cirle or Sees the Sale will send you an e-mail.

I hope you found that helpful, and please share your favorite shopping tips with us in the comments!

April 5, 2012

Gap Kids Colorpop Super Skinny Jeans

I was browsing the Gap Kid's section and found these colorful pants. I love this minty green color for spring! Shopping the kid's section is tricky, but I sometimes have some great luck. I rolled up this sassy pant for a more tapered look.

Speaking of younger vibes -- have you heard Justin Bieber's new single Boyfriend? I keep listening to the song on repeat because I secretly like it.  I think this means I should just stay in the kid section forever...  FAIL.

Pants:  Colorpop Super Skinny Jeans in Minty Green, Gap Kids | shop
Tank:  Gap, Spring 2011
Shoes:  Flax in White Kid, Nine West | shop
Necklace:  Big Love
Ring:  H&M
Sunglasses: Original Way-Farer, Ray-Ban | shop 

Image 4554

Linked up at the Monday Mingle.

April 4, 2012

JCrew Delaney Eyelet Dress: A Casual Affair

When I was little, I liked to preserve my favorite things for use on the perfect occasion.  For instance, I had these Pochacco stickers that I was obsessed with, but would never use because I treasured them so much and didn't want to waste them on my school notebooks and papers.

Sometimes I'm like that with my clothes, too. I keep waiting for the perfect occasion to wear them so they won't be "wasted."  The perfect occasion doesn't come around all that often, so some of my favorite pieces, like this classic sun dress, go unworn.  Luckily, clothes--unlike Sanrio stickers--are more than one-time use.

Dress: Delaney Eyelet Dress, JCrew (S/S '11) | similar with a key hole
Belt: Taiwan | shop similar
Cardigan: Lands' End Canvas | shop
Bag: H&M
Shoes: Nine West | shop similar

April 3, 2012

Pretty Woman - Polka Polka

I found this dress in Los Angeles and it totally reminded me of the dress worn in Pretty Woman. Pan to me fixing the divots in the grass.... :) This warm weather makes this fun, flowing dress an easy choice!

In actuality, I'm in front of a pretty amazing doughnut shop -- The Doughnut Vault, a hidden gem, in the fine city of Chicago. Ailyn has been here, too! Check out her experience here.

*Note:  The Janes are apparently obsessed with donuts. Click here for another doughnut 

review? Crazy Janes and their doughnuts...

Dress:  Chantell, Melrose Boutique

Shoes: Perfect Pumps, Ann Taylor | shop
Earrings - Charlotte Russe