May 30, 2012

PFC #16: Summer Wedding

This month's PFC is hosted by Lauren of Petite on a PennyPFC 16: Summer Wedding--Create an outfit for a summer wedding (the dress code is up to you). For bonus points (and this is what I'll be doing!) try to make your whole outfit, head to toe, come in under $100! (Or, exclude shoes and accessories to meet the $100 mark.)

I mentioned earlier that I'm attending 5 weddings this summer.  Yes.  That's right.  It's wedding season


Ramen Noodle Budget via Put This On
My look rings up to a grand total of $97--shoes, accessories, and a few makeup items included. Admittedly, I stalked that Banana Republic dress, and for me, it definitely takes patience and numerous trips to the mall to get a great deal.  When it comes to clothes, I sometimes operate on the Ramen Noodle Budget.  

The Ramen Noodle Budget, you ask?   Check out the gentlemen of Put This On for an explanation of the concept (and see their illustration below) that it can be difficult to score quality pieces at an ideal price.  I confess to shopping on the Ramen Noodle Budget, and I try to keep to the Good Quality &; Cheap side of the budget, though it can be hard to resist the fast and trendy fashion of Forever 21 and H&M.

To avoid buying items that I won't wear frequently nor won't have an occasion to wear, I ask my trusty fashion consultant --- Ailyn to help. She proceeds to ask me, "Where am I going?" or "Name 5 specific and separate occasions I would wear this piece." This really helps me avoid purchasing clothing and accessories that don't add value to my wardrobe.

Don't forget to check out what the other ladies put together for this PFC at Petite on a Penny.

Headband: JCrew ($14 $4)
Earrings: Forever Audrey, Jewelmint ($30 $12) | similar
Dress: Banana Republic ($128? $38) | similar
Shoes: Talbots ($139 $30) | similar
Lip Color: Convertible Color in Petunia (07), Stila ($25 $13)| shop

Linked up at Watch What I'm Wearing.

Goldenrod: Crayola's 120 pack

I love all different shades of yellow because it always add a lot of brightness and cheer to any look. This goldenrod tank is a winner. How do I know this color is goldenrod? Because of my love and affection for the the classic Crayola 120s pack -- complete with built in sharpener. :) Check out a spring version of yellow and a citron look for the winter months.

Shades: New Wayfarers, Ray-Ban | shop
Cardigan: JCrew | similar
Top: PacSun | similar
Shorts: Roll Up Chino Shorts, Uniqlo | similar
Shoes: Taiwan | similar
Bag: Vintage | similar
Lipstick: Color Burst LipButter in Lollipop (75), Revlon | shop

Linked up to Marionberry Style, A Little Bit of Lacquer, The Pleated Poppy, and Two Thirty Five Designs

May 29, 2012

Vigoss 'Tomboy' Cuff Denim Shorts

I spent a relaxing long weekend home with the fam.  The ease stripes and a pair of crisp white shorts were perfect for a relaxed BBQ.  I recently picked up these shorts from Nordstrom, and they are an awesome alternative to the classic denim short.  They're kind of like the "sophisticated older sister" of the jean short...  and I definitely know all about those.

I hope you're all well, and thanks for reading! :)

Shades: LOFT | similar
Necklace: F21 | similar
Top: Uniqlo | similar
Shorts: Vigoss via Nordstrom | similar
Shoes: Bluefish 2-Eye Boat Shoe in Linen/Oat, Sperry Topsider | shop

May 24, 2012

Alice+Olivia Anita Striped Dress & French Connection Unno Cap Sleeve Dress

Hello from the fitting room!  In light of all of the upcoming Memorial Day sales, I wanted to share two dresses that I've been loving lately.  Memorial Day is one of my favorite three-day weekends; who doesn't love the start of summer?  BBQs, beach, and chino shorts are calling my name.

Unno Cotton Cap Sleeve Dress, French Connection ($188) | shop
Every girl needs a classic LWD (the summer version of the LBD), and I think structured one from French Connection is a good option.

Anita Striped Belted Dress, Alice + Olivia ($396) | shop
I'm in love with this dress; it's fun and whimsical.  Plus the back of the dress has a really sweet button detail; I didn't manage to snap a photo of it, but check it out here.

I hope everyone has a safe and fun-filled holiday weekend.

May 23, 2012

Pinspiration: Mellow Yellow

Are you sick of this dress yet?  Clearly, I can't seem to stop wearing it. :) This time around, I've brightened up my color palette with another fun color. The colors in this look actually remind me of one of my favorite outfits from months past: check it out here.

Are you a pinterest fanatic?  I think it's fun, and my favorite boards usually feature life hacks and wedding photography.  Of course, I get the occasional style inspiration; in particular, this pin encouraged me to try out today's look.  If you need an injection of color in your wardrobe, then look no further than the Economy of Style for ideas!

Necklace: H&M - last seen here | shop
Cardigan: JCrew Outlet | similar
Belt: JCrew (worn backwards) | similar
Dress: Necessary Clothing | similar (also in kelly green)
Shoes: Talbots (reviewed here) | similar

Linked up at A Little Bit of Lacquer, The Pleated Poppy, The Monday Mingle, and Watch out for the Woestmans.

May 22, 2012

Glam Blue Dress

I love getting dressed up and having a special night out! This beautiful dress from Xscape is a new favorite of mine. I found it at Macy's when I was trying on bridesmaids dresses with my best friend Sheena. She did not choose this as the dress for the ceremony, but I feel in love with it and had to pick it up for myself. The color is so pretty, and I love the hint of sparkle on the shoulder. 

I'm sure you are all getting jazzed about summer and the wedding season. Somehow, I have 5 weddings this year! Cheers to wedding season, summer, and finding beautiful dresses!

Dress:  Xscape One-Shoulder Gown | shop, shop similar
Shoes:  Flax in White Kid, Nine West | shop
Earrings:  Very Audrey JewelMint | shop
Clutch:  Thrifted

May 21, 2012

Bug Bites: Burt's Bees Bug Bite Relief Review

It feels like summer time, and for me, that means mosquito season.

What can I say?  The mosquitos love me; even when I'm wearing bug spray with 25% DEET, they still manage to get me.  :) Since I can't always avoid bug bites, I've found that the Bug Bite Relief stick--which comes in a lip balm like tube--generally diminishes itchiness.  It's not a magic potion to cure all mosquito bites, and you do have to keep reapplying it, but overall, I think it works quite well.

Be warned, this stuff has a fairly strong herbal and citrus smell, but I think it's worth it.  I don't have much experience with any other Burt's Bees products, so I am pretty impressed by this one.

Anyway, if you (or a loved one) are afflicted with bug bites, then I hope you found this helpful.  I wish I would have known about this product years ago, so I wanted to share my quick and dirty review with you.

What are your best tips to combat or heal mosquito bites?  Let me know, and I'll be sure to try it out!

Shades: LOFT | similar
Top: Express | similar
Dress: F21 (old) | similar
Shoes: Target (S/S 2011) | similar
Bag: Mini MAC, Rebecca Minkoff | shop

May 17, 2012

Cheesing in the Loft Cascade Ruffle Knit Dress

I'm smiling pretty hard today and it's likely due to the fact that I love this pretty orange dress from Loft. Summer dresses are just so easy-breezy. You don't have to work hard at all on the outfit, and this particular dress is lightweight, and great for a warm spring/summer day. 

I'm also smiling because my friend Mindy shared a hilarious blog with me: You Chicago folk will enjoy tenfold. I've been toppling over the silliness of it - love it!

:) Have a fantastic day, readers!

Dress:  Cascade Ruffle Knit Dress, Loft | shop
Necklace: So Good | similar
Sandals:  Taiwan  
Ring:  H&M

Linked up at the Monday Mingle.

May 16, 2012

Minty (Re)fresh

When it comes to clothing, I think it's important to have a versatile and re-mixable wardrobe with pieces that are work for all aspects and events in your life.

I especially love this dress because it pairs seamlessly with a denim jacket and t-strap sandals, but still wears easily with glam heels and a statement necklace.

What are the most versatile items in your closet?

Headband: Banana Republicsimilar
Jacket: Gap | shop
Dress: Necessary Clothing | shop similar
Bracelets: Loft | similar
Belt: Taiwan | similar
Shoes: Taiwan | similar

May 15, 2012

Old Navy Sweetheart Jeans & the Minnetonka Feather Moccasins

I love this blouse. I bought it last year from Crew and I find myself reaching for it when I'm in the mood for an effortless look. I also found some new skinny jeans from Old Navy. The "sweetheart" style fits nicely, and I got a great deal on them during the 40% off stuff and save a few weeks ago. I'm also sporting a pair of new mocs from Minnetonka. These are my first pair of Minnetonkas, but have heard many great things about them over the years. I was always a bit worried mocs may look like house shoes, but after a full day in these -- I'm a believer. The shoes are cute, convenient and truly comfortable. Minnetonkas FTW!

I also wanted to let you know that there are several stores (Nordstrom, Gap,, Endless, to name a few) offering 13% cash back on Ebates (referral).  Plus, & Endless (FRIENDS2) are holding their F&F sale 20% off + 13% Cashback via EBates, so now is a good time to stock up on your beauty and skincare staples!  In order to get the discount, I believe you have to click through a link either via Ebates or Facebook.

Top: Beatrice Blouse, JCrew - also styled here
Jeans:  Old Navy Sweetheart | shop
Shoes:  Feather Moccasin; Minnetonka | shop
Earrings:  Charlotte Russe
Bracelets: Forever 21, Loft
Ring:  H&M

Linked up at Watch out for the Woestmans

May 13, 2012

Red and Turquoise

I hope everyone had a fun and relaxing Mother's Day!  Jane Squared wishes all of the moms reading a very happy Mother's Day.

Aili and I spent some of our weekend shopping with Mom and baking sweet treats--banana bread and our mom's favorite blueberry pancakes!

Necklace: H&M | similar
Dress: LOFT - Aili's look was my inspiration.
Bag: Birthday gift from my beautiful & talented friend, Fiona | similar
Shoes: Aldo | similar

Linked up at the Monday Mingle, The Pleated Poppy, A Little Bit of Lacquer, ; Watch Out for the Woestmans.

May 10, 2012

Patriotic & All Packed Up

I'm headed to DC for work once again, and I'm inspired by our nation's colors.  I'm planning on rocking this vibrant pencil skirt once I arrive, but I like to travel a bit more comfortably.  That's where my my trusty Gap legging jeans (all of the ladies in my family--from my sister-in-law, Michelle, to Ailyn--rock this particular pair of pants).  

Other travel essentials include my Longchamp Le Pilage Expandable carry on.  If at all possible, I avoid checking my luggage. In the past, I've used a surprisingly sturdy and functional duffel bag from Target for around $50; it's been through a lot, and is starting to show some wear, so I upgraded to this functional, reasonably priced, and good looking bag.  Look out for a review on this foldable & expandable tote next week.

Shirt:  Thrifted, $5
Skirt:  Thrifted $5 | similar
Pants: 1969 Ponte 5-Pocket Legging Jeans, Gap | similar
Necklace:  So Good, NYC - styled here 
Shades: Ray Ban Original Wayfarer | shop
Shoes:  Flax in White Kid, Nine West | shop
Bag: 'Le Pliage' Expandable Carry-On, Longchamp | shop

May 9, 2012

JCrew Rainy Day Bow Flats

I picked up JCrew's Rainy Day Bow Flat in Neon Peach for $29.99 at my local JCrew.  They're still priced $58.00 online, but you can contact customer service and ask JCrew to honor the in store price of $19.99 if you're interested.

Uppers are made of PVC, and I took my usual size in these flats.  I find JCrew shoe sizing to be a bit odd and fit as if I'm always between sizes.  To deal with this, I occasionally use terrycloth inserts to make them fit a bit more comfortably.

The good: These flats come in some super fun colorways including black and blue grotto, which is a rich, vibrant blue.  The gold hardware is a cute touch, and overall, they are bright and cheery solution to a dreary and rainy day.  No need to worry about these getting wet since they're made of PVC, and can easily be wiped clean.
The bad: The sole has almost no tread, which doesn't seem ideal when you're splashing through puddles and on slick streets.  Even worse, the sole is extremely thin, and I feel like any sharp rock or glass debris couldn't stand up to soles of these shoes.  They're definitely not made for a long walk, but they would work a quick commute from the car to the office.  Additionally, the Rainy Day Bow Flats fit a bit oddly around the sides of my feet (see photo left); they ripple unattractively instead of fitting snugly on the side of your foot.

I think I'll stick with my favorite rainy day shoes, the crocband flat.

Rainy Day Bow Flats in Neon Peach, JCrew ($29.99) | shop

May 8, 2012

Thriller Tuesday

This is how I felt when I woke up today... a bit tired, and wanting to zombie dance my way to work. 

It's close to midnight and something evil's lurking in the dark.... 'cause this is Thriller!

Beware of zombies lurking about on this very sleepy Tuesday!

Dress:  The Limited | shop similar
Jacket:  Triacetate Jacket, Ann Taylor | shop
Shoes:  Perfect Patent Pump, Ann Taylor | shop

May 7, 2012

Minty Fresh

How do you feel about the minty green pastels popping up all over now?

Personally, I'm a big fan.  It's a little bit fresher and definitely more fun than the traditional spring baby pinks and purples.  Aili's rocking the trend with her minty green colorpop jeans from Gap Kids.

I guess we're not mint's only fans; check out some fellow style bloggers' take on this fresh spring color:

- Psyche from the Economy of Style
HIS + HERS of Wear it Both Ways
- Margo of Classroom Couture

Shades: Necessary Clothing | shop similar
Necklace: So Good | similar
Dress: Necessary Clothing | similar
Bag: Mini MAC, Rebecca Minkoff | shop
Shoes: Aldo (old) | shop similar for $24.99

Linked up at the Monday MingleThe Pleated Poppy,A Little Bit of Lacquer!

May 3, 2012

Banana Republic: White Blazer

I love a white blazer. It makes any look - chic and put together. I anchored this look with a beautiful taupe dress from Calvin Klein. My mom found a few of these dresses on sale for $20+ or so dollars at our local Bergner's! Win win. I wanted to jazz up the look so, I paired this with one of my favorite pieces -- a colorful scarf-- from American Eagle.

What are you doing to jazz up your day?

Scarf: American Eagle | shop similar
Dress: Calvin Klein | shop similar
Blazer: Banana Republic | shop
Earrings:  Banana Republic
Shoes:  Target versie pump | shop

May 2, 2012

Reality TV Junkie

Anyone out there been watching Fashion Star?  It's my mom's favorite show!  We especially love Nzimiro Oputa's designs.

And, the Voice... love it and Cee Lo's Cat! What are you streaming these days?

Earrings: LOFT
Necklace: F21 (2008?)
Bag: H&M (old)
Blazer: The Limited
Top: F21
Shorts: Victoria's Secret
Socks: Target
Shoes: Tanngoo in Taupe, Steve Madden | shop

May 1, 2012

Banana Republic: the Multi-seasonal White Dress

We always have some great pieces in our closets, but maybe wear them once or twice. When I initially purchased this Banana Republic dress in white -- I had no idea that it'd be a go-to, multi-seasonal piece. 

I've worn it in winter, and am busting it out for spring! I can easily see this piece transitioning into summer  with a sassy belt. 

What signature pieces are working it for you?

Cardigan: Bead-trim Cardigan, Banana Republic | shop in tall, regular & petite sizing
Dress: Banana Republic, also style here
Shoes: Perfect Pump, Ann Taylor | shop
Earrings:  Target