Monthly Archives: May 2013

Week 15 :: of turning 41, celebrating 100 and 5 iconic looks

Somewhere between 30 and now, I became a grown up.

I am no longer carded at bars.  I am consistently “ma’am” instead of “miss”.  It gives me a jolt of sadness to see current pictures of Harrison Ford/Kevin Kline/Ethan Hawke looking so weathered.  I think a lot about retirement, and my idea of a great birthday present is a major kitchen appliance.

Today, I am 41.  Happy birthday to me.

Oddly, that’s not the uppermost thing in my mind, though.  What I’m more concerned about is that today marks the first day of the week when I will write My Closet Catalogue’s 100th post.  To me, that is larger cause for celebration because Sunday’s post.  The problem, of course, was deciding how to commemorate this momentous occasion.

Follow my thought process on this, if you can:

What should I do?  What theme do I do?  Lemme look at my list?  None of these work!  What about something “100”?  Centennial?  Century?  How does one celebrate that?  Party clothes?  Ick!  Lemme Google/Pinterest that.  Nada.  Argh!

[insert KS#2 aka Voice of Zen here]: Why not do a week of your favorite pieces?

Favorite pieces?  Brilliant!  But wait, that’s too vague.  That’s like asking me for my favorite movie.  Or book.  Or Yogurtland flavor.  I can’t just pick five!  Too many choices!  I need parameters!  What about a favorite item of clothing per day?  Shirt/pants/skirt/shoe/accessory?  Still too vague.  Blargh!

But wait!  What about fave fashion styles?  Mwahahahaha!  YES!  I always say I’m a fashion chameleon; why not showcase five of my favorite styles?  But which ones?  Lemme Google that.  No, I don’t want to take a quiz!  No, I don’t trust Yahoo Answers!  Blargh!

My friends, I tell you this: when technology fails you, turn to books.

Queue dramatic music.

Enter The Lucky Guide to Mastering Any Style.

(It stands to reason that this book ended up being my saving grace; after all, its predecessor, The Lucky Shopping Manual, is my fashion bible and my most recommended resource for all things clothing. )

There are ten iconic looks covered in the guide and I went to town on all of them, upending my closet to see which ones I could recreate.  After several uninterrupted hours – thank you, across-the-street neighbor for taking the kiddos off my hands! – I came to the realization that I really only do gravitate toward five of the ten styles.

How convenient!

Today, then, to kick off Iconic Fashion Week, I give you: California Casual.

Icon Monday

This is a look that is grounded in a time and place that may never have existed outside of our collective imagination: the tawny, golden-edged Malibu of the ’70s – possibly embodied by Farrah Fawcett in a white halter dress at sunset, glass of wine in hand…  [I]t is the combination of dreamy sexuality and surfer-girl vitality that makes this look so distinct – and so distinctly American.

According to the guide, some of the Essential Pieces for this look are a vintagey scarf blouse, high-heeled sandals and the ubiquitous pair of jeans.  Now, the guide stipulates a pair of dark trousers, but for me it’s faded capris all the way.  This just makes me feel one step away from tossing the heels and splashing into the surf, don’t you think?

Icon Monday

Now had you asked me about five years ago, I would have unequivocally declared this to be my go-to look.  In fact, I think that’s how old this top is and it’s a testament to the pervasiveness of California Casual that an item of clothing has lasted that long and survived that many number of purges in my closet.

Nowadays, however, I would probably have done the top with a pencil skirt or the jeans with a crisp button up, at least for work.  As my style choices evolve, I find that I reserve a complete California Casual look more for weekend wear than anything else.  I think you can see why.

Icon Monday

Today, because I have time and a willing photographer, I am treating you to a detail shot of my accessories.  I am particularly excited about the watch – my birthday present from my husband.

Totally sweet how he did it too.  After the kids’ golf lessons yesterday, we drove to the mall (already a surprise) then parked in front of Macy’s (what?!) where he told me that we were buying my present then and there (OMG).

We actually spent a good hour with the kids at the watch booth trying to find the perfect one.  So more important to me beyond the watch was the thoughtfulness and consideration my normally mall-averse husband showed when picking out my gift.

Icon Monday

I normally wouldn’t have been so fussy with my accessories for such a breezy weekend look, but my watch needed its day in the sun.

And you, my friends?  What do you think of California Casual?  Would you sport this style?  Would you do it all-occasion or only on the weekends?

:: Just the facts, ma’am ::
Top – New York and Co.
Jeans – Vera Wang @ Kohl’s
Shoes – Qupid
Hat – F21
Necklace – etsy
Watch – Fossil (birthday gift from hubby)

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What’s in my head :: full throttle to 100

Initially, I was gonna go all anal on this Daily Post thing and attempt to respond to each prompt on the day I receive it.

However, this question lent itself so serendipitously to the upcoming week that I decided to forgo answering it until today.

So.  My goals.  And have I reached them?

Well, as some of my loyal readers know, this venture began thusly.  But a little-known yet concurrent reason was that I simply needed a repository for the iPhone photos I was taking to assuage my then-pregnant sister’s wish to live vicariously through me and my outfits.

But I really had no set goals.  No desire to monetize; no interest in publicizing; no burning urge to make an impact.

So how does one attain a sense of achievement if one had no initial plan?  Well, one makes lists.  And here’s mine.

In the measly three months that I’ve “been in the biz”:

  1. I have gained 50+ followers, only a dozen of whom are friends and family.  The rest are legit strangers who’ve honored me with a “follow” without having known me previously.
  2. I have expanded my intent to include regular feature articles:  What’s in my cart; HGB; What’s in my head.  Somehow, the fact that I have a reason to post every day (and not just on weekdays) makes this blogging thing a lot more significant.  It’s got gravitas now, if you know what I mean.
  3. I have slowly but surely overcome my fear of the camera.  The yearbook staff can attest to this irrational fear I’ve held on to for the past ten years; there is no photo of me in any past yearbooks and they’ve all been warned on pain of emotional dismemberment not to snap any pictures of me.  I still subconsciously shy away from a random lens, but I’m a lot less averse.  As long as I have final approval of all pictures, of course.
  4. I have consistently written content for 95 entries, even during times when I’ve been too busy/tired/disinterested/angry/hungry.  And since I used to have the nickname Ningas kugon, this is a Very Big Deal in my world.
  5. I have made some amazing connections with fellow style bloggers who have honored me with their comments, feedback and general encouragement.  I thought it would be such a cutthroat community; that I would have to compete in a daily pissing contest of incorporating trends and would be judged if I fell short.  Instead, my fellow fashionistas have been nothing but supportive of my humble offering and I am eternally grateful to them.

And now, we’re coming up on a milestone.  This Friday will mark my 100th post on this blog.  That’s a century, my friends.  A centennial.  An epoch, even.  And that is certainly enough cause for celebration.  But what is even more important is the fact that I’m still going strong; I still have loads to say.  I don’t foresee myself ending this escapade anytime soon.

Now, I can’t promise that I won’t morph into something else.  By the next 100 posts, I might be an entirely different beast.

Or I might not.  There’s no predicting the future after all.  Which is the problem with goals, yeah?  Too much expectation and usually not enough payout.  So I say NO! to goals.  I don’t need no stinkin’ goals.  I’m just gonna take the blogging one day at a time, enjoying the journey.

I hope you keep me company along the way.

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What’s in my cart :: Target redux

Ah, good ol’ Tar-jay!  You succeed every time in sucking me into your vortex of consumerism!

This week’s offering, my friends, was borne of a desire to get that tempting “free ship with a minimum order of $50”.  All I really wanted were the pink wedges, but even when I put two different colors in my cart, they still didn’t add up.  So I had to jump back in and delve into Target’s bottomless coffers of wardrobe goodness.

Thank goodness there were slim pickings.  And I’m more than likely returning the tops because they’ll probably fit funny.  But before I pull the trigger on the checkout button, how’s about a last look at my choices?

1.  I like this top because of the interesting print and neckline.  I also like the cunning reverse pleat in the front.  But is it worth $17.99?

2.  Again with the neckline.  I also added this because I’ve been enamored of pink lately and I don’t have enough in my closet.  But the price tag of $19.99 is steep for a tank, no?

3.  This dress!  Oh, how I love this dress!  And I need a white summer frock.  But should I just let the yellow one be it’s own unique thing in my closet?  Do i need another, even if it’s a different color?  Or will I regret not buying it down the road?  Argh!  Conflicted!

4.  So I started looking for a pair of flirty pink sandals and stumbled on these.  I have the black version in my saved items list – have had it for so long – but chose to try these because a. in need of pink and b. it’s on sale at $23.99.

5.  Although the coral above is more vibrant, this one won me over because the heel is pink too, not just the vamp.  But I wonder at its pastel-ness.  I’m torn because both iterations have their pros and cons.  Help me out?

6.  Does it scream “street walker”?

7.  Yeah, yeah.  It’s a trend.  This, too, shall pass, right?  But who knew Target carried Sam and Libby?  And don’t they look like they’d go with tons of stuff?  At $34.99, though, I may just pass.

And there you have it, my friends.  This month’s Target options.  Please feel free to chime in with your two cents’.  You know you wanna…

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Week 14 :: of full skirts and ending on a high

Usually Fridays are my winding-down days.

Not that I need to celebrate Casual Fridays at work since every day seems to be a casual Friday for most everybody.  But in my little sartorial bubble, I do make a conscious effort to be more laid-back and artless with my clothing choices at the end of the week.

There’s something about Frolic in Frocks Week, though, that begs for a switch-up in routine.  You see, my friends, I’ve discovered that dresses inherently lend themselves to a bit of formality, regardless of type or fabric.  So no matter what you do, throw on a dress and suddenly, you look magically put together.  I guess that’s why we have the term “dress up”, eh?

Today, then, we round up the week’s theme with the momma of dress silhouettes: the full skirt.  It’s the a-line’s big sister and I think it’s what most people conjure up in their minds when they reference “dress”.

Dress Friday

It’s swishy and flouncy and twirly; an inducing-spontaneous-bursts-of-spin-around-in-a-giddy-way sort of dress.  And for a Forever 21 frock, it’s actually pretty exceptional: the material is of heavier weight than per usual, a sueded fabric that feels and looks more expensive than it was.  Also, the length is shockingly modest considering the source.  Add to all this a very current and yet classic color pairing of melon and navy, and the dress is darned near perfect.  All it really needed were pockets, but I’m not complaining.

Dress Friday

I know I complained about the twee-ness of a cardi/dress combo yesterday, but for some reason, I’m not minding it today.  It’s partly because my cardi is an exact match of that melon color and partly because I can counter the potential saccharine sweetness of the look by donning a pair of Chucks which makes the ensemble more tomboy-tries-girly versus June Cleaver.

Dress Friday

Do I feel like I’m seven in this?  Why, yes.  Yes, I do.  And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  As we go about our daily lives, sometimes quagmired in the minutiae of routine, we have to take what little happinesses we can.  And hearkening back to a simpler, more carefree time in my life is one of mine.

And you, my friends?  What little happinesses do you have that guarantee a lifting of spirits?  (And yes, grammar gestapo, I know “happinesses” isn’t a word.  Just roll with it, okay?  It’s Friday!)

:: Just the facts, ma’am ::
Dress – F21
Cardigan – F21
Shoes – Chuck Taylor All-Stars

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