What I bought :: August 2013

1 – H&M biker pants – Currently $34.95, I bought these for a steal when they were doing their $10 promo. Got them in this color and a dark grey/almost black. Can’t wait to wear them with moto boots once the weather turns.

2 – H&M blazer – Another $10 steal. Have worn it already in this outfit. Sure, I have as many black blazers as I do white button-up shirts but they’re my power MO, doncha know. Plus, $10. I mean, can you blame me?

3 – H&M blazer – Yep, you guessed it. Really, would you have passed up blazers for $10? Not bloody likely.

4 – H&M chiffon blouse – This was the item I picked up for KS#1 and I lucked out and found the last one in my size so I bought one too. Currently sold out online, KS#1 tells me it’s also impossible to find in brick and mortars in her neck of the woods (thus the reason I bought one for her over here). Am feeling rather smug for having scored this piece.

5 – H&M maxi skirt – Yes, I paid full price, but I’ve been wanting a black chiffon maxi for quite some time. Full disclosure: I bought this one even though it’s a jersey because of the pockets, but I got another version in chiffon with a full-length liner. I’m gonna see which one wins: chiffon with liner but no pockets or jersey with half liner with pockets. I’ll return the other. I swear.

6 – ASOS quilted purse – It fits wonderfully in my Longchamp bag and is a nice neutral. At under $25, I think it’ll prove to be a worthy purchase.

7 – lot of tuxedo/button-up shirts – One is Gap, another is Banana Republic and the last is Renfrew. An eBay purchase for $30 plus shipping. The crappy thing? I had them sent to New Haven because I forgot to change over my address from when I had stuff shipped over the summer. So I may have to pay another shipping fee, but $15 a shirt considering the brands is still decent. My thrifting BFF may not agree, however…

8 – J. Crew tuxedo shirt – Another eBay buy. Same story with shipping. But the gal was kind enough to ship parcel post so it only cost me an extra $2 to reship to me.

9 – Ann Marino Eureka – Did I tell you I returned my Enzos (worn here and here)? They just weren’t worth the pain, myriad compliments from the blogosphere and in real life notwithstanding. (Thank God for Nordy’s phenomenally generous return policy. I just mailed them back yesterday. Let’s see if they really do give me a refund even though the shoes were purchased a year ago and worn.) Anyhow, I had to have a replacement. Am waiting for these to come and will definitely walk around in them before I commit.

Overall, I was under my monthly budget and am feeling pretty good about each piece. Of course, several of them have yet to come in the mail and I may end up returning the booties, but that’s a good thing too coz then I’ll definitely be under. And the hubby is talking about renovating our master suite next. Perhaps I should curtail the spending? I sure would love to get rid of the carpet in the bathroom…

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OOTD :: of apologies to my feet

august 30

august 30

august 30

I already know that today’s outfit is an acquired taste.

After all, the idea of wearing Chucks with a midi skirt to work – and at my age, no less – may seem tantamount to committing a fashion faux pas.

But I gotta tell ya, my friends: my tootsies needed a time out. I knew I should be easing back into my high-heel-wearing world, but I got so carried away with outfit creations that I forgot how fatiguing walking/standing on concrete floors could be.

Stupid, stupid rat creatures.

So now I’m paying the price. My feet are achy and throbby and when I went to the mall the other day after work to pick something up for KS#1, my instep cramped up something awful and I literally had to pull over the side of the road, get out and walk it off.

Can you blame a sistah for wanting some feet relief?

The initial plan was a pair of mint skinnies cuffed at the ankle, a long-sleeved but drapey rayon top, and the Chucks. It was adorable. Trust.

Sadly, my camo skinnies experience taught me that having anything that tight and close to my skin in August in So. Cal. is just about the most asinine thing anyone could do.

Enter today’s outfit choice: short-sleeved surplice top with a basic tank underneath for modesty’s sake; a-line, midi, swishy skirt to keep things cool and breezy without being too flirty; silver accessories to make the monochrome pop a bit; and the feet-saving Chucks.

One tip with Chucks and skirts: wear no-show socks – or as close to no-show as you’ve got. It keeps you from looking either frumpy or like you’re twelve.

:: Just the facts, ma’am ::
Top – NY&Co. (sim, sim, sim)
Skirt – Gap @ eBay (sim, sim, sim)
Shoes – Chuck Taylor All Stars
Necklace  – Target

OOTD :: of apathy, stripes and statement necklaces

august 29

august 29

august 29

Huh. So this is interesting.

It seems as if black tops look best with pencil skirts. Or rather, my black tops look best with pencil skirts.

As I dug in my closet for more items to complete my theme week, I found that the majority of black tops I own are either slim, bodycon affairs or long-sleeved unstructured tunics. Since the latter wouldn’t exactly work in this 90+°F heat we’ve been experiencing, I’m relegated to the former. And since the former would have me muffin top anything but seamless bottoms, then pencil skirts it is.

(Yesterday was a fluke and possible only because the jeggings had no waistband and was one size too big.)

Anyhoo, I would say my happiness factor for this outfit would be right around a 7 (out of a scale of 10, 10 being delirious with joy), primarily because this is a top that has also been on the chopping block multiple times but I’d refused to let it go because I’d paid for it but had never worn it so I wanted to get at least some use out of it.

Today, apparently, is the day. Sad that my CPW expectation is so low that I feel a purchase worthwhile if I only wear it the once.

Aside from this, though, I’m a bit ambivalent about the outfit. It’s comfortable enough but I feel it’s a bit bland for me. I tried to snazz it up with the orange statement necklace, and there is that lovely front drape detail to the top itself, and I did wear a patterned skirt. But I didn’t do my Pretty Woman booty shake with this one.

Perhaps it’s because both top and bottom are of jersey material and jersey always screams “casual” to me and in my mind, “casual” almost always invariably means “boring”.

I need to get over that, don’t I?

At least my shoes are fierce.

:: Just the facts, ma’am ::
Top – NY&Co. (yeah, I got nothing)
Skirt – H&M

Shoes – Charlotte Russe (sim, sim, sim)
Necklace – Francesca’s (sim, sim, sim)

OOTD :: of pearls and camo mash-ups

august 28

august 28

august 28

I had initially paired this top with a houndstooth pencil skirt, a black cropped tuxedo blazer, and white ballet flats.

But I woke up this morning and was overcome by the twee-ness of it all. I wasn’t feeling like wearing another pencil skirt ensemble. I wanted to mix things up a bit.

So I laid in bed, hitting the snooze several times while I ran through my closet inventory in my half-dozing mind. Apparently, this pseudo-REM mode works just as well as standing in the shower in terms of coming up with brilliant ideas because I gotta say: I’m jazzed about this combo.

I’m  great believer in juxtaposing opposites: complementary colors, close-fitting bottoms with blousy tops, high-end luxe with fast fashion. So it’s no surprise that I’m totally digging this juxtaposition of tough with twee.

The pearl detail on the Peter Pan collar takes on a rebel edge when paired with camouflage skinnies. If you’re not a camo kind of gal – yes, BFF! I’m talking to you! – this same look can be employed with any other sort of patterned or colored skinny jean or even a slouchy boyfriend if that’s more complimentary to your body type.

I belabored the choice of shoes only because these are my most uncomfortable pair. I feel like a footbound geisha when I wear these, and that’s even after my cobbler has stretched the vamp, something I usually have done with all my footwear to accommodate my abnormally wide feet.

Still, I chose fashion over comfort today because it really does complete the vibe I’m going for: the stiletto and peep toe keep the twee while the buckle and zip detail add to the tough.

And you, my friends? What are your thoughts on dichotomy? Do you like mixing it up or sticking with a style niche from head to toe?

:: Just the facts, ma’am ::
Top – H&M (sim, sim, sim)
Blazer – H&M
Pants – Old Navy (sim, sim, sim)
Booties – Enzo Angiolini (sim, sim, sim)