Tag Archives: complementary

Week 6 :: of navy, tangerine and reinventing nautical

Why is it that when I think of midnight blue, I conjure up visions of able-bodied seamen and shiny, brass buttons and anchors away?  Is it because of its alternate name?  I mean, you can’t get any more obvious than “navy”, right?

Anyhow, we cap off Complementary Color Week with an unorthodox nod to the nautical.  (How’s that for back-to-back alliteration?)

cc week navy and tangerine

I’m usually leery of wearing navy because one of two things can potentially happen: you can either look really stuffy and dated and old-fashioned (think Mr. and Mrs. Howell from Gilligan’s Island) or, conversely, you can come off as a J.Crew catalog wannabe.

Since I’m neither, I think it’s totally brilliant that navy’s complementary color is tangerine.


It’s brilliant because the cheekiness of tangerine is a perfect counterpoint to the severity of navy.  Another way to skew tradition is the fact that the top – a cardi/dickie combo I’ve owned forever – feels more varsity prep than Captain Ahab.  Sure, its got shiny, gold buttons, but check out that sleeve stripe and Harry Potter-esque crest.

Also, the stripe of the false-shirt front is vertical as opposed to horizontal, which also minimizes the nod to the nautical.  Throw on a pair of tasseled oxfords, and you’ve got a juxtaposition of fashion niches that is fresh and recognizable at the same time.

Think Ralph Lauren meets Napoleon Bonaparte.


I really had fun with the theme this week.  Not only did I receive the most recognition for my sartorial efforts to date, I also made some valuable discoveries:

  • I don’t do pastel.
  • I like writing copy unhurriedly and thoughtfully the day before.
  • I feel a lot more comfortable in front of the camera when I’m not actively posing.
  • Neighborhood kids make surprisingly adept photographers in a pinch when your daughter is too busy playing teacher with other neighborhood kids.


Have a fabulous weekend, my friends!  I know I will – it’s the start of my spring break.  Finally!  Three huzzahs and a pint of Guinness for all!

:: Just the facts, ma,am ::
Top – F21
Jeans – Rewind at Kohl’s
Oxfords – Kohl’s

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Week 6 :: of mint, pink and dissatisfaction


And so it goes.

Remember yesterday, when I felt flirty and sexy and super model-y?

Yeah, not so much today.

Today is Mint and Pink Day, and I can’t even be bothered coming up with a clever nickname for the colors.  I don’t know if it’s the lack of saturation inherent in pastels or the lighting of an indoor location or the actual pieces of the outfit themselves, but I’m just not feeling this look.


I was actually thinking of redoing the entire thing but then dinner had to be made and then dishes had to be washed and then the laundry needed to be done, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.  By the time the minutiae of mommyhood released me from their heinous clutches, I was spent and in no mood to concoct a new ensemble, much less go through another photo shoot.

Yes, my friends, you’ve caught me out – this week, I took all my photos in advance.  This is partly because Aly was having so much fun doing it and partly because BF couldn’t come to work early in the morning to fulfill her normal photographer duties.

Surprisingly, I am enjoying this arrangement.  It affords me time to contemplate the story that accompanies the pictures as opposed to the mad rush of trying to be witty in the ten minutes between a.m. photos and the kids’ arrival for first block.

Too bad this ensemble can’t be saved by witty words.


Should I have done a mint blazer?  Or maybe nixed the blazer idea altogether?  Maybe a pink or mint cardi?  Or maybe a more dramatic pink blazer or cardi or top?


At least you get a fabulous peek at my library.  Those are built-in shelves constructed by my brilliant husband the week we moved into this house.  I was nine months pregnant and not to be trifled with so before we’d even unpacked the majority of our boxes, he’d already been hard at work reconfiguring the formal dining room into the library.  The man knows where his priorities are.

I think the only thing I am satisfied with regarding this outfit are the accessories.  I’ve worn these pumps before – my cheapie ones from Target – and they are a classic case of expensive not necessarily being better.  These are actually one of the most comfortable pair of heels I own.  (And I know for comfort – I’ve got wide feet and the beginnings of bunions.)  I also love the earrings and headband – both add that romantic flair without being too saccharine and twee.


We all have our off days and this one is mine.  Tomorrow is another day…

:: Just the facts, ma’am ::
Top – Merona at Target
Blazer – F21
Capris – Rewind at Kohl’s
Pumps – Target
Headband – F21
Earrings – F21


So it’s tomorrow and I’m a lot happier.  Things always look better after a good night’s sleep but I’m happy primarily because I figured out what was wrong with the above outfit: the pinks didn’t go.  Sure, the top and blazer were both technically “pink” but the hue/shade/undertones? were all wrong.  The blazer had a more peach-y cast while the top was more in the fuschia family.

Luckily, I remembered I had this top and switched at the last minute before my carpool came to grab me.  Double lucky that both the new top and blazer come from F21.  (There are reasons to frequent the same shops – their color palettes all go.)


I bribed asked one of my students to take quick shots of me in front of my class library and, voila!  I no longer feel dissatisfied.

My choice was justified.  I’ve already received a number of compliments about the new outfit and it’s not even 8:30 yet.  Huzzah.  Mission accomplished.

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Week 6 :: of mustard, violet and vamping it up

Today is Violet and Yellow Day.  Surprisingly, this color combo was the hardest to find inspiration pics for.  (Gods, did I just end that sentence with a preposition?!  Yikes!)  And trust me, I tried a variety of search words trying to Google decent photos and this is all I could come up with.

cc week purple and mustard


 Unfortunately, my yellow pants are in the wash and since I didn’t want to feel like a Laker Girl anyway, I am exercising my right to revise and am calling today Violet and Mustard Day instead.


Now I don’t know what the universe’s excuse is for the lack of violet/yellow outfits on the Internet, but my reason is simple: I don’t own purple.

I know, I know, you’ve heard this refrain before with green, but I swear to you that this blouse is the ONLY purple item of clothing I own.  I guess my eye and my pocketbook just aren’t drawn to the color.  That said, you can understand my inability to style this top after I bought it so I let it languish in my closet.

Why’d I even buy it, you ask?  Well, how could I pass up that stunning back?  And you know you’re totally jealous of the yardage of fabric in front that billows generously and allows for multiple trips back to the all-you-can-eat sushi buffet.


In order to show off that gorg back pleating, I had to wear my hair up but that left a lot of purple expanse in the front.  I was going to do a shorter but chunkier statement piece, but Aly vetoed that in favor of my owl necklace instead.  She said it fills the blank space and I quite agree.

Of course, with the thin chain and the bare neck from the bun, I still felt sparse up top so I thought to go glam with chandelier earrings.  This ended up being a fortuitous choice because the dangle of the earrings mimic the dangle of the necklace which makes the pairing look deliberate and therefore office appropriate.


KS#2 said my peep toe shooties (shoe booties) looked taupe, but they really are grey.  A word about peep toe shooties: when they first came out, I publicly scorned them because of the sheer ludicrousness of a boot that exposed your toes.  After all, aren’t boots made for warmth?  So why the open toes?

Guess who’s laughing now?

Yeah, I hang my head repentantly for ever having maligned the peep toe shooties because, damn!  Those are some mighty fierce peep toe shooties.


I think this is the most reproduceable of my outfits so far this week, if not the color combination then perhaps the silhouette.  There’s just something so easy and effortless about an oversized top over a pair of skinnies.  You don’t even need to go the stiletto route because I think flats would still work.  I, however, felt especially sexy in this outfit because of the shoes and willingly vamped it up with some fashion mag-esque poses.


I hope you forgive me the conceit of these extra-large shades.  I know I have no need to apologize, but I want to explain that its ubiquitousness has a lot to do with the outdoor location this week and with the fact that I can hide behind them in a way that I couldn’t with my regular specs.  They will more than likely play a supporting role in any exterior photo shoots in the future.  Is that okay?  Or do I need to purchase a couple more pairs for variety?  (Note that I only sunglasses them as props since they’re not prescription and aren’t functional.)

:: Just the facts, ma’am ::
Top – F21
Jeans – Rewind via Kohl’s
Shooties – Fergalicious via Shoes.com
Necklace – F21
Earrings – F21

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Week 6 :: of chartreuse, magenta and a guilty conscience

Today I present the colors yellow-green and red-violet, aka chartreuse and magenta.


I love this complementary color combo because it reminds me the most of spring.  It’s mimics nature the closest and looking at it just puts me in a cheerful mood.

But before you think this post is gonna be all fun and flowers, I have a confession to make.

I bought this dress.

I couldn’t help it – the minute I saw it, I was mesmerized.  I was even more over the moon when I realized it was not only available in my size, but definitely within my budget.  So I bought it.

But why is that a confession, you ask?  Well, my friends, I did a bad BF thing.  I was actually introduced to this dress by my BF who’d asked me if she should purchase it herself.  I’d brainwashed convinced her that she needed more color in her wardrobe and I was super proud of her for even considering this piece.

But at the time, she was on a stricter budget than mine and I’d suggested she wait because, frankly, this type of jersey dress is pretty much Target fodder, n’est-ce pas?  I knew if she waited out the winter season, she’d find a similar dress at a more reasonable price.

Having talked her out of the dress, however, didn’t make it go away in my mind.  In fact, it continued to haunt me.  I stumbled upon it again on Pinterest, styled differently, and I obsessed over it even more.  Finally, Sally featured it again here, and so late one night, when I am at my most vulnerable, I went to the website and made it mine.

I felt guilty, of course.  After all, even though it was entirely unintentional, for all intents and purposes, it seems as if I shanghaied this dress out from under my BF.  I don’t think she’s even aware that I own it – although now that she’s read this, she’ll be very much aware – and I will definitely share if she wants to borrow it, but the guilt remains nonetheless.

I think subconsciously, this is why I didn’t choose the dress to highlight Chartreuse and Magenta day, even though it was the perfect opportunity to do so, what with my inspiration pic and all.

Instead, I’m wearing an outfit that consists of three closet orphan pieces.


The top is last season old, still with its tags on when I pulled it out of the depths of my closet.  The blazer was a last-minute purchase to take advantage of free ship during Forever 21’s 50% off Clearance Sale last year.  The skirt is so old, I don’t even remember purchasing it, but it conveniently called to me from the bottom of my skirt pile when I was looking for a fuschia/magenta item.


I’m super excited about the shoes I opted for this outfit.  It was the clear choice because a) it’s a less harsh neutral than, say, black or white, b) it’s Seychelles, which is my numero uno fave brand for both style and comfort and c) it’s a new purchase and I needed an excuse to wear it, lack of pedicure be damned.


I decided that a strand of pearls would tame the possible garishness of the admittedly neon-esque quality of chartreuse.  Wearing my hair down helps soften the look too, I think.

Too, at the risk of sounding naughty, I must point out a fourth closet orphan in the form of that lace peekaboo bra.  Who knew when I bought it over ten years ago and never wore it ever but kept it because it was so pretty and didn’t really take up a lot of closet real estate that it would end up being this outfit’s saving grace?  It helps keep me modest while still maintaining the monochromatic chartreuse-ness of the top.


I had Aly and two neighborhood girls play photo shoot with me and this is what we came up with.  I had loads of fun.  Can you tell?

Watch out, world.  I think I’m starting to enjoy this picture taking business.

:: Just the facts, ma’am ::
Top – Tobi
Blazer – F21
Skirt – Marshalls
Sandals – Seychelles via eBay
Necklace – gift
Bra – Newport News

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