Sunday, February 26, 2012

feb faves!

Hoo boy.  February has been so busy I barely noted its passing- and yet somehow found the time to squeeze in some of my very favorite combos, while adding a few new ones!  This is a tale of several love stories apparently, as so many frocks and non-frocks found places in my heart since last year.  I fell hard for the Layered Column dress the minute I saw it in an Anthropologie catalogue last summer.  I love the clean lines and clever layered stripes and the delicate combination of cream lines on black. While many colour and shape variations have since been released, this is the one I adore and had to have (this exact colour with sleeves would have been awesome though...)   As others have said, this is a magic dress that somehow makes your self-consciousness about body shape disappear, though I much prefer it with some comforting layers!  Gotta love a good blazer.

Anthropologie Layered Column dress and Welkin scarf, J Crew Schoolboy blazer, Indigo booties
It's funny how you can wear something a million times and then suddenly a new combination (with something you have had for another million years) just activates the piece again and makes it new!  I felt that this week- I always liked this über-polyester check print dress, with the thick bow at the collar and little tab pockets topped with brass buttons. But when I couldn't find my usual pairing and alighted on this cardigan with similar tiny checks well...LOVE!  I thought it was a great example of 'simple print mixing' until the manfriend informed that I am both cute and insane, and that while a great combo, in no way could this ever be considered 'subtle'!  ahem.

J Crew navy printed cardigan, vintage checked dress, Chie Mihara Ramsita oxfords
And, well, my favoritest combo ever is yellow with black and white stripes- it always makes me happy!  Throw in a little touch of floral with the stripes and nothing can stop me.  right.

Thrifted striped top, F21 mustard skirt, winter floral scarf, Indigo booties
Ah, and y'all know how this gal feels about green and checks!  I found this silk scarf just before  christmas- the print is a similar hand-painted green plaid so it just tickles the brain to wear 'em together.  I guess a long grey February wasn't so bad after all!

Anthropologie Painted Plaid dress, J Crew cardigan, thrifted silk scarf, Chie Mihara Ramsita oxfords

Saturday, February 18, 2012

dreaming of marni: planning for designer collaborations!

The little fetishist in me loves these inexpensive designer collaborations- Jason Wu, Rodarte and Liberty for Target, Comme des Garcons and Marni for H&M!  I am pretty good at restraining myself to one or two items, since there's usually only a few pieces that express the idea of the collection to me.  I was tickled to see the iconoclastic Comme des Garcons work with everyday fast-fashion H&M, and thought the pieces were fun and of excellent quality (and someday I'll pull the tags off the pants and actually wear them...I swear, I would have worn them if I had found one of the blazers too!)

I am a huge fan of Marni however- I love the print mixing and simple shapes- and  what I particularly love is the interaction of pieces, the layering.  I am afraid in this case I need to find myself at least a few pieces to play with!!  They're like the LEGO of the fashion world- or maybe I'm just distracted by the dots!

Fashionista posted the lookbook today, although it's hard to tell what the full line might be since the items aren't featured consistently with prices and details.  My favorite piece is the blue polka dot blouse, and I'd love to match it with the coordinating dress or something else in the pink-toned print.  The accessories are absolutely gorgeous, but they are always the first to sell out. I love the floral corsage necklace!

Dreaming of Marni

Some of the outfit shots that have me dreaming:

I absolutely love the mix of blue and brown.  In fact, I have one Marni dress, purchased from a sample sale, which would coordinate very nicely with these pieces. It's a circular blue print sundress with a brown bodice from probably 4 or 5 years ago. Of course I can't find a picture right now, but I'm sure as my 'Marni Mania' increases over the next few weeks I will trot it out.  However I did trot out another favorite dress this week, working the blue and brown:

Anthropologie Contemporarian dress, F21 pointelle cardigan, Indigo shoes

And guess which other designer collaboration piece arrived the same day! I love the dress- I think the design is really pretty and unique and I can't wait for spring to come!  It is quite thin though and definitely needs a slip.  Glad I sized up to a S because the XS would never have fit in the hips!
Jason Wu for Target blush striped dress

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

think pink!

When my nephew was four, he saw this pink phone at a yard sale and turned to his mom to say he had to get it for Auntie Sasa.  Sweetest thing ever.  I love being able to call people on their iphones with this most primitive contraption (also handy when the power goes out!).  And it just happens to be the exact same shade of pink as this awesome daisylace tee from J Crew!
A couple of weeks ago I posted an outfit with this skirt, asking for styling help. I got some excellent advice that helped me get over the whole `red` thing.  Turns out if I think of it as another shade of orange, I can get over that block!  I love a good sickly pink, and it's a classic mixed with red!
J Crew daisylace tee, thrifted red skirt, vintage Bill Blass polka dot scarf, F21 floral pin/clip, Chie Mihara Ramsita pumps
Happy Valentine's Day! Check out the festive red and pink outfits at Everybody Everywear!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

sad face and winter florals...

Anthropologie Graublau blazer, thrifted dress, non-name scarf, cozy J Crew rust tights, Indigo boots
Winter florals make me happy- while building hope for the far-off spring thaw, they force you to experiment with layers and cozy fabrics.  I had a great-aunt, a painter, who would change her living room colours for winter and summer- always in a range of florals, but in different colour schemes to reflect the changing light and mood.  I'm not organized enough to do that with my own home (hell, the couch still isn't properly upholstered...) but it's fun to play with prints.  I have somewhere in the region of a gazillion scarves to choose from (never enough, though), and I love the effect of similar prints and tones layered together.  It would also be great to work in some contrast next time, especially with this liberty print.  I'm thinking navy polka-dots...
Liberty for Target shift dress,  J Crew navy cardigan and green belt, Fornarina green pumps, vintage Vera scarf

Ah, then why the sad face, you ask?  Well, I was supposed to get an Anthropologie store in November (yay Christmas!) and then opening was delayed to March (yay birthday!) and now there is just no date listed at all! :( 

And the saddest phrase in the world? "Unfortunately, there are no stores within at least 100 miles of the search query provided."  sigh...

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

tie one on...

Joe Fresh plaid flannel shirt, Navy J Crew cardigan, thrifted bow tie, J Crew ochre pencil skirt and rust tights
I like bow ties, nay, love them, but have always felt too conspicuous to wear them much.  Somewhere between Bozo the Clown and stylish urban hitman Brother Mouzone, I usually try and camouflage it into the pattern and palette of my shirt, which in itself is fun.  You're talking to someone, and all of a sudden you see them do a little double take!  Excuse the cat fur in the detail shot- me 'n the boy were snugglin' when I got home from work!  I tried to take a photo of him in the bow tie but he wasn't havin' none of that!
Bozo the Clown
Brother Mouzone ("The Wire")
 Ghibli the Cat
Update: if you let your cat wear a bow tie all evening, eventually you will capture him looking charming...
 Ahem. Sorry about that- however if you are hankering after cute pictures of a cat who seems to enjoy looking stylish, check out this adorable Etsy shop, Catatelier!

Sunday, February 5, 2012


"I've got a man in England  who buys me clothes.  He sends over a selection of things at the beginning of each season, spring and fall."
He took out a pile of shirts and began throwing them, one by one, before us, shirts of sheer linen and thick silk and fine flannel, which lost their folds as they fell and covered the table in many coloured disarray. While we admired he brought more and the soft rich heap mounted higher - shirts with stripes and scrolls and plaids in coral and apple-green and lavender and faint orange, with monograms of Indian blue. Suddenly, with a strained sound, Daisy bent her head into the shirts and began to cry stormily.
"They're such beautiful shirts," she sobbed, her voice muffled in the thick folds. "It makes me sad because I've never seen such - such beautiful shirts before." (The Great Gatsby, p.98)

Heh.  Now obviously I'm having some pretty romantic feelings about button-up shirts right now.  I mean, I was already prepped for it by owning one beloved J Crew gingham shirt, alongside a slowly growing collection of silk blouses as the perfect layering devices.  And as I dream of spring my heart turns towards the preppy and layered and crisp.  Suddenly it feels like every morning I have trouble getting dressed because I lack that perfect chambray button-up.  The brittle glamour of Gatsby's parties and post-war ennui seem of a moment with this mid-winter existentialism.  This is just to say, do not be surprised if a few more button-ups begin infiltrating the wardrobe this spring!
J Crew Factory Two-pocket Chambray
Madewell Shrunken Chambray Boyshirt
Old Navy Chambray shirt

Perfect shirt in Liberty Art Fabrics Margaret Annie floral

Factory Perfect Shirt in Popsicle Pink Maxi Check
 though I believe this morning's purchase may tide me over for the moment...
and while we're at it...pastels, and preppies and brittle glamour...

Thursday, February 2, 2012

wearing red...

J Crew Caramel blazer, Anthropology Instant Classic tee, thrifted wool skirt, Chie Mihara Ramsita oxfords

I am so clueless when it comes to reds-  I guess I'm pretty particular about shades are acceptable (uh, basically just bright tomato), and wear it seldom because it makes me feel a little like Mrs. Claus.  The only colours I ever manage to pair it with are black or tan!  But I found this gorgeous structured a-line wool skirt on a particularly sweltering summer day last year- it was a lucky thrift find alongside my go-to green wool skirt.  It is indeed, um, rather festive, but I think the polka dots help to remove that association.  As you can see though, I wasn't very creative when it came to my colour mixing.  I've seen others adeptly manage shades of red, but can't for the life of me think of how to do it myself.  What do you suggest?