Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Meet Mr. Onyx


This post might possibly be photo overkill, but I just can't help myself when it comes to my puppy! Today is the two-year anniversary of the day we adopted Onyx, and apart from getting married, I can't think of anything that's made me happier than bringing this wonderful furball into our home! If any of you are thinking about getting a dog, I would highly recommend adopting one versus getting one as a puppy. We got Onyx from the Oregon Humane Society, and were so pleased with our experience there. During the few weeks he was at the shelter before we adopted him, the volunteers there potty-trained him and taught him how to do tricks like "sit" and "shake." Basically all I had to do when we brought him home was teach him not to eat our shoes (thank you, Bitter Apple spray!), and teach him how to kiss people on command. (Okay, so I didn't have to teach him how to kiss on command, but it's just so cute and funny!)











Leopard and stripes


I guess I have a thing for mixing stripes and leopard print. Sometimes when I mix patterns I try to combine them tastefully, but other times - like here - I really just want to throw together an odd combination just for the fun of it. In retrospect I don't love that I rolled up my blazer sleeves to show the striped sleeves - I think it would have looked more polished with the sleeves rolled down. (Although really, with a leopard print hat and a huge blue-green necklace, was I ever going to achieve "polished"?)

Combining these jeans and boots (here, here and here) is apparently my go-to look for when Josh and I go out to eat and I want to be comfortable but still wear heels. On Saturday when I wore this we walked downtown for lunch and a bit of bridesmaid dress shopping. (And in case you're wondering, Josh did not have to suffer through watching me try on dresses! He went to the video game store.) My friend Rachel is getting married in a few months and she's letting all the bridesmaids pick out their own dresses as long as they're gray. The other three bridesmaids have their dresses already, but I apparently have hit a wall. I've been to dozens of stores, visited about forty online retailers, and have yet to find a dress that is 1) In stock in my size (which is 8), 2) In my price range ($150 or less), 3) Solid gray with no patterns, and 4) Something I would wear again after the wedding. All I'm finding are dresses that I love that cost about $300, or dresses that look skanky and are way too short or show too much cleavage. Help! Do any of you have suggestions for where I could look for a dress? I've tried local boutiques, as well as a lot of big name stores (Asos, Topshop, Anthropologie, J. Crew, Macy's, Nordstrom, TJ Maxx, Ross, Marshall's, Nordstrom Rack, etc.).

PS - Stay tuned later for a post filled with adorable photos of my dog Onyx!



Striped top: H&M
Black blazer: Fred Meyer
Jeans: Levi's from Urban Outfitters
Beige wedge boots: Urban Outfitters
Leopard print hat: Albertus Swanepoel for Target
Sunglasses: Oscar de la Renta from TJ Maxx
Blue and green necklace: purchased in Florence, Italy
Bracelet: In Pink

Monday, January 30, 2012

Traditions


Sundays are full of traditions. Over breakfast Josh and I drink some tea, and afterwards walk the dog together. Then we head to church, take outfit photos at a pretty nearby park, and visit Costco for our weekly cheap date. (We go on other dates to fancier places, of course! But you can't beat a $3 lunch.) We like to wander around Costco afterwards and usually end up buying something we don't need but think is really cool, like a ten-pound coffee table book about astronomy. After that Josh heads home to play video games, and I go to my grandma's house for afternoon coffee. She provides drinks and desserts, and she, my aunts, my mom, other various guests and I sit around and eat, drink, talk and laugh. (Very loudly. We are, above all, extremely enthusiastic in the way we talk, laugh, and live.) I'm not usually one for routines, but I look forward to Sundays every week because they're just so pleasant.

And yes, I wore this outfit on a Sunday. That's your connection between what I wrote and these photos. Obviously I didn't have anything to say about my outfit :)




Red top: free from a friend of my aunt
Red plaid circle skirt: vintage, from an antique show
Red trench coat: Calvin Klein from Costco
Brown men's hat: gift from my dad, from a shop in York, England
Gray infinity scarf: self-made
Gold necklace: Dress Barn
Brown belt: thrifted from Goodwill
Brown tights: Forever 21
Brown boots: TJ Maxx

Friday, January 27, 2012

Sweater style


This is the first time I've worn this sweater dress even though I've owned it for about five months. What I didn't realize when buying it in the sweltering August heat was that in the middle of winter, I would not appreciate the fact that the sleeves are only 3/4 length. I can only wear it on those in-between days where it's kind of cold, but not so cold that I need some extra fabric on my forearms.

This sweater vest is another piece of clothing I've been neglecting. I found it at an estate sale about four years ago during a phase where I was trying to make my wardrobe really "interesting," and I thought a men's sweater vest would do just that. Only recently, though, have I had any luck in styling it well. Despite my propensity for wearing men's shirts in different ways, apparently I have trouble styling grandpa vests.


Red sweater dress: Fred Meyer
Brown men's sweater vest: estate sale
Brown boots: Jessica Simpson from Macy's
Brown earrings: church craft fair
Gold necklace: Dress Barn
Brown belt: thrifted from Goodwill
Brown tights: Forever 21

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Stripes, stripes and stripes


Yes, the title is rather redundant. But after all, there are a lot of stripes in this outfit. The tights didn't feel like enough stripes, so I had to add the shirt, and then that wasn't quite crazy enough either, so I threw on the blazer as well.

And in case you're wondering why I was wearing sunglasses on a dark overcast day, well, it was actually very bright on the roof, and I didn't want to be squinting/crying in my photos. I promise I'm not a poser. (Do people actually say "poser" anymore, or did I just make myself sound really old?)


Striped top: H&M
Striped blazer: thrifted from House of Vintage
Black skirt: H&M
Striped tights: Romwe
Black wedges: Lulu's
Sunglasses: Oscar de la Renta from TJ Maxx
Black necklace: Urban Outfitters
Red "S" pin: vintage, gift from my mom

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Bad lighting


No, I'm not referring to the lighting in these photos. I'm referring to the lighting in my bedroom that tricked me into thinking these shoes and this sweater actually matched each other. I know not everything has to match, but these two shades of blue are just different enough for it to look "off." I was just not feeling great about the way I looked when these photos were taken. I wore my hair down, but all the curl fell out after about half an hour, so it just ended up being limp (and really frizzy, as you can see in the bottom photo). And while this skirt is normally comfortable (though very fitted in the waist), it was a bit too tight with a blouse and a sweater tucked into it.

That's not to say I entirely hated this outfit! There were some good elements. I liked the contrast of the pink and blue against the light gray, and I liked the layering of the blouse and sweater.


Blue sweater: Anthropologie
Pink blouse: free from my aunt
Gray skirt: thrifted from William Temple House and hemmed by me
Black tights: American Apparel
Blue boots: Steve Madden Carnaby from Zappos
Gray hat: Fred Meyer
Pink necklace: gift shop at Legacy Emanuel Hospital
Pink belt: Gap

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

It's what I've got


I will freely admit that this is an offbeat outfit - socks with open-toed heels and bright tights, pattern mixing, a gigantic slouchy sweater (from the 90's) - but I really like it. Sometimes I look at other blogs and feel disappointed that I don't do high-end designer looks, or that I don't do vintage fashion very well, or that I almost never look polished enough to work in an office - and then I have to remind myself that what I am good at when it comes to style is "bright and weird." And I know that's not a style that appeals to everyone, but it's what I've got.

The number one piece of advice I see successful fashion bloggers give to their fellow bloggers in interviews is "be yourself," and even though it's such a cliché at this point, I still like it. Obviously you need to take your surroundings into account - for instance, there are certain things you should and shouldn't wear to the office, church, funerals, weddings, etc. - but basically, I think everyone should wear whatever the heck they want. If you want to be weird, normal, bright, calm, neutral, experimental, urban, casual, dressy, high-maintenance, low-maintenance, whatever - I say go for it, even if that means you don't have as many followers as other blogs do, or (for those of you who aren't fashion bloggers) even if people give you funny looks because you're wearing something that's out of their comfort zone.




Purple sweater: free from my aunt
Floral skirt: thrifted from Village Merchants
Purple tights: American Apparel
Brown belt: thrifted from Goodwill
Gray bracelet: Self-made
Gray socks: Gap
Brown heels: Madden Girl from Macy's

Monday, January 23, 2012

Queen of the sales


This outfit is a wonderful example of how good I am at not having to pay full retail price for items. The sunglasses are Oscar de la Renta, but I only paid $10 for them at TJ Maxx. The necklace was on sale for $10 down from $34, and I basically got the bracelet for free by using a gift card I won in a giveaway. The sweater was $14 instead of $50, the jeans were $28 instead of $78, and the boots were $14 instead of $59. But the real win here is the trench coat - it's Calvin Klein, and I got it at Costco (yep) for $45. I've worn it every single day since I bought it a week ago (it is Oregon, after all, and it rains like crazy here), and I think it's something I can wear for years to come. I debated between red and black - black is after all much more sensible - but red won out because it's much more fun!

I almost never list the prices of the items I wear because I can't consistently remember all of them, but if you're interested in seeing something similar, back in July I did a post where I listed the prices of the items in my outfit here. That also happened to be the post where I ditched the 30 for 30 challenge. What can I say? I was bored. I need more than 30 items in my wardrobe.





Leopard print hat: Albertus Swanepoel for Target
Red trench coat: Calvin Klein from Costco
Neon yellow sweater: Gap
Jeans: Levi's from Urban Outfitters
Beige boots: Urban Outfitters
Black necklace: Urban Outfitters
Yellow bracelet: In Pink

Friday, January 20, 2012

That hat


Thanks to the massive amounts of rain in Oregon right now, I was not able to take outfit photos on Thursday, so this is an old outfit that I kept in storage for just such a day. I layered my (possibly) vintage tee over this dress, and while I normally don't love the look of a belted tee over a dress, this isn't so bad. And yes, there's that hat again. Judging by the number of times I've worn it this week, you'd think I didn't have any other hats. (I have fourteen, all of which are cooler than this one.)


Red dress (worn as skirt): BB Dakota from Lulu's
Striped t-shirt: vintage (?), from an antiques show
Jean jacket: thrifted from Rerun
Blue hat: H&M
Sunglasses: Oscar de la Renta from TJ Maxx
Black scarf: Fred Meyer
Black tights: American Apparel
Black wedge boots: Lulu's

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Good hair day


I think it's safe to say that my hair has never looked as good in my whole life as it does in these photos. For those of you who can work magic with a curling iron or just have naturally awesome hair, it probably doesn't seem like a big deal. But I've kind of hated my hair my whole life. I don't really know how to do anything interesting with it, and even when I try to style it, it ends up in disaster. That's why in 90% of the photos on this blog, my hair is in a braid, bun or ponytail. This amazing hairstyle happened because I didn't wash my hair for two days and then wore my hair in a bun all morning before letting it down. I've done that before, so I don't know what magic ingredient was added that made my hair look so good this time.

Today's outfit reminds me a lot of this one I wore back in November - same pants, jacket and necklace, but with leopard print on my hat instead of my shoes. I feel like I wear these pants all the time. I went back and counted, and this is the seventh time I've worn them on the blog since the beginning of November. I can't help it, though - they're amazing. Normally I don't like anything that makes me look curvier than I actually am, but these pants do, and I'm alright with that.


Beige sweater: thrifted from Goodwill
Black faux leather jacket: Forever 21 brand from Jen Loves Kev's closet sale
Rust red corduroy pants: Anthropologie
Boots: Crossroads Trading Co.
Leopard print fedora: Albertus Swanepoel for Target
Gold necklace: Dress Barn

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Cozy winter outfit


Saturday morning was full of errands, which is unusual for us. I definitely did not want to be running around on a dreary, cold, rainy morning in heels or a skirt, so I stuck with a simple, cozy winter outfit. I've seen other bloggers wear socks over their jeans, and even though it's a look I never would have thought of on my own, I think it's cute, and it definitely kept me warm. Continuing with my determination to try out styles that don't define my waist (like here and here), I decided to wear this shapeless blob of a sweater that is not in the least flattering, but is cozy and comfy. Some days I just want to feel comfortable instead of look as slim as possible, even if that means I look like I'm trying to disguise a pregnant belly under my sweater. (I'm not.)

I was on the fence about whether or not to post this outfit because it's so casual, but it was raining too hard yesterday to take different photos. How do you guys feel about fashion bloggers posting super casual outfits? I like it as long as it's only done once in a while - if all someone posts every day is jeans and a t-shirt, I'm going to lose interest quickly.

And yes, this is the third consecutive post in which I've worn this hat. I think it needs to be retired. Or else I just need to buy a different stocking cap.



White sweater: thrifted from Goodwill
Black turtleneck: Old Navy
Brown jacket: Marks and Spencer
Blue hat: H&M
Spider necklace: Bauble Bar
Jeans: Levi's from Urban Outfitters
Socks: Fred Meyer
Brown boots: Ether (on NW 23rd in Portland)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

This one's for you, Tim Gunn


I had $100 worth of Zappos gift cards just sitting around waiting to be used, so last Friday I went through my Pinterest board of Zappos shoes and chose this blue pair. It felt like the stars were aligning, like these shoes and I belonged together. First, they were only $96, so I didn't have to use any of my own money to buy them. Second, there was only one pair left in blue, and it was in my size. Third, they gave me free 1-day shipping.

They arrived yesterday. I pulled them out of the box, slipped them on, zipped up the right shoe, then zipped up the left shoe...only to have the zipper pull snap off halfway up the zipper. I spent a few minutes storming around the house cursing Zappos, and vowing to find a Leverage-like team to bring them down and make them pay for the shoe torture they put me through. Since Zappos didn't have any more of this color in stock, I didn't want to send them back, but obviously I didn't want to wear one of them halfway zipped up all the time. Then my common sense kicked in, and I realized I could pull the zipper all the way up without the zipper pull as long as the shoe wasn't on my foot, and just undo the laces on the front to get the boot on. I'm planning on taking the boot to a shoe repair store to see if they can fix the zipper pull, but if they can't it's not a big deal. I think Tim Gunn would be proud of me for my "make it work" moment. (Either that or he would be ashamed of me for wearing a shoe with a missing zipper pull. I sincerely hope it's the former.)

Yes, it was cold outside. That's why I'm balling my fist.

And yes, it was snowing.

Also, I really need to de-fuzz my hat.

Blue sweatshirt: Anthropologie
Red trench coat: Calvin Klein from Costco (yes, Costco!)
Blue and white striped skirt: Forever 21
Blue hat: H&M
Gray infinity scarf: self-made
Bracelet: Fred Meyer
Blue tights: Target
Blue boots: Steve Madden Carnaby from Zappos

Monday, January 16, 2012

Temporary insanity


The "Temporary insanity" title is referring to the last photo in this post, where I removed my jacket and blazer in 30-degree weather just to get some outfit photos. Normally I don't mind getting a little chilly taking pictures, but this was just too cold. It was supposed to be a snow day in Portland on Sunday, which is a big deal to everyone since we rarely get snow, but it was the wimpiest snow day I've ever seen. (As is evidenced by the fact that there is absolutely no snow on the ground in these photos, even though it snowed a bunch in the morning.)

A lot of people think you can't be comfortable wearing a skirt in cold weather - I know that's what I thought a few years ago - but I've found that as long as you wear two (or three!) pairs of tights, and knee-high boots instead of heels in especially cold weather, it's a very comfortable outfit choice.




Shirt: Anthropologie
Black skirt: H&M
Camel colored blazer: Forever 21
Brown coat: Marks and Spencer
Blue hat: H&M
Teal earrings: free from aunt
Black tights: Fred Meyer
Brown knee-high boots: Jessica Simpson from Macy's

Friday, January 13, 2012

Crazy is a relative term


Last night Josh and I hung out with some friends, and when I walked in the door one of them looked at this outfit and said, "I was hoping you'd be wearing something really crazy!" Apparently I am now known among my family and friends as The Girl With the Crazy Clothes, all thanks to this blog. What's funny is that if you had shown this outfit to me ten years ago, I would have thought it was wild. Pink and tan stripes! Leopard print hat! Four inch wedge boots! And now it seems pretty normal. It's funny what ten years and a little bit of fashion blogging can do to a person's perspective on style.

This hat may look like the $180 leopard print fedora that J. Crew carried a few months ago, but it's actually from the Albertus Swanepoel for Target line, and I got it on clearance last week for only $13. Yes, J. Crew really was charging that much for a hat, and even though I loved the look of it, I have firmly decided that I will never in my life spend that much money on a hat. So I was delighted to discover a much much much cheaper version at Target (thanks to Lydia, who wears it so well!), and when I was at Target last week I finally purchased it.




Striped sweater: H&M
Pink blouse (under sweater): ModCloth
Jeans: Levi's from Urban Outfitters
Beige wedge boots: Urban Outfitters
Leopard print hat: Albertus Swanepoel for Target
Sunglasses: Oscar de la Renta from TJ Maxx
Brown earrings: church craft fair
Pink necklace: Legacy Emanuel Hospital gift shop
Pink bracelets: In Pink
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