Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Best travel dress - on sale!


Activity: School pick up run

Jacket: Gap, thrifted (similar)

Dress: Old Navy (exact)
Sandals: thrifted (similar)
Bag: thrifted (similar)
Watch: gift (exact)
Bracelet: street vendor in SF (similar)
Earrings: Craft market in Chicago (similar)
Lipstick: NYX soft matte lip cream in Sao Paulo (exact)

See what I mean about this being the best dress ever?  (See this post from earlier this week.) Like wearing a nightgown in public while still looking cute and feeling comfortable.  I just received this color and had to post it right away to go with my recent post of the red-striped version of this dress.  I think I like this color even better, and will find it even more versatile.  I can see it with cute platform sandals and a fun necklace for summer, belted with a long sweater for fall, and with black tights and tall boots or booties and a gray or black blazer for winter.  

I've always loved the versatility of the color of olive, since it looks good with every neutral - black, cognac, chocolate brown, tan, denim, gray.  Every time I find an item of clothing in this tone of olive, whether tee, pants or skirt, I always have so many combinations to make with it, so I'm excited to have this new item to play with!

This bag and these sandals are good examples of how thrifted finds can add uniqueness to a basic outfit like this.  I had a basket bag on my list for this spring, and after a few "almost there" bags I passed on for one reason or another, I was excited to find this one.  Perfect to try out the basket bag trend without spending much money, and it's just the right time of the year to find it!  

These sandals were an unexpected find.  I wasn't really in the market for them, but when I saw how nicely made they are - leather soles and all - and unworn, I decided $6 was a cheap risk, especially since I can wear them right away.  If it was September, I probably would have passed, but in April, I'll have lots of chances to wear these right away.  As I did!

Here are some links to this exact dress (the second dress is my exact version) and some similar versions.  As you can see it hits longer on me than the model, since I'm 5'2".  I'm wearing a medium.

And here are other color options:

Monday, April 24, 2017



Activity: Casual errands

Tee: H&M (similar)
Pants: LOFT, cropped and frayed by me (similar)
Sandals: Vince Camuto via Nordstrom Rack (similar)
Bag: Fratelli Rosetti, thrifted (similar)
Watch: MVMT via ebay (similar)
Bracelet: street market in SF (similar)
Earrings: craft fair in Chicago (similar)

I rely on layers so often, that sometimes it's frightening to wear an outfit with just two basic elements: top and pants.  But in warmer weather, that's often the kind of outfit you need!  This is a good example of how a few little details add enough interest to keep this simple outfit from being boring: frayed cropped pants, coordinating cognac accessories, a bright bracelet.  Another key is finding basic pieces that are just a little elevated, like the relaxed, longer length of this tee.  Slowly but surely I'm learning to pick these up when I see them.

What's your styling trick for simple outfits?

Here are some shopping options for you:

Sunday, April 23, 2017

WHAT TO WEAR: The perfect travel dress


Activity: Visit to The Flower Fields, Carlsbad, California

Jacket: Gap, thrifted (similar)
Dress: Old Navy, last year (exact in current colors)
Shoes: Forever 21, pom poms added by me (exact sandals, similar with pom poms)
Hat: gift (similar)
Sunglasses: LOFT (similar)
Earrings: ebay (similar)
Blue bracelet: street market in SF (similar)
Gray bracelet: Visitor Information Center shop in Coronado, CA (similar)
Watch: gift with band from eBay (exact watch, similar band)
Lipstick: NYX soft cream lip cream "Milan" (exact)

These flowers!  We were in San Diego last week during Gavin's spring break, and we made this last little stop on our way home.  It was definitely worth getting home a little later.  I highly recommend this spot if you're in the San Diego area between March and mid-May.

This dress!  I wore it three times during a 6 day vacation: 1) driving to San Diego from San Francisco (an admittedly long and decidedly not completely enjoyable experience), worn pretty much like this but with slip on sneakers and without a hat; 2) an all-day visit to the zoo in San Diego (where I wore it with a lighter weight denim shirt instead of the denim jacket and slightly more comfortable walking sandals) and traveling home to San Francisco, where we stopped at this beautiful spot to enjoy these gorgeous flowers.  While I was on the way home, I decided I needed to order more of these dresses immediately.  They were on sale then, and still are!  You can find some buying options below.  I bought versions in black, olive, gray and a ribbed navy and white stripe.  You'll be seeing them in some future posts - I already wore the olive one once!

My only complaint about this dress is that it is a couple of inches shorter than I normally wear (not super short, just like 2 inches or so above the top of the knee), which makes it unwearable for my volunteer work and meetings for worship.  But that does make it cute with flats, and perfect for casual comfortable travel days.  I'm going to try to buy or DIY an underslip with a pretty border that I could wear underneath to give it more length when I need it.  Then it would be a completely versatile travel item for my lifestyle.  For most people, it is just fine as it is.

Unfortunately in the time it took me to get this post ready, some options of this dress sold out, but I've included other alternatives - and some of the dresses below come in more than the color pictured.  I'll keep checking in case they are restocked!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Off shoulder top and pom pom sandals

  (Squinty no-sunglasses face and all....)

(Snapped this photo as my neighbor was trying to walk by to his front door.  Guess I'm getting bolder at this photo-taking-regardless-of-situation thing?  I still cringe at the memory, but the picture turned out!)

Top: Forever 21 Contemporary, recent (exact)
Pants: LOFT, recent (exact in limited sizes left, similar) Pants reviewed in this post
Sandals: Forever 21 with DIY pom moms sewn on (exact sandals, exact pom poms, similar sandals with pom poms already sewn on)
Bag: Fratelli Roselli, thrifted (save, spend)
Watch: MVMT via ebay (almost exact)
Earrings: Jewelry booth in Madison WI (similar)
Lipstick: NYC soft matte lip cream in Milan (exact)

Spring has sprung here, and I have to make the most of it before the gloomy late-spring and all summer days come (Seriously, I often have to wear black tights - in June -  so I'm not kidding about enjoying these days!).  

I've been looking for a moderate version of an off-shoulder top for a long time now.  I suppose you could even say it's been on my "bucket wardrobe list" - items that are not urgently needed, but would be a good addition to any wardrobe (see this post for more on that).  I tried a few last summer,  but nothing worked out.  I finally realized that it's all about the sleeve cut for me.  With a larger bust, I need a more tailored sleeve with this neckline, not a loose or ruffly bell sleeve.  I tried on several this spring, mostly at Forever 21, and after many fails, I found this one. They didn't have my size in the store, only the size too big and size too small (and I still think this large is a bit roomy, but if it doesn't shrink when washed I'll take the sides in a little bit), so I ordered what I thought would be my size online when there was a free shipping offer.  I also tried on this style in that order, but it just ran too small and I decided to just return it rather than try the larger size.  I only need one blue striped, off-shoulder shirt....  If I was in the market, this style would definitely be worth trying on, however.

Although Gavin is definitely not a fan of this shirt - for some reason the off-shoulder offends his fashion sensibilities somehow, the first time he saw it he paused and said "I think there's something wrong with that shirt, Mom", then he's always trying to push it up onto my shoulder when I do wear it - I'm quite looking forward to it being in heavy rotation during warm weather this year.  We're heading to San Diego for spring break next week, and this outfit will be at the heart of my travel wardrobe, along with a few other variations that include shorts for the even warmer weather expected there.

What's your favorite new fashion item for this spring and summer?  Do share!

It seems that this striped off shoulder top is this spring's must-have item.  There are so many cute options, you're sure to find one you like.  I had try try on many before I found one I liked - here are some options for you to try, as well as some already made pom pom sandals:

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Bell sleeves for beginners...

Top: LOFT, recent (exact in limited color/size, similar)
Skirt: J. Crew, old (similar color, exact style in current colors)
Shoes: BCBG via eBay, old (similar color, exact style in current colors)
Bag: from Chinatown (similar)
Necklace: Forever 21, last year (similar)

Sometimes I want to try one trend at a time - to dip my toes in, so to speak.  This particular bell sleeve trend can make that difficult, however - many bell sleeve tops out right now include multiple trends at once (off shoulder! tie sleeve! poufy silhouette! etc, etc) and just scare me before I even try them on (so I don't).  When I tried this top on, I doubted it would work, but since it already had my favorite peplum silhouette, I was starting from the comfortable known realm, so I thought I'd give it a try.  I also tried some all cotton bell sleeve shirts on from LOFT that day, but they were just too much for me.  This solid-color, drapey, chiffon fabric felt like a beginner version of the bell sleeve trend, one I could handle.  I noticed the drapey fabric felt much less poufy, and more friendly to my short frame, and the sheer chiffon sleeve seemed to take up less space than some of the voluminous cotton bell-sleeve tops out there.  It also layers better, which I appreciate, since this is still early spring and layers are often needed!

Can we also just give a shout-out to this bag?  It was an impulse buy for myself when taking my mom shopping in Chinatown, but I've worn it a few times, so I think it turned out to be a good purchase.  It was my first purchase with pom poms, which I've been obsessed with for over a year. Coming soon to the blog:  DIY pom pom sandals.  I posted some similar purse options below, in case you fell in love with this look like I did.

In case you're thinking of testing out this bell sleeve trend, here are a few options that don't feature too many other trends at once.  The sheer options could be worn with a camisole to give a similar effect the the shirt I'm wearing:

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

REVIEW: Olive ankle pants from LOFT (Sanded sateen chinos in Marisa fit)

Pants: LOFT, purchased in store last week, currently an extra 40% sale price (exact)
Jacket: Gap, thrifted (similar)
Tee: Eileen Fisher, thrifted (similar)
Bag: Botkier via ebay (similar)
Shoes: Via Spiga via ebay (similar)
Earrings: via ebay (similar, exact in gold, super similar in silver)
Watch: Applewatch 38mm, gift (exact)

These pants.  When I spend over $30 for any one item (usually the grand total of my purchase of several things at a thrift store - on a splurge day), there's a good reason.  One happy day last week I wandered into the LOFT sale section, and on a whim, tried these on, along with my usual LOFT cute tops.  This time, none of the tops made it home with me (how many cute tops do I need if I don't have cute pants to wear with them, right?), but the pants did.  There happened to be a petite 12 in the store, I tried that and a 10 regular.  I went with the petite, it fit better overall, and I really liked actually having a cropped pair of pants be above my ankles (a rarity when you're 5'2")!

I was talking about go-to color combinations last week (this post), and I neglected to mention this combination of olive, denim and black - partially because I couldn't make this combination until I found these pants (my previous pair got too big and were sold).  But olive and denim with black (here's an older example worn last year), or olive and chambray with navy (seen here) both work (I can think of lots of other possibilities, as well, can't you?), and I especially love how an olive pant looks with a denim jacket.  Since I'm not a huge fan of the denim on denim look (for me at least), having casual pants that are not jeans makes it much easier for me to wear my denim jacket!  Otherwise I can to wear a skirt with my denim jacket, which works fine, but isn't always what I want to wear on my days "off".  I already wear skirts a lot of the time!

Ok, finally I'll stop talking to share my "official" review of these pants.  I didn't take these photos with a review in mind, so they don't show many details as well as I would normally try to, but you can see more details at the website photos here.  I just thought I'd throw a review in here, since it's so rarely I actually buy something still available in stores and online - these are, and 40% off sale price!

Item: LOFT Sanded Sateen Chinos in Marisa Fit

Sizing: Runs pretty true to size, but definitely not on the large side like some LOFT sizing. If you're between sizes, you might want to go with the larger size for these pants.  The calf area is particularly on the fitted side if you have larger calves.  (In that case, you might like this fit better for you, still a very similar pair of pants with a little more ease at the calf).

Length:  The petite version hits an inch or so above my ankle bone.  

Fabric:  A nice substantial cotton-rayon-strech fabric with a soft, sanded finish.  That sanded finish gives it a touch more casual look, which is fine with me, but keep in mind if you're thinking of wearing these for work.  It would definitely depend on the workplace, these are not dressy chinos!

Quality:  Fabric, seams and finishing details all seem well-made.  

Color: A light, fresh olive (I believe it's officially called eucalyptus leaf), it's perfect for spring, but really classic for any season.  If you compare the LOFT website photo to my pictures, you can see that it is more olive green than it appears on their site, so that can be a good or bad thing depending on your preference, but at least you get another view of the color from my photos!

Other details: Zippered pockets in front are more flattering (although less easy to use, I will admit).  There is also a second seam that runs down the side that starts up with the pockets. I like that little detail, others may not.  It's not extremely obvious in the website photos, you can see it if you look for it in my photos.  For those of us who live or die by the details, it's good to know it's there to decide if you like it or not!

Comments:  I'm very happy with my purchase.  These pants are just right for a casual spring look and will be used often in the future, I think.  I'm already foreseeing them with heels and a blazer (probably with a graphic tee) for a night out, and with lace up sandals and a floaty white top for summer.  I'll be wearing this with my new blue and white striped off shoulder top, soon, too - watch for that on the blog!

Here are some other olive cropped pant options:

Monday, March 13, 2017

Spring flowers

Jacket: Old Navy (similar)
Top: Who What Wear (similar)
Scarf: thrifted (similar)
Skirt: Old Navy (similar)
Shoes: Vince Camuto via Nordstrom Rack (similar)
Bag: Fratelli Roselli, thrifted (similar)
Watch: MVMT via ebay (similar, exact - sold out but you can sign up for an email)
Earrings: Groupon (similar)
Sunglasses: LOFT (similar)

Okay, maybe it's more like a jungle here than actual spring flowers, but it does set off a spring outfit nicely, no?  I'm back to getting reaquainted with my favorite basics for spring: olive utility jacket, flouncy cream cotton peplum top, cute (but comfy) sandals, and a neck scarf (as a nod to the trend, as well as a nod to the classic).  

To be honest, I felt like I didn't even really need the neck scarf added to the outfit, especially since this top has a pretty edging on the neckline, but I wanted to do something to make this outfit feel like spring 2017, not like a repeat of spring/summer 2016.  Because of the scarf, though, I kept the accessories to a minimum.  If I wanted to do a statement earring (seeming to be a hot trend for 2017 after the years of statement necklaces), I'd take off the scarf.

What do you do to update your classic outfits? 

Here are some sandal and peplum top options for you to check out!