Thursday, October 29, 2015

OUTFIT: Plaid and lace up flats

Jacket: Gap, thrifted (similar)
Top: thrifted (similar)
Tank: Forever 21 (exact)
Skirt: Athleta (similar)
Shoes: Gap (exact) - reviewed in this post
Earrings: vintage shop (similar)
Necklaces: (similar chains, similar pendant, similar black necklace)
Bag: vintage Coach (similar)

So this outfit didn't get the hubby stamp of approval.  He felt the style of these shoes didn't go with the plaid shirt and denim jacket.  Whereas I just loved everything about this combination.  So....  I told him he just didn't get it and wore it and felt great anyway.  I think it's outfits like this that use contrasting items that are instantly either loved or hated -  in this case a casual plaid shirt with lace-up ballet flats, or the denim jacket and tulle skirt combo I showed in this post, or when you see "fancy" sequined items paired with casual denim (you get the idea - outfits that involve contrasts of style).  That contrast makes fashion interesting, but can cause strong feelings.  So maybe steer clear for occasions where the other person's opinion matters: a job interview, meeting the potential in-laws, etc.  Or not.  Enjoy the process!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

OUTFIT: Review of Gap lace up flats

Blazer: Gap, thrifted (similar) (It's navy, not black, by the way.  Lighting is misleading)
Tee: Old Navy (exact)
Pants, Gap, thrifted and refashioned (similar)
Shoes: Gap (exact)
Earrings: Robindira boutique, Petaluma CA (similar)
Watch: Michael Kors via ebay (similar)
Bag: thrifted (similar)

Lace up flats seem to be the it shoe of the season (not to mention the cutest things ever).  Since I had some credit card reward points to use, I thought I'd try these adorable denim lace up flats from Gap.  Here's my review (not sponsored in any way), in case you're considering the same flats.  Hope it helps!

REVIEW OF Gap lace-up ballet flat: (retail price is currently $49.95, they come in chambray fabric, gold, sage or tan leather)

Size: These run true to size, as far as I'm concerned.  I usually run between 2 sizes, and because I chose the fabric option, which wouldn't stretch like leather, and because they were pointy-toed, I decided to order the larger of my two sizes.  It turned out perfectly.

Width:  I also decided to order the larger of my two sizes to be sure the width would work for me.  While I don't usually have to order wide width shoes, I do have to be choosy about the style in order to have comfortable shoes with my bunions.  These feel great, not tight at all.  If your feet were slightly narrower, you could slightly tighten the width (just a bit, not much) using the laces.

Color:  The chambray denim color is so versatile!  Not dark like a navy blue, but deep enough to be somewhat stain resistant.  Looks great with navy or black, as well as most other colors.

Sole: The bottom is rubber, which I prefer for walking, but it wasn't so sticky that I couldn't dance well in these shoes at the party I attended while wearing them.

Heel: Basically flat.

Arch support: None, but I still found them comfortable enough to literally dance on them for a couple of hours.  I'm not sure I would have enough room for an arch support, but possibly a small one would fit if you sized up a bit.  The lace up straps do allow for some customization of the fit.

Quality:  These look very nice, without obvious defects you sometimes see in fabric shoe styles sold at clothing stores.  While I was happy I only ended up paying around $20 (retail is $49.95) once I used my reward certificates, the quality is adequate, especially if you wait for a sale or use a coupon code.  I don't think the lace up straps are actually leather (at least in the fabric version of the shoe), but they are a decent imitation, and are finished unobtrusively so as not to detract from the look.  The lining of the shoe also feels like faux leather and faux suede to me, but they felt okay when I was wearing them, so I can't complain. 

Style:  A+ for style quotient.  I'm happy to have an adorable pair of shoes that hits the trend dead on, for a decent price.

Comfort:  As mentioned, I danced in these for several hours and was comfortable.  I don't have any pinching around the pointy toes nor the width, but I think that's because I chose to order the larger of my normal 2 sizes.  

Comments:  These are really cute shoes!  And, if you like the chambray look, they are the only ones I came across with that fabric.  All the others are nude or black, so this is a unique, but versatile version.  I almost never buy shoes at Gap, or any other retail store.  I usually view my shoes as more investment pieces, and I stick (mostly) to certain brands, like Cole Haan Air or Dansko.  This was a fun departure for me, and I really debated about ordering them, but I'm glad I did!

Here are some more options for this popular style, starting from lowest price at top left:

Monday, October 26, 2015

OUTFIT: Blush, marsala and mustard

See what a difference the scarf makes?

Scarf: H&M - not online, but purchased only a couple of weeks ago in store, maybe you    could still find it (similar)
Blazer: Theory via ebay (similar)
Top: Nordstrom Rack (similar)
Skirt: J. Crew (exact in current colors available)
Shoes: Michael Kors via Nordstrom Rack (similar)
Earrings: Robindira boutique in Petaluma CA (similar)
Watch: Michael Kors via ebay (similar - on sale)

These colors just don't seem like they should work, do they?  But, with that scarf, amazingly, it all comes together.  I'm always impressed by designers who think to put those kinds of colors together in the first place, allowing copycats like myself to add coordinating clothing items to their original design.  In theory, design would be one of my first job choices - fabric patterns, clothing, shoes, home exterior and interior - you name it, but, in reality, I wonder whether I truly would have that kind of creativity.  I think I'll just enjoy the easier part of riffing off the work of other inspired designers.  

Even if you can't find this scarf in store, you may be able to use this as inspiration to pair the blush and wine (marsala, burgundy, maroon, call it what you'd like) items you may already have from this season and add a dash of mustard.

Bonus: My beautiful family all ready for our special day:

Sunday, October 25, 2015

OUTFIT: Olive cargo pants and denim jacket


Jacket: Gap, thrifted (similar - on sale!)
Tee: Forever 21 (similar)
Pants: Paige via ebay (similar)
Shoes: Cole Haan via Nordstrom Rack (exact)
Belt: thrifted (similar)
Bag: vintage Coach via ebay (similar)
Earrings: Robindira boutique, Petaluma CA (similar)
Watch: Michael Kors via ebay (similar)
Sunglasses: Ralph Lauren (exact)

Can you sense a pattern in my posts lately? (here, here, here, oh and here, to mention just a few)  Yes, I'm a bit obsessed with olive.  It's all part of my larger obsession with neutrals.  But, I am reveling in the availability of great items in one of my favorite neutrals.  So, I'm stocking up while I can, a tee here, a pair of pants there, a jacket...  Some people hoard food, I apparently hoard clothing in colors I'm worried will not be widely sold at some future date.  Just wait till I sense that only high-waisted jeans may be available someday.  No need to look for me, I will be madly scooping up a lifetime's supply of mid-rise jeans.  As a short person who's especially short-waisted, I spent the 80's vainly looking somewhere - anywhere -  for a pair of pants that didn't give me a droopy crotch and a waistband near my armpits.  Not an enjoyable decade for me, let me tell you.

Anyway, enough about my 80s pant drama (it was real, but I will spare you).  This was an outfit that quite simply, I really liked.  It felt put-together without being too matchy (like maybe I'm glad I haven't found my perfect pair of cognac flats yet, that could have been too much?), and had the added benefit of being very comfortable.  I plan to wear and repeat quite often.  Then slightly rework, wear and repeat.  Can't blame a girl for knowing what she likes!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

OUTFIT: Denim and tulle for fall


Jacket: Gap, thrifted (similar)
Tee: Old Navy (exact)
Skirt: Sheinside (similar)
Belt: thrifted (similar)
Bag: vintage Dooney & Burke via ebay (similar)
Boots: Costume National via ebay (similar)
Earrings: Robindira boutique in Petaluma, CA (similar)

I've been itching to find a way to wear my tulle skirt for day.  I tried several other options before choosing this combination, but definitely found the denim makes for the best contrast.  I think it looks intentional, like you meant to wear your ballerina skirt for everyday, not like you're going to a wedding later....  

The other thing that I like about this combination is the pairing of cognac accessories with black clothing items.  It's such a great contrast, and really brings out the best in each color.  I'm working on finding comfortable cognac flats so I can expand the timeline of when I can wear this combination.  It's something I've only recently tried, mostly due to reading fashion blogs (like Franish and J's Everyday Fashion), but it really works!  I used to think black was the ultimate neutral for accessories (and don't get me wrong, I still own plenty of black items), but I'm now much more focused on cognac, since it's so much more versatile.  Perfect for travel, too!

Here's a little bonus of a failed version of this outfit, with a cute sneaky little boy face popping into Mom's blog photo....  This makes me smile every time I see it.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

OUTFIT: Flirting with fall


Jacket: Old Navy (similar)
Top: Marshall's (similar)
Skirt: Gramicci via Sierra Traders (similar)
Scarf: SheInside (similar)
Boots: Bussola (similar)
Bag: Marc Jacobs (similar)
Watch: Michael Kors (similar)
Earrings/pendant set: custom, on loan from a family member (similar, similar)

While I can see that my old stomping grounds in the Midwest are swiftly encountering dropping temperatures, over here in San Francisco, we have had some of our warmest temperatures of the summer.  So fall dreams of jackets and boots haven't quite been fulfilled.  But, you can get away with ankle boots and a skirt, and at least in the mornings and evenings it's cool enough for some layers.  If that's the only taste of fall I get for a little while longer, really, I'm okay with that.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

OUTFIT: Blush jeans


Top: Nordstrom Rack (similar)
Jeans: LOFT, thrifted (similar)
Scarf: H&M (similar) - Just bought it in-store this week if you're interested, go check it out!
Shoes: Jeffrey Campbell, thrifted (similar)
Bag: Vintage Coach via ebay (similar)
Bracelet: Guatemala vacation (similar)
Sunglasses: Ralph Lauren (exact)

Blush has been my new favorite color for a while now, so when I scored these blush jeans at a thrift store, I couldn't have been happier.  Then, when I discovered this gorgeous scarf with tones of blush, merlot, black, brown, and saffron at H&M a few days ago, I found my new "go with everything" basics for this fall.  I've already worn this scarf with a blush top, mustard skirt and merlot heels; with another blush top, merlot skirt and black sweater, and now with the black top and blush jeans above.  And I have more plans!  That's why, even though I made the (ridiculous) promise to myself that I had enough scarves, and certainly didn't need any more, I had to snatch this one up at first sight.  And I haven't regretted it for a moment.  While I like to consider myself a minimalist (well, working toward it), with the goal of having less clothes instead of more, I still have trouble passing up a beautiful scarf when I see it.  It's my kryptonite....

In case you're not so into scarves, I included a more minimalist look in the photos, too.  I suppose I could have added a long necklace for a bit of interest, but I liked how the simple look put the emphasis on the blush, black and taupe color combination.

What's your clothes-buying weakness?

Friday, October 2, 2015

OUTFIT: Stepping into fall...


Blazer: LOFT via ebay (similar)
Tee: Old Navy (exact)
Skirt: Athleta (similar)
Shoes: Jeffrey Campbell, thrifted (similar)
Bag: Ashley Brooke via DSW (similar)
Watch: Michael Kors via ebay (similar)
Earrings: Robindira Unsworth via Petaluma, CA boutique (similar)

Every fall (and usually spring, too!) I have the same struggle.  I see blog outfits that include adorable open-toed ankle booties, and I think, "Hmm,  I should get some of those".  (There is a word used to describe this shoe that starts with sh and rhymes with bootie, but it is a word we do not mention here.  Like, ever.  Ew.)  But, somehow, they seem so "fashiony" and not exactly me, so I go back and forth.  Even now, after I scooped up these adorable ones for $8 at a thrift shop, I can't decide how I feel about them. It's definitely a step out of my comfort zone (only metaphorically - literally speaking, they are amazingly comfortable).  However, what I can say is that they are perfect for a transition to fall outfit.  Early fall afternoons can often feel like summer, so layers and not-too-hot boots are perfect to find just the right layered combination for whatever time of day and temperature you may encounter.  And if you just happen to amp up the "fashionista" vibe of your outfit that little bit, the world will not wobble on its axis...