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Romance In My Closet

25 Apr

I skew Victorian and Romantic looks. Is Victorian under the Romantic umbrella? I don’t know.

I have found myself obsessed with lace and lace brocade, which is odd.  I typically am not a fan of romantic looks.  The frills and thrills usually turn me all the way off.  While I love them on others, not so much on myself.  But I found a lace brocade dress last week (I didn’t take a picture ☹). I couldn’t buy it because the rules at the thrift are now, “if it does not have a tag, we don’t sell it.”  I was so upset.  I patiently waited until I found the perfect dress and couldn’t buy it.  I shop for specific things and I envision how they should look.  I don’t care if it takes me a year to find it.  I will wait and pay.  My not-so-cowboy cowboy boots took me forever to find, but I love them and have been the proud owner for about 3 – 4 years.

Anyway, back to the dress.  It had gold beaded detail on the ¾ length sleeves and along the bateau neckline.  Gorgeous!  The last couple of dresses I purchased have this same neckline.  I think it’s so clean and sexy.  I included a picture of the bateau neckline in the collage.  It’s the light gray dress above.  I had a peachy lace one on yesterday with a low back.  I wore it to church, of course covering the back, with a chunky sparkly necklace (like those pictured), bronze heels and my navy motorcycle jacket.  Later, when I went to the movies, I put on my denim jacket and cowboy boots with the same dress.  Utility is one of the most important factors of a wardrobe.  One must be able to mix and match almost everything.  People buy shoes for THAT outfit and jacket for THAT dress.  Do not limit your wardrobe.

I picture some romantic pieces above. Here are some of elements of romantic pieces:

Lace, Brocade, Ruffles, Florals, Light-weight fabric, delicate, flowy, peaches, off-whites, and beiges.  Think really feminine, really girly.

Urban Outfitters has a lot of ultra romantic items, as well as, H&M’s Garden Collection and Conscious products available in stores now.  Check out the Conscious products here.

Don’t be afraid to compliment romantic pieces with menswear and leather.

Below is the December 2008 spread I loved of Twlight cast for InStyle. I didn’t think it was that long ago. It’s not as romantic as I thought, but I liked every detail.

Work Wear in the 21st Century

27 Feb

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love these two work looks from The Limited.  Great examples of how you could be stylish and professional.

Growing up, we were told to wear suits and button up dress shirts, which I hate.  I have a few left from my high school, college, and post college days of trying to get hired.  My mother encouraged this growing up. Considering her upbringing and the philosophies of her generation, this comes as no surprise.  She is neither wrong nor right, but things have definitely changed.  Update your work wardrobe to include separates.  Leave the predictable stiff dress shirt behind that costs you time in the morning because you have to iron it.

There are great benefits of no longer having to wear matching suits and dress shirts: saving money and the ability to mix and match separates.  Keep one suit for interviews and about two to three dress shirts just in case, depending on your job industry.

Here are work wear items that repurpose themselves in so many ways and wear over and over:

  • Blazer (black, navy, and/or gray. H&M is great for these)
  • Pencil skirt (of any color)
  • Camisoles and lightweight shirts of any color and style. Skip the cleavage, however
  • Turtlenecks (fall and winter)
  • Cardigans
  • Cropped fitted leather jacket (goes with skirts and pants. Flowy shirts make them feminine)
  • Dress pants or my awesome option because I am tall, ankle length/cropped pants (booties!)
  • Sheath dresses (go with any type of cardigan or jacket)
  • Belts (thin and wide fasten at the waist around a cardigan or dress)
  • Booties (can be worn with skirts and dresses)
  • Broaches
  • Watches
  • Scarves
  • Pumps (Black and Camel are basic)

Places to shop for these items for less:

  • Ross $
  • Marshalls $$
  • TJ Maxx $$
  • Thrift stores $
  • New York & Company $$
  • The Limited $$$
  • H&M$$

Tips

Yes, shop at thrift stores.  I tweeted this list a while.  Here it is again: a list of thrift stores. I found most of my pencil skirts thrifting.  Pencil skirts are timeless and most thrift stores have them.  For $5 – $8, you will have a brand new skirt for your wardrobe.

Save yourself time in the morning by hanging all of your work clothing (fewer wrinkles).  Buy washer and dryer safe clothing. I believe they call them Wash and Wear and Wrinkle-Free.  Don’t be fooled.  Some Wrinkle-Free clothing could use an iron.

Purchase almond or round toe pumps with a slight platform and great color.  They are more comfortable and don’t date as quickly, if at all.

 

 

 

 

 

As always, don’t be afraid of a little tailoring, especially on thrift finds.

 

 

My Must Haves and Shopping Tips

17 Dec

Must Haves

A cableknit cardigan sweater (so comfy and versatile)

A pair of Keds or Chucks (go with almost any)

Boots and Booties (all kinds)

Poncho (It’s so comfortable)

Knitted hats (I recently added another one gifted from the other GW)

Nivea Essentially Enriched (Lasting coverage, no greasy build up, and washes clean)

Ziba Beauty Eyebrow Pencil in Chai (Have you seen me without penciling in my eyebrows? Wash my face and they disappear like Whoopi’s)

Vaseline (people always talk about my use of this product, but, honestly, it’s the only way my lips don’t peel)

Q-tips – The Multi-tasker (I never run out and I pack them when I travel.  Eye make-up removal.  Boogey removal for kids.  Cleans the entire outer ear, even the folds at the top)

Waist length leather jacket (Depending on the style, you can wear it with almost anything.  However, I must say I hate the ones made like early 90’s blazers)

Scarves (patterned/solid/printed)

Tights and Leggings (My sweats. I almost fear getting too old for them)

My favorite pair of jeans (I guarantee you’ve seen them millions of times.  They began as a dark wash)

A cotton v-neck t-shirt (one of the sexiest most comfortable creations)

Camel colored all weather coat (To the likes of a trench.  These days they are not nearly as long.)

Plain Black Pump (Leather/Suede.  I have both)

A white dress shirt (Go to item when I am rushing to go to work.  I do not wear dress shirts often, but I keep one of these on hand)

Black Pencil Skirt (Can always throw it own for work.  Timeless, until it’s dingy)

A tailored and cropped blazer (Goes with almost anything as well)

The Office DVDs (random, but I watch something comical before I go to sleep.  This has been habit since my Freshman year of College.  I used to watch Family Guy before bed every night.  Great way to go to sleep)

My iPod, which was recently found slain.  (Turns out I can live without it, but I had quite a grieving period)

Shopping Tips:

1.  Don’t buy it, unless you’re in love with it and can get prolonged use out of it.

People think I shop a lot because they often see me in something “new.”  Actually, I may buy 1 or 2 items a month.  For a woman, I guess this is minimal.  The key to shopping less is buying staples versus buying trends.  Staples allow one to mix and match.  I have learned to manage my shopping via asking myself pertinent questions while I am in the store.   I will, literally, sleep on it and if I still want to buy it within 2 days, I’ll commit and make the purchase.  As I stated in an earlier post, I used to be in a frenzy while shopping, making impulsive short-lived purchases.  Thus, donating bags upon bags of clothing.  Depending on the type of purchase, I will sale them to a consignment store.

2. If buying online, search for additional discounts. 

I always check http://www.promtionalcodes.com.  Simple: Find the best deal you can.  You can Google coupons and discounts.  You can also use the Google “shopping” search feature for a better price on an item.  Type in the designer/maker and product name/number.  You’ll get results.

3. Some stores offer price adjustments within 7 – 10 days of your purchase.

You do not have to bring the merchandise back; you only need the receipt.  I will typically visit Saturday before 1pm, if I feel like I can get a better deal.  This is the case with a lot of department stores.  Some of the boutique chains will also do this.  I saved $40 on one item once for just going back for a price adjustment.  Carry your receipts on you.

4. Always keep your receipt.

For the purpose of returning or exchanging, keep the receipt.  Additionally, it’s good to keep your receipt for a price adjustment, if extra discounts become available

5. Read the Return Policy

Always read the return policy, so that you know how much wiggle room you have.  Decision making becomes extremely crucial at stores that do not allow returns and only offer exchanges within a certain amount of days.

6. Never buy anything that is too small or uncomfortable, unless it’s one weight-loss goal item.

I do not believe in that either, but some people do.  As much as you may be excited about this item, clothes that are too small look awful anyone and you fidget when something is uncomfortable. I had a problem with this growing up.  I am 5’9” or 5’10”.  Arm-length and inseam are always considerations when I shopping for long-sleeved shirts, jackets, and pants.  Recently, longer inseams have become easier to find.  Growing up, it was awful.  I had to “fall into the GAP.”  It was the only place that sold Longs.  Those were the most monotonous jeans of the 90’s.

7. You can buy skirts and dresses a size or two larger.

I know. I know. You should buy things to size.  I have done this several times:  purchased a dress or skirt that was too big, only to have it altered.  May, my tailoress, knows my family for suits, pants, dresses, skirts, and all.  If I am in love with something that is too large, I will have it tailored.  Nothing like the perfect fit anyway.  For those that thrift, this is a great idea, since you’re getting the clothes at a great price.  Depending on the material and how intricate the pattern is, the price can come in low or high.  It all depends on how much you want to spend.  Have a tailor or tailoress, though.  Men, if you can avoid it, never buy a suit off the rack and wear it.  Please, have it tailored.

8. Buy what you like, do not duplicate someone else’s style or buy things because “everyone’s wearing it”

Be inspired.  Do not duplicate someone’s outfit or style.  Of course, I like what many people wear, but I understand it’s not me.  During my college years, I bought a lot of things out of my comfort zone and opposite my style because I had not yet accepted and cultivated my own style. Wasted money.  The fashion market produces the means to MY end.

9. Confidence

Confidence is heavily connected to rule
number 8 and although said over and over, it cannot be truer. One’s posture and disposition in what they are wearing is half of the outfit. 

10. Budget Shopping

Make a shopping budget and stick to it. This should get you to make wiser decisions.  If you are returning too often to stay within budget or just returning too often, you are not making good shopping decisions.  Take cash into the mall.  Leave cards in the car.

This is all I could think of for now.  Happy conscience shopping!

Ooh I Love…..

5 Sep

If you’re like me you LOOOOOVVVVEEEEE designer handbags. I remember being little and seeing the women in my family slinging their beautiful luxury handbags over their shoulders while rushing out the door, and seeing my mom switch handbags every Sunday before church from her “school” Coach leather bag to her “Sunday Morning” Vintage Fendi bag from the 80’s. I’ve grown up watching how much the women in my family loved and cared for their bags so now that I’m an adult I have continued this affinity for designer bags as well.

Now, whether you’re someone who just happens to have an affinity for the finer things OR you have newly discovered the world of luxury items it makes no difference, the one thing we all cringe at is the sky high price tag that comes along with your LV Speedy 30 Monogram handbag.

Enter into the picture oohilove.com, a site my family recently discovered that auctions off BRAND NEW 100% designer handbags for up to 99% off the regular price. [I’ll give you a second to get the sarcastic look  and that “She’s being hoodwinked” grin off your face]. Yes, this is DEAD SERIOUS!

How it works: You sign up and register you’re account for free, and in order to bid you buy a bid pack. The smallest bid pack is worth 30 bids and goes upwards to 800 bids. Basically, every bid which you pay 99 cents for is worth 2 cents in the actual auction. The site works like an ACTUAL live auction, you bid against other users for the particular item of you’re choice and hopefully you’ll win the coveted item.

How I Know its NOT FAKE: I discovered the site from an article in the Huffington Post and eventually again on ABC when they were talking about the new auction sites that UNLIKE Ebay, guarantee the authenticity of their items, and rather than letting users sale their “NWT or Used” items, the website acts like a store and guarantees that all items are new.

I also know its not fake because after my mommy, aunt and I dedicated an entire week of our lives (literally, we stalked the computer at almost 8 hours at a time bidding) we (ALL 3 of us, due to our hard efforts) won a Louis Vuitton Montorgueil PM handbag for $73.91 (this includes the number of bids we spent) and after shipping and handling the total came up to $85.71. The normal price of this handbag is $916.00 which means we saved 91%. Now, despite the 9 hours they spent in front of their computers never letting it leave their sight, we won the bag and it is TOTALLY WORTH IT!!!

What They Sale: This particular site offers Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Christian Louboutin, Chanel, Tiffany & Co, and giftcards from Nordstroms, Bloomindales, Saks, Barneys and Tiffany & Co.

So, now that you got the feedback, you can check out the site ( http://www.oohilove.com ) click the winners tab and see find the user: doodee (that’s my aunt), and see that bag we won. So ladies (and gents) check it out, and find a way to cop that Gucci Boston Joy Top Handle tote and pay 10% of the price you would pay walking into Gucci.

Here’s the link: http://www.oohilove.com/invite/doodee!

Happy Bidding!!!!!

We’re discussing Fall already

23 Aug

I have this theory about women’s style the last 2 or 3 years: Styles are being recycled due to the bleak state of the economy.  I stopped buying InStyle and other fashion mags because the content was being recycled; Thanks. I will use the internet. Think about it…we have been able to wear tights 2 Falls and 2 Winters and I will probably be able to wear them again.

Currently, I am in love with Cobalt Blue. It was out last Fall, but it is back again (by the way I called Purple years ago, when I could not find it anywhere. It’s still vastly available, too. My friend and I love when we can call trends).

Cobalt has an energy that I love.  I think it is closest to the pure primary color blue.  Although it is a statement color and some may think it is too bright, I think it has sophistication when paired with the correct things.

As much as I hate to discuss Fall fashion because it’s still Summer and I just had on my shorts and heels yesterday, this is a palette that I am excited about.

Black, White, Yellow, and Cobalt Blue.

Do not be literal here.  Even though I said yellow, yellow can be Gold, a metallic.  However, I would not wear the gold shoe with the jacket, but definitely with the shirt and skirt.  Depth is created by texture.  Texture is finish, print, and material.  Example: I had on shades of gray in the pic below.  A silvery gray silk shirt, charcoal gray, almost black cotton leggings, and silver metallic shoes.  All grays, but nonetheless, different materials and sheens.

I love Houndstooth and it is typically made out of wool, a for sure Fall/Winter material, as well as tweed.  I used to have these Houndstooth pumps by Steve Madden, unfortunately, with the purse to match. Houndstooth and Tweed are essential Fall prints.  Nothing sexier than menswear mixed with feminine elements, such as lace, draping, and silk.

Must haves in this look that can be recycled in your wardrobe

  • This has been said over and over, but every woman needs to own a pencil skirt, a quality pencil skirt.  It translates well in so many settings.  Remember that it fits close to the body and it should be at the knee.
  • A plain leather and/or patent leather pump.  Soooo many uses and goes with everything.
  • An adult Winter Coat, not just a bubble coat. It does not have to be printed like the one above.

Find your cobalt blue in a pair of shoes, hopefully, suede, a purse, a winter coat, a shirt, or even a scarf.

My Go To Tennis Shoe

20 Apr

 Mischa Barton was on to something when she began endorsing Keds.  I admit that I had jokes about this girl I saw with Keds on about 4 years ago in Vegas.  But she was NOT rockin’ them right.  She had on this… I’m not goin’ in her, but I will be purchasing more Keds for the Summer.  I love them and for those of you who do not buy a variety of tennis shoes like me (I’m a Chuck and, now, a Ked wearer), they are the perfect balance.