Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Dressing myself has been rather tough in this hot and very humid mid-atlantic summer. It is already warm and muggy when I walk out the door at 6:30 am, and by the time I am coming home, I am absolutely melting.
In the middle, however, is my overly-air-conditioned office where I shiver the day away. I usually run a space-heater under my desk, but thanks to a recurring rash on my ankles, doctor's orders are to use it as sparingly as possible now.
As such, I'm forced to dress creatively, in layers that can be piled on in the office and removed for the commute home, without me fellow Metro riders becoming too concerned that they are traveling with *that* type of working girl.


Cardi: NY&Co
Skirt: thrifted
Shoes: Merona, thrifted
Cami: Macy's?
Earrings: Claire's
Nail Polish: both from American Apparel


Cardigans and camis/tanks/tees have been my go-to so far this summer. Dresses and Skirts all the way. Sure, I have tossed on a pair of jeans for the occasional after-work or weekend activity, but leaving my arms and legs free to feel the wind has been the best plan of action so far.
The challenge I have faced is this: while I can pile on the layers (meanwhile injecting my personality into my outfits) in the office, when I shed the layers outside, I often feel like I am also peeling off the details that make my outfit interesting; that make it ME. Remove the heavy necklace, strip off the cinching belt, get rid of that sweat-inducing cardi. Now I'm just left bare with a plain dress, or a top and skirt.

How do you create interesting outfits with minimal layers and pieces that still feel unique and personalied?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Deja Vu...

Yes, I know I promised new outfit photos, but they just haven't happened. It is now officially summer, and I am just melting by the time I get home from work -- too melty to take photos. I need to figure out a new routine, then everything will be hunky dory.

In the meantime, I thought I'd share a bit of deja vu with you.
Way back in April, I wore this outfit, one where I felt great and just knew I looked good:


So imagine my surprise when I'm browsing the clearance dresses over at Torrid and I see this:

Guess I'm just ahead of my time, y'all.

Friday, June 18, 2010


I have not taken any outfit photos for you this week. You see, I unexpectedly had an AMAZING start to the week by making last-minute plans to have dinner two nights in a row with lovely ladies who I haven't seen but maybe once in the last decade!
My friend Erin and I went to high school together, and I have literally only seen her once in 14 years -- and that was when I just ran into her while shopping. We only spoke for like 30 seconds before we had to be on our way, and we weren't able to exchange contact info before doing so. Thankfully, we got back in touch recently, and I had dinner with her Monday night.
I went to college with Joi, and I have also seen her only once since then. I didn't even know she was in town until she sent me a message Tuesday afternoon, so I quickly arranged plans for her to come over for dinner. (Thankfully, I actually had something thawed out in the fridge to cook!)

It was wonderful to be able to catch up with these two lovely ladies, and they are the reason that I feel not-at-all guilty about not snapping any photos for you.

What I will offer you in the meantime, until I get to taking pictures again is this website that was pointed out to me by a friend.
Jamie is an 18 year old student who has just graduated high school and has lived the last month of her life according to the rules, tips, and tricks out lined in Seventeen magazine. The goal of her project is to explore what she calls "a dying aspect of teenage culture." She wears what the magazine tells her to wear, performs the beauty rituals the magazine prescribes, and does the activities it recommends. Meanwhile, the blog serves as her outlet for her own thoughts, feelings, and ruminations on the outcomes and connotations of the assumptions and tones of the magazine.
I find her to be a very perceptive and intelligent girl, and her blog makes for sometimes funny and often thought-provoking reading.

I find this project fascinating.
If you are interested too, check her out at The Seventeen Magazine Project.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Summer Blackout Challenge Roundup...

I only participated Monday through Friday, since I'm too much of a slacker to take weekend photos. Here is the collection of what I wore during Sal's Summer Blackout Challenge:






Which outfit of the week was your favorite?
Friday free polls


Tina over at T Minus, T Plus is hosting a giveaway!
She is offering up a beautiful orange tote, courtesy of CSN stores.
If you're interested, check out the details over on her blog!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Black-Out Challenge, Day Five...

Though the challenge technically lasted for a full week, I rarely take weekend photos, so Friday was the end of the challenge for me. For the record, I wore no black on Saturday, but I did finally wear black on Sunday: I wasn't feeling well, and the brown comfy-pants that I had been vegging out in really needed to be washed, so I ended up wearing their black counterparts. So really, I was *thisclose* to going completely blackless for the full week.


Dress: Anne Taylor Loft
Earrings: Claire's
Necklace: bought from a friend
Thin Bangle: thrifted
Thick Bangle: Claire's
Shoes (not pictured): given to me by a friend


Despite the photographic evidence showing otherwise, there were shoes in this outfit. However, it was a GORGEOUS day outside, and I just didn't feel like wearing them come picture time. Plus, this is much closer to how I wore the outfit all day -- the shoes were kicked off under my desk 99% of the day. Anywho, they were nude wedges. Nothing exciting, but I'm not sure that they've made it onto the blog before (or at least not recently) so maybe I should have snapped them. Oh well -- can you forgive me??cl


Fashion for the Economically Challenged is celebrating her 1-year blogoversary!
To celebrate, she is hosting a giveaway for a $25 gift card. If you win, you get to select one of the following stores:
Ann Taylor Loft
Lane Bryant

Head on over to her blog for your chance to win!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Black-Out Challenge, Day Four...

For some reason, wearing this outfit, all day I had the song "Red Red Wine" stuck in my head...


Top: Anne Taylor Loft, thrifted
Skirt: Old Navy
Shoes: American Eagle via Payless
Necklace: Claire's?
Earrings: Claire's
Cami: very old
Bracelets: thrifted


With all of the other outfits I have worn so far this week, I seem to have unconsciously created a theme of pairing contrasting colors. It wasn't intentional, but I guess when I try to avoid neutrals, I end up looking like a rainbow threw up on me.
When I put this outfit together, I didn't intentionally dress monochromatically; I just didn't have anything that seemed to want to contrast correctly with this top. (Side note, is it possible to correctly or incorrectly contrast?) All-in-all, I really liked this outfit. I received several compliments, it was figure-friendly, and I was comfortable all day long.

The other night, dear fiance and I had a fun talk about wedding stuff. And by fun, I mean NOT fun. Basically, we realized that we seriously need to stop spending money on non-wedding stuff so we can actually afford the wedding stuff we want!
Inspired by all of the other bloggers out there who I have seen do so, I decided to start writing down some new rules for my spending for at least the next few months. However, instead of naming these practices a "Shopping Ban," as so many of my predecessors have done, I have decided to call my experiment a shopping "diet."
You see, whenever I try to BAN myself from something, my willpower holds for a while, but then it eventually gives out and I gorge. I am hoping that in calling this thing a diet, I will understand that I am still allowed some indulgences, but it's all about portion control. Y'know, just like an actual diet.

Here are the rules I have come up with so far:

(1) No fashion-related purchases that aren't related to the wedding.

(2) Exceptions to rule #1:
(a) Goodwill/thrift/consignment
(b) Items already on my WANT list
(c) I am allotted $50 per month to spend on pretty much anything. However, this money does NOT roll over to the next month if it is not used.
(d) I am allowed one "emergency" purchase over $50 between now and the wedding.

(3) Any non-fashion-related expenses (other than regular bills/expenses) must be discussed and agreed up by dear fiance and myself.

I think I will be able to follow these rules quite easily, and honestly, I think I will be able to not spend my $50 in free money each month.
Do you have any thoughts or suggestions on these rules?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Black-Out Challenge, Day Three...

I once asked for help finding other colors that I could pair with this skirt. I love this skirt -- it is soft and comfy, has pockets, and an elastic waistline which is very forgiving. However, I often find myself limiting myself to purple, violet, and white when finding tops to pair with it. Last time I wore it, I paired it with a black top, but LyddieGal had suggested that I try pairing it with rust or teal.


Top: thrifted
Skirt: NY&Co
Shoes: xhilaration, thrifted
Belt: NY&Co
Earrings: Claire's
Necklace: Laila Rowe


I'm not sure the drapey top was quite right to pair with the flowy skirt, but I think belting it helped rein it in a bit. I was glad I added the shoes so that the top didn't seem to come completely out of left field.

What do you all think of this pairing?
Do you think it works?


Fashion Therapist is hosting a Talbot's gift card giveaway!
Up for grabs is a $250 gift card to use at Talbot's.
As she points out, Talbot's isn't a store at the top of every fashionable woman's "must shop" list, but over the past few seasons, they really seem to have revamped their image and their styles. I haven't yet swung into a Talbot's for myself, but the more I see, the more I think I need to!

If you'd like to enter her giveaway, check out the post here!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Black-Out Challenge, Day Two...

I warned you that there would be some summer white in my upcoming outfits, and I wasn't foolin!


Cardi: TJ Maxx
Top: H&M
Skirt: Gadzook's
Shoes: RSVP
Earrings: NY&Co
Necklace: CATO


When I bought this cardi, I assumed it would be the bold pop of color against otherwise neutral outfits. I never dreamed that I would be able to pair it with other bold colors and that it would work so well. I have paired it with purple a few times before (both on and off the blog) and it continues to be a combination I love.

A teeny-tiny bit of brown managed to work its way into my necklace and earrings today, but as promised, this outfit is still 100% free of any black pieces.

This flowy white skirt was exactly what the day needed. It was warm, but not hot. Breezy, but not windy -- and the wind was neither warm nor cool. I commented to dear fiance that it was the absolute perfect temperature. You could wear a bikini by the pool, or just as easy sport jeans and a long-sleeved shirt and be just as comfortable. Those days are few and far between, so I'm glad I was celebrating such a gorgeous day with a fun and fancyfree outfit!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Black-Out Challenge, Day One...

I almost ended up with a belt that had black in today because the buckle is blue and I think of it as my blue belt. Glad I caught that detail in time, since I'm planning on going totally and completely black-less!


Dress: NY&Co
Belt: NY&Co
Shoes: Fioni, thifted
Necklace: Laila Rowe
Earrings: very old


I have further challenged myself to try to avoid neutrals as much as possible during this challenge, with one exception: white. I don't really think of white as a neutral, though it is. In spring and summer (whose door we are knocking on!) white just lifts an outfit to a different level of cheeriness.
While this outfit has no white in it, you will be seeing some tomorrow!

Totally unrelated, I had a few days of outfit photos and even a product review all lined up for you, but now those pictures are nowhere to be found. Not on the camera, not in the Flickr, not on the home or work computers.
How Bizarre.
Anywho, if you're interested in my review of The Morbid The Merrier, just sneak over to Hillary's review, since hers has images. I pretty much second everything she said about the perfume solids. I ordered Dessert Absynthe, Natali, and Black Leather, and seriously, I can't stop sniffing my own wrists when I wear these scents.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Summer Black-Out Challenge...

Sal over at Already Pretty has challenged herself to go 2 solid months without wearing black. No black at all. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Zero. NONE.
She has invited everyone to play along with her for the week of June 7 through June 14. You can choose whether or not to allow black in your shoes and accessories, but the main rules are simple: no black in your outfit! (Black is allowed within patterns, but not as the predominant color.)

I have never been a person to idolize black as the perfect neutral. Sure, I own plenty of it and love it as most gals do, but I have always been content to wear gray, brown, tan, or any other neutral just as much as black. In fact, I actually prefer brown and gray as neutrals, since they are softer on me and I think they offer a little more depth and variety than black does.

I tend to wear a lot more color in the warmer summer months than I do in the winter. So in theory, I don't think this challenge will be too tough for me. I just need to be more conscious of my use of black than I normally am. I think, if this first week isn't a problem for me, I might stretch out my part of the challenge.
Of course, maybe the week will end up being WAY harder than I expect.
I love a challenge!

If you're interested in joining up with Sal's challenge, peep the deets here. I can't wait to see everyone's creativity!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Yes, I'm Alive...

I was on vacation last week.
I hope you can all forgive me for my absence and complete lack of notice.
I also hope you can forgive me for the beautiful weather we had at the beach (we were in OBX) and the tan I brought home with me (and for not using sunscreen, which I most certainly know better than to do).

I wore no fashionable outfits and took no photos.
A vacation in all senses of the word.

I will be back to posting this week!