Outfitting: Navy brown and white

Not much of a story here. The crocheted miniskirt is a new addition from my last ModCloth order, and I haven't worn these beloved Cydwoq shoes in forever and a day. I thought the skirt might be too short, but I felt surprisingly comfortable in it. It was generally a welcome return to my usual neutral palette.

A closeup of these extraordinary Cydwoqs, and also of my Tova agate pendant necklace.

Outfitting: Stepping in Time, a.k.a. the most expensive pair of socks anyone ever bought, short of Rodarte.

A few of you may remember the drawn-out drama of acquiring these MaxMara 'Amelie Rio' stockings. I first saw them in the window of the MaxMara at South Coast Plaza, and subsequently tracked them down at the Moxie boutique in Boston. In the past two years, I think I've maybe worn them twice. Until now.

Do I regret the purchase? Not in the least. Did they have the life-changing effect I thought they would have on me? Not exactly - at least not the way most people would define 'life changing.' But it was significant, the first real item of luxury I bought for myself. And in that way, they were a bit of a gateway drug; they allowed me to consider things heretofore outrageous, to be within my scope of acquisition. They allowed me to pamper myself, which I'd never really done much before. And they are, quite simply, gorgeous, and I enjoy their beautiful craftsmanship and general loveliness every time I think about them.

So I guess in that way, yes, they were life-changing after all. I had a heck of a time finding something in my wardrobe that would work with them, and all the people who told me that they would fall down were absolutely right - I had to buy a garter belt just to hold them up.  And I kind of laugh because the bottom half of this outfit is very expensive, but the top half cost barely anything at all.  After all, the stockings were worth it - and this love story had a happy ending.

Outfitting: Cool Runnings

This dress has been sitting in my closet for like 6 months. I originally ordered it custom-made from Liza Rietz on etsy, but had to send it back because it was way too large on top. When she sent it back to me, it was still huge (and unflattering... I was swimming in it!). I thought it was a lost cause until I found a dressmaker in LA who really knows what she's doing. For $10 (the original dress cost $210 on sale), she figured out that at least 2-3 inches needed to be taken from the back, and voila. She also shortened the runner that goes down the middle; it was comically long originally. 

Never underestimate the power of a well tailored dress! I'm so glad I was able to save this one.
  • Liza Rietz kimono dress
  • Gap woven belt
  • Fluevog 'Aquarius' sandals

Outfitting: A stud-y in contrasts

Got this skirt on sale on the site and built the outfit around it. Found it a bit challenging to mitigate the risque-ness of the skirt and not sure if I totally succeeded, but did my best by contrasting with a top that Garry describes as 'a doily.' Also liked the harder edge the studs add.

Thanks to my new sister-in-law Christine for the kickass bag!

Outfitting: If Juliette Low could see us, you know what she'd say? She'd say, "Look at Troop 1153 in a special way!"

Yes, this is a real Girl Scouts shirt that has belonged to me since the fifth grade, when I was a Junior level Girl Scout. I remember it was really big on me back then, but it fits pretty well now. Several years ago I dug it up in a spare room at my parents' place, and have been trying to make it work into my wardrobe ever since, because let's face it, it's pretty darn awesome. I had a lot of trouble figuring it out and kept trying to pair it with jeans, wearing it open. 

Yesterday I was struck by a bit of inspiration and thought maybe it would work tucked into a high waisted skirt. I thought first of using a pencil skirt, but then came across this really full, oldschool kind of skirt in my closet that I bought, no joke, just because it had pockets. I LOVE skirts with pockets! And it happened to be perfect with the shirt. A lot of this outfit is very experimental; I felt there was something missing at the neckline and thought maybe a scarf would do really well there (this shirt is intended to be worn with a neckerchief of sorts), but I just didn't have one in the right weight and color. I had just bought this giant flower necklace from ModCloth and thought, heck, why not try it out?

The two belts I added because the skirt has two belt loops. I experimented with a few different ones in different colors and decided it was probably best to keep things simple. Same went for footwear - I toyed with red pumps and electric blue loafers, which worked, okay, but I think the studded black sandals bring a bit of edge to an otherwise conservative look.

Even as I went out the door, I was not sure how this outfit would fly, but as it turned out, everyone at work liked it a lot, and they are a discerning bunch!

Outfitting: Looking a little spotty

Inspired by Netta's play on patterns yesterday, I tried pairing this strikingly polka-dotty dress with some polka-dotted tights. I'd originally been disappointed that the dress came in navy blue spots, rather than black, but when I played it up I think it worked out well.

Also took some shots of my coworkers, Shanti (our awesome 'librarian chic' office manager) and Netta of ninja fame.

On Shanti:

On Netta:

Outfitting: Subtle Woodland Creatures

I'm trying something new - now that I'm working for the most fantastic online indie retail site evarr (yay SEO backlinks!), it's high time I start documenting my daily outfits. It's been hard to be creative when so many other things are taking priority, but I have to try. To make things easier, my coworker Netta and I decided to help each other take photos so we don't feel so silly using self-timers in our (my) badly lit apartments.  I still felt rather sheepish ducking into a conference room and posing for Netta's iPhone. Oh well, I'm sure we'll get used to it.

Layering the two necklaces was a stroke of inspiration yesterday when I looked at my stuff and thought, how do I make this owl less cutesy?  How do I make this cool deer-skull less creepy? I have to say I probably first got the idea from the whimsical Jane Aldridge. But hey, animal combos really work!

For Men: When you want to look badass, Nicholas K's got (the clothes on) your back.

I was going to cancel this post because it looked as though Spring had finally decided to stay for good.  But then the weather got nasty again this weekend, and I realized people may still be in the market for a spring/fall jacket, that nice in-between bit of outerwear that is not too heavy but still keeps you warm (and relatively dry) when the weather just can't decide what to do with itself.
After Nicholas K answered my prayers by outfitting me with the uttermost perfect black jacket, they've quickly lodged the label among my most favoritest designers ever.  I can't claim I'm quite 'cool' enough to be wearing all the fantastic things they create, but the styles actually make me want to be that 'cool.'
When I received my black jacket and started prancing around in it, I found that my guy was jealous of how 'cool' I suddenly became.  Ah, but you, too, can be as cool as I!  I blithely told him. Because Nicholas K makes menswear that is even more gorgeous than his women's clothing.  
It's almost enough to make you want to get riddled with tattoos and ride a motorcycle, or just saunter down the street in a cloud of cool-itude.  Check out some of the styles from the Spring 2010 collection:

For Men: Loungin' in comfort and style

When it comes to clothing, guys are pickier than you would think. But what we're looking for is not so much color and style per se, but more about comfort. Now that is a loaded term, so let me name three characteristics of comfortable clothing:

  • Low maintenance
  • High quality fabric that feels good next to the skin
  • A good fit, so you don't look sloppy
People assume that comfort is necessarily at odds with words like "stylish" or "fashionable," but that's not the case. It's possible to achieve both if you watch for fit, consider color, and commit to the "casual" look all the way from head to toe (if you don't go 100% casual, you end up looking messy).

I've been on a "loungin'" vibe lately and finally got around to take some shots around the house.  Great for hanging out on a Sunday afternoon, grooving to some lowkey music as you putter around the house.  Simple, understated, comfortable... it's loungin', baby!

Here are some of the style choices that's got me inspired to get dressed these days:
  • Colors: Muted earth tones (browns, beiges, seaweed-ish greens and greys) so you can mix and match easily.  
  • Hats: They embody 'ease' because you don't have to worry about doing your hair! I'm partial to straw fedoras because they hold their shape and don't get too hot when you wear them.  
  • Solid color long-sleeved tees: They are super comfortable and are so easy to layer (wear them by themselves or under short-sleeved tees, vests etc). Club Monaco has some long-sleeved shirts on sale and they are the most comfortable shirts I've ever owned. Alternative Apparel also has great comfortable and affordable stuff (Nordstrom Rack carries their stuff for cheap!)
  • Soft cardigans: Worn unbuttoned, over V-neck tees
  • Pulled-back beanies: Worn sloppily on the back of your head.  I don't know why this is so comfortable -- it looks kind of ridiculous I'll admit, but you get a pass because it's got this interesting balance of capturing some of the warmth from your head, but exposes your ears to let off some of the heat.  I've seen this in a few magazines so I can't claim credit for it, but it's so comfy!
  • Lightweight Hoodies - Spin-off of the long-sleeve T-shirt, with built-in "man caves."  Zip-up hoodies tend to be bulkier and have a more youthful, skater vibe (which is cool if that's the look you're going for).  
My two favorite looks (above): 
  1. Light grey cardigan (7 For All Mankind), white V-neck (good ol' Hanes), vintage striped scarf, dark grey shorts (River Island), grey sweater cap (H&M)
  2. Brown henley (Alternative), striped vest (Ted Baker), black straw fedora (Groovin), dark grey shorts (River Island - but you can substitute this with jeans, chinos, etc.)
Love it?  Hate it?  Leave a comment (and send in your own pics if you've got 'em!)