Friday, October 16, 2009

Can-can I wear ruffles? Yes!

I bought this wool skirt when it was 100 degrees outside. And I have patiently bided my time since August for the mercury to dip low enough for me to wear it.

When I stepped outside this morning, it was 50 degrees -- perfect! Not realizing the temperature would hit 70, I happily pulled on my tights, my awesome wool skirt, boots and sweater. Adding a wide belt for good measure (surprise, surprise) and I set off for the office. No sooner was I on the road heading east that the sun hit me through the windshield and I realized I had jumped the gun. Nonetheless, I sought refuge in my air conditioned office -- for once, grateful they kept temperature so chilly.

I really like this skirt. However, ruffles on one's lower half are not usually recommended -- unless you happen to be a can-can dancer.


But I figured since the ruffles were low on the skirt, I could pull it off. I don't think it added bulk, but rather provided balance with my cinched in in waist. If I saw this skirt on someone, I would chase them down the street to find out where they got it. So imagine my surprise when I walk into the office and hear -- and this is a direct quote -- "Oh. (pause) Ruffles. (pause) Cute."


Oh well, you can-can't please all of the people all of the time. But I can-can still love what I wear! And I really would love to wear this outfit again, but next time I'll make sure the high is 50 degrees. There's a reason sheeps get shaved in the summer -- wool is very warm.

sweater: Ann Taylor
necklace: H&M
bracelet: Cookie Lee
belt: Fashion Focus
skirt: DKNY
boots: Calvin Klein

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Shoes with a view

Today I awoke and readied myself for another busy day in Chicago. First order of business, Round Two at H&M, which just happens to be 3 blocks from where we are staying. The sun was finally out today. I decided to wear a skirt and my new boots -- which I had just bought last night.


I layered up with an H&M turtleneck (bought last year during a trip to Boston), a off-white Michael Kors jacket (another great consignment find) and a denim skirt. You can't tell in the photo, but I also rocked a pair of nude fishnets.

As I mentioned in my blog post the other day, Chicagoans are not big on color. There is a lot of black and gray here. Needless to say, my colorful outfits stick out like a sore thumb. But not trying to hide my not-from-around-here-ness, I proudly marched up Michigan Avenue to H&M. By the time I returned back to our bed and breakfast, I decided jeans would be a better idea.

Of course, this idea had nothing to do with the fact that I had bought the cutest tweed, plaid shoes at H&M that I thought would look adorable peeking out from jeans...well, maybe it had a little to do with it. But I think all shoes deserve equal and fair wear. It is just that some of them are lucky enough to view Chicago's glittering skyline on a beautiful, crisp Autumn day. Lucky shoes indeed.


And while Chicago may not dress like they do in Dallas, they still have one common thread -- they will comment on my shoes. The lady taking our tickets at the Aquarium said "I can't believe you are brave enough to wear those shoes walking around." As per my usual, I gave her a smile and explained, "this was nothing," and they were about "two inches shorter than what I usually wear." Even so, by the end of the day, which included a visit to the world's largest indoor aquarium, a walk to Buckingham Fountain and then the John Hancock Observation Deck and a final walk back to the B&B -- I must say, might feet were killing me! It is not often I say that, but they really were. On the upside, the postcard view with my cute new shoes is a great keepsake and now that I broke in my new shoes, next time won't be so bad.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Chicago - Take 2

One thing I learned from tromping across NYC awhile back, is that I cannot wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row. This is not a question of being fashionable, its simply a matter of giving my feet a break. And after yesterday's traipse across Chicago in my knee-high Calvin Klein boots, I needed to switch gears.

Since today's itinerary included a river boat architectural cruise, I opted for jeans instead of a skirt and tights. I wore my brown equestrian boots under the jeans for added warmth. I tried to tuck in, but the jeans were the wrong cut for tucking. Needless to say, when the rain came -- and it did come -- my jeans got soaked. We had to make a pit stop back to our B & B to refresh and dry off.

post 2

After a quick breather, we headed off to dinner and walked around, and around and around. Eventually ending up back at the river where we took the cruise tour. We then walked back north on Michigan Avenue -- the Mag Mile.

My first day in Chicago, I found a pair of boots I just loved. But the store did not have my size. Every time I saw the store I would go in and ask about the boots. Either they didn't have my size, or the color I wanted. While working our way back up the Mag Mile to our hotel, I stopped in a shoe store along the way. Jackpot! I snagged the size and color I wanted.

sweater: Ann Taylor Loft
blazer: Banana Republic
jeans: Joe's Jeans, Muse cut
boots: Nine West

Look who just blew into town

Welcome to Dressing On The Side -- Chicago edition.

When I decided on an October vacation in Chicago, I was looking forward to the leaves changing on the trees, and sunny, crisp days shopping on Michigan Avenue -- otherwise known as the Magnificent Mile. However, I picked a rainy and cold week to visit. The wind is blowing the rain sideways and my hair is getting knotted and soaked. Nonetheless, I forge ahead.

Despite the not-so-ideal weather, I decided to put my best foot forward. So, for my first full day in town, I wore a ruffled, white button-up blouse under a cropped blue sweater paired with a black skirt, black tights and black boots. If nothing else, the boots kept my legs dry as we ventured out to The Field Museum where we saw "Sue" the largest and most complete T-Rex fossil ever found. We explored the Real Pirate Exhibit, where I was slightly shocked to realize I dressed a bit like a pirate myself. To quote Jerry Seinfeld from the puffy shirt episode: "I don't wanna be a pirate!"


I was grateful that I had the foresight to purchase a raincoat before I visited The Windy City. Although, I was slightly surprised to see that I (apparently) am the only one in Chicago with a bright pink raincoat. And it may explain some of the looks I got while riding the subway. I think my raincoat screams, "Howdy ya'll! I'm not from 'round here!"


blouse: Nine West
sweater: Ann Taylor Loft
skirt: Banana Republic
boots: Calvin Klein
jacket: 23rd St.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Get a leg up

I have to admit, when I decided to wear my lace-patterned fishnet stockings to the office, I was ready for comments. I had psyched myself up for it. I practiced a line from "Erin Brockovich": "Well as long as I have one ass instead of two I'll wear what I like if that's all right with you." I practiced steely silence as a response to any off-handed comments I might encounter.

But when I arrived at the office, the strangest thing happened. People liked them. And not just people, but the older women -- who I thought for sure would look at me like a streetwalker -- actually liked them. The stockings did not go unnoticed by men either. That afternoon, a gentleman told me I looked "very nice". I commented that he had seen me that very same morning. His response, "Well, I didn't see you standing up." Oh, I get it....nice (and a little creepy). I love how people continually surprise me.

And speaking of surprises, these fishnets are actually footless capris. I bought them on clearance for about $2.00. So, while I will never wear them without boots to cover my legs, I think they were one hell of a bargain.


sweater: Ann Taylor Factory Store
necklace: B & B (but Cookie Lee has one just like it)
skirt: Banana Republic
belt: Fashion Focus
tights: Simply Vera (Vera Wang for Kohls)
boots: Calvin Klein

Friday, September 18, 2009

Button up

You know that expression, "If you don't like something,change it"? Actually, I'm not quite sure if that is technically an "expression" or just something parents say to you during adolescence when you complain. Either way, it is something that gets said and something I take to heart -- especially when it comes to my clothing.

I wish I had the ability to design and sew my own clothing. Well, not so much the ability -- I'm perfectly able -- I could take classes and practice and fail and try again -- so what I really mean is, I wish I had the inate talent/gift of sewing. I always have ideas about the perfect dress/skirt/blouse/etc., but can never find it in the stores. Since I cannot make my own clothes, I must resign to work with what is available. Our market economy depends on people like me. And while this is good for our economy, it can reak havoc on individuality. No one is immune:

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

Though I cannot make my own clothes, I can certainly make clothes my own -- give it some individuality, put my spin on it. For example, the jacket I wore today did not always look like this.


I wish I could tell you I cropped it, nipped it, tucked it, and "oh by the way, it use to be a drape", but that did not happen. This jacket was another Nordstrom's Rack find. I bought it last year because (I'm sure that) I read somewhere trench style-jackets: a) will never go out of style; b) are appropriate for all occasions; and c) flatter every figure. I'm a sucker for a three-prong factoid.

I bought this jacket at a very reasonable price. However, the cheap, plastic buttons that originally came on the jacket were, and plastic. I'm sure the original buttons lended themselves to the reasonable retail cost, but they compromised the whole look of the jacket. They were perfectly acceptable buttons for "disposable clothing," but not for a piece that was suppose to a-c.

After buying the jacket, I immediately set out to the fabric stores. I searched high and low for luxe buttons that were the right size in a complimentary color. Not as easy as it sounds. I finally located the chocolate-covered-butterscotch-esque buttons you see here. The store had only 2 left in stock, so I had to order more. Yes, I had to special order buttons for this jacket. Then, I had to pay my tailor (what I believe to be) an exorbitant amount of money to remove and replace the old buttons. Though, I really shouldn't complain about the cost. I could have tackled buttons on my own, but some things are best out-sourced to the professionals.

In the end, it breaks down to this:
cropped trench jacket: $20
new luxe buttons: $32
tailor fees: $35
having a jacket a-c: $87 (not exactly priceless, but close)

t-shirt: Apt. 9
jacket: hinge
jeans: Gap
shoes: Guess
jewelry: Cookie Lee

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Spring into fall

Getting dressed in the morning is a lot like taking my dogs out to do their business. Sometimes it is very frustrating, takes a long time, and makes me late for work. Other times it is easy and over before you realized what happened. Today was the former.

The weather in Dallas has been rainy and dreary for days and days. The office where I work is air conditioned to a nippy 68 degrees and I'm about one sneeze away from wearing tights and boots to work. We are still 7 days away from the start of Autumn --which begins September 22nd -- but since it is so very close (and my office is so very cold) I got a jump start on dressing for Fall today.


I found this cute cropped, sateen cotton jacket at Nordstrom's Rack. Having originally tried it on with jeans, I was perplexed by what to wear it with to the office. I own several cute jackets, but have recently decided they all look best with jeans and not my work-appropriate pants or skirts.

Pacing from closet to closet, I tried to decide what to wear. I finally grabbed these pants and worked my way up. The multi-colored scarf was hanging with my belts. The burnt orange color in the scarf lead me to the selection of the burnt orange t-shirt (and not, as one co-worker suggested, because I'm from Austin and support the Longhorns).

I vacillated between wearing the platform, snakeskin heels or wearing a pair of burgundy patent leather peep toes. I ended up keeping on the snakeskin heels and hoping too much pattern in one outfit wouldn't put people off. I added the gold jewelry to compliment the gold threads in the scarf. And, as a last minute decision, I decided to wear my butterfly ring -- once again compelling a co-worker to state "That is a big ring." Nothing escapes this brain trust.

jacket: Kenneth Cole
t-shirt: Banana Republic
pants: Banana Republic
scarf: Apt. 9
shoes: Guess
gold bracelet: Apt. 9
ring: B&B Resale shop

Friday, September 4, 2009

All aboard for Labor Day!

Today as I say "Hello" to a 3-day-weekend, I bid adieu to my white jeans. Labor Day is upon us and as mainstream, popular culture knows, white after Labor Day is a "don't". Or is it?


In very recent years, I have noticed several (reputable) fashion sources speaking out in favor of keeping white in your wardrobe all year round. Does this mean I can wear these white jeans in December? According to Suze Yalof Schwartz, executive fashion editor at large at Glamour, "Nothing is more chic than white jeans in the wintertime with a chunky cozy sweater or a blazer and leather boots." A look she dubs as "very Michael Kors."

Okay, so it is one thing to know (in your heart of hearts) that you can wear white after Labor Day and be considered fashionable by those in the fashion industry. But what about those of us in the real world? For example, I work with several older ladies who have been talking about "no white after Labor Day" since September 1. I guess they are really excited about packing away their elastic-waisted Briggs pants and Coldwater Creek blouses.

I admit, I would like to be confident enough to stroll into work wearing stark white in November, but I know I never would. What I will do is find me a nice pair of eggshell/off white/"winter white" pants. And I hate the term "winter white" because again, this is a color that truly can be worn year round as well.

When did colors get so pigeon-holed? I mean, if it wasn't for Christmas I might very well wear red and green in April -- who knows! In that vein, what is it about patterns and colors that conjure up certain images and ideas? For example, I was racking my brain trying to figure out what this blue and white striped, cotton denim jacket "reminded me" of. Then it dawned on me -- do I look like an old-fashioned train conductor?


t-shirt: Mossimo
jacket: Ann Taylor Loft
jeans: Ann Taylor Loft
shoes: Jessica Simpson
jewelry: Cookie Lee
purse: Liz Claiborne (It's shiny AND it's leather! Can you believe it?)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Define "too much"

I hear a lot of women say, "Well, I was going to wear a _____________(belt / necklace / heels / tiara) with this, but it was just too much."

We all have our own ideas of what "too much" is. For some, a necklace AND earrings is "too much". For others, "too much" means they wouldn't wear metallic shoes outside a dance club. I am very aware that my idea of "too much" is no where near the limits of some people's concept of "too much". Hence, I don't think I have ever uttered the words, "I was going to wear a red belt, but it was just too much." No, I would wear the belt.

Every morning I look in the mirror, ponder my outfit and ask myself: "Is this too much?" Very rarely do I tell myself it is.

For example, today's outfit:


Taking a few elements from an outfit I wore in May, I modified and built on it to create today's ensemble.

Keeping the multi-colored blouson top and sweater, I swapped out my gray skirt for this lilac one (Why I thought I would never wear a lilac skirt is beyond me**) and my purple, croc, hidden platform pumps. When I decided it wasn't enough, I added a black belt to provide some definition. I'm sure some people think this is "too much" -- and that is fine by me.

**As an aside about this lilac skirt, I purchased it at a consignment store earlier this year. It is what I wore it in my first blog entry of May 4th. Since then I have worn it about 4 times. As with most of my consignment purchases, I often wonder about the original owner. When and where did she buy it? What did she wear it with? Did she only wear it at Easter? Why did she decide to get rid of it? Based on deductive reasoning, I have concluded this skirt is circa 2002 - 2004. I figured this out while watching reruns of "Less Than Perfect" on Lifetime. One of the characters was wearing a very similar skirt with a cream colored blouse. And this was an episode when Sara Rue was heavier, so it was early in the series. Is this too much information? I don't think so.

blouse: I.N. San Francisco
cardigan: J.J. Basics
skirt: Etcetera
belt: Fashion Focus
shoes: Charles David

Thursday, August 27, 2009

In full bloom

I have to laugh at the ads that are running on my blog. I mentioned bracelets in some of my posts and now there are Life Alert bracelet ads on my blog. Whoever thinks computers could replace humans are sorely mistaken.

Anyway, today's picture is no good. Not only am I in desperate need of a bang trim (which I will get on Saturday), but my "photographer" messed with the camera settings and all I got was this grainy picture. Nonetheless, I wanted to show you my super cute sweater with tone on tone flower pin.


As I'm sure you can imagine, my flower pin has a few people conjuring up comments about Carrie Bradshaw from "Sex and the City". One woman even said, "Oh I'm glad flowers are coming back in style." As usual, I smile and nod and then bash her in my blog. When did flowers go out of style? It's not like they are butterfly collars or leisure suits -- it's a fabric flower for Pete's Sake.

I got this sweater at New York and Co. I've recently fallen back in love with this store. I swore it off after college (when I think it was still called Lerner's New York). But NY & Co. has clearly upped its game. They have new designers with a far better grasp of what affordable chic should look like. It's no longer a store full of polyester elastic waistband skirts and track pants. Plus, they have Carson Kressley (from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy) as a spokesperson. He even called me to remind me to use my City Cash reward coupons this weekend. Well, actually it was a recording of him, but still -- such courtesy.

The reason the rest of my outfit does not appear is because I got a pedicure after work and I really didn't want to mess it up by putting my shoes back on. The polish may be dry, but I think it takes a few hours for the varnish to cure. And since I had to pay $5 more for a pedicure in Uptown Dallas (since my usual suburb salon was closed), I didn't want to risk a dent.

However, I will tell you that I wore my purple Charlie Davids as shown here:

Monday, August 24, 2009


For anyone interested in my beloved Jessica Simpson Genaviv shoes -- Macy's at Barton Creek in Austin has them on clearance. I didn't see the camel color I have, but they had black and chocolate brown. They are also on sale on the Macy's website: click here

How to broach the subject (the long way)

I'm a big fan of television and I watch a lot of it. Not so much that would make you think "Oh, poor thing, she must be a shut-in", but enough to make most people wonder when I find the time (thank you DVR).

I like anything that is not reality -- because, t.v. is supposed to be an escape from reality. And I don't care for shows about criminal profilers -- they are just too disturbing and it makes me wonder about a) the sick minds that are thinking it up and b) the sick minds watching that show thinking: "Mmm, that looks like fun." Other than that, I really like t.v.

One of my new favorite shows is Drop Dead Diva on Lifetime. There are several reasons I have worked this show into my DVR line up -- the least of which is that I'm a sucker for any show where there is a curvy girl.

I loved "Less Than Perfect," but was very upset when beautiful Sara Rue lost about 30 pounds.

I adore Sara Ramirez as Callie on Grey's Anatomy (even if the story line with Erica Hahn wasn't my favorite).

I really routed for plus-size barmaid Janet Meadows (played by Rebecca Field) on the now defunct show "October Road". Though admittedly, I did find the romance between her and gorgeous, bad boy Eddie Latekka a bit far fetched.
October Road

And don't even get me started on how upset I was when my favorite 5' 2" foul talking comedienne Janeane Garofalo (who I adored in "The Truth About Cats and Dogs" and "Matchmaker") lost a ton of weight. It almost makes watching her now on "24" unbearable -- oh wait, that would be the never ending doom and ceaseless cell tower triangulation.

I do love movies and shows with curvy girls, so it is no surprise that I love Drop Dead Diva and its lead character, attorney Jane Bingum (played by the beautiful Brooke Elliot). Though, I find it almost ironic that a very slimmed-down Margaret Cho plays Jane's assistant.

Now, on to my point (we took the scenic route to get here). In the pilot episode, Jane's antagonist, a thin, snarky attorney named Kim is putting down Jane's fashion sense and says something along the lines of "She wears a brooch. No one under the age of 50 wears a broach." Well, I'm not sure when the script was written, but it had to have been awhile back. Because broaches are one hot accessory. I've always had a broach on my winter coat, but I'm going to try to wear them more often and in different ways. I even set out to find a broach for the specific purpose of using it as a closure on this lace jacket.



This jacket is black cotton lace overlaying pink lace and is lined with pink cotton. It is one of my finds from my consignment store trip. It had a little ribbon to tie for closure, but I opted to cut it off and close with this broach, which I found at Macy's on clearance for $5. It would also work well pinned to the lapel of a jacket or on a sweater. Broaches can double as hair jewelry. Another way to wear a broach is to place it on a necklace or cluster several broaches together and create your own statement jewelry.

jacket: Odille
cami: Old Navy Intimates (I wish I was kidding)
brooch: Charter Club
skirt: Ann Taylor Loft
shoes: Tahari

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Business in the front, party in the back

Last night, on the way home from work, I was so tempted to stop at a store to try to find a new skirt or new dress. I was just in the mood for something new to wear to work. However, due to my ravenous state, I skipped the store and went straight home for dinner.

Flash forward to this morning. I'm trying to figure out what to wear and I'm kicking myself for not going to the store last night. What to wear? What to wear? I wasn't really "feeling" anything in my closet, so I went to the hall closet wear I keep my suits. I moved them there once I realized it is only on a very rare occasion is is necessary for me to wear a suit to the office. I thought about wearing my pinstriped, seersucker-esque suit. I describe it as seersucker-esque because the pattern makes me think of a classic seersucker suit, but unlike true seersucker, the fabric does not pucker or appear wrinkled.

But since you can't really wear a suit to the office these days without people thinking you have a job interview somewhere else, I decided to borrow from the set and wear the skirt only.

I debated wearing a black shirt with this skirt, but decided it needed color. I decided on my canary yellow button-up blouse, which needed a little help from Hollywood Fashion Tape -- why they space these buttons so far apart, I'll never understand. I accented with black, wearing my (you guessed it) wide, black belt with patent leather buckle and patent leather (sexy librarian) heels.

It has been about a year since I wore the suit, and I forgot about the skirt's detail in the back. The skirt is so plain from the front, but then when you turn around -- ruffle pleats. It's like a mullet: business in the front...


party in the back. Well, sort of.


blouse: New York & Co.
skirt: Nine West
belt: Fashion Focus
shoes: Bakers
jewelry: Cookie Lee

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Wash and wear

The things that people say never cease to amaze me. Not necessarily bad comments or insults, but just random vocalized thoughts about what I'm wearing. They are not wildly inappropriate comments -- they are just not things that I necessarily thought of. With all the (seemingly random) comments I get about my clothing, one might think that at some point I should just be able to"take it with a grain of salt." Well, if smiling politely and then blogging about said comment is the grain of salt, then consider it taken.


For example, today at the office a woman stated, "I like your top. You can just throw that in the wash and go."

Huh? I'm sorry, were we discussing laundry and I missed it? As far as I knew, I was on my way to the copy machine and we were about to exchange pleasantries. I mean, I've never worn a suit and heard someone say, "Nice suit. Too bad you have to dry clean that." Washability just seems like an odd thing to mention out of context.

Though, I have to admit -- she is right. This blouse is completely machine washable. Which is fantastic considering the two bags of clothes I dropped off at the dry cleaners this morning. And as much as I do love my man made fibers that can just wash and go the majority of what I wear to the office is dry clean only.

Awhile ago, I discovered Downy Wrinkle Releaser. It helps me get a couple of wears out of skirts and pants before taken them to the cleaners. The product description on the web site specifies "casual clothes," but I find it works great with my wool blends and other dry clean recommended fabrics. Here is where everyone starts to wonder if I have sponsorship from Downy. I wish! No, I'm just a fan.

Today's blouse is new. I wore it with my tab-front, no-belt-required black pants, because I think we can all agree it is time for me to take a break from the belts.

blouse: East 5th
pants: Worthington
shoes: Nine West
bracelet: B&B Resale (it is matte silver, with pave crystal and some dangling thin chains -- so cool)
earrings: Cookie Lee

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The one with the purple belt

Here's a little story about life imitating art. Well, maybe not art, but about life imitating sitcoms -- which I find highly amusing.

Something happened to me that called to mind an episode of "Friends". In particular, it was the episode when Rachel wanted to prove she could make it in NYC on her own --she was trying to get by without her father's money. It was from the episode called "The One With George Stephanopoulos":

Monica: Rach, it's the Visa card people.
Rachel: Oh, God, ask them what they want.
Monica: [on the phone] Could you please tell me what this is in reference to? Yes, hold on.
[to Rachel]
Monica: Um, they say there's been some unusual activity on your account.
Rachel: But I haven't used my card in weeks.
Monica: That is the unusual activity.

So, this past weekend I'm shopping and buying what can only be described as an obscene amount of belts. I'm sure the salesgirl thought I was a heroin addict, because surely no one needs this many belts unless they are strapping it to each arm and their legs at one time. Anyway, I'm at the counter and swipe my card. It doesn't work. I swipe again. It doesn't work. At this point the cashier says the machine is indicating that the bank wants her to call. Okay, no problem, there is money in the account -- call them.

Turns out, I hadn't been shopping in so long the bank was wondering what was going on. I'm not making this up! Needless to say, the cashier got the all-clear and I received a big bouquet of flowers from Visa (well, not really, but I should).

Today's outfit can only be described as my uniform. Shirt? check. Skirt? check. Belt? check. Heels? check. I mean, I know I wear a lot of belts. I'm not sure when my obsession really started, but I do love them. Hence the reason I bought so many this weekend. This purple belt is new. I bought it without consideration to my purple heels, but put them together today. Today I heard the belt say to the shoes "You look great." And the shoes said to the belt, "Thanks. You look good too." See, they compliment each other nicely.


blouse: Apt. 9
skirt: Ann Taylor outlet
belt: New York & Co.
shoes: Charles David

Monday, August 10, 2009

Something old and something new

For those of you unfamiliar with clothing consignment stores, they are places you can take your gently used clothing and they sell it for you. In my experience, the split is 50-50. You will get 50% of the profit and the store gets the other 50%. I have consigned for years and years -- since high school.

Depending on how fast your items sell, it is a nice way to make a little extra money once a month. I take clothing a few times a year, usually as the seasons change and I shuffle clothes around. I consign items that I haven't worn in a year, things that don't fit right or clothing that I have simply grown tired of. Consignment stores, unlike thrift shops, usually only accept (and therefore sell) modern clothing that is still in good shape (without rips, stains, etc.).

For about 5 years I have consigned at B and B Resale in Richardson. The people there are super friendly and knowledgeable about recent trends. I stopped by this weekend to pick up a check and ended up spending 4 times the amount my check was for. But I got so much great stuff! To be honest, I have never had this much luck shopping at consignment stores. I usually find a cute skirt or dress, but this time I found a ton of great deals. It was as if my fashion doppelganger had recently brought all of her gently worn clothing to the store.

This champagne silk blouse from Banana Republic was one of my purchases. I gave it a thorough inspection before purchasing -- which is a must since at most consignment stores "all sales are final". This blouse was in pristine condition. It even had a dry cleaning tag firmly affixed to the label -- a good sign the item you are getting is ready to wear. I know from experience a silk blouse from Banana Republic retails for $60+. At season's end you might be able to get it for half the amount. I don't know if my doppelganger paid full price or what, but this blouse only cost me $13 -- I hope she enjoys her $7.50. If I'm lucky, she'll put it towards another silk blouse that I can get for a steal in a few months.


After my tear through B and B, I went to the mall and got this belt. (Of course, I got a good deal more than just this belt. I won't say how much I bought, but let's just say I will have plenty of things to tell you about in coming posts.) I debated whether or not to wear the belt with this outfit --I wasn't convinced the delicate silk blouse and ladylike shoes were calling for a zebra print belt, but I think the final look worked. I call this look "champagne wishes meets safari chic."

blouse: Banana Republic
skirt: Banana Republic
belt: New York & Co.
shoes: Carlos Santana

Friday, August 7, 2009

Give 'em the ole razzle dazzle

I am a big fan of Broadway musicals. And I expect no one reading this blog is shocked by this tidbit of information. It incorporates my favorite things: costumes and music.

That being said, today I was reminded of the song "Razzle Dazzle" from the show (and movie) "Chicago". In the movie, Richard Gere sang the song as defense attorney Billy Flynne. Basically, the song is about how the jury will get so caught up in his spectacular presentation, they won't care about guilt. Sample lyrics:

Give 'em the old razzle dazzle
Razzle Dazzle 'em
Give 'em an act with lots of flash in it
And the reaction will be passionate
Give 'em the old hocus pocus
Bead and feather 'em
How can they see with sequins in their eyes?

Today's Outfit:


Today at work, a lady commented that she liked my outfit. She went on to say that she has never seen me wearing the same thing twice. She assumed I had "a ton" of things in my closet and she would probably not live long enough to ever see me wear all of my clothes. I explained to her that I have, in fact, worn this outfit before, with the exception of the top. I wear this embroidered, cotton top on the weekends, with capris or shorts. It is casual, but I love the neckline so I wore it to the office.

Me on June 2nd:


I explained to her that I have very limited closet space and in all actuality limited clothing. I told her that I have been wearing and re-wearing a fair amount of the same pieces for 90 days, but in different ways. As I was explaining this to her, she stood there captivated, hanging on my every word. I could see her wheels turning. She was trying to recall outfits I had worn and piece it all together in her mind. "Well", she said, "you do a very good job at making it all seem new."

Of course, this is my point. This is the point of the blog and the business model for my wardrobe consultation company. You can create outfits that appear to be new using the existing pieces in your wardrobe. It just takes a bit of hocus pocus. Razzle Dazzle 'em and baby, you're a star!
shirt: harve benard
skirt: Apt. 9
belt: Old Navy
shoes: Jessica Simpson

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Multiple (and divisional) Personality Disorder

If your clothing reflects your personality, does that mean it can have no personality of its own? You're probably thinking, "of course clothes cannot have personality -- they are inanimate objects." While that is true, I still think clothing can have personality, or as today's outfit will show, multiple personalities. That's right. My clothes are schizophrenic. They don't know what they are one second to the next. Here are 2 examples:

Example 1 -- my skirt. This skirt was part of a suit I bought a little over a year ago. Since then, I wore the suit twice. Then, last month I decided to wear the skirt by itself. As I blogged about in June, using pieces of a suit as separates is a great way to economize and maximize your wardrobe. Let me prove my point mathematically. Since I wore the suit twice during the 12 month period last year that calculates to me wearing the skirt .16 times a month (2/12= .16). Last month, I wore the skirt 3 times. If I keep this up, it means I will wear this skirt 36 times this year (36/12=3). That is 18.75 times more a month than last year! I think it is pretty safe to assume my suit has split. And I thought I'd never use math.


Example 2 -- my shoes. Are these shoes brown or orange? Are they a squared-toe shoe that happens to have an elongated toe OR are they a pointed-toe shoe with a squared point (oxymoron much)? They're the Sybil of footwear. And in case you've ever wondered what color a semi-chromed baby cow is (and who hasn't), the color of these shoes is noted on the box as "Semi Chrome Calf".


sweater: Joseph A. silk
tank: Apt. 9
skirt: NY & Co.
shoes: BCBG Girl
jewelry: Cookie Lee