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

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Shades of gray

One of the fashion trends you will see this coming season is monochromatic color palettes. That is, wearing multiple hues of a single color. I decided to get a jump start and tried this technique today. I paired a light gray silk blouse with a slightly darker gray skirt and gray heels.

One of my fashion pet peeves is when people wear separate articles of black clothing and the blacks don't match. Such a stark color, black is impossible to match unless items are bought as a set. I had better luck using gray, a softer color. However, I look forward to trying monochromatic dressing again, but with bolder colors, like purples or pinks.


blouse: Ann Taylor Loft
skirt: Worthington
shoes: Carlos Santana
jewelry: Cookie Lee

Monday, August 3, 2009

My thoughts on today's outfité

Last month, I blogged about how certain colors are associated with certain places and/or things. Since that post, I have been wanting to try a certain color combination, but feared I would be asked to "supersize" something (or to be more current, "supersizé" since apparently, McD's thinks you can add the accent aigu to anything and make it French.)


Yellow and red -- both primary colors that are often only seen together at nursery schools or McDonald's packaging.


In traditional color theory, primary colors (red, yellow and blue) are colors that cannot be mixed or formed by any combination of other colors. All other colors are derived from these 3 hues. Hence the old Ziploc commercial slogan, "Yellow and blue make green -- it's sealed!" Logically, I figured if I paired the yellow and red with enough black they would act as pops of color, rather than distraction.

Today a friend at the office commented on my "tweed" skirt. I have worn this skirt before. Though, in a slightly more obvious fashion. Though I would never dream of wearing tweed -- a rough textured woolen fabric -- during a Texas summer, I realized that the texture of this skirt -- which is a cotton and linen blend -- does resemble the nubbiness of tweed. I am making note of this, and will try this skirt with tights and boots this coming Fall.

Today's ensemblé did procure a few compliments today of the "you look cute" variety. One such comment from the clerk at 7-Eleven, where I stopped for coffee this morning. I really wanted an Egg McMuffin, but just couldn't bring myself to go to McDonald's. But to be fair, its not like I'd go to 7-Eleven wearing red and green. Or to be exact, I would never wear red AND green -- too deck-the-halls-ish.


Sweater: Ann Taylor Loft
Top: New York & Co.
Belt: Unknown, but I got it at Khols
Skirt : Sharagano
Shoes: Steve Madden

Saturday, August 1, 2009

It's time to turn this "recession" around!

The shopping moratorium is lifted and she's baaaaack! The mall maven. The sale sleuth. The retail enthusiast. The fashion fiend. All one in the same -- ready to procure some new items for her wardrobe.

This weekend marks the 90 day completion of my "no shopping" experiment. I have enjoyed using my existing wardrobe in new and exciting (and some non-exciting) ways. Unfortunately, it was not possible for me to post every single day, but I did manage 45 blog posts. On the sidebar is a recap of the outfits I blogged about.

I appreciate everyone who reads this blog and I really appreciate you telling others about it. I plan to keep blogging about what I wear (the new and old and a mix of the two). I hope you continue to read and share this blog.

I started this blog to commemorate the launch of my business The Style Within. Like many women, I have a closet full of clothes. However, unlike some women, I am comfortable mixing and matching items and wearing them in different ways each time. A lot of women look at their closet and think they they have nothing to wear. I've had the opportunity to work with some of these women and create great outfits using the items they already own. More often than not, these woman had everything they needed to create fantastic looks (give or take a new great pair of shoes or other accessories). I look forward to working with others in the coming days, months and years. If you or someone you know, needs a fresh perspective to overhaul their existing wardrobe, please give me a call.