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.