Thursday, August 30, 2012

Lime and Tangerine

I am more colorful again. Yesterday and today I wore very similar color schemes, but only took pictures of one.
I actually had a better picture, with the jacket buttoned, but I deleted it. Oopsie! I wore the jacket closed and it looked much smarter. This is an older Talbot's linen jacket, lined, so it isn't all that cool in hot weather (the lining kind of defeats the linen-ness), a Talbot's skirt, and a Talbot's tee. And Talbot's shoes. Talbot-tastic!
These are the earrings I bought at the Bucktown Arts Fest:
Not from Talbot's!
They were made by Veronica Riley Martens and are a great pleasure to wear; very light, different but not wacky, with very secure French clasps. I hate little fiddly earring backs, but hate losing one earring even more. She gave me 15% off because I was wearing a pair of her earrings!  Yay! I adore this necklace too, and adore even more her quoting Bryan Ferry on her Etsy site.

The car is back in my garage, by the way, but I am $400 poorer. I realize this is not so much for a car repair, but I have not even owned a car for two years, and am out of the auto spending habit. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Buckwheat and Red

Only slightly more colorful on Tuesday, still feeling less like putting myself "out there", so I donned a couple of reassuring favorites. This red Talbot's skirt has been with me through divorce, a move, a job change, plus the gain and loss of 20 pounds. THAT'S a reliable piece of clothing. And that, frankly, is how I feel about the store.

The cotton sweater is also Talbot's. It's never been the most flattering thing I own, but I love the feel and cut so much that I give it points for sincerity if not for toadyism. Most of my clothes are total suckups, but this sweater has a bit of spine.

I'm also happy to show off the necklace and other bits. I've been wanting a leather necklace that wasn't too 70s (no peace signs, please) and had a nice soft cord. I figured I'd find one at the Bucktown Arts Fest this past weekend, but instead it called my name at Lord and Taylor! It's Lucky Brand and has a wee charm on the end of the cord. Also visible are older L & T earrings and a Lia Sophia ring (via eBay).

I had a charmed visit to Lord and Taylor last Friday. I went to Northbrook Court, where I haven't been in at least two years. It is so lovely and peaceful there, especially on a Friday afternoon. I found a pair of leopard print haircalf smoking slippers, the above necklace, a purple stone bracelet (I have almost no purple jewelry) and Jockey underwear ALL ON SALE. The necklace was fifteen bucks.
Aerosoles Betunia

The karmic balance for all of this retail joy was finding the next morning that I had left the parking lights on overnight and my battery was completely dead - leading to this:

Thank you, Tyler for being so polite and helpful. I'm so glad I bought the shoes BEFORE this happened.

Navy as a Neutral

I've been very colorful lately, and woke up with a bit of anhedonia, so I chose practically a black and white palette. Did you know that Woody Allen wanted to call Annie Hall "Anne Hedonia"? Probably just his little joke.

I'm wearing a black lace shell from Kohl's (closeup below), melange linen pants from Boden, and a navy cotton moto jacket from J. Jill. I put my purse on to convince you it was actually a color photo.

New pearly earrings from Ann Taylor!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Chocolate, Pink Frosting

I'm referring to the combination of pink and brown, which always makes me think of a chocolate cupcake with pink buttercream frosting.
Kohl's dress with beaded neckline, cotton sweater from Target, Ralph Lauren double leather belt. Last time I wore it in almost exactly the same way, but with a brown cardigan.

Built in jewelry!
I am defiantly wearing my Kenneth Cole boots in the face of 80 degree weather. It is 65 degrees in the morning when I leave the house! I'm hoping to get a cashmere version of this pink sweater for winter wear from Garnet Hill, if my so-called budget allows and the right size is still available. 
 I would have bought it in this Nile blue color were it available. So pretty!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Back in Black!

Another meeting tonight, and a visitation for a coworker's parent. I wear black very seldom these days, and as a result I feel very formal in it, as if I were presenting the Pulitzer Prize.
Talbot's jersey top, White House Black Market skirt via eBay, Talbot's shoes and my lovely pearls from Nerissa. Look at those pale legs! And that folks, is as tan as I get.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Broken Glass

I have referred to this dress before as my stained glass dress. It seemed twice as appropriate this morning when, in hurrying out of the kitchen after taking my picture, I knocked a wine glass off the counter where it shattered into many tiny pieces.
I was a little chilly at work with no sleeves. Good think I have my alpaca wrap for these occasions!

I went to the farmer's market on Sunday, and had the following lunch the same day:

Remains of the Day


Friday, August 17, 2012

Purple and Peach

Three and a half hour Finance Committee Meeting. Everyone else wore black and white. Hmmm.

Ann Taylor skirt, Talbot's tee, gorgeous scarf, gift from Beloved Leader.

Skirts and Such

When I was in sixth grade (1972), our dress code changed, and we were suddenly allowed to wear pants to school. My friend Lydia remembers this vividly also, and suggests it was not only because people were starting to clamor for the change, but because skirts were getting so short that the administration thought pants would be a relief. I remember many Ohio winters, waiting for the school bus wearing snow pants, or later, leg warmers, that I had to peel off and stuff in my locker when I arrived. I also still remember the dreamy outfit I wore on the first day of seventh grade: burgundy moleskin flares and a burgundy and gold paisley poet top with a leather lace-up neckline (both from Paul Harris, if that rings a bell). We spent hours picking out that first day of school outfit.

I had several babydoll dresses.

After that pivotal year I didn't wear a skirt or dress again for literally decades, unless someone forced me - weddings, maybe - and then it was complete torture because I had no idea how to pick out a dress and make it look decent on me. And how I HATED pantyhose. In the late 80s I had a job that required a skirt (this seems medieval now), and I bought ONE navy skirt and wore it every day. It was a uniform. Every other moment, I wore pants.

So it is with some surprise that I realize how much I like skirts and dresses now. I think they're more flattering to my figure. Pants hide my best bits, calves and ankles, but of course I didn't think those were my best bits in 1988. Anyway, let's see some skirts, shall we?

I have loved this Boden skirt for years, and of course was thrilled to wear my Born boots again, but the rest . . . eh.

Another Best Beloved skirt, the Michael Kors linen, and a Talbot's emerald green cardigan. I have half a dozen ivory tops, but I always end up wearing the Kohl's tank that my sister-in-law gave me, as it is opaque and slinky. 

I have new-to-me shoes on; Miz Mooz flats via eBay. They're very simple, with a super cute big button over the toes. They were a bit tight in the same area, but a little shoe stretching spray fixed that problem.

Fifteen bucks!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Dreaming of Neutrals

I got a new catalog in the mail yesterday, from The Peruvian Connection, and spent at least an hour happily browsing and imagining myself draped in pima cotton in warm, rich neutrals. Their slogan is Artisan Apparel for Nomads and Romantics. How I wish I were either nomadic or romantic! If I can't BE either of those things, maybe I can dress that way:
Romantica Dress, $218
As much as I love bright colors and high contrast outfits, I adore seeing a pretty girl (myself, n'est-ce pas?) draped in shades of camel, cinder, garnet, cognac, stone. olive and copper. I want every skirt on their web site, starting with this one.
Shadow Rose skirt, $149
Do not question my irrational desires! The heart wants what it wants!


Monday, August 13, 2012

Dress n' Boots

I ordered a fantastic pair of Kenneth Cole boots when I was in Philadelphia in March, and it was almost 80 degrees. I had a vision of wearing them with cute dresses and short skirts. When the boots arrived, the faux summer had passed, and so had the boot/dress moment. When summer returned for real, the weather switched into meltingly hot, nothing but 90 degree days, which is too hot for anything boot-like on my feet.

FINALLY we had a day under 80, and I trotted those boots right out.
Again with the jean-ish jacket, this time over a tank dress from Kohl's. I felt a little silly at the mall after it had warmed up to 78 and I was the only woman in boots and a jacket, but I stood my ground.

I faced a harbinger of doom at the mall, because the Woodfield Talbot's store is closing. 

Bum bum BUM. The outlet store is also madly selling off its inventory with the exact same signage. Thinking of a world without Talbot's makes me feel like this:
Anxious Buffy.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Lilac Rhapsody

The Pantone Color Report for Fall is out, and it appears that I'm well prepared in every hue, except perhaps for Pink Flambe (but there is a cashmere cardigan that I have my eye on). I cannot figure out how to paste in the color spread, so please click through and enjoy the palette!

I'm ahead of the game today, and am wearing Rhapsody, Rose Smoke and Titanium.

Or, lilac, pink and gray if all you have is a 64 box of Crayolas.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Blue Steel and Ivory

Talbot's tee and skirt, Earthies shoes.
Because this top is somewhere between blue and gray, I dub it Zoolander-ish.

More wearing of the linen; I wore this skirt eight weeks ago and at this rate may wear it only three times this summer! The horizontal raw edge detail really blends with the horizontal wrinkles, don't you think? 

Sadly, the three things I ordered from Sundance must all be returned. The skirt was too tight in the waist and really not a great length on me, the jacket was the wrong color (my oops, and the right color is sold out), and the dress looked AWFUL on me. I wanted to love it, I really did. I wanted to love something out of that box, for Heaven's sake. So back it all goes, and that's all right, because I'll have a scrap of clothing budget left for August. It was a psychic burden, I tell you.

Ben just emailed me, thrilled with his first paycheck. Remember that feeling with your first full time job, where it's sort of like jail, the day is so long? And then you get that first HUGE paycheck and it all makes sense?  

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Catching Up!

I am several outfits behind. I took the pictures, but we've been all budget all the time, and my brain is too fried to compose more than very basic posts.
Exceptionally shrubby hair.
This is my Anne Klein pleated skirt, which used to be reserved for special occasions (holidays, evening events), but which I want to wear more often. It's polyester, after all, so very easy care, and so swirly and pleasant to have on! The top is Nine West via Ebay, and my beloved red Spring Step sandals, seen here in electric blue (which I kinda want):
Still available on Amazon!
One of our staff told me she liked these shoes so much that she had bought a pair for herself in brown - and she is a young woman (by which I mean in her twenties)! What a compliment! Do we admit that some compliments mean more than others?  All are lovely and to be enjoyed, in any case.

Feeling that summer is waning, I'm trying to wear my linen as often as possible, this time a cantaloupe jacket with a striped tank underneath, and white jeans. I also made it to the salon, thank you very much.

Here I was also making an effort to wear a particular pair of shoes. I've had these for years and have worn them two or three times. They remind me of old-guy-on-the-Miami-golf-course shoes. What am I, Sid Caesar? Still, I love orange, and they're really well made, all leather inside and out.
Bitchin' shoes, Sid.
And thus we arrive at today, with beige linen pants, a Loft top and a red linen "jean" jacket from Jones New York. I love jean jackets. All those metal buttons act like jewelry for me, and I love the contrast between the severe lines and a flowy or lacy top underneath.

The pants are VERY wide-legged. My red Borns look like the Shoes of the Fisherman peeking out underneath.
For Christina, some papal footwear.
Sundance is having serious reductions on their outlet items in August (another 30% off!), so I bought a dress and a skirt that I've been coveting all year, and am considering a shirt and a jacket as well.

I've also had several exuberant texts from Ben - "I'm on a boat!" "Nate's house is big!" "Jeremy Renner was on Angel!"

Oh, yes, I remember.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

White, Olive and YELLOW

Sometimes clothes are just clothes, you know? There is no compelling tale about yesterday's outfit. My Athleta skirt may look dark brown in the photo, but it is a dark olive green. I'm wearing a white ribbon yarn sweater from J. Jill (over a white tank), and those great yellow Miz Mooz sandals. The sweater is very airy, so is a good choice for a warm but not stifling day. 
I love being so tall.
Nine West watch (Amazon) and yellow quartz ring (eBay).
Shell and wood bead necklace (Kohl's)
Cheerful feet!

Even on a "just clothes" day, it's satisfying to take pleasure in the accessories. Tomorrow I get my hair cut, which will also be a happy thing. I also have the semi-annual Rotary dinner for new officers (I am one) and am mulling over what to wear to that. *sigh* Sometimes I think men have it so easy with suits. And then I think of my shoes and feel that men's sartorial lives are sad and empty.


Black and White, Artist Style

This is my homage to Picasso, or perhaps Van Gogh, out in the hot Tuscan fields in loose, cool linen. I need a straw hat and some paints. 

Jones New York trousers, Loft scarf, Talbot's peasant top. I liked this top so much that I also bought it in black crossdyed linen, so I can reverse this outfit with white jeans. I have on red earrings, a red shell ring and red Born flats to keep from being monochromatic. The scarf is perfect in my air-conditioned office.

I don't normally wear all-over-loose-and-flowy. I tend to be fitted in at least one third of my look, whether it is skirt, pants, top. Even fitted boots qualify. On a hot, sticky day, however, you just want as little material as possible touching you.

Which leads me to another thought and a link to a great post. Chicago Tribune writer Amy Guth contributed a post on Dressing Room Choices at Already Pretty, a blog (and lovely human) whom you know I revere in every way. I'll summarize, but I hope you'll also read her full post.

When you try on clothes at the store, turn your back to the mirror. 

Think about how you feel, how the fabric moves, how the color and details appear from your perspective. THEN turn around and catch a glimpse of your reflection. NEVER watch yourself getting dressed. This is my own caveat because it is one long opportunity to flinch and criticize. 

In my Skokie house, I could circle around through the kitchen, dining room and living room (not as far as it sounds - it was a little house) and "surprise" my reflection in the full length mirror on the bathroom door. In this way I saw myself moving, not static, and all at once.  In the condo I don't have the same runway approach, but I still try to get the outfit on the move, then compare my view to what the camera sees. Huh. I kind of miss that tour of the house on my way to the mirror.