Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Tower of Power

When I was getting dressed this morning, I knew today would require a little extra oomph.  Something to make me feel pulled together, confident, and warm.  (It is awfully cold for the last day of June...)  So I pulled out a few of my favorite things.

Oh, and I needed to feel tall.

Really tall.  I think I am starting to see the pleasures of heels.  It is kind of nice to be taller (than normal and than everyone else!), especially on days when you need a bost.  And they really make an outfit feel more formal.

And I've been looking for an opportunity to wear this necklace, which needs a really high neckline in order to work.

Dress, Lands' End Canvas; Jacket, Victoria's Secret; Shoes, Madden Girl via TJ Maxx, $30; necklace, from Local Color in Lake Placid, $15.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


I've been trying to come up with new combinations of old things.  It is hit or miss, and for the first time in my life, I take 10 or so minutes the night before to check the weather, try things on, and plan an outfit.  But the mirror we have can be a little deceiving.  I realize this outfit makes me look pregnant, but I do love the colors together.

Plus, it gave me a good reason to put on this necklace:

The whole, blown out by the sun, but with new wedges, picture!

Cardigan, J Crew; Tunic, Vera Wang for Kohl's; capris, New York and Co., Wedges, Nine West; Necklace, gift from my mom!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Nip and Tuck

I bought today's dress last summer and was never totally satisfied.  It started each wearing well, but in minutes was looking droopy and paper baggy.  So I experimented with a new belt, which helped, and then pinning, which REALLY helped.

It brought the waist in just enough, lefted the hem of the piece that wraps around the front over my knees, and added a little pizzazz!  And when I grabbed the pin, I remembered the shrug it had come off of, which has been lingering in the closet for five years.  It turned out to be a nice switch from the usually, ubiquitious green J Crew Jackie Cardigan!

(And by the way, I have made up with the photographer, who allowed herself into this shot.)

But enough about clothes, let's stomp in some puddles!

Dress, Target, $25 last summer; Shrug, Bette Sung; Bracelets and necklaces, Grandma(s) and the thrift!  And since I decided I needed to wear heels, I threw on the red ones, with a promise to myself to get a new pair after work.  And I did.  See them soon!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Tyrannical Fashion Photographer

First she demonstrates.

"Like this."

"Like this, you mean?"

"No. You must smile with the eyes!  Your arms!  They look the tree branches!  Be the wind not the tree!"

Whatever, Tyra.

"NO CHICKEN DANCE!  You look like this...."

"I'm just going to take a break over here.  (And call my agent.)"

"That's it!!  Brava!.....Now will someone please get me a xanax, Rachel Zoe's phone number, a tylenol, and a scotch and soda? This model is killing me."

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Perils of Dressing for Work, Part I

This week I broke a cardinal rule of mine: always wear sleeves to the office.  Even a cap sleeve will do, but  I try not to bare arms while I am working for the right to exercise OTHER rights.

The reason for this is threefold:

1.  I am not sure it looks professional.  It CAN, I think, be appropriate and stylish and tasteful and all that, but should I always hear it as a no-no from "look professional" experts.  Then again, do I actually ALWAYS look professional?  Does it matter? And, yes, of course, professional varies by field, by employer, by job.  For example I work in fundraising for a health care facility.  For the front desk staff, scrubs are professional.  For an educator, a more business casual look is professional.  For my CEO, a suit is professional.  I am coming to realize that in my position I need to be closer to my CEO in "professionalness" of my dress.*

2.  Also, I have a LARGE tattoo on my upper arm.  LARGE.  And it could be construed as either a religious statement or offensive, or both.  My co-workers mostly know why I have it, but I don't get to (or want to) explain it to every visitor to our building.  So, I try and cover it.  Mostly.  Even today, when half of it was visible, that felt fine.  I don't know why that makes a difference, but to me it does.

3.  When it comes to best asset?  The arms ain't it.

So, I tend to have a cardigan or a jacket on, or in the rare cases I get overly heated up, at hand.  But I didn't do it this week.  And it was okay.

But it started my thinking about what dressing professionally means for me.  So you'll be hearing more about this.

In the meantime:  baring (upper) arms at the office?  Yay or Nay?  Can you? Should you?  Do you?

*We do have a dress code, but it doesn't comment on sleeveless.

I Got Stripes...

Johnny Cash was in my head all morning all.

This skirt, folks?  A FEAT.  I bought it 6 years ago.  It is a size smaller than I have been wearing, and two sizes smaller than I was this time last year.  I should have taken a side view, because I just love the way it hangs.  (Is there a technical fashion-y term for that?)  But alas, my camera girl and I were rushed this morning.  But see how happy I am that it fit?

And a little bit of a clearer close up...wherein you get a little hint at my lack of ironing.  Damn you linen!  But this skirt is lined, so I bet IF I ironed it?  It would stay pretty crisp all dang day.

And another close up.  Thanks, Grandma Jane.  And thanks, Grandpa Max, for taking her to Mexico to get these so many years ago.

Shirt, Lands' End Canvas; Skirt, TJ Maxx; Necklace, Pink; Bravelets, my fave!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

When the theory is better than reality...

This outfit seemed like a good idea.  In fact, it is not so bad in this picture.  But turn me forward, or make me walk, or but me outside on this windy day?  I gain 20 pounds.  Not pretty.  Lesson learned? Stick with precedent and always wear this blouse with a fitted bottom.

Cami, J Crew; Skirt, Gap; Necklace, Target

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Mono (chrome) in Hi-Fi

After gray yesterday, I needed a little color today.  I went down the orange road.  This is a LOT of color for me, but I actually considered adding a green cardigan.  Then I saw the weather.

What I really liked about this was how the color was reflected in the necklace.

Sweater, Victoria's Secret; Scarf, Victoria's Secret; Necklace, J Crew; Pants, New York and Co.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

All Buttoned Up

Maybe there's been too much color around here, but today I was in the mood for more subdued tones.  And to take on my nemisis.  The Button Down Shirt.

Now, I've seen many a woman rock the button down.  And look sexy, even.  But for me it has never felt quite right.  There are too many questions about fit, and tucking, and buttoning or unbuttoning.  But this one, with the gathers at the bust, and some actually body conscious tailoring, seems to work out.  No mannish-ness, which is my fear of the button down.

Plus, I figured loads of pearls would make me feel more girly.  Oh and a pair of heels helps!

Shirt, NY and Company; Pants, J Crew Minnie Pant; Shoes, Naturalizer, I think!; Pearls, those old Seventeen pearls, and a string from my sister-in-law Janet; Bracelet, thrifted!

Monday, June 21, 2010

How Do You Thrift Score?

Today's outfit is very close to how I dressed before I started the blog...and made an effort.

In the past, I might have skipped the accessories altogether.   This outfit is REALLY boring.  In fact, most of my outfits are fairly dull.  I think I need to thrift up some snazz.

Like these pins.  I am actually pretty successful at thrift store jewels, since I can tell immediately what they will look like!  But as far as clothes, I don't think I have been successful at finding anything beyond an accessory at the thrift since I moved away from Austin.

So...what's the secret?  Do you have the eye?  

Pants, Gap; Sweater, H&M.  Both a million years ago.  Pins, thrifted!; Belt, thrifted!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sunday Walk in the Park...

...the Adirondack Park aka our backyard (and front yard, and side yards...)

No effort at all made here, but I get an A in getting dirty, smelly, and sunburned.  Most important item of clothing?  Life jackets on the kids.  The baby decided to DIVE from the canoe into the lake.

Life jackets, Cabelas, best money ever spent!

Ladies Night

Last night was ladies' night...and we had a directive: dress up.  And we did.  This was my third attempt at an outfit and contains none of the pieces from the one I started with...

I think its all in the accessories...I love these red shoes, which my mother-in-law bought for me right after I went back to work after maternity leave number one.  I think she knew I needed a little spice.  Plus, more adventures with belts!

Capris, TJ Maxx, $16.99; Evie Cami, J Crew, $88; Patent belt, J Crew; Shoes, Bass, $60 at the outlet; Pin, my Grammy's strawberry pin, in honor of the quart I bought earlier in the day; earrings, gift from my Grandma; Clutch, thrifted in 1994.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Summertime rolls...

Thought I would get on the cargo/linen train in one fell swoop...

And since it's always good to know what your clothes look like in motion...I think I was telling the 4 year old..."Just press that button..."

Pants, Victoria Secret, $14 on sale; tee, J Crew; Cardigan, J Crew; Bangles, more Grandma jewels!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Marching Orders

I've been looking for some jackets that aren't just straightforward boxy blazers.  I've been eyeballing this one online for a while, and then it went on sale.  I really like the asymmetrical style and the details.  I think jackets have some symbolic meaning for me that connotes maturity...and until this year have always felt kind of silly in them, as if I was playing dress up.

This one has just enough fun in it.

Jacket, Victoria's Secret, $30 on sale; Blouse, J Crew; Necklace, J Crew; Shoes, SE Boutique from DSW; Pants, Bass.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Working Assets

Having the body of a mom of two has taken a while to get used to.  Ok.  I am still not used to it and baby number 2 is 18 months old this week.  No idea what I am talking about?  Want to feel your body is normal?  Check out Shape of a Mother.

Things that used to be a source of pride have changed.   Even with the time that's passed and lots of exercise (and because of weight gain and loss) things that once looked smooth are now wrinkly.  Everything is a little or a lot bigger.  And that is good and bad.

So I have had to learn to dress this new body.  I am realizing a lot of my clothes are too big. (which is why no pics of today's outfit...should have taken an am picture, when there was still time to change!)  And I need new undergarments.

But here's the good part.  I LOVE my legs and the place where butt meets leg and the whole butt in general.  Those legs may be short for my overall height, but they are nice.  (thanks 10 months of running!) That means:  more skirts and heels. But how to you dress a butt for best effect?

What's your best asset?  How do you accentuate the positive?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


I guess I wear a lot of green.

I think a black cardigan, or a more kelly green, would have worked better with this outfit.

But I really like the lines of this dress, which I bought for a wedding and was roomy enough to get me through 6 months of pregnancy with baby number 2.

But my favorite thing about this outfit was the way the balls of the necklace and the circles of the dress kind of play off of one another and the mix of textures.

In other news, I could really use some color on my legs!

Dress, TJ Maxx, three summers ago; Cardigan, J Crew; Necklace, Pink; Sandals, Target!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Sunday Best

Lands' End Canvas Dress, Take 2.

We went to my father's installation as pastor of his new church yesterday.  Since I had to cram all of our clothes (mine and kids') into one back pack, the dress was perfect.  I paired it with an ancient cami I stole from my mom in 1993, and a cardigan.  A maternity cardigan, actually.  But no, I am not pregnant, I just am loathe to throw out perfectly fine, roomy and comfy sweaters!

Dress, Lands' End Canvas; Sweater, Motherhood; Necklace, gift, from MassMOCA.

Busy-ness Casual

At my office we can wear jeans on Friday with a company tee.  Since we have some cool t-shirts associated with us, this could be a good thing.  But I think jeans and a tee really looks sloppy, and I oly have one pair of jeans I like, and they don't look great with a tee.  So instead, I just wear my normal attire most Fridays.

I just make them more casual by lying on my side all day.

Oops.  Iphoto doesn't seem to want to let me rotate.  

Jacket, Victoria's Secret; Shirt, J Crew; Pants, New York and Company.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Color Me...


For a long, long time, the only colors in my wardrobe were blue, black, gray and brown.  Of course, all the tags said Old Navy, too.  About a year ago I started to try different colors.  Pinks, reds, greens, and yes, even orange.

I felt a little halloween-y in this outfit, but a few people commented that I looked "sharp" and "springy" today, so it must not be too auntumnal!  Good thing, since I am a "summer."

Anyone else remember "Color Me Beautiful"? What about Color Me Badd?

I almost added tights, since it was so chilly today.

And another Grandma Jane bracelet.

Skirt, Target; Short sleeved turtleneck, Victoria's Secret; Cardigan, New York and Company, $20 on sale!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

From Russia with Love

Back in the late 70s my Grandpa, Max, went to visit his Ukranian family in Poland.  He bought a Russian gold bracelet with pink stones for my Grandma, Jane. She left it to me.

It is engraved MB & JGB  Aug 1978.  And it inspired today's outfit.

Again...issues with belting.  I thought this worked well, til the picture!

More gold...I love this necklace and bought it in the J Crew Store in West Hartford, I looked for it later on the website (because I thought there was a bracelet too) and never did find it again!

And more!

Blouse, TJ Maxx, $24; Pants, Bass, $20 at the outlet a few years ago; Cardigan, Target; Shoes, DSW; Necklace, J Crew, $55.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Stupid Belt Tricks

Over the weekend I found a new suede for $1 at the thrift store here in town.  This dress has a matching belt that I never liked, so I switched it out.  And once the green thing was started...well I couldn't stop and found myself coveting a coworker's green shoes.  Green must be a thing for me this week.

I wore this to lunch with a donor.  And I was out of this outfit before you could say "Honey, I'm home!" Sorry for the poor quality bathroom shot...I knew I wasn't going to have time to have Bill take a picture.

Dress, TJ Maxx, $25; Bag, Jessica Simpson, TJ Maxx, $60; Belt, thrifted!, $1; Shoes, Bandolino sling backs, TJ Maxx; Pin, hand crafted by my friend Zoe!

Monday, June 7, 2010

A Mild Risk

So here's where I take a very mild risk. Sequins.  To work.  I figured with the sweater buttoned and just a little bit of sparkle it would be ok.  Is it?

It isn't as chaotic as the living room, at least!

Here's a close up of my 75 cent thrift store bracelet...

Pants, Gap, $55; Jackie Cardigan, J Crew, $60; Sequined tank, JC Penney, Where Fashion Comes to Life, $15; Bracelet, 75 cents!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Date Night

Last night Bill and I went out to dinner at the Brown Dog Cafe in Lake Placid.  The Adirondacks in many different ways to dress.  At the restaurant, which is one of the fancier ones in a town that caters to tourists and seasonal people, there was a couple dressed as if they had stepped of the hiking trail, a family of French Canadians dressed to the nines, and a guy in jeans and a sweatershirt with his fashion model girlfriend.  I wore the dress you will probably see weekly through the summer...

Dress, Land's End Canvas, $50; Sweater, J Crew, $35 (I think!); Necklace, Pink, $15; Purse, Sears, $15 (about 10 years ago.)

Saturday, June 5, 2010

When What We Want Is Bad for Us...

A week or two ago I took a trip to Pink in Saranac Lake with a goal.  Buy something.  Anything.

I am a bad shopper, as I mentioned before, and the root of my badness?  I never try anything on.  Lack of patience, lack of time, and the fact that I have a hard time visualizing what something would look like on me or what I would wear with it all stop me from even getting into a dressing room.  And I do recognize that these are all good reasons TO head behind the curtain.

So.  I knew I would be trying things on.  Boutiques like Pink are easier, because what is in my size or near my size, and in price range really narrows the field.  So I narrowed.  And then I tried on on all of those dresses.

And I fell in love with this...

 But it didn't fit.  Well, it did fit.  Perfectly, except for the bodice which was so tight I could not breathe and smooshed my chest into a GIANT SQUARE UNIBOOB.  Sigh.

I even thought about buying a size up (which they would have had to order for me) so when I came home I looked to see if it was online anywhere.  I found it at Nordstrom and realized that a size up would be too big everywhere else.

This has happened before, which means I need a tailor.

And the other thing I learned?  Pink may be expensive, but the same dress was FIFTY dollars MORE at Nordstrom online (from whence stole this picture.)  So I will definitely be back to Pink for bargain hunting.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Don't Lose Your Head?

Don't have a 4 and a half year old take your picture...

Work and then happy hour with a departing staff member...Sunny and highs in the upper 70s!  Perfect day for a faux 50s anthropological patterned with sequins!

Skirt, TJ Maxx, five years ago; Top, Target, last summer?  the summer before?;  Necklace, Taste, Greenport, NY, also a few years ago!; Shoes, SE Boutique, DSW, last fall.  Can't remember any prices!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Gray Day

What a dreary, rainy day.  Perfect for finishing that big mailing at work and sitting in meetings alllllll day long.

That sweater thingie kind of confounds me.  It has long ties in the front, but it ties in kind of an awkward place in front, so I tied it in the back.  The pants where super tight when I first got them, but now are loose, and have a tendency to stretch and get baggy around the waist and knees.  Which annoys me.  But they were more than I usually spend on pants, so wear them I will!  I needed some bling with all the gray...

And yes...I did take that picture at the top in the bathroom at the office.  Because this is my long mirror at home...

Pants, J Crew Minnie Pant, $79.  Shirt, Land's End Canvas, $24; Sweater, French Connection, gift.  Pin, Vintage, thrifted.