Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Chameleon

If the two separates I posted about the other day are an alternative to the typical suit, this must either be the anti-suit or just an example of something further from the classic example of a suit. An even greater alternative? If that term makes sense.
I wanted to use what will be the chameleon of my spring wardrobe, skinny cargo pants, to put together a more casual suiting alternative. I am using a loose interpretation of the word suit: a pair of pants and a jacket.
Let's talk about the pants. The pants are so fitted and structured that they could almost pass as a dressy pair of olive matchstick pants until you get to the cargo pockets and material.
With that in mind, I went for a jacket and blouse that would not be too great of a contrast for these pants as I wanted the outfit to still have a flow of colors and material. I could have created an even greater contrast and wore these bottoms with a tuxedo jacket and white button down blouse, but that's not really my style. Although I should probably never completely rule it out as an option.
I paired this outfit with my nude heels mostly because they are new, and I was excited to wear them!
Thrifted Evan Piccone blazer; Marshalls button up; Gap skinny cargo pants (on sale in stores; not online); Candies pumps via Kohl's (on sale); Ray Ban Wayfarers; Silver Mine jewlery


(Style blogging is not as glamorous as it seems. There is a lot of mud. Especially in Cleveland.)


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Alternative suiting

I was prompted by a networking event to browse the mall for a new jacket. Remembering that I had seen some jackets similar to this style that were on sale at Sears, I thought I would look there. After not finding the original jacket, I settled on this lovely Chanel-inspired jacket on sale for $5! Although the cropped length makes it difficult to find things to pair it with, I like the modern look of it. The fringe lining makes it just wild enough and helps bring life to these simple black pants and nude color top. True to Chanel style I had to pair this with classic pearls, red lips, and a low bun.
Sears jacket; Forever 21 top; The Limited pants; Nine West pumps; Vintage pearl necklace; Worthington pearl earrings

Monday, March 28, 2011

Spring essentials

I was able to narrow down my list of spring essentials to these few items. This is what will be in the forefront of my mind while shopping this spring.

Disclaimer: Spring in Cleveland equals a variation of temperature that ranges between 30 and 60 degrees, which is why my picks for summer and spring are not combined into one list.

I have been wanting a chambray shirt since last spring, but for some reason, I never bought one. This year there are a variety of shades and price points to choose from and the American work wear inspired material is definitely still on trend.

The brighter the better was the message from the spring runways. Bright separates will be great for colorblocking, a trend I can't wait to try.

Maybe because we are getting closer to the beloved summer and sandy beaches that makes me tend to wear more gold jewelry in the spring. And since I probably wont be buying the gorgeous gold Michael Kors watch that I really want, I am browsing the vintage watches from American Apparel.

I love a good bow tie blouse for spring. It's light and airy and makes a cute statement appropriate for the work place. I can see something like this going with my tapered trousers very nicely.

I have been loving all of the cateye sunglasses out right now. Combined with a Prada-inspired clear frame, these are pure perfection.

I love it when the quality of a casual piece pushes the item beyond its boundaries making the possibilities endless. That is what I love about  vintage sweatshirts. This item can be paired with a nice pair of chinos and high heels for a shabby chic work look, and would be equally perfect for lounging around.

Nude shoes are nothing new, but I can't help but think you will need something neutral to pair with bright separates especially if you plan to colorblock.

I have already confessed my love for skinny cargo pants. The potential for creating both work and casual outfits with these pants for spring is endless.

I was on top of bright lipstick when I first found out that J.Crew's spring 2011 models were wearing Nars Heatwave. I have been loving the way it jazzes up an all black ensemble or complements the bright colors for spring.

What are your must haves this spring?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Style History: Jack Rogers Navajo sandals

Last summer, when Nordstrom started carrying Jack Rogers' Navajo sandals, I started seeing them everywhere, and I just assumed that they were a new, popular brand. It wasn't until reading Unabashedly Prep one day that I became privy to the knowledge that the sandal became popular due to Jacqueline Kennedy's style influence. The style of sandal was first rooted in the streets of Capri and soon after Jackie's debut wearing them, Florida's independent cobblers were also making the sandals. The Miami Footwear company put it into expanded production in 1960 and the rest is history. I love learning about the history behind certain styles and trends so I thought I would share. Also interesting to note, Jack Rogers sandals are still made by hand in Florida today. This information is extremely timely as a Jack Rogers flagship  store just opened in NYC. If you don't live in NYC, the website features an online shop and is full of spring styling inspiration. Check it out.
(Photos via Unabashedly Prep, AP, Jack Rogers, and Nordstrom)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Layering



































Nothing too exciting to report here. Just a simple black and white color scheme paired with my blue flare jeans. I am, however, excited that I was able to pull off the proportions of this outfit. I felt like maybe the blouse sticking out of the cropped sweater may have made the sweater look too small for me. Pulling the sleeves of the blouse all the way through the arm holes and letting the cuffs pop out in a messy way, helped to match the layering of the body of the blouse. I like how tailored the blouse looks compared with a cropped sweater and dressy jeans. Oh, and this is the debut of my new hair cut. Not very different right? But it was exactly what I wanted. My hairdresser tried to match the layering from the Miss Dior Cherie Natalie Portman photo I brought in. I think she did a really nice job.
INC sweater (gift); Gap jeans; NY&Co. blouse; Nine West shoes; Ray Bans Wayfarers

Monday, March 21, 2011

The "Annie Hall" argument




































Ladies and gentleman I give you the tapered trouser. I understand that this trend is not for everyone. But for those of us who want to try it, regardless of how bad it looks, can all of you naysayers involve yourself in disliking something else for today? I promise this minor blip on the style frequency is just that, a passing fad. It's hard enough finding pants that fit well, let alone pants that purposely accentuate the hips and shorten your legs.

The last time I involved myself with tapered pants, I was a Freshman in high school, and I mistakenly chose to wear tapered khaki pants to my first day of high school instead of the more popular skirt that everyone else had chosen. As you can see I am learning from my mistakes. Regardless of how bad I looked then, I actually really like this particular pair I found at Sears. I think if you follow some strict guidelines when choosing your tapered trouser, you may strike gold.

First of all, you need to look for something that is closer to a straight leg cropped pant. The pants don't have to narrow too dramatically, which is why I think these pants are not terrible. Secondly I think you need to pay attention to the width of the leg hole. If the leg hole is hugging your ankles then you need to say goodbye. But if the leg hole is rolled like this pair and is still wider than your ankle then I think you have a winner. The other reason I like these pants is because they are on the longer side, which means they cut me off at a lower, more narrow part of my leg.  I also chose them in a darker color. Dark colors are slimming, especially black.

Even with all of these conditions met, I have to admit these pants are still not the sexiest things I've ever worn, but I like them. They are my Annie Hall moment...quirky, dorky, and cute...however, it's probably more than just a moment as I have been a dork for as long as I can remember. Writing that in a blog post doesn't really prove otherwise.
J.Crew cardigan; Old Navy top; Sears pants; Antonio Melani shoes; Banyan Tree necklace; Ray Ban Wayfarers; Nars Heatwave lipstick




Friday, March 18, 2011

White turtleneck




































When I read this article on Glamour's website about white turtlenecks, I responded by saying, "Do you know who I am? I have a closet full of white turtlenecks that are on hangers spaced 1 inch apart. And yes, I enjoy early bird specials and Agatha Christie novels. Why do you ask?"

I know this has been the week of the turtleneck, but think of yesterday's outfit as the free-spirit version of this trend and today's outfit as the minimalist, structured version. Mostly, I just love that I have a different way to wear this shift dress, which I have for some reason relegated as the dress I wear when I want to look professional, but not trendy. I will never doubt you again gray shift dress. Never again.
Target turtleneck; H&M dress; Franco Sarto boots; Forever 21 leggings; The Limited necklace; Nars Heatwave lipstick


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Bohemian in Nicole Miller




































I know I shouldn't break out a dress this pale purple until I have an amazing tan, but I was too inpatient to wait until summer to wear it. Hopefully the black turtleneck and warm brown boots balance that out a little. I loved how bohemian this ended up looking especially with the boots. And it just so happens that my hair ends up looking bohemian whether I try or not when it's curly.
Thrifted Nicole Miller dress, Target turtleneck, Wanted Royalty boots, H&M earrings

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The pants of spring

As I am putting together my spring wish list, I can't help but notice the several cute pant styles available right now. I feel like some of these trends have definitely been around before and could easily be found in second hand stores. Here are some of my favorites:

White pants are a perfect match for the "nautical" look that has been so popular lately. These would look good with a white and blue striped shirt or a bright pop of color. Asos Mango white skinny jeans, $44.65

I love the 70s styles that are circulating right now including wide-leg jeans. You can create a bohemian look with these by wearing a flowy blouse or dress them up with a neat bow tie blouse. Unlike the 70s, I especially love that these jeans are updated with a low rise fit. Gap wide leg trouser jeans, $69.50

I have always loved the boyfriend jeans style. Its casual laid-back look is the perfect contrast to a sharp blazer. 501 Boyfriend cut jeans Ovation, $79.50

I have seen bright color pants everywhere lately including Zara's spring ads. They would be perfect paired with the neutrals that are so popular for spring. Forever 21 Stretchy Denim Capri, $17.80

I am obsessed with green skinny cargo pants. After the advent of skinny jean popularity, it only made sense to combine the girlish Audrey Hepburn vibe with a tough military color and texture. Plus they will look so cute with a flower-print top. James Jeans Twiggy Cargo Cappuccino, $172

Menswear styles continue to enchant me. I can't get enough of the exaggerated proportions and tailoring, which is why I think I can actually approve a pair of tapered pants. It helps that they are cropped and will look quirky with a pair of oxfords or sexy with a pair of high heels. Topshop Navy Horn Button Tapered Trouser, $80

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Lauren Bacall


In the March issue of Vanity Fair, I read an interview with Lauren Bacall. The screen siren told of meeting Alfred Hitchcock about a role in one of his movies. Her mother advised her to wear white gloves and a beige dress and told her that he liked blondes. Ever since reading that I have been on the hunt for a perfect nude dress. This particular style may be too vintage for me, but it made me think of something Lauren Bacall may have worn in her hay-day. I would want a nude shift dress, and I probably wouldn't wear the gloves either, but I imagine someone can pull this off. I embellished the look with red accessories. How would you wear this? Would you pair it instead with nude pumps and nude lipstick?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Celebrity style: Natalie Portman


















I love Natalie Portman's hair and makeup in these photos. It's simple and classic, but still messy and romantic. I am thinking of taking in a photo of Ms. Portman the next time I get my hair cut.  Head on over to this is glamorous to see more photos from the Miss Dior Cherie photo shoot.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Cut out sandals: My latest obsession































I am starting to put together a list of spring essentials. It's definitely hard to narrow down that list as I have walked into several clothing stores, and I am completely smitten with every flower print and bright color I see. Though I am trying to unclutter my mind and focus on what is actually necessary to add to my wardrobe, I keep thinking about these cut out wedges. I have seen them on other bloggers such as See Jane who is pictured wearing a gorgeous pair from J.Crew, which are unfortunately sold out. Thankfully there are some inexpensive options including Threadsence's Making the Cut Wedges for $39 and Adrienne Vittadini's Shannon sandals for $89. I just think they make feet look so sexy. They have the power to spruce up a spring dress or add a quirky touch to the cropped trousers that are so popular for spring. Only time will tell if they are sponge-worthy aka wardrobe-worthy. (Seinfeld!) Are these on your radar? Do you know of any stores that are carrying similar inexpensive styles?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Fall 2011 shopping notes: Tory Burch, Plaid























Now that the spending freeze is over, I can look to purchasing all of the many wants on my Spring shopping list, but also keep an eye out for the trends that were born out of the Fall 2011 fashion weeks. A favorite of mine from these shows, as always, was Tory Burch. She summed up her Fall line as "English country dressing translated through American sportswear,” according to Style.com. I could definitely see the English country part from all of the plaid skirts and suits. The American sportswear came in the form of relaxed-fit tops, sweaters, and trousers.

I have always loved plaid. I even had a certain affinity for my red plaid jumper in grade school. That outfit was the coolest. Luckily, while I was shopping at one of Cleveland’s newest consignment shops in the Lorain Avenue Antiques District, the Rag Refinery, I came across this Villager plaid skirt. Paired with my American-made Pendleton wool sweater, I thought it created the ultimate American-leisure English-prep style.

Rag Refinery has a finely curated selection of vintage and newer brands and the space doubles as an art gallery. A chili restaurant is rumored to be opening next store. Another truly unique shop in Cleveland! Find them on Facebook and Twitter.

(Above photos via Style.com)



































Pendleton wool sweater; the Villiager vintage skirt; Franco Sarto boots

Monday, March 7, 2011

Recap of the 30 for 30


Now that my sartorial challenge is over, it is expected that I share pearls of wisdom and lessons learned. Here goes. The most surprising thing about the 30 for 30 challenge was how easy it was. Before starting the challenge, I had moments of ludicrous anxiety. Limitations are bound to make you feel insecure and uncomfortable. Reflecting back on these feelings, I realize how truly ridiculous they were because the challenge proved to be easy. Once I edited down my wardrobe, getting dressed became simple. I didn't feel guilty about wearing something twice in one week. That brought me to the shocking realization that I could probably purge half of my wardrobe. I am not going to take such drastic measures, but it is definitely something I need reconsider on a rainy day.

Second lesson learned: I can say no to spending. Once I realized how easy it was to keep a wardrobe fresh with only 30 pieces of clothing, I stopped wanting things. I started to realize that it wasn't my wardrobe being insufficient that drove me to spend when not necessary, it was certain occasions, which when caught me off guard, created a spending problem.

Shopping with friends makes me more inclined to buy because I want to join in on the fun, regardless of whether I find something I really want or something that will pass as an exciting purchase for the moment. Visiting a new store often makes me more inclined to purchase something, and I purchase out of the need to commemorate the occasion. Coupons and sales in my inbox are also enablers. Now I only check a sale if I am looking for something specific. Blogging makes me feel like I need to buy things to keep up. Walking through H&M or Forever 21 just to browse is tempting as I will inevitably find an impulse buy. These are my triggers, not an insufficient wardrobe. I have learned that dealing with these triggers will be more important in the long run of building that perfect wardrobe than buying more clothes.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Cleveland fashion event: Spring and Summer 2011 Trend Analysis



































Target turtleneck; Thrifted scarf; Charming Charlie's earrings; Gap skirt; Worthington tights (JCPenny's); Thrifted vintage Ann Talyor loafers

I have some fun news to share with you! First of all, if you have been keeping track, you will notice that this was day 30 and the last outfit of the 30 for 30 challenge. Yay! I am excited to get the rest of my closet back. I have missed my other clothes! And I am glad to not have the responsibility of taking outfit photos daily.

In other news, I was invited by my fellow local blogger Dina's Days to attend Fashion Group International Cleveland's trend analysis and fashion industry party, The Inside Look for Spring and Summer 2011. Industry insiders and fashion enthusiasts from the area were in attendance at the hip and intimate Bodega Lounge on Coventry Road in Cleveland Heights.

Spring and summer fashions were modeled from Knuth's in Pepper Pike and Westlake and Style Lounge in Beachwood, two of Cleveland's most unique, fashion-forward boutiques. Trends that were touched upon included safari inspiration in the form of skinny cargo pants and jackets; patterns such as floral print dresses and leopard print jackets; lace and crochet dresses and tops; striped dresses and jackets; ruffles and bright colors.

I couldn't be more ready for the warmer weather and all of these looks gave me great inspiration. It was fun to be among other fashion enthusiasts and local bloggers, and it was especially exciting to realize what a great industry group we have right here in Cleveland.

If you are interested in getting involved with FGI Cleveland, visit the site here and follow them on Twitter.



































Dina from Dina's Days.





Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Need a lift?




































The striped shirt and wide-leg pants were too perfect a match to not turn this into a nautically-themed outfit with my red scarf and gold hoop earrings. Surprisingly, though, the red scarf and gold earrings only make me slightly reminiscent of a gondolier. There are so many running around Lake Erie this time of year, you know.
Ralph Lauren top; The Limited pants; Nine West shoes; H&M earrings; Scarf (gifted); Vintage cloisonné bracelet (gifted)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Every day drama




































You may recognize the top half of this outfit from last week. Part of the fun of remixing outfits is pairing things you normally wouldn't think of as a match made in Heaven. When I thought of this match, I couldn't have been more in love with the effect of coupling the more casual top half with this dramatic silk skirt. I love when something unexpected ends up becoming a favorite outfit.
Thrifted Evan Piccone blazer; Vintage Pendleton wool sweater; NY&Co. blouse; Forever 21 skirt; Nine West shoes

Fall Ankle Boots

Like any true romantic, fall makes me reach for dark, floral patterns and feminine details. To balance out that vibe, I occasionally drif...