Saturday, March 30, 2013

Let's Give 'em the Old Pizazz!

Let's talk clothes, people.

There is something about this dress that is hard to put into words. When I first saw it online I thought, "meh." But, after looking at it a few times and featuring it in my first Friday Favorites post it just got under my skin. I would not say it is a beautiful dress but, it has a certain charm that makes me stop and study it for a while, trying to make sense of it. Which is more powerful than the draw of a traditionally pretty dress. It reminds me of Audrey Hepburn's character in Funny Face before she gets discovered. It's parts could be considered plain yet the overall effect is enchanting. 

The quality of the material is great. The skirt is soft and more opaque than I expected as the description online said  it was sheer. Compared to other polyester clothes I have, that I bought at discount stores, it is much better quality. The fit is flattering, as well. The waist nips in appropriately and the skirt flares away from the body to hide a tummy but, doesn't add any bulk.

Some clothes you wear for comfort and practicality, some clothes you wear because of the drama they create, and some clothes you wear because they make you feel more like yourself. As if the clothes are capturing all the thoughts milling around in your head and projecting them out for the world to see. That is what I am always looking for and that is what this dress does for me.



Welcome to a new feature on the blog where I defy the fashion police and show you when I repeat an article of clothing on this here blog. When I post a new outfit, if I have featured a part of the outfit before, you, the glorious reader, will get to see how I pulled it off! But I, the humble blogger, maintain the right to not feature shoes and accessories if I wear them regularly. Which, I'm sure does not break your heart.

Friday, March 29, 2013

For My Family

I'm choosing not to do a Friday Favorites post in respect for some sad news my family received today. It doesn't seem right to talk about material things and silly, happy bits when people I know are going through a lot of pain right now.

Some of you may remember Nick Wilcox, the man who went missing in Milwaukee on New Years Eve. Well, Nick was my step-dad's cousin. The Wilcoxs and the Mettilles have been friends for years so, both sides of my family were in grief when he went missing. My parents were regulars in the search parties and at the beginning of March we went to a fundraising event to raise money to keep the search going. It was such a surreal experience to see this family going through the unthinkable.

Last night Nick's body was found in the Milwaukee River.

There is something about the Wilcox family that radiates happiness, like they have a joy gene in their DNA or something. They are such happy, good people that it becomes infectious and every one around them falls under the spell of their boisterous laughter and quick smiles. From stories I hear of Nick, I can tell he was a Wilcox through and through. I am personally grateful to the Wilcox family because of my step-dad, Ronnie. He came to our family in a time when we really needed him and even though blood says he is not our real father, love says otherwise.The idea that this has happened to a family that has so much goodness to offer the world is just not fair. When I see how much hurt Ronnie and his family and friends are in my heart breaks. I just can't help but ask, "why?"

I pray that everyone that has been touched by this finds some solace to help them through and I also encourage everyone to give their loved ones a hug today in honor of Nick and his family and just because you can.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Style Imitating Art Time!

Yellow Roses in a Vase, Gustave Calliebotte
Sweater - Gap, Shirt - Torrid, Dress - eShakti, Shoes - DSW, Lipstick - Bed Head Girls Just Want It in Hope

What do flowers, impressionist paintings, and great outfits have in common? Layers. Layers of petals, layers of colors, and layers of clothes. Clearly, an outfit inspired by an impressionist painting of flowers needed to have layers. I was also inspired by the multitude of colors from the painting and I pulled out three of my favorites to incorporate into my outfit. I chose this amazing eShakti dress because of the color but, also because of the tulip shape. I love how the skirt looks like it is blooming from the layers of the shirt and cardigan.

This is my favorite button up shirt, my favorite dress, my favorite lightweight cardigan, and my favorite color scheme (obviously it's the same color scheme as my dinning room) but, I have never but these things together like this before and I just don't know why. This is probably my favorite outfit I've featured on this blog to date. It's just so me. I guess when you use beautiful things to inspire your clothes beautiful things happen.

This Torrid shirt is so soft and works with so much. It really is a wardrobe staple.

These were my Valentine's Day gift from my husband and even though I can't wear them outside yet, their awesomeness was busting it's way through my closet to get onto a blog post.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Five for Friday After Midnight, Which Makes it Saturday.

I am letting out a big sigh right now. I am not starting out strong on this Five for Friday thing after skipping a week and now posting this week's after midnight. Oops. But, I've never really been one for routines or schedules. I try to be but, at the end of the day I'm still the disorganized mess I've always been.

I could use the dentist as an excuse as I have been in and out of the dentist's office all week and just today (or yesterday as it is after midnight) I had a tooth pulled. Still, I know that is a flimsy excuse. So, I won't even try.

Let's get on with it!

I saw this stool at Target today and we had a little flirtatious moment. I've been looking for the perfect stool to pair with my antique red velvet tufted arm chair in my bedroom and my heart wanted something equally feminine and yet nothing seemed right. When I saw this stool, I realized I had been going in the wrong direction. The tailoring and simple black and white pattern would contrast to the girlishness of my bedroom without clashing and sends a subtle message of, "hey, a man sleeps in this bedroom too." 

Clara Bow. Should one ever have to say anything more than that?

I am drooling over all the pins at HungryDesigns and this one is competing in a tight race to be my favorite. I have a million fond memories of paper dolls and folding those little tabs over my flimsy little friend. Add the fact that the name of the pin has me singing, "Sisters. Sisters. There were never such devoted sisters. Never had to have a chaperone, no sir! I'm there to keep my eye on her. Caring, sharing, every little thing that we are wearing," and I am sold. Please come back from vacation quickly, HungryDesigns!

This necklace speaks entirely for itself. You definitely need to do yourself a favor and check out the other amazing pieces at ByBeep on Etsy.

Le sigh. Another knock out dress from Modcloth.

Happy weekend, everyone!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Save and Splurge for Spring

Yesterday was the first day of spring and I hope for many of you that the weather reflects the recent equinox. I imagine spring is making it's way to us by slowly trudging through our knee-deep snow. But, for now those of us in Wisconsin are resigning ourselves to the fact that winter is trying to last forever.

Even so, when you live in a place where winter is a nine month long affair, you begin to just pretend that it's spring. You start stripping off layers of outerwear like people are paying you dollar bills for it. You slip and slide on ice and let your feet freeze because you just cannot bear the thought of wearing boots for one more day. Temperatures rise above freezing and it becomes a good day to crack a few windows and momentarily air the house out.

It's even possible that if Wisconsinites didn't use the thick skin and stubborn mindset that winter endues upon us to force spring to happen, winter might never end. We might even quite literally beat winter back with our sturdy, weather-hardened character. So, you know what world? You're welcome that while you are off enjoying spring and all it's wonders we are here stopping never ending winter from spreading to you. You are welcome.

Boy! That went in a direction I wasn't expecting. Bah! Anyway, on top of forcing winter to leave us the eff alone for our three blissful months of warm weather, another thing you can enjoy in the Midwest during spring is updating your wardrobe with all the lovely new pieces that are coming out! Yay, fun, exciting, happy things!

If you are like me you will be seeing tons of things that you would love to take home and treat real nice like but, your budget just does not allow it. This is a comparison of some of the things I have had my eye on in the last couple months and the cheaper alternatives that I stumbled upon. While it is not always possible to find budget-friendly alternatives to pieces that you love, I find it always helps to use a save and splurge technique when updating your wardrobe for any season.

Untitled #15

Some of the things I knew I wanted to get my hands on this spring were a black skirt, a colorful printed skirt, a taupe colored skirt, a floral print sundress, and a constellation necklace (to enable my galaxy obsession). Not all of these are related to spring but, a changing season is a good time to evaluate holes that need to be filled since you are already out there looking at clothes anyway.

Untitled #14
This was not meant to be almost exclusively Target as I had a couple other pieces from other stores that I wanted to use but either the high-end option or the discounted option became unavailable.

All of these pieces are good options and all the stores I mention are places that I love and regularly shop at so, I am not saying that any one store is better than another. These are my opinions on these specific pieces and what I would ultimately choose for myself and my budget. When I shop I like to consider all my options and break things down to basic pros and cons and see where I am willing to compromise. The black skirt from Target is very similar to the Asos skirt in color and shape and even has a brown belt.  The taupe skirt has a button front and pockets which are details I can never have enough of. I like the Target sundress better because I prefer regular hems to hi-low hems and the structure of the Target floral print skirt lends itself to easy summer dressing as you can throw it on without worrying about adding that extra layer of shapewear, unlike a pencil skirt. I say, on these items, save away!

Now that I have compromised on several items that I would be proud to own, I might have a little wiggle room to purchase the more expensive constellation necklace as I prefer the needlepoint style and the quality. And that is how I will be saving my way to a splurge this spring.

Happy shopping!


Keep in mind that by buying the cheaper options you are most likely losing out on quality and for some people that might mean throw-away-fashion. If you have a lot of clothes in your regular rotation and you follow the care instructions, you probably won't notice much of a difference on wear-and-tear. I expect to get full use out of anything I buy and if the quality looks iffy, I won't buy it no matter the price.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

“Reserving Judgments is a Matter of Infinite Hope” - The Great Gatsby

I've had my eye on this sweatshirt for a long time because I am always on the hunt for clothes that make you rethink what "comfortable" should be. The Great Gatsby is one of my favorite books and I've always been drawn to the cover art so, this sweatshirt was a huge winner for me. Unfortunately, the biggest one they offered was two sizes too small. I waited and watched to see if it would be offered in extended sizes and when that didn't happen, I checked the reviews in the hopes that it ran big. Lucky for me, all the reviews said it ran large!

When it came, I could not have been happier. It fit perfectly. It fit exactly the way I would have wanted it to fit if I had ordered it from the plus-size section. Amazing! The quality of it is amazing too, soft and warm but not at all bulky. I am really glad I took a chance on this one.

I added my lace collar necklace to dress it up a little and of course I had to wear my yellow hat that I've been living in this winter.

Had to move to find better lighting.

Add some loafers and I'm definitely ready for a day snuggled up on the couch reading a good book. Or maybe to the premiere of a movie based on one of your favorite books directed by one of your favorite directors? Oh yeah. May 10th can't come fast enough.

It's just further proof that you can't always rely on sizes. If you know what materials and cuts allow for extra room and how you like particular items to fit, you can take a chances on things that aren't perfect on paper, especially when the reviews lean in your favor.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Style Imitating Art Time!

Wanderer above the Sea of Fog, Casper David Friedrich 

Scarf - Modcloth, Jacket - Goodwill, Sweater - Target, Pants - Torrid, Heals - Payless

I was inspired by the strength and pensive quality of the man in the painting so I chose to go with a slightly androgynous look using the sweater and matching jacket and pants. Then I added the scarf and heals to bring in some of the lighter colors that are present in the landscape.

I tried looking strong and pensive like the man but I just wound up looking grumpy so those got deleted.

Try not to be too bummed out that's it's Monday guys. 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

I've Loved the Stars too Fondly

Are you guys getting sick of seeing these boots? Oh, good. Me either.

I can't say exactly where my fascination with space started. Did it start when I was five years old and my whole family would lay in my grandparents' backyard in the middle of the night to watch meteor showers?  Was it the first time I was awed by the wonders of a planetarium in fourth grade? Maybe it was the camping trips we took that turned into all night star-gazing. 

I imagine all these times were the seeds that started my interest but, what really brought it to life is the way I feel when I look into the night sky. I start thinking about everything else that is out there and I feel like I am being swallowed whole by the immensity of it all. It makes me feel insignificantly small and yet completely infinite. How can I worry about little things when there is a whole universe out there that is just so much more. We are just a spec in the universe and all of our worldy problems will erode and disappear like they never were yet, we are as much of the universe as anything can be.

It can be quite exhausting looking into the night sky.

Naturally, I was enthralled with the galaxy print clothing that I started to see. The first galaxy print dress I ever saw was on The Clothes Horse and immediately I thought, "this is perfect and it needs to be in my life." Since then, I have kept my eye out for the perfect dress but, it just didn't exist yet and when I have something in my mind, I will not settle. There was a fun dress from Domino Dollhouse that I really considered but while it was adorable, it wasn't exactly what I was looking for. Simply Be came very close with a galaxy print maxi dress but, there was something about the material that was holding me back.

I was getting all up in knots after the frustration of a few "almosts" and I was close to giving up the fight when I decided to just check Etsy. I knew it wasn't likely but I just had to see. Would it exist there? 

After browsing through a ton of overpriced circle skirts, I came across this. I didn't let myself get too excited but, I did message the shop owner and ask if she would be willing to make me a custom fit dress. I was so nervous to get a reply back but, she said yes! She was really great to work with and after a few tweaks we settled on the details.

It's was a little hard to swallow the price as I have never spent that much on any article of clothing before. But, the perfect dress customized to my body is worth more than being able to run to target and pick up a handful of things I only liked. Sometimes it has to be about quality over quantity.

I waited rather impatiently the entire six weeks being terrified that it was going to be lost in the mail, or it wouldn't fit, or something equally horrible. But, it came and it was beautiful and it fit beautifully and it's all just beautiful. I can't recommend this seller or her Etsy shop, Cyanide Kiss more. If you are looking for a beautiful printed, retro style dress, go do the dang thing!