just go shopping

Kiskadee Renovation Sale

If you live in the DC metro area and you like unique, cozy sweaters, fun boots and amazing clothes in general, you should find your way to the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria for Kiskadee’s renovation sale. They are literally closing their doors for three days to get a facelift for spring, and according to store manager Sarah, the fewer goods they have on hand before the renovations, the better. Winter items will be up to 80% off, and trust me, I dropped by yesterday, there is still good merchandise to be had. Department stores may be hocking bathing suits, but it’s not too late in the season to pick up your new favorite sweater. After all, there is still a lot of winter left on the calendar.

Starting Saturday, January 17th and running until the 24th when the tarps and painter’s tape will come out, pop by to shop the sale of the year.

Just don’t take the items I’m eying.

yoga pants: the gateway drug to mom jeans

I love my yoga pants, though I have to admit I don’t do much downward facing dog in them. For yoga, I prefer tight crops especially when practicing in rooms with temperatures 95 degree plus. But for almost every other activity, yoga pants are fair play. Now that I work from home, there are days I never get out of them. Yoga pants are a critical component of this aspiring novelist’s wardrobe.

If I do have to dress up for a meeting, the first thing I do when I get home is change back into my yoga pants. When a friend invites me over, I ask myself: are yoga pants appropriate for this social interaction? More and more, I want to wear them outside the confines of my home office. I try to dress them up, of course, with a sweater and maybe a cute pair of flats or a t-shirt and jean jacket in warmer temps. I had a version of this outfit on over the weekend visiting my college roommate.

Chris: “I wouldn’t have thought to wear my yoga pants with tiger print flats.”

Yep, that’s me. I’ll do anything to justify wearing these most comfortable and flattering of pants.

Because let’s be honest about jeans. They aren’t comfortable. I recently had dinner with a friend (who shall remain nameless) who after our meal, pushed back her chair, unbuttoned the jeans that were digging into her waist, and let me feel the lump of scar tissue in her belly where the button of her jeans typically hit. I mean, ouch.

Nameless friend: “Wouldn’t it be nice if they made jeans with the same stretch as yoga pants?”

Me: “They do. They’re called mom jeans.”

Yes, our love for the comfort of yoga pants makes us yearn for elastic waistbands. I don’t even like my formerly beloved Minnie pants anymore. It’s yoga pants or bust. So please, someone, make yoga pants in workplace appropriate fabrics. Or make denim more comfortable without the stigma of a stretchy waistband. In the meantime, I’m going to go debate with myself whether I can get away with yoga pants for my meeting this afternoon.

43 by 43: vintage patience

While some of the goals on my 43 by 43 list are easily crossed off (paint living room, wear red lipstick at least once a week) others are more subjective and harder to judge success. For example, how do I adequately measure goal #26: be more patient.

As I make my way down the list, I’ve been struggling to come up with a form of patience measurement. I almost took it off the list for something more concrete, but that felt like cheating, whereas patience is a virtue, and one I need more of in my life. After much soul searching, I finally decided that one interesting way to exercise patience is to use it as I strive to fulfill one of my other goals. Then I get to kill two birds with one stone. (Not that I’m pro bird killing, unless of course it’s the duck I’m going to roast since that’s a goal too.) In other words, I need to pick one of my goals that requires patience to execute and use that goal to fulfill the patience goal.

Following me?

Well, this weekend an idea came to me.

I’ve often longed to be one of those people who has a knack for vintage shopping. I’m a huge admirer of women who incorporate vintage pieces into their modern day looks, but the few times I ventured into a vintage store, I felt out of place and overwhelmed, coupled by a fear that the effortlessly chic vintage shop owners are looking at me in my completely current day (read: boring) outfit and wondering what I’m doing in their store? (I’m sure this is my own projection of insecurity and not actually happening.) Instead of taking my time to imagine what pieces might work with my current closet, I pass quickly through the racks the way I would at a warehouse sale (another shopping arena where patience eludes me).

Since goal #42 is to push my style envelope more, I’ve decided that by working on goal #26 to fulfill goal #42, I can both practice the art of patience and perhaps score some vintage finds in the process. Who knows, if I take my time, I may find that perfect sexy secretary something that would compliment my army of pencil skirts. I’m thinking a hat, clutch, some funky broaches or even a pair of gloves. Perhaps I won’t find anything my first few trips, but I won’t let it discourage me and I promise myself I will keep trying.

I’m going to be patient as I embrace this fun way to shake up my style while remaining true to me.

The only question now is who’s coming with me?

retail therapy

photo credit: http://www.polyvore.com/cgi/set?id=59305787
temporary relief from a tough day

Yesterday, I succumbed to retail therapy.

How could I help it? I had a 30-minute gap between my lunch meeting and my coffee meeting, and J. Crew just happened to sit in between the two locations that required my presence. I’d had a rough day to that point, and all the wool, cashmere and fall colors beckoned me inside, promising to relieve my distress.

I walked away with four pieces that I had had in my dream on-line shopping cart, all items that I can mix and match with my current wardrobe. The graphic skirt will pair with a gazillion shirts in my closet: denim, navy, black, patterned.  (Yes, pattered. Stay tuned.) The burgundy skirt I plan to pair with mustard, pink or brilliant blue. As the salesman pointed out, it also looks nice with the French Hen blouse.

Speaking of the French Hen blouse, I will wear it with jeans, my burgundy skirt, my flame skirt, red cords… the possibilities are endless.

And the navy cashmere v-neck sweater? It had been on my wish list for awhile, and the 20% discount on sweaters in store helped make the splurge easier. J. Crew cashmere is so soft, so luxe, and I’ve never regretted a purchase. I can wear this sweater as easily to work as to the soccer field.

But the euphoria of shopping had worn off by the time I got home. Luckily, the two awesomest (to use a Colin-ism) boys in the world awaited me. And our evening together provided the real therapy I was seeking.

inching closer

The title of this post could be itching closer since I’m still plagued by the worst case of poison ivy I’ve ever had. At least today I made it to the doctor, as unsympathetic as she may have been.

Doctor: Yes, you have poison ivy.

Me: You went to med school to figure that out?

She actually asked me if I’d tried calamine, benadryl and the usual antidotes. No, I’ve had poison ivy for over a week and I haven’t tried any over the counter meds.

But I digress…

This morning’s fall temperatures inspired the first wearing of my riding boots, which I paired with a navy and white striped dress and a denim jacket to hide my evil arms. I added a flame scarf for color. But what I really loved most about today’s look is my new(ish) sunglasses. They were so difficult in the ordering (first the prescription was incorrect and then the sizing proved complicated) but I really love them, and they were worth waiting for.

While today climbed into the 80s, I continued my homage to autumn by visiting the Periwinkle pop up shop to see what fall items I could cross off my wish list. I walked away with a teal cardigan that will work for both the soccer field and casual Friday (or casual any day I don’t have a meeting), a shift dress in gray, black and red with amazing zipper details for an edge factor, and a pair of jeans (the AG tomboy, which is funny because I usually don’t buy jeans that have the word “boy” in the description). I’m happy not only to have these additions to my wardrobe but to support a local boutique doing business on Capitol Hill.

Today is also my baby’s birthday eve. You know how I love birthday and birthday eve. He’s with his dad tonight, but I baked his cake and wrapped presents and am thinking of the night 11 years ago when I knew it was really “time.” I can’t think of a better way to spend his birthday tomorrow than to have our opening soccer games in this nice pre-fall weather. I know there’s another heat wave in our future, but for now these crisp cool nights and the promise of more in October has me feeling balanced and energetic.

If only the itching would stop.

falling for fall

photo credit: http://www.polyvore.com/come_hither_fall/set?id=58371091#stream_box
I’ve had a love affair with fall my entire life. I’m just not a summer person. Perhaps if I could, as my friend Sarah says, summer on a lake (just the use of the word “summer” as a verb connotes leisure) or if I didn’t live in a landfilled swamp, I’d feel differently. But nothing lifts my spirits like the first nights that dip into the 60s, allowing for open-window sleeping, sweaters, and my all-time favorite, riding boots.

I’m not completely convinced that fall is imminent, but am fed up with summer. Two mani-pedis ago, I abandoned the bright shades that aren’t very me but which I feel compelled to adopt in warmer months. And earlier this week, I knocked two items off my fall wish list, though I hope the purchase of said items doesn’t have the effect of extending this dreadful summer.

Since imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I must disclose that I was inspired to assemble my top ten list by DC Style Factory and her list earlier this week. Thanks, Rosana, for reminding me on a 92-degree day that fall might be around the corner.

And because it’s never too early to wish upon a star, my list:

1. The Bettye Muller Roxy in Bordeaux: I have lusted over this shoe since style sister Austin from SimplySoles sent me a photo of it before they had it in stock. This is one item I already bought because I panicked the other night when I noticed they only had two more pairs in stock, one in my size.

2. Western Jean Shirt in Desert Willow Wash by Madewell: I was not only inspired by Rosana to make a list, but to add a dark wash denim shirt to my wardrobe this fall. I have a summer weight, chambray one, but the darker wash version appeals to my sense of fall. Except when I stepped into the dressing room at Madewell, I liked the fit of this western version better. I would NEVER in a gazillion years have ordered this shirt sight unseen. I wasn’t even going to try it on until the saleswoman suggested it, and I’m glad she did.

3. More Minnie Pants: I fell in love with these pants a few years ago, then fell out of love when I was feeling a little heavier than I like to be. I’m usually a skeptic when it comes to any pant on me that isn’t floor length, but the Minnie has been the one exception. However, the pairs in my closet, aside from looking well-loved, are actually a little too big (thank you, Biker Barre!) so new Minnies go on the list for fall. The only debate is what color(s)?

4. Essie Nail Polish in Stylenomics: I suffer corals and fuschias in the summer because I technically live in the south, but my northern sensibilities want to wear dark nail polish all year round. While I normally default to OPI’s Lincoln Park After Dark or the Essie version, Wicked, the color I have in mind now is a dark green, and Stylenomics looks to fit the bill.

5. Opera-length Fingerless Gloves: I first coveted a pair from DVF that cost a shocking $350 more than this affordable pair. I love fingerless gloves to allow for easy access to my touch-screen devices, as well as for the fact that they won’t cause wear and tear on my manicure. I want to wear these with jeans as much as I do a fantastic dress. And at this price, it’s a no-brainer that you will soon find them in my possession.

Other items that round out my top ten wish list include (6) a new LBD, object of my affection yet to be identified; (7) more bracelets and bangles to stack on my wrists; (8) new jeans, maybe even the sexy boyfriend style Wardrobe Oxygen swears by; (9) the Marie Jo Carole Bodysuit, or at least the Avero plunge bra in raisin since I’d slightly intimidate myself in a bodysuit; and (10) a new wool coat. My old ones are on the verge of being threadbare; I needed to invest in a new one last winter. I can’t decide whether I want a reliable neutral shade or pop of color. I will try to not let indecision get the better of me this season.

There’s so much more I covet, but these essentials will work with my existing wardrobe and get me into and through the glory days of what I can only hope will be an extended fall.

Triple Workout Styling

Here it is. A compilation of what I decided to wear to my spin+spin+barre workout at Biker Barre today.

To the left is a great to and from the gym jacket, or in today’s case, what I wore to recovery breakfast with spin sister Monica of Blue Print for Style in the air conditioned Ted’s Bulletin so that I wouldn’t freeze from my sweaty workout clothes.

For the workout itself, the No Limits Tank from Lululemon provided the support, freedom and inspiration I needed for today’s mental and physical challenge.

What two hour and 45 minute workout would be complete without a Sweaty Band to keep your hair out of your face? That mine has pink skull and crossbones on it just makes it more cutely fierce. I swear, it doesn’t move out of position at all.

And barre socks are totally a must for me. I don’t tuck barefooted. I like that this pair has a little message to remind you that if your legs are shaking, you are doing something right.

It all worked so well that I am already signed up for the same adventure next Saturday.

Hope to see you there.