Even worse in person

I was walking by and look what is in the window:



WTF, Anthropologie?

I decided to take a moment to step away from George Clooney. And this is what I found:

photo credit: Polyvore


I was browsing the Anthropologie website because my friend Erika had commented on these “vintage” Levi’s overalls on Facebook, and I had to see them for myself. First of all, unless you are a farmer, don’t wear overalls. But if you must, please don’t spend $350 on them.

After I had my eye roll, I kept looking. What else would I find that bordered on the ridiculous?

It only took a few more clicks to find the Abigail Shoulder Cape, which appears to be nothing but a bunch of yarn braided together. It would be unkind to say it resembles something a grandmother would make. There are way prettier scarves (I refuse to call it a cape) at a lower price point, not to mention that according to one reviewer, it sheds. Everywhere.  No one wants to carry a lint-roller in her purse.

But really, the dress that stopped me in my tracks is the Asra Tulle Midi Dress for $800. Now, I know the description indicates it’s one of a kind. I say thank god to that. I’m sure you can find a much better dress for your $800. Without flowers my kids could make in art class pasted all over it.

There you go. That was my pre-debate fun for the evening. Now I will wait for the candidates to emerge and the answer to the question that has plagued me all day to be answered: will either Obama or Romney dare to opt for a tie that isn’t blue or red?

summer clothes woes update

First of all, I would like to extend a big hug to everyone who reached out, either publicly or privately, to offer advice, share links, or otherwise advise on my efforts to find casual but stylish weekend summer wear. Given the level of response, I feel it’s only appropriate to provide an update.

Based on a recommendation from my friend Erika, I checked out Madewell, the casual sister company to J. Crew. I ended up buying their beachhouse dress in fuchsia (pictured). One concern about this dress is how many ice cubes would be dropped down the cut-out detail in the back, which (sorry) I found impossible to photograph for you without my back looking fat. While I like the idea of a mustard colored patent leather skinny belt around the waist, I don’t love the dress enough to keep it for the price. Back it will go.

This week, J. Crew kindly sent me a notice that more items had been added to their summer sale. Lured back to their website by my second favorite four-letter word, I bought the Driftwood dress (I know, this has a dreaded elastic waist, but I envision belting it) and the Elinor dress.  I think (hope) one or both of these dresses will help fill the causal weekend outings wardrobe gap.

I spent time time cruising the likes of Anthropologie and Modcloth but didn’t find anything that fit the bill. (I found a lot of items that didn’t fit the bill, of course.) Lilla P has some cute dresses but the price point is more than I want to spend on casual attire. Thus, the hunt continues. I’m determined to stay laser focused until I have filled my closet with seasonably appropriate weekend attire.

And then we can talk about shoes again.

Buy This!

Buy This! Color EditionIf you buy one thing this week, be sure it comes in color. After all, bright colors are the new black. That’s why today’s feature is actually going to highlight three items (because I believe in options) that will add a splash of color to even the most cynical northeasterner’s wardrobe.

My first recommendation is the Coral Bib Necklace by ZAD, available at Simply Soles for under $50. I would wear this necklace with a white tee shirt and jeans or a navy sheath dress. Or a chambray button down and white jeans, shorts or pencil skirt. This necklace would make an excellent addition to any wardrobe and given the many styling opportunities, the cost-per-wear ratio definitely warrants your adding it to your collection.

If you don’t have the huge orange crush that I do, the necklace also comes in turquoise, a color which I find stunning with black.

My second recommended item is also available at Simply Soles. (How’s that for promoting multi-tasking?) Having just been on an over-air-conditioned airplane without even a scarf (I was trying to pack light) all I could think of is how I wish I had this great Eternity Loop I saw in Kassie’s National Harbor store when I was there a few weeks ago. While I highlight the green one because it is my personal favorite, I find all the colors to be beautiful and vibrant. Wear this to the office for when you lose the battle over the thermostat or use it to ward against a breezy night that doesn’t quite call for a sweater. Don’t be afraid to pair this shade of green with orange.

And last, but not least, what outfit is complete without a colorful shoe? While I have been leaning more toward a neutral-hued shoe these days because as many of you have seen (you can’t miss it) my Kate Spade Essex Scout purse is neon orange, who can resist the Band Over Band Heels in Tiffany blue from Anthropologie? These heels, even though they are stacked and have a slight platform, are not for the faint of heart, but the color is spectacular, and they would make a great outfit component for color blocking.

But if you want a suggestion for how to incorporate them into an outfit, you have to present me with a Style This! challenge. Let me just warn you now that my pairing is likely to involve orange.

Style This!

I asked for it, I got it. My first Style This! challenge. I have to admit two things. One, I am a polyvore novice, so really I have no idea what I’m doing. And let me just convey that there’s a reason I didn’t go into the graphic arts. Secondly, I think I’m addicted. But because I am a beginner, please be patient while I navigate how best to showcase my styling recommendations. That is to say, I borrowed the template featured here because I was scared (and too time crunched) to do my own, but once I get the hang of it, my sets will look fantastic.

(I will not work on polyvore sets until all my chores are done. I will not work on polyvore sets until all my chores are done.)

One another note, these sets are fantasy. If I see something that works, I’m going to include it even if it’s beyond a price point that is comfortable for most normal people with mortgages, kids and student loans. In the spirit of that old Elizabeth Hasselbeck show The Look for Less, if you like something I have presented, take the vision and replicate it with lower-priced items. With that said, I want to encourage you to not be afraid of investment pieces. (Sounds like a blog post subject in and of itself so stay tuned.)

My friend Kasey was not only the suggester of Style This! but also the first of my followers to make a request. Her issue? She has a self-professed crush on the Sunrise Shirt Dress from Anthropologie. But as Kasey wisely noted, while the texture of this dress is perfect for hot and humid summers days, if not styled properly, it has the potential to give a serious Anne of Green Gables vibe.

I think this muted shade of green would look fabulous with a pop of color. In the polyvore set shown above, I went with a dark pink belt, necklace and bangles and a bright yellow clutch. I could see swapping the necklace for a scarf (or nothing) if in person the necklace is too dressy for the rest of the outfit. (Even my outfit pairing ideas for items  already in my own wardrobe don’t always work out how I envision them.) A nude shoe for this ensemble is a must. I know Kasey can handle herself in a pair of heels, so I chose high, but I wanted a sandal style that compliments the dress and the season. The issue of what to wear over the dress confounded me. A sweater seems too frumpy. A blazer seems like you are trying too hard to dress up a casual dress. But a white trench coat seemed like a natural pairing here because you never know when a summer thunderstorm might roll in or the air conditioner in your office might be set on arctic.

As an alternative, Kasey could also try this dress with an orange shoe and a neutral belt. But then I would ditch the yellow clutch and add a cross body bag in a shade just a bit deeper than the dress. Keep the same bangles. In fact, talking it out here, I think I might like the second set better than the first. So now, I should probably delete the first and pretend this was my original vision, but I really want you all to know that style is a process.

Style This! take two

I mean, even da Vinci drafted and redrafted.