decisions, decisions

There will be real life photos of these items on an actual body (my body, to be precise) later. I promise. But I have yet to shower after doing morning shots (of resistance) at Biker Barre and am playing host to not only my own kids but to neighborhood friends who are still without power.

(Side note: I’m just going to say I was way overdue to be the one house that had power restored almost immediately after a storm. I’m sure it will never play out this way again, but I hope by offering electricity to those in need, I’m keeping on the good side of karma.)

Anyway, there’s nothing like a house with four boys ages six to ten to make you want to girl-out and create outfits.

As previously mentioned, I made a good dent in my summer clothes woes at the Periwinkle pop-up boutique this week (you have few hours left if you haven’t dropped in yet). Now the only so-called problem is that I have options.

On the left is a (fitted, I promise) t-shirt dress. Floral. I know right? Not what I usually gravitate toward. But this dress has an ease that I love, and I would try to edge it out with jewelry and shoes so that it isn’t too sweet in execution.

In the middle is a tunic, but not one that is too long (peril to the short woman). The fuchsia sash (which would also work with either dress) adds a nice pop of color. The only drama with this top for today is that I gave away my white shorts last summer and consigned my white jeans earlier this year, so my options for what to wear on the bottom are limited.

The dress on the right is my favorite. I might need to get it in additional colors. The v-neck extends deeper on the other side, which is actually the front, but I plan to wear it backwards.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love the many pairing possibilities with navy.

I could wear the green chunky necklace or the orange one. (How badly do I need this marigold beauty from my friends at SimplySoles?)

I could use the sash that goes with it or I could swap it out for the fuchsia one.

Or I could even stay neutral with accessories and wear my coral espadrilles.

Maybe some combination?

Just in writing this post, I’m sure the navy dress is the one I will wear to tonight’s dinner party. If you have styling preferences or ideas, please feel free to share.

Otherwise tune in later to see what I decided. And don’t be surprised if I have a glass of bubbly in my hands. Sparkling wine is, after all, the perfect accessory for summer.

bathing beauty

Image from http://www.polyvore.com/bathing_beauty/set?id=51563525

It almost seems cliche to write about h0w much women hate trying on bathing suits. But really, this task cannot be understated.

I already did a bathing beauty post last summer on this topic, but have been asked three times this week to offer some guidance on how to make this essential summer purchase. Plus, I was inspired by DC Celine’s recent bathing suit buying experience. So while I’m the worst person to give bathing suit shopping advice (after all, as you can read in last summer’s post, I will wear the same hated suit for years in a row just to avoid having to buy another hated suit) I will attempt to provide some direction to those destined for a pool or a beach this summer.

First of all, if you need a suit, and you find one you like, buy it right away. I failed to learn this lesson last summer. Two weeks ago, I had three different bathing suit options in my electronic J. Crew shopping cart, but I was hemming and hawing over sizes, colors and whether or not I can get away with a bikini. J. Crew decided for me, since as of this morning, the green polka dot bikini pictured above is no longer in stock in my size. The green and navy stripped one-piece is backordered until August. The J. Crew version of the pictured green Norma Kamali (a dream purchase I would only make if I planned to spend the summer on the French Riviera) is no longer available in a color I want, and alternative colors aren’t available until, you guessed it, August.

The moral of the story is: buy your suit now.

My other advice is to consider what level of activity you plan to do in said bathing suit. Strapless is good for working on the perfect tan but maybe not for playing with active kids in the water.

Obviously, level of coverage is important as well. I happen to belong to a pool frequented by a number of professional contacts, thus you won’t find me in super revealing styles. But if your pool and/or beach is the hot spot for singles, by all means, opt for the string bikini.

If you can’t find what you are looking for, take your search beyond the usual places. I found last summer’s suit at Zappos, and had delivered next day to destination number two of my New England vacation (too late for a day on the beach in Ipswich but just in time for the pool in Maine).

The bottom line is only you are going to know whether a certain suit works for you, and it may take some trial and error to find the right one. If I find the perfect suit this summer, I plan to buy it in multiple colors so that maybe I can make it another five years before having to undertake this arduous process again.

Unless, of course, I get an offer for that Norma Kamali-worthy summer on the Riviera.

Thanks to Alison Gary of Wardrobe Oxygen for teaching me how to make collages for my blog. You will see more images in my posts thanks to her creativity and willingness to share.

fashion happenings: update one

Last night, as promised, I attended the trunk show showcasing The Shirt by Rochelle Behrens. I am happy to report that I walked away with a new silk blouse. Of course, I wanted to wear said new blouse immediately, but given the high temps this week, I will probably have to save this long-sleeved beauty for a more temperate day.

If you know me, you are looking at this pattern and thinking “that is so not Chelsea.” I know, right? I don’t do floral. But I do love bold colors. And while this was not the blouse that initially called to me (that would be the navy pin dot version of the same style) once I had it on, I knew it would come home with me.

If you are still questioning my purchase, here’s how I plan to style it:

For work, with a white pencil skirt and nude pumps. (I don’t own this skirt, but I like the texture, which I think would carry from summer into warm fall days.)

For date night, with white jeans (I’m a huge fan of the Angel by AG) and an animal print flat. (I’m not sure this Loeffler Randall flat would work, but I want you to envision something other than leopard.)

For casual events, with white shorts (if I can find a pair that I don’t detest) and the J. Crew malta sandal.

It’s important even in a conservative town like Washington, DC that we push the fashion envelope when appropriate, and that is what this blouse does. It expresses personality. It will garner attention. It was just a teensy bit outside my comfort zone, which means I will wear it and be unexpected.

Best of all, together this blouse and I likely will not run into a woman in the Senate with an identical top. But even if we do, she and I will know we both bought a blouse from a DC-based designer who used to stomp the halls of Congress herself. She gets us. She gets our needs. And I hope she continues to make her blouses for years to come.