shoe drama, act II

Chie Mihara pumps

This beautiful shoe not only looked horrible in high gloss Payless, it also was very sad in black. And honestly, I have a gazillion pairs of black shoes, but I only had one pair that is this classic camel color.  So I came back from my trip to California determined to seek a refund for the price of my shoes. Well, after five trips to the Cobbler’s Bench at Union Station, the owner finally showed his face. (Note: four of those trips the staff told me that the owner asked me to come back the next day at a certain hour, which makes the no-show-y-ness all the more egregious.) I now have in my wallet a very suspect looking check, which I am less than 50% sure is going to clear tomorrow when I take it to the bank. There could be a third act yet.


something blue

David Aubrey necklaceIt has been awhile since anyone has asked me for style advice. Maybe because lately, I have been moving at such a frenetic pace that no one dares to talk to me. Or maybe it is because with my current wardrobe limitations, I wear the same outfits week after week. Whatever the reason, the drought ended Friday when Kaitlan asked me to help her style “the top half” of the Lilly Pulitzer Blossom Dress, which she plans to wear on Saturday to a tea her best friends are throwing for her to celebrate her recent engagement. According to Kaitlan, the brightness of the colors, combined with the strapless cut of the dress and her porcelain complexion, demands some sort of upper body accessory.
I am loathe to recommend a scarf, and given that our temperatures are creeping into the 90s, a sweater may not be appropriate either, though the Lilly Velma Shrug looks like it was made for this dress (if you don’t mind the matchy-matchness dressing in HTT Lilly). But in my opinion, the right necklace is the perfect solution.
Again with the disclaimer that I haven’t seen the dress or the David Aubrey Blue Beaded Necklace in person (so judge for yourself, Kaitlan, as to whether they are complimentary shades) my goal here was to pick an understated color from the dress (not easy to do with a Lilly pattern) and try to draw it out with a color that is in the same family but a shade or two darker. After all, I don’t want her to look like a confectionery dessert at her own party.

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.

do as I say (and as I do) morning I got an email from my friend Rayanne. The subject line was “Dear Chelsea Chronicles” and the message included a fashion question. At first I thought that I had accidentally published my last post sans the great photo I was still in the process of tracking down of Seersucker Thursday and my super long hair. But it turns out she just wanted my advice. Minutes before I was about to take Dear Chelsea Chronicles live, here I was getting a question from another friend who values my advice.

Her timing was almost impeccable. An email yesterday would have yielded inclusion in today’s post, but regardless, the continued requests are making me look forward to including Dear Chelsea Chronicles as a weekly entry. And for the record, while I answered Raye’s question right away, she did indeed provide fodder for next week’s edition.

Then at lunch I talked to my friend Tom (although he isn’t necessarily in my demographic) about adding a weekly feature called Buy This! where I highlight one recommended item to buy. The item might be something that is on super sale. It might be an investment piece. Maybe something I already have and love. Or covet. Whatever the case, so many women tell me they want to go shopping with me that I consider this my own way of virtual shopping with all of you, but without the hit my budget would inevitably take if we hit the stores in person.

The conversation with Tom was still a bubble in the air when another mind-reader made herself apparent. I got an email this afternoon from my friend Kasey recommending a regular Style This! feature where YOU, my readers, send me an item, and I style it for you. (It looks like I am going to be getting well acquainted with polyvore after all.) I love it. A challenge. Bring it on.

But please, don’t ask me to style a meat dress. Or sweatpants.