Archive for January 2012


Tuesday, January 31, 2012 10:32 PM

I've been meaning to recreate this Kendi outfit since she wore it almost exactly a year ago. Since then, I've acquired this blazer, skirt and belt. But then it seemed like every week I put together an outfit that included one of these elements, and I didn't want to repeat them right away. Last week, for example, I wore this blazer. The week before, I wore the skirt and tights together. Then, today, it was snowing when I woke up, and I decided it was a perfect day for a cozy outfit like this.

pic name pic name

Military blazer, Express (thrifted)
Pink sweater, Tommy Hilfiger
Belt, thrifted
Burgundy skirt, thrifted vintage
Sweater tights, Target
Cashmere socks, gift
Boots, Aerosoles

Three Purples

Monday, January 30, 2012 9:55 PM

I felt compelled to specify the colors of my outfit in the post headline because they didn't photograph the way I'd have liked. But believe me, three of these garments are indeed purple.

I love this turtleneck, which I purchased on clearance last February. It looks good on its own (third outfit in this post), but it's terrific for layering. I hit up Target tonight to see if they had more colors, and once again they were on clearance. I picked up ones in solid black, black with white stripes and red. I may return the red one; I love to wear that color, but I have a red sweater, a solid red T-shirt and a red T-shirt with white stripes. A turtleneck might be overkill, huh?

pic name pic name

Lilac blouse, Old Navy
Purple turtleneck, Target
Taffeta skirt, thrifted vintage
Silver belt, Old Navy
Purple tights, We Love Colors
Ankle boots, Macy's

Black on Black

Friday, January 27, 2012 11:03 PM

Black on black actually is understating it. I'm wearing five black items on my top half: belt, cardigan, blouse, tank top and bra. I often combat damp weather and moods with bright colors, but today I gave in and went dark. This week ended with crappy weather, frustrations at work and very sick loved ones in both of our families. I'm ready to watch TV, sleep and visit my mom tomorrow.

pic name pic name

Silk cardigan, Banana Republic (eBay)
Peasant blouse, Old Navy
Tank top, Hanes
Black patent belt, thrifted
Straight-leg jeans, DKNY Jeans
Socks, Target
Heeled loafers, Rampage (eBay)

It Started With a Belt

Thursday, January 26, 2012 10:25 PM

I knew I wanted to wear my new belt today. The metal disks of the belt reminded me of chain mail and of the metal buttons on this military-style jacket I thrifted last spring. I decided to keep with the martial theme by wearing an olive drab T-shirt underneath the jacket. The necklace I wore (which you can't really see, but it's the one in the second outfit of this post) isn't really connected. I chose it because I wanted a metal necklace that would fit into the collar of the shirt, but I suppose the bars are reminiscent of something you might see on the shoulders or collar of someone's uniform.

pic name pic name

Military blazer, Express (thrifted)
Olive T-shirt, Target
Art Deco necklace, thrifted
Black trousers, Banana Republic (eBay)
Metal belt, thrifted
Ankle boots, Macy's

The Tent

Wednesday, January 25, 2012 11:02 PM

Although this dress is a Size 2, it's tent-like in its fit. I don't even come close to needing to undo the zipper on one side or the button at the back of the neck to pull the dress on. Cinching in the waist with a belt creates a nice silhouette, but the blousing of the top and the puffy sleeves make it difficult to layer anything over the top. So I tried layering underneath instead.

A previous attempt involving a button-front shirt looked goofy, but I think this turtleneck sweater looks good. I also really liked the different blues and grays in this outfit. Plus, pockets!

pic name pic name

Cotton dress, J Crew (thrifted)
Turtleneck, Jones New York Sport (gift)
Stretch belt, thrifted
Turquoise tights, Old Navy
Cashmere socks, gift
Gray boots, Miz Mooz Journey

Style Student

Tuesday, January 24, 2012 11:04 PM

Ummm, I just realized that I must have walked around all day with that button undone. Oops.

Until a year ago, I never wore accessories. All my outfits were just a top, pants/skirt and shoes. Pretty boring. So now I'm trying to build collections of various types of accessories and figure out when and how to wear them, so I can create new outfits around the same garments.

I have a handle on belts, and I'm getting there with necklaces. I'm still trying to build my shoe wardrobe, which is complicated by the fact that shoes are difficult to thrift and pricey to buy new. I just bought my first brooch a couple of weeks ago, but I have yet to wear it.

Mastering scarves definitely will take quite a bit more work. I have trouble incorporating them into outfits that aren't completely matchy (like this pink and navy scarf with a pink dress and navy tights). And then there's the issue of figuring out how to tie them. I tried several of the methods here before settling on the chain knot. Like I said, I know how to wear a necklace. And this was essentially a scarf as a necklace, so why not?

pic name pic name

Pink shirtdress, Express (thrifted)
Silk scarf, Liberty of London (thrifted)
Navy tights, Target
Metallic flats, Bare Traps

Lacking Movement

Monday, January 23, 2012 11:09 PM

Today I took advantage of a mild thaw to wear (a) pumps rather than boots and (b) a floaty, translucent skirt that I had resigned to leaving in the closet until spring. I wish you could see how this skirt flows and ripples when I walk. I've tried a twirling photo, but that didn't quite work either:

Maybe video next time?

pic name pic name

Striped cardigan, Target
Tank top, J Crew
Pleated midi skirt, thrifted vintage
Solid black tights, Old Navy
Lace tights, Hanes
Black pumps, Calvin Klein (eBay)

Red Sweater Days

Sunday, January 22, 2012 8:38 PM

J's been working weekends for a couple of months now, but he managed to switch with someone, so we took the opportunity to go to Boston, where we have a lot of friends we hadn't seen in awhile. I put together this outfit for Friday. It's just a variation of what I wore last Saturday, but it fulfilled my needs for something warm and for pants I could tuck into ice skates for some skating on Frog Pond in Boston Common. We worked up an appetite by skating several laps with a couple of friends, then visited a terrific Senegalese restaurant in the South End for dinner (more on that later).

I came across an exact replica of this shirt, which I purchased in Ohio, at a Goodwill a few weeks ago. You haven't had the chance to see my favorite part of it because on previous wearings I didn't bother with detail shots. It's subtle: diagonal stripes on the inside of the cuffs that contrast with the vertical stripes on the rest of the shirt, including the outside of the cuffs. I love little details like that.

pic name Red sweater, LOFT (consignment)
Striped shirt, Gap (thrifted)
Black skinny jeans, JCP juniors brand (thrifted)
Boots, Aerosoles

For Saturday, I repurposed the sweater and the boots:

I left my regular camera at home, so it was iPhone photos only. For most of Saturday, I wore the base of this outfit with my big houndstooth scarf and no necklace or belt. I knew I wouldn't have a chance to change at any point, and I wanted to dress more casually for brunch at a place where you're encouraged to wear pajamas (and all the staff were in PJ's), then a Bruins game. I put the necklace and belt back on for cocktails and a nice dinner with friends to dress it up a little.

We had a fantastic time but didn't get to see everyone on our list. We're already making plans to head back for Marathon weekend!

Red sweater, LOFT (consignment)
Art Deco necklace, thrifted
Gray pencil skirt, Target
Belt, from a Modcloth dress
Black tights, We Love Colors
Cashmere socks, gift
Black boots, Aerosoles
Houndstooth scarf (not pictured), thrifted


Friday, January 20, 2012 12:03 AM

I love bateau necklines (also called a boat neck). They're flattering on so many women, but especially for those with thin necks like mine. I wanted a bateau neckline on my wedding dress but couldn't find anything. It didn't help that I also wanted a short dress, which limited my choices considerably to start with. I found my short dress, but it was strapless, which I had really wanted to avoid. Oh, well. If Kate Middleton really has inspired more dresses with straps and sleeves, there are many brides out there who will welcome it.

Looking at these pictures, I don't think the cropped blazer works with pants — at least not with work trousers. I'll try jeans, but I may have to limit this topper to pairings with skirts.

pic name pic name

Blazer, Forever 21 (consignment)
Striped T-shirt, Talbots (thrifted)
Necklace, thrifted
Gray trousers, Banana Republic
Ankle boots, Macy's

Just Add Sweaters

Wednesday, January 18, 2012 10:50 PM

I paired this shirt and skirt back in August and really liked the color combination, so I winterized it by adding a couple of sweater-like items: sweater tights and this vest thing. I'm treating it as a sweater vest, but the shape — with the thin straps and the fairly low cut in the back — make me wonder if it was intended as a tank top. I have to admit, however, that I cannot imagine why one would want a wool tank top.

pic name pic name

Salmon shirt, New York & Co.
Gray sweater vest, Gap (thrifted)
Burgundy pencil skirt, thrifted vintage
Patent belt, thrifted
Sweater tights, Target
Mary Janes, Classified

Donate and Donate Again

Tuesday, January 17, 2012 9:51 PM

I already had a pair of brown flats, but that didn't stop me from picking these up at the Goodwill in Falmouth last week. The older ones have a goldtone ring on the toe (a metal color I don't otherwise wear) and aren't as rich and warm in tone. I think these are also a bit classier looking.

After I sprayed the suede with a protectant, I went to peel the price tags off the soles, and I found there was another set of tags underneath. I suspect they may have been donated, thrifted and then redonated. If that's the case, my feet are telling me why; my toes were chafed and cramped all day. Before purchasing, I wore them while trying on clothes in the dressing room, but I should have tried walking around the store in them. I'll give them a couple of more tries to see if I can break them in, but if not, at least it's only a $4 loss.

pic name pic name

Turquoise sweater, Gap (thrifted)
Coral-colored necklace, thrifted
Brown tweed skirt, Urban Outfitters
Maroon tights, We Love Colors
Brown flats, Nine West (thrifted)

Plaid on Plaid

Monday, January 16, 2012 9:24 PM

I'm still figuring out how to mix patterns, but this one was pretty easy. The plaids are of different types but roughly the same size. A through-line of red connects both plaids with the shirt, and the black in both plaids is anchored by the tights and boots. I think it worked pretty well, and I know that it was cozy, which was what I wanted today!

pic name pic name

Red T-shirt, Gap
Gray plaid scarf, J.C. Penney brand (thrifted new)
Plaid wrap skirt, Talbots (thrifted new)
Tights (both pairs), Old Navy
Cashmere socks, gift
Boots, Aerosoles


Sunday, January 15, 2012 10:49 PM

Today was the coldest of the winter so far, hovering in the single digits all day. Weather, I scoff at you! Scoff, scoff, with my gauzy summer blouse under my blazer.

pic name pic name

Gray blazer, Banana Republic
Ivory blouse, Old Navy
Pink jeans, Celebrity Pink Jeans (via consignment)
Gray tights, Old Navy
Gray pumps, Nine West (via consignment)

I Did It Again

Saturday, January 14, 2012 11:08 PM

Yes, I layered a button-front shirt under a sweater for the third time in eight days. I associate camel-colored clothing with the 70s, so with the big lapels on this shirt and my hair being as straight as it gets, I was tempted to go with wide-leg trousers today. But I knew I'd have to spend some time walking through the snow for work today, so I opted for skinnies that I could easily tuck into snow boots.

J and I are watching the Pats trouncing the Broncos. We spent the first half of a game at a bar where I drank HoneyMaker mead (locally produced), and we sat between a bunch of hipsters and some lobstermen. Man, I love Portland.

Camel sweater, Ralph Lauren Sport (gift)
White button-front, Banana Republic
Black skinny jeans, J.C. Penney juniors brand (thrifted)
Black boots, Aerosoles

Flashy Legs

Friday, January 13, 2012 9:44 PM

Several weeks ago, Banana Republic mailed me a sale promo that featured a man and a woman standing on a snowy stoop. I can't find it now, but I hung onto it for a while because I really liked the woman's outfit. She was wearing a this cableknit sweater in gray, a black brocade or jacquard skirt that doesn't appear to be available online anymore and a blingy necklace. (Update, 1/16/12: here it is! Found via Delightful Dozen)

When I found the promo in my mailbox, I had just found this skirt at the Goodwill near the Maine Mall. Then a few weeks later, I bought this sweater at the Goodwill on Forest Ave. I am still looking, however, for a short, flashy necklace — maybe a collar or something with chunky crystals. And not just to recreate the Banana Republic outfit; it's a gap in my jewelry connection.

In any case, I recreated the outfit on the cheap, going with attention-grabbing legs instead of a necklace. These tights are a bit brighter and bluer than I wanted, but I really liked the quality and couldn't find any purple tights I liked better. It's too bad that the dreary day and drab lighting prevented the color from really coming through in the pictures. You'll have to use your imaginations here.

pic name pic name

Cableknit sweater, Macy's brand (thrifted)
Brocade skirt, Old Navy (thrifted)
Purple tights, We Love Colors
Black flats, Ecco (eBay)

Wedding Photos for Our Parents

Thursday, January 12, 2012 11:05 PM

I took a snow day today. The whole state got hit with a heavy snowstorm, and I knew that my commute would be long, annoying and possibly dangerous, so I got permission to work from home. And although I knew I should get dressed to put myself in the right frame of mind for work, I stayed in the same weatpants, a T-shirt and hoodie all day.

Nevertheless, I had a fairly productive day and got a lot of writing done. But my sartorial laziness does mean I don't have an outfit post for you today. Instead, you get this.

J and I can be procastinators. When we got our six DVDs loaded with wedding photos about a year ago, we looked through them right away but then set them aside for several months. Now I've finally backed them up, ordered a wedding album for ourselves and put together prints and albums for our parents. Those prints and albums formed the bulk of our holiday gifts to our parents this year. And as of our visit to J's mother and stepfather on Monday, all the gifts have been given, so I can show them to you!

I used MyPublisher to create small albums for my parents and my mother-in-law. The software was very easy to use, and I really enjoyed designing these. We went very basic: black linen covers, standard paper and no lie-flat pages. I was happy with the quality of the printing and the paper and definitely would use MyPublisher again.

Here are some pages from the album for my parents:

Getting ready with my mother
Hello, handsome.
Portraits in an alley
Venue details
First dance and parent dances
Final page

We also ordered several individual prints thorough the Photo Market shop on Forest Avenue so our parents will have something to display on their walls and tables. These are some of the pictures for my parents and J's mother. For his father, I bought a big 20x20 frame with several matted openings and also framed a few other pictures. He was visibly moved when he opened them and later sent us an e-mail saying he couldn't stop looking at the pictures. The others also really liked their gifts. This was a lot of work to put together, but it was worth it.

Our photographer took such great pictures — I can't wait to see our album!