Archive for March 2012

Mind the Gaps

Saturday, March 31, 2012 11:30 PM

This button-front is perfect for this newfangled way of wearing shirts buttoned all the way to the top. It's because it actually has all the buttons it should. Most of my shirts have a gap between the buttons at the collar and those at the bust, which can lead to some weird gaping. But on this one, the placket lies flat all the way on up. Plus, stripes (and check the cuffs)!

pic name pic name

Striped shirt, Gap (thrifted)
Collar necklace, Forever 21
Faux turquoise necklace, thrifted
Gray pants, New York & Co.
Socks, Target
Black flats, Ecco

Thrift Finds for March

1:00 PM

I made plenty of thrifting trips this month, mostly looking for atlases, dictionaries of theater and barware, but I also hit a goldmine of patterns on one of those trips. I have my champagne flutes, but I'm still looking for the rocks glasses.

Banana Republic spotted silk shirt, Goodwill Maine Mall, $5
This shirt reminds me of boiled eggs. And the 1970s.

Timing plaid flannel shirt, Goodwill Maine Mall, $5
I've worn this shirt three times already. It's so comfortable. I clearly need more flannel.

Target houndstooth dress, Goodwill Maine Mall, $5
I cannot resist anything houndstooth. I plan to do lots of layering both over and underneath this dress, but before I can layer anything underneath I need to adjust the fit in the bodice.

Black and white scarf, Goodwill Maine Mall, $2
This scarf has more houndstooth. It also has some other patterns that aren't my favorites, but I love a black-and-white pattern mix.

Digital Native?

Friday, March 30, 2012 10:19 PM

My new camera, a Canon S95, arrived in the mail earlier this week. But I haven't had the time to figure it out, so I'm still taking iPhone photos. Other than the quick start guide, the camera's manual is on a CD-ROM, and I just wish it were printed in a booklet. Somehow, that seems like it would make it easier to sit down and review the instructions. I may have grown up in the 1990s, but I guess I'm old-fashioned that way.

pic name pic name

Navy dress, J Crew (thrifted)
Black turtleneck, Target
Elastic belt, thrifted
Maroon tights, We Love Colors
Black flats, Ecco

10 Ways to Wear Trouser Jeans

Thursday, March 29, 2012 10:07 PM

I bought these jeans in August 2008, when I was just a few months out of college and still building my first professional wardrobe. I picked them up at Express on a buy one, get one half off deal for denim. The skinny jeans I bought at the same time are still in my closet, but I hardly ever wear them because they're extremely faded and a bit short. 

These trouser jeans seem like they might have shrunk a bit in length, too, but the color is still perfect — deep blue, with just a little bit of sheen — the crease stays crisp, and they're still the perfect casual Friday pants. In fact, back when I wore essentially nothing but pants-based outfits to work, I put these on every Friday. I've since embraced more variety, but I still like to pull these out every once in a while for a professional-yet-comfortable look.

pic name pic name
pic name pic name
pic name pic name
pic name pic name
pic name pic name

P.S. No outfit today. I had the day off (because I'll be working Saturday), so I spent the day in Boston and environs, accompanying my parents to an important doctor's appointment with my dad and visiting my brother-in-law in the hospital. In addition to spending time with people I love, I also fit in a nap and some TV, so all in all it was a good day. Back to work and outfit posts tomorrow.


Wednesday, March 28, 2012 10:41 PM

Today's outfit was inspired by Queen Elizabeth II. Well, not really, but after these pictures, how could hot pink and black not bring to mind the kicky coat (and hat!) she wore to kick off her diamond jubilee tour? I just hope that when I'm 85, I'll still be bold enough to wear such a shocking pink.

pic name pic name

Cropped blazer, Forever 21 (consignment)
Pink shirtdress, Express (thrifted)
Solid tights, We Love Colors
Lace tights, Hanes
Ankle boots, Macy's

Spotted Camel

Tuesday, March 27, 2012 11:26 PM

This sweater and this shirt were made for each other, in color and fabric. The slippery silk of the shirt and the soft cashmere blend of the sweater made for a luxurious, comfortable pairing.

pic name Camel sweater, Ralph Lauren Sport (gift)
Silk shirt, Banana Republic (thrifted)
Black pencil skirt, The Limited (thrifted)
Black tights, Old Navy
Black boots, Aerosoles

"Men Love Scarves"

Monday, March 26, 2012 9:30 PM

I love "Mad Men." A lot. On Sunday night, I sat on my living room floor to get closer to the TV, and I was in thrall. I've sampled many new shows since the last season of "Mad Men" and found only one ("Deadwood," on DVD) that belongs in the TV pantheon alongside the story of Don, Peggy, Joan and Pete. Welcome back, SCDP.

So this morning, I decided to put together a "Mad Men"-inspired outfit. It's not literal at all — you would not have seen something wearing this in the 1960s. I turned to Tom and Lorenzo's fabulous "Mad Style" series, in which they analyzed four seasons of Janie Bryant's costumes (by coincidence, she also costumed "Deadwood"), and I found that I could create a quasi-Joan look.

Joan loves sheath dresses in florals or saturated solids. I don't have anything like that, so I went with a pencil skirt instead. She tends to pair pencil skirts with tie-neck blouses, another item I don't own. One of the TLo posts, however, reminded me of a piece of advice Joan gave Peggy in the pilot: "Men love scarves." I don't know if that's true, but I do know that Joan loves scarves, brooches and matchy accessories. So I pulled out all this navy and white, accented with red, and fastened my scarf the way Joan did in an episode in season four. Now I just need some secretaries to boss around.

pic name pic name

White sweater, Gap
Polka dot scarf, thrifted
Circle brooch, vintage
Navy pencil skirt, thrifted vintage
Navy tights, Target
Gray boots, Miz Mooz Journey

An Allowance for Adults

Saturday, March 24, 2012 7:53 PM

Supposedly it's inappropriate and gauche and plain ol' crass, but I'd like to talk about money.

J and I opened a joint bank account after getting married. We'd lived together for more than four years already, but our money was always separate. I think we did a pretty good job of splitting expenses, but it became sort of annoying trying to remember whose week it was to buy groceries, or calculating how much he owed me after I wrote the rent check. So we definitely wanted to pool our money — just not all of it.

In my opinion, every married person needs their own money. We all hope for the best and work to make it happen, but sometimes shit goes wrong, and you have to be prepared. J and I each set aside $2,000 dollars in our own, personal accounts.

I actually want to talk about something more pleasant than that, though. The best money decision we made, I think, was to pay ourselves an adult allowance. It goes into those same personal accounts that I just mentioned, but this money isn't for emergencies — it's for fun. Any purchase that is discretionary and benefits only one of us comes out of our own money rather than the household budget I've set up for us. So, for instance, going to a movie together is discretionary, but it's fun time for us to spend with each other, so that comes from our joint account. And an oil change for my car doesn't benefit J (I bought the car before we even started dating, and his name's not on the title), but it's a necessary expense, so that, too, is paid with "our" money.

I love this system because we both can spend money on ourselves and our hobbies without worrying what the other would think. I don't question J's spending, and he doesn't question mine. We both buy gifts for each other and clothing for ourselves out of our personal accounts. J also spends his money on golf and occasional lunches out; I buy books, makeup and booze (J doesn't drink alcohol, so that's not a shared expense).

A direct deposit sends $25 from each of my weekly paychecks to my personal account. I'd like to increase that the next time I get a raise, because it's really not that much. There certainly are style bloggers who spend $100 or more on clothes each month, and I have to make that amount stretch for both clothing and other purchases. I just try to keep the balance above the $2,000 I initially set aside.

Right now I'm trying to save some money for a trip to Lake Tahoe with my best college friends — none of whom I've seen since my wedding almost 18 months ago — at the end of July. Even if I don't spend a dime until then, I won't be able to sack away enough to pay for the airfare, my portion of the house rental, food, etc., so it's pointless to bar myself from spending altogether. I'm just trying to spend less. Thus far in March, my personal account has taken in $75, and I've spent $16.97 on one thrifting expedition. And I pretty much made up for that by earning $16.50 from consignment sales.

I do feel a little pinched, sometimes. I would have liked to hit the end-of-season sales to stock up on clearance-priced tights for next winter. I want a chambray shirt, some candy-colored skinny jeans, new shoes and maybe a new swimsuit. I will go out to buy a reasonably priced bottle of bourbon or rye, and an orange, so I can enjoy a couple of old-fashioneds when "Mad Men" returns tomorrow night, but my monthly reports of thrifting finds may be shorter for the next few months.

So yeah, I occasionally would like to have more spending money, but we all have to have budgets, right? This is mine. I can't have everything I want, but I love the balance I have between the feeling of sharing and support that comes from our joint account, and not having to account to anyone for my more frivolous purchases. For anyone in a committed relationship who commingles funds, I would highly recommend this sort of "adult allowance" system!

Legs, Legs and More Legs

2:17 PM

1. This week somebody ended up on my blog after searching for "legs legs and more legs." I guess that's fitting for a week when I went bare-legged four out of five days and ended by breaking one of my rules for wearing a miniskirt to work: no tights!

2. I went more than four months without ever posting an outfit a day late, and here I've done it twice in a week. Oops. I went straight from work yesterday to Shabbat service with J, and then we went to dinner. We got home after 11, and he went straight to bed (he's still working weekends, so he can't sleep in like I can), and I stayed up reading for awhile. I just completely forgot about blogging.

3. See what I meant about the poufy, frizzy hair?

pic name pic name

Blazer, Banana Republic (thrifted)
Plaid shirt, Timing (thrifted)
Black elastic belt, thrifted
Red miniskirt, Gap (thrifted)
Black flats, Ecco

Good Hair

Thursday, March 22, 2012 10:40 PM

I don't like my hair very much. There's a lot of it, first of all. It's always big, and if you notice days where it's especially poufy, it's probably because I washed it that morning. My hair is neither straight nor wavy; "bumpy" is probably a better way to describe it. And then there's the frizz.

But today was definitely a good hair day. I don't know if it was because of low humidity or what, but it was sleek and tangle-free, and it flipped just so at the ends. Too bad it needs washing tomorrow.

pic name pic name

Crewneck sweater, Gap
Black necklace, thrifted
Velvet belt, thrifted
Polka dot skirt, Ann Taylor (eBay)
Mary Janes, Classified


Wednesday, March 21, 2012 10:27 PM

This shirt is kind of short, even for tucking into a high-waisted skirt. I was tucking it back in all day. I always tuck in tops with this skirt because the buttons would create odd bumps, but in today I should have left it loose.

Salmon shirt, New York & Co.
Knotted necklace, Forever 21
Navy pencil skirt, thrifted vintage
Peachy pumps, Nine West (thrifted)

The Morning After

9:13 AM

This is actually my outfit from yesterday, but I didn't post after work like usual. I'm having some long days because of some bills going through the legislature, and I didn't get home until just after 10 last night. When I did, I realized our DVR had quit recording shows sometime on Monday night, so I had to watch "RuPaul's Drag Race" on my laptop instead, and I couldn't go through photos or write a post at the same time.

Speaking of RPDR, I'm not sure what to think or feel about this week's episode. Shock at Willam's disqualification? Happiness that Sharon Needles didn't get sent home? Or fatigue at the thought of listening to Phi Phi O'Hara's whining for another week?

pic name pic name

Black cardigan, Banana Republic (eBay)
Houndstooth dress, Target (thrifted)
Collar necklace, Forever 21
Bangles, Amrita Singh (giveaway)
Gray patent pumps, Nine West (consignment)

Toning It Down

Monday, March 19, 2012 9:34 PM

I like the slightly wacky print on this button-up blouse, but for my first wearing of it I felt the need to tone it down a little bit by layering this cardigan over it. My camel sweater would be a perfect match for some of the spots, but that pairing may have to wait several more months. Spring is here to stay, it seems.

pic name Burgundy cardigan, Banana Republic (eBay)
Silk blouse, Banana Republic (thrifted)
Black pants, Banana Republic (eBay)
Black wedges, Bandolino (thrifted)

No Toes

Friday, March 16, 2012 11:51 PM

Not much to say tonight except that I loved this outfit: the layering, the double stripes, the comfort of very stretchy jeans on a Friday, etc. Too bad I cut off my toes in the picture.

pic name pic name

Striped top, Talbots (thrifted)
Pinstriped button-front, Target
Black skinnies, J.C. Penney juniors brand (thrifted)
Black boots, Aerosoles

Pinned Down

Thursday, March 15, 2012 11:27 PM

This cardigan is somewhat boxy. The loose fit is fine sometimes, but I thought this outfit needed a cinched waist, and a belt didn't seem right. So I copied this trick I've seen some other bloggers use, pulling the cardigan tight and fastening it off-center with a brooch.

pic name pic name

Turquoise cardigan, Target
Red necklace, thrifted
Circle brooch, vintage
Polka dot skirt, Ann Taylor (eBay)
Gray tights, Old Navy
Heeled loafers, Rampage (eBay)

A Large Scarf

Wednesday, March 14, 2012 11:52 PM

It seems this scarf couldn't decide what it wanted to be. There's some houndstooth, some plaid, some floral, and some bandana-like paisley. What you can't really tell is the scarf is enormous. I guess that was the only way to fit all those patterns.

pic name pic name

Black sweater, Target
Patterned scarf, thrifted
Herringbone pants, LOFT
Metal belt, thrifted
Ankle boots, Macy's

Green With Envy

Tuesday, March 13, 2012 10:13 PM

Yeah, I'm a little jealous of people who can pull off green. Most colors are at least decent on me (orange being the exception, so I won't be taking part in the trend Pantone has named), but green just can't compare to pinks or reds or blues, as far as I'm concerned. This sweater and a T-shirt in virtually the same shade are the only green clothing I own.

This sweater seemed to pair best with brown. To offset the tweed of the skirt and the autumnal color scheme, I threw on some spring color with the faux turquoise necklace, yellow tank top and peachy-pink shoes.
Green sweater, Target (thrifted)
Yellow tank, J Crew
Faux turquoise necklace, thrifted
Brown tweed skirt, Urban Outfitters
Peach pumps, Nine West (thrifted)

Green: Everybody, Everywear