Wednesday, December 30, 2009

office tempin' day 2

Another day at the office. And, because it amuses Tina, this is my Sober and Serious Young Office Worker outfit. ;)

Simple, but I like the way the sleeves of the blouse peek out and add a pop of color at my elbows.

Cardigan: kersh essentials via Costoco
Button-down: Old Navy ages ago
Skirt: j.crew outlet
tights: no idea
Earrings: Fred Meyer's
Watch: Target

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

office tempin', day 1

Over the break I've been lucky enough to get my old office job back for a few weeks to save up some cash for next semester. The work can be dull, but the people in this office are absolutely wonderful, which more than makes up for it.

Here's my Responsible Young Office Worker outfit:

My one pair of nice pants, a soft sweater, a button-down for crispness, and a belt to add polish. Please pretend that I am wearing my black mary jane heels, which I wore all day at the office.

I'm looking forward to seeing how many different office-appropriate combos I can get out of my one suitcase!

Sweater: Banana Republic outlet
Button-down: TJMaxx
Pants: Sears
Belt: TJMaxx
Earrings: GNW via Fred Meyer's
Watch: Target

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Eve camel!

I hope everyone had a very relaxing and enjoyable holiday! I've been bumming around in jeans and comfy old sweaters for a few days, baking and eating and opening presents and eating and walking in the snow and...eating. But I did get all dressed up for Christmas Eve services at my church.

The day after I got home, my mom and I headed out to Target (one of the forgotten perks of being at home - my mom loves to take her daughters shopping!) and I found this beautiful green sweater dress on the sale rack. Hooray! Super warm and cozy, and I felt so pretty with this ruffle and the ladylike tie at the waist. Thanks Mom!

Yes, I am wearing red and green. If you can't dress like an elf on Christmas Eve, when can you?

My church has huge wheely camels for the nativity play. I thought they were magical when I was a kid, and frankly, I still think they're pretty awesome.

Merry Christmas!

Dress: Target
Tights: Hue via TJMaxx
Shoes: Fred Meyer's
Earrings and necklace: borrowed from mom

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

packing challenge

UPDATE: Of course, the minute I post this, E. from Academichic totally puts me in my place. I'm in awe.

I will just admit it: I am not a good packer. I start out with all the best intentions of packing light and efficient, and then I start to get nervous about all the situations I might encounter and all the things I might need, then I start making elaborate plans (well if I wear the boots under my pants then I could bring these flats to go with skirts but they don't go with this skirt...) then I get worn out and just bring everything. Which is how I end up barely squeaking in under the 50 pound limit for a one-month trip home. It's humiliating.

I would like it to be known that I once spent two and a half months in Southeast Asia living out of a backpack and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. It was liberating. Now I'm that girl at the airport who can hardly lift her own mondo suitcase of clothes. Lame.

Anyway, I am taking this trip as an opportunity to reflect on how I can become a better packer. My goal is to figure out at least five items I could have done without.

Let's start with what I brought:

The trip: one month at home in a very cold climate which will include three weeks of office temping, casual nights with friends, casual and moderately dressy holiday events, plus some outdoors activities

Bottoms, shoes, and accessories:

Pants: 2 pairs of jeans, 2 pairs of dress pants (gray and black)
Skirts: 1 denim, 1 corduroy, 1 black, 1 fancy print
Dress: 1 gray knit
Shoes: black heels, gray heels, leopard print flats (not pictured)
Accessories: 1 red pattern pashmina, 1 plaid square scarf, 3 belts (brown, black, red)

Button downs: white, burgundy, plaid
Cardigans: white, purple, black
Sweaters: black and blue turtlenecks, purple short sleeved, heavy green hoodie (not pictured), purple sweater vest
T-shirts: black, green, red long-sleeved, black long sleeved (not pictured)
Fancy: satin button-down, silver tank top

Not pictured: underwear and socks, pjs, workout gear, layering camisoles

So this is what you'll see me wearing (and re-wearing!) over the next several weeks. When the trip's over I'll do an assessment and see what I could have left behind.

mea culpa

Hello dearest readers,
Apologies for being MIA! After finals (I passed - whoo!) I went away for the weekend with the boyfriend and then packed up all my stuff to come home for the holidays. I'm now mostly settled in and C and I have been brainstorming some fun posts for you. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

finals week wear

This is basically a retread of Sunday's outfit, but featuring this pretty cloth belt (a good alternative to my occasionally pinchy leather belt, since I was taking a final last night and didn't want to worry about potential pinching).

Once I pulled out this belt, I decided to try a monochromatic look with several different shades of blue. Easy, comfy, plus I got a winter wear out of this blue tank top.

Hope all those calming blues helped me pass the exam!

Sweater: kersh essentials via Costco
Blue top: Anne Taylor Loft
Belt: thrifted
Jeans: Banana Republic outlet
Boots: Madden Girl via DSW
Watch: Target

Sunday, December 13, 2009

study study study

This is mega-crunch time for the semester (two papers due this morning, two exams in the next three days - aaaack!) so I've been mostly in my pjs for the past three days. I met up with a friend for a study session yesterday afternoon and decided I needed to look cute. You know, for my mental health. Looking cute has been scientifically proven* to be good for your mental health.

So, I decided to give the belted scarf thang another go. I thought this pretty purple pashmina might be a good candidate, since it's simple and lightweight.

In retrospect I wish it were just a bit longer, so I could loop it more loosely. Oh well.
I didn't have a top in a good neutral color with a high enough neck for this look, since I tend to favor scoop or v-necks, so I ended up turning this top around (yet another trick I stole from academichic - God I love that site). The back, now the front, has this pretty crocheted bit. A tank top for modesty/warmth and I was ready to go!

Also, I finally tried pulling my boots on over my jeans! What do you think?

Blue top: Forever 21
White sweater: kersh essentials via Costco
Gray tank: three-pack at Costco
Jeans: GAP
Belt: thrifted
Scarf: gift from aunt
Boots: Madden Girl
Earrings: street vendor on Cape Cod
*By which I mean, not scientifically proven at all.

Friday, December 11, 2009

last day

Today was my last day with my students, and in ESL classes it's quite common to have a potluck on the last day. It's a nice way for them to tangibly share the cultures and traditions we've been talking about all semester (I brought pumpkin pie, which they all thought was beyond weird and dared each other to try!). I've really enjoyed working with this particular group, and since this is most likely the last ESL class I'll teach at the university, it was a touch more sad than usual.

Since the last day is more casual, I wanted to wear jeans, but since I had to do a presentation in one of my other classes, I still needed to look, well, presentable.

I went with the trusty long cardigan/scarf combo, brightened up with a touch of green and my sexy secretary heels.

Sorry for the funny facial expression - I only got two shots before I had to run back inside. It was freezing out!

Sweater: kersh essentials via Costco
Green top: TJMaxx
Jeans: GAP
Belt: TJMaxx
Scarf: gifted, H&M
Shoes: Aldo outlet
Earrings: street vendor in Cape Cod

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

What I would have worn on Saturday...

...if I had been feeling 100%. As you know, I've been recovering from pneumonia, and I foolishly worked on Saturday (also, my birthday!). While working went okay ( dresses sold that day), I was dog tired when I got home around 4. So, instead of throwing on that new dress I told you about, I put on pajamas and slipped into bed for a three hour nap. By the time I woke up, I was still kind of tired, and it was evening, and all I wanted to do was order Chinese food and then go back to bed. So, that's exactly what happened. A couple friends dropped by for a very low-key evening, and then I went to bed. It was nice, but not new-dress worthy.

So, as a treat to you, and to myself, I put my dress on the next day and took some pictures! My computer has been rejecting the pictures from my camera, so I took a few better shots than the ones shown here but the computer just doesn't want to upload them. After being annoyed for a few hours, I just gave up. I blame the rejection on the fact that I have two five-minute videos of the Keene, New Hampshire TubaChristmas celebration that my brother was involved in (they have them in 200 places throughout the fun, I highly recommend!). Videos, my camera, and my computer do not mix well for some reason.

Anyway, blah blah long story, this is totally what I would have worn on Saturday if I'd had my way. I didn't get a chance to take pictures of today's outfit, but maybe I'll throw it back on tomorrow, take some pics, and post them up on Friday (because I like my outfit today!).

Here it is (apologies for the poor lighting and messy room):What it is: a black and white dress with a black bow in the back. It makes me look a little preggers from the side, but I just love what the top does for the bosom and shoulders. I don't know, I just really like it. I think it will be a versatile piece in my clothing collection.

The skirt is very full:

So, that's fun and twirly. I don't particularly enjoy these tights with the dress, but in a perfect world I'd have some fun-colored ones (like purple! or green!) sans design.


I like that it's black and can add anything to it! I feel like a ruffly cardigan would look sweet with it. I also look forward to the day I put a long-sleeved something underneath it, to make it more winter-friendly (now that it's finally snowing!).

Dress: four stars via Salvation Army
Salmon undershirt: Jockey outlet
Tights: Lane Bryant
B/W shoes: Payless
Jewlery: Lia Sophia (they're both blue, but it's hard to tell).

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

something new

Spent the whole weekend in my pjs writing a term paper, so it's a relief to be dressed again! It's also finally turned into proper winter here and I couldn't be happier. I love frost, and red cheeks, and hot chocolate, and lovely white SNOW.

As both a belt devotee and a lover of scarves, I have been wanting to try the belted scarf look (done prettily at academichic, among many others).

I absolutely loved this outfit. I felt tall, elegant, grown-up, stylish, and just plain pretty. I got several compliments on the scarf and the overall look. I will definitely be doing some more belted scarf experiments soon!
I originally put on black boots but really wanted to show off these tights, especially paired with the rich blue of the scarf. These ancient Mary Janes are the most comfortable dress shoes I've ever owned, hands down.

Two more days of classes to go...

Scarf: gift from mom
Black v-neck sweater: hand-me-down from aunt, Max Studio
Skirt: j.crew outlet
tights: Hue via TJMaxx
Shoes: Fred Meyer's
Belt: TJMaxx
Earrings: Burlington?

Friday, December 4, 2009

feeling better, but not quite cured

So, after a rather irritating bout with pneumonia and conjunctivitis, I'm back in the saddle (again). Today's plans were fairly basic. I wanted to get out of the house for the first time in days, but I didn't want to do anything too strenuous. I read on my friend A's facebook that she wanted a cannoli and, as I was feeling much better today, I responded with a longing, "yummm." Which meant, of course, that we went on a cannoli hunt!

We weren't successful in finding cannolis (YET), but we did speak with a dear friend who works in Boston about having her get some up to us this evening. Hey, tomorrow's my birthday, and I think birthday cannolis are in order.

We did get to go to my favorite soup place (Collins Bros.) and I picked up a quart of stuffed pepper soup. I believe A bought corn and bacon chowder. Delish. Then, it was off the the Salvation Army! I've been hankering for some new clothes, especially skirty dressy things, and I happened to luck out today. I bought a nice little black and white number (maybe I'll make a special birthday post tomorrow, just so you can see it).

I imagine that the day is only going to get more exciting, as it is far from over. Yip! I don't want to jump the gun on wellness, but it's so invigorating to not be curled up in bed waiting for the next hacking fit.

On to the clothes!

On A:

Where it's all from:
Jacket: Gap
Green shirt: Gap
Skinny jeans: Express
Boots: Aldo
Mona Lisa earrings: Whitehall Jewelers, which has since gone out of business (at least at our mall).

What's on C:

Where it's all from:

Black tank: Jockey outlet
Mustard sweater: Banana Republic outlet
Teal skirt: a discount store in Dover
Multi-colored scarf: TJ Maxx (or Marshall's?)
Sunglasses: Lenscrafters (they're prescription, and the hide my hideous burst-blood-vessel eyeball)
Black flats: Charlotte Russe, very old and somewhat painful

Thursday, December 3, 2009

interview day

Do I look like someone you'd want to hire as a writing tutor? I sure hope so, since I had an interview at our school's writing center today.

As C pointed out in a comment, knee-length skirts are comfort pieces for me. I like the way they look on me, I like the way they feel, and I like that I feel pulled-together and chic wearing them. But I'll try to keep pushing myself to try new things. In fact, I had originally planned to try out the belted scarf look I've seen on so many other lovely fashion bloggers, but it was bizarrely warm today - over 60 degrees. In December! What is up with New England, I'd like to know.

Finals week is bearing down on me and bringing term papers with it. Wish me luck!

Shirt: Old Navy, ancient
Belt: TJMaxx
Skirt: j.crew outlet
Boots: GNW via Fred Meyer's
Earrings: hand-me-down from mom

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

why yes, I do own pants

I don't like dress pants generally. I dislike shopping for them and I dislike wearing them. They make me feel old and dumpy. Yet I frequently think they look fabulous on other people, such as the roommate of awesome, who wears them constantly to teach in. So, knowing that I had a couple colleagues coming to observe my class today, I thought I'd give these gray pinstripes another chance.

I like the colors of this outfit, and I felt reasonably comfortable and quite professional, but the pants just don't do much for me.

I discovered this morning that my one pair of black dress pants are now...too big. How the red ones got too small and the black ones got too big during the same three month period, I will never know. Time for more dreaded pants shopping, I guess (sigh).

Vest: TJMaxx
Shirt: American Eagle
Belt: TJMaxx
Pants: Sears
Shoes: Fred Meyer's
Earrings: ancient

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Happy post-turkey weekend!

I hope everyone had an awesome Thanksgiving! I got to spend a lot of quality time with my wonderful family eating and drinking delicious things. My family has a tradition of cooking with booze (in fact, "Cooking With Booze" is the name of the show my sister and aunt think they should host on the food network). This year we got Jack Daniels in the sweet potatoes, sherry in the mashed potatoes, and white wine in the turkey basting (and thus the gravy). Yummmm.

I spent most of the weekend in my pjs or eatin' pants, but I did managed to get dressed for lunch and shopping on Saturday afternoon.

Comfy casual, even in the wind! I liked the purple and red together.

And now, back to the grind (sigh).

Long-sleeved shirt: ancient, I think Sears
Layering tank: three-pack at Costco
Scarf: gift from mom
Skirt: j.crew outlet
Socks: TJMaxx
Boots: Madden Girl via DSW
Earrings: target
Bracelet: gift from my sister
SUnglasses: street vendor in Russia

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Urban cowgirl?

Last day of classes before Thanksgiving break! I am so stoked to eat lots of good food with my family.

I've been wanting to remix this soft, pretty plaid shirt, so I decided to try tucking it in and belting, as I've seen so many other style bloggers do (most notably the lovely ladies at Between Laundry Days and Blue Collar Catwalk). That gave me kind of a midwest farmgirl vibe, so I just went with it. I swapped belts and cardigans around until it felt more modern than costume-y.

Old-school, I know, but I just felt pretty. I love a swirly skirt, and these colors.

It was, of course, totally necessary to do a hoedown in this outfit.

I am a huge dork.

Two days 'til turkey!

Shirt: TJMaxx
Cardigan: TJMaxx
Skirt: Banana Republic
Belt: thrifted
Tights: CK via TJMaxx
Boots: Madden Girl via DSW
Watch: Target
Earrings: street vendor in Russia

Sunday, November 22, 2009

No fear: guest blogger

On Tuesday, the roommate of awesome, E., was inspired to try a no fear day of her own. She says she rarely wears this wide-lapeled blouse because it seems too dramatic or too fussy.

I think paired with a simple cardigan and belt, it looks just right.

No fear nohow , E.! Thanks for playing along!

Blouse: Nine West via TJMaxx
Cardigan: Simply Cashmere via TJMaxx
Belt: TJMaxx
Pants: NY&Co
Shoes: Mudd via TJMaxx
Dude, guess who likes TJ's? Ha!

No fear wrap-up

The lovely Rose at from Sneakers to Stilettos joined in our challenge! Gorgeous outfit, Rose!

I had planned to wear my bright red pants as the third day of the no fear challenge (and man, it really requires no fear to wear bright red pants!) but I pulled them out of the closet and discovered...they no longer fit. Boo. Back to the consignment store they will probably go. Anyway, here's what I've learned from this challenge:

1. I liked those "scary" clothes in the first place for a reason. They're PRETTY. And they make me feel pretty. I got so many compliments on that light blue dress that I feel silly for leaving it in the back of the closet so long. I really don't need to buy new things - I just need to appreciate what I have.

On the other hand...

2. This challenge was a lot of work. It really took some mental effort to put together combos with these pieces that felt right and were work- and weather-appropriate. It takes me a lot less time to get dressed when I'm piling on the old standbys.

Conclusion? These no-fear pieces are best for days when I'm feeling bored and have a little extra time to spend on getting the outfit right.

If anyone else played along, please let me know! I'd be happy to feature you.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

No fear: B's day 2: the vest

Oh this vest. It does such good things for my upper body. And yet, it's so hard to put it on and not feel like A) an extra from the cast of Blossom or B) a wannabe hipster. So it's been pretty much sitting in my closet ever since I bought it.

Well, no more! After much experimenting (and a great deal of patience from the roommate of awesome), I came up with this combo.
I felt super cute! I think the button-down and pencil skirt make it professional, but the puffed sleeves and bright tights keep it girly and fun. And boy, do purple legs ever get a lot of attention.
Plus, I forgot how awesomely comfortable these shoes are.
And I love, love the detailing on this vest.

I count this as another no fear win!

Blouse: ancient - maybe Sears?
Vest: TJMaxx
Skirt: GAP outlet
Tights: TJMaxx
Shoes: Fred Meyer's
Earrings: street vendor on Cape Cod
Watch: Target

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

No fear: B.'s Day 1: the dress

I bought this dress a year or two ago as the perfect swing dancing dress - a full skirt for twirling, below the knee (for modesty while twirling), short sleeves, a lightweight breathable fabric in a pretty color, a lovely draped neckline. I wore it once or twice dancing before I discovered how resolutely casual the Boston swing scene is. Since then, it's been sitting in the back of my closet. I keep telling myself that it's too fancy for day time, but then it's too costume-y for a night out (nights out in New England are resolutely casual as well). And there it sat, as ohhoneyno says, wasting its prettiness.

So the challenge for me was to make this dress appropriate for daytime, for teaching, and for a mild fall day.
I added a long cardigan and wrapped the waist tie around the outside a la the academichic girls, gray tights, and my Minnie Mouse shoes. Ta-da! Swirly skirt dress for daytime!

I got a lot of compliments on the dress (and the shoes!) and felt pretty and comfortable all day. A no fear success!
Dress: London Times via TJMaxx
Cardigan: kersch essentials via Costco
Camisole: thrifted in Brooklyn
Tights: TJMaxx
Shoes: JCPenny's
Watch: Target
Silver hoops: thrifted on Cape Cod

Monday, November 16, 2009

c: no fear challenge, day 1

UPDATE: In an ode to academichic's "grellow," I decided to go to work in this, which brought me a lot of joy. I simply added a yellow sweater and some gray tights and called it a work day! I was accused of being "nunnish" by my 17-year-old brother, but who cares what he says, anyway?

Okay, new week, new challenge!

I like this challenge because the possibilities are nearly limitless (probably because there are a lot of under-used items hiding in my closet).

Because I will be working today, I figure I can't go wrong with this skirt/shirt combination. I know it LOOKS boring, but believe you me, I haven't worn this skirt in over five years. Why? Because for a long time I thought it made me look really, really, heinously fat. Reasons? I'm short. Like, under 5'2". As a result, most skirts that hit below the knee make me look shorter. I also have a really hard time figuring out what kind of shirt goes with a skirt when the dimensions of my body are such that button-ups are practically impossible and anything else just looks weird and lumpy.

All that said...I don't think this looks that bad. It's just a skirt and a shirt (I WISH I had some cute maroon tights to go with it...that would have been adorable) and some black shoes, but it's definitely a scary outfit for me. I'm sure the skirt is happy to be out of the shadows once more.

And can I say...good gracious, I love these shoes. They are pinup shoes (in my opinion), and that makes me so incredibly happy.

Shirt: Torrid
Gray Skirt: Old Navy (I think from like '00. Maybe '01)
Black Velvety Heels: Charlotte Russe (also a few [4? 5?] years old)
Pearly Headband: Who knows? Under the sink.