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Saturday, February 26, 2011

I'm Serious Business!

Tomorrow we leave with Budz to bring him out to the radiation center. It's going to be a six hour drive, and we'll be going through some snow and ice. I'm hoping everything goes smoothly, and Budz won't feel too cooped up in the car. It's really been hitting home that he's going to be gone for awhile. Evan and I keep pouncing on him with big hugs (and then our kitty Asha comes over and whines because she gets jealous when any other animal gets attention). :(
presenter tools

Friday I had the chance to talk about some of my new data. I wanted to look a bit more professional, but still have some character. So I put together this polyvore the night before as a destresser.

I think it ended up working! I am actually wearing my boots, which may seem silly because you can't see them, but because the weather has been so chilly in Seattle, I wanted to wear boots as an extra layer of warmth.

I got the Southern Season Blouse off ebay, knowing it might be too big for me... it is. But I still love it quite a lot. The embroidery on the sleeves and bottom is really interesting and lovely. And I really like the light woven texture of the fabric itself. I haven't decided whether to take it in, or whether I should see if anyone on EA would be interested in a trade for a smaller size. However, with a cardigan over the top, I can reign the extra shirty-ness in. But, I still get pretty embroidery peeking out the bottom.

I added a lace tank underneath the blouse for another extra layer of warmth. I'm all about layering for warmth. But I still FROZE at the bus stop while I got snowed on...

The blazer included also adds warmth, but professionalism for my talk. I kinda love it with the cardigan, because I almost feel like I'm wearing a three piece suit. The glasses just scream....
"I'm totez serrrriiooooouuuss biznessssss!"

j/k you guys. I didn't wear the glasses during my talk!

In other news, I bought my first punjabi suit! My friends are getting married next weekend in Portland, and their having a dance-off at their Sangeet the night before. They asked my bestie and me to be in one of the dances. FUN, right?

ok, but now I need to learn some choreography in this next week! It's a bhangra dance. I hope I'm not going to be the weak link in the dance group. Choreography (and dancing) are not my strengths.

And, Thursday the choreographer asked all the dancers to wear Indian clothing for the dance. But I didn't actually own any Indian clothing!!! And, the idea of trying to find an Indian outfit in short notice, especially one that I would likely have no other occasion to wear it to, was a bit worrisome.

Luckily I knew that I'd seen Indian clothing at Goodwill fairly often. I picked up three options including a 3-piece punjabi suit. It's a fairly simple one, but it actually fits me pretty well. I just might take up the tunic length to fall to my knees rather than past them.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

it's all about the shoes!

okay not really, but when I got dressed for brunch on Saturday, I based my outfit around the bright colors in my shoes. It was actually sunny this weekend in Seattle... like REALLY SUNNY!!! And wearing bright colors like this felt like a celebration! Like Spring! ALMOST!

I was also happy, because although I was drawn to these shoes, I had absolutely NO idea what I would pair them with. But I thought this worked out rather nicely! (the main color of the shoes is actually navy, although it looks black in these photographs).

I've been wanting to wear this vintage bright orange wool skirt for awhile. My husband thinks it fits better than pencil skirts nowadays, because maybe way back when (whenever this skirt was made) skirts might have been made for women with smaller waists and larger hips. I love how the light turquoise of the sweater just pops off of the orange of this skirt. And, because this is a heavy (like REALLY thick) wool skirt and it's lined, it keeps me warm!! Huzzah!

I can't decide if I love or hate the fact that this skirt has belt loops. I love the look of pencil skirts with a skinny belt, and the belt loops keep the belt in place. But that said, it also forces me to wear a skinny belt with this skirt every time I wear it. hmm....

Shoe-based OOTD
vintage Gantos orange skirt sz 4 (thrifted $5)
talbots blue sweater sz P (thrifted $4)
grey chevron-knit tights
madeline flower pumps (thrifted $6)
Banana Republic cowl tank sz XS (thrifted $4)
vintage blue necklace (thrifted $5)
Banana Republic cow belt (thrifted $4)

Monday, February 21, 2011

What to wear while thrifting

Since I've had great luck finding nice clothes while thrifting, I thought I'd share some tips on how to dress while thrifting.

We are all super busy, and I am super conscientious of how I spend my time. These tips can help streamline the clothes buying process to make for a more successful trip. These same tips apply to shopping anywhere really. How you dress can make it more convenient to change quickly or to avoid long dressing room lines.

1. Wear slip on shoes. If you are someone who makes a lot of trips to the dressing room, this tip will save you a lot of time. Avoiding retying laces after each dressing room episode will shave a few minutes of each dressing room visit. This tip not only saves you time, but it also minimizes the time spent by a bored spouse who may be waiting for you.

Also, remember it can be a pain to remove tall boots in a confined space. So unless you are looking for items to wear with boots, try to avoid clothes shopping with boots on.

2. On a similar note, wear easily removable outer layers! For example, wear sweater that can be quickly pulled off (a cardigan would work as long as you don't feel you need to button and unbutton it each time it goes on and off).

And leave your jacket in the car if you can! Having to wrestle with multiple outer layers will add time to your dressing room visits. Plus, after throwing items on and off in a dressing room, you'll be super warm anyway. So you won't want to wear more layers.

3. Wear a body skimming shirt or tank. This is really important if you are looking for sweaters or blazers. A long sleeve shirt takes extra care to keep from bunching in a sweater or coat. With a slim-fitting top, you can try on sweaters and jackets without having to go the dressing room to remove awkward bulky layers. This tip alone can save you tons of time since dressing room lines can be long (if there even is a good dressing room option at your thrift store). There do tend to be lots of mirrors around thrift stores. So grab all the sweaters you want to try on, and park yourself in front of a mirror and try on the various pieces over your shirt.

4. Wear colors you are into at the moment. If you are looking to incorporate more mustard colors into your wardrobe, wear a mustard top so that you can buy things that coordinate well with it. Or wear a color top that you think would complement mustard so that you can try on mustard cardigans over said top and decide how well you like them. A lot of items look very different depending on what we pair them with.

5. Bring your own accessories. Do you like to belt tops? Well, a lot of thrift items may look huge on the hanger, but belted they'll look great on you. Wear a belt, or bring a belt in your purse (since if you wear a belt, you'll have to spend minutes undoing and redoing it every trip to the dressing room) to try on for these moments.

6. Wear clothes that are washable. Thrift stores aren't known for being the cleanest places. Some of the clothes are musty from storage. Whatever items you buy will be washed or dry cleaned. But, after going to a thrift store and sifting through musty clothes, you will probably want to wash the clothes you were wearing too! I realize this may be specific to me since I have a very sensitive sense of smell

7. Wear socks and bring foot pantyhose. When you're trying on shoes, you do not want to try them on barefoot. You don't know who has tried them on before, etc. This is why many shoe places have boxes of those disposable feet pantyhose. You might keep a couple next time so you can try on pumps when you're thrifting. Any shoes you buy, you'll want to disinfect, anyway - even if they're NWT. You don't know who has been trying on the shoes at the store and how clean those peoples' feet were.

That's it for now. I know quite a few of you thrift as well. Do y'all have any tips for what to wear while thrifting that would be helpful to add to this list?

Friday, February 18, 2011

That 70's show

Hubby said when snapping my pics this morning "you look very 70's, but in a good way!"

With the return of flared pants, saturated colors, recent runway shows, the 70's have staged their comeback.

I think that for me to feel appropriately 70s in these photos, I needed to stand in some heated orange-yellow sunlight with aviators on my face and wind tousling my hair. Where's my staged wind?! Pffft!

From Marc Jacobs' Spring 2011 show and Marc by Marc Jacobs Fall 2011 show, images from

I actually think anytime I wear this cardigan it's a 70s throwback. Or perhaps it's my brown and tan color scheme here? The ruffles and pants themselves don't feel inherently 70s and the pin feels much more 50s-60s to me. My friend Jeanny didn't get the 70s vibe from this outfit tho, so maybe Ev is just trippin'.

Actually, looking at this outfit, I think there might be too much going on with the ruffle AND the bow on the pants. What do y'all think?

By the way, I do love how my polka-dotted sleeves extended beyond my cardigan sleeves. I don't always mind when cardigan sleeves aren't full length because, I really like having my cuffs peek out. I think this is especially nice if there's a nice contrast between the shirt and the cardi.

70s show OOTD
Gap navy polka-dot blouse sz S (thrifted $5)
Anthropologie Elevenses brown bow pants sz 2 (thrifted $6)
Petite Sophisticate beige cardigan sz S (thrifted $5)
Gold vintage leaf pin ($3)
Franco Sarto boots ($15 at Ross)

I hope y'all have a lovely President's Day Weekend. Buddie's radiation appt was rescheduled for next weekend, so I'll be staying home doing some data analyses for a presentation next week!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Don't call me 'baby' ....bok choy

Like Cindi, I get a box of farm fresh organic produce box delivered to my door. Sometimes I'm amazed at the size of the produce. This week was especially surprising. We got two bunches of baby bok choy. Um, I don't think these are 'baby,' or at least, the baby bok choy we've gotten from them in the past hasn't been quite so colossal.
Please pretend you don't see the amazon boxes in the back or the open linen closet... I store my tripod in there, and didn't think about closing the door while taking these pics, lol.

Um, that's two times my head size, let's just say fitting two of these in our fridge along with several bunches of chard and heads of lettuce wasn't the easiest of tasks

Still, I see this 'baby' and I see tasty - tasty braises and stirfries in my future!

Today I'm wearing another outfit whose colors seem to blind my camera! These jeans are ridiculously bright red, which makes them pretty awesome.

If this outfit looks familiar, it's because I wore a very similar version here. But this is a totally different striped top (the other one had blue stripes, :) ), and different outer layer and shoes! That makes it totes a different outfit (sorta).

I picked up this cropped tuxedo jacket at Goodwill this past weekend. I'd been eying this $300 beauty at J.Crew. The one I'm wearing is $2.50. In fact, if you want a cropped tuxedo jacket, the Seattle downtown GW had 129389312749127 brand new ones of these. This was one of the items Target apparently offloaded to GW. Happy times for me!

Photo bomb!

I can't decide if I love or hate this necklace I picked up from F21. The little balls at the bottom of the large pendant are actually tiny bells... um, so I 'jingle' as I walk around. It's not a bad jingle per se, but I'm not really used to jingling.

I do know that I'm pretty much adoring these flower pins I picked up at F21 for $1.50. I've been clipping them to everything: jackets, sweaters, headbands. They're just fun!

OOTD specs
Bright red Judy Blue Couture Jeans sz 3 (thrifted $8)
Striped ruched H&M long sleeve tee by Divided sz 6 ($13)
Mossimo cropped tuxedo jacket sz S (thrifted $2.50)
Katherine Leather Engineer Boots ($50)
Forever 21 Gothic Large Shield Necklace (buy in other colors here) ($8.80)
Forever 21 polka dot rosette clip (buy here) ($1.50)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Languishing dress Reviews!

Okay, I've been holding onto these for awhile, waiting to have some time to post them, but I realize if I wait any longer many of these will be supremely no longer relevant. As it is, some of these have headed to sale already! So my reviews will be quick!

Sewing Circle Dress (Sale $79.95) sz 0

I'm not big into strapless, but I saw this Floreat dress on the sale rack, and I loved the grey with a more playful silhouette. The embroidery was quite lovely.
Unlike with other strapless numbers, I wasn't worried about the dress falling down due to the large panel of elastic at back (which actually made it hard to zip up). The dress had pockets and a lovely lining/petticoat. Unfortunately, the shape of the dress was just so blah on me. The waist of the dress was just way too high on me. The skirt was quite big and heavy and made me feel like a lump or garbage bag.

Let me demonstrate by showing you my sack er I mean rear:

A definite pass for me, but I know several other bloggers have looked cute in this. Maybe if it hit another cut I'd contemplate using this with a cardigan, but right now I can't see it taking up my closet space. See this dress on other bloggers here, here, here, here

Crossing the Stripes Dress
Eva Franco sz 0 ($120)
This dress went on sale this week! Y'all know about my love/hate relationship with Eva Franco clothes. The reviews of the material of this dress are pretty poor. People seem to think of it as 'dingy.' To me, it was as expected. The product photos made me think of dusty cotton hammocks and beach blankets. I actually like the off-white color with that skinny blue belt, it feels very vintage-y to me. I'm not the hugest fan of the assymmetrical hem though. And there's no pockets. :(

But, as many reviewers have noted, the main problem with this dress was in the top. It supremely emphasized my small bust, and from the side, there was definite bra peekage (uh-oh!). Maybe for the right price I'd get this, but I'd definitely have to tack it closed in front to prevent impromptu flashing of innocent passerbys.

See this dress on others here, here, here

Pom Flower Shift Dress sz 2 ($158) by Tabitha
I love the graphic power of this shift dress. The fabric is a bit stiffer to keep that gorgeous print from getting distorted on your body. It's 100% cotton and fully lined. However, I am biased against this dress, because I have a thing about wearing dresses that are too wide at the waist for me. The hips fit perfectly, but the waist had about two inches of room (for me to grow in - NOT). Despite the large waist, I look at these pictures, and I'm highly pleased with the graphic quality of the dress. For myself, I would probably wait till sale if the dress stuck around that long. I could see this with a chunky necklace and fitted cardi.

This dress has been reviewed by everyone. See others in this dress here, here, here, here, here, here

Take Action Dress sz 0 by Girls from Savoy ($168)
LOVE! I liked this dresses sister the Twinkle Twinkle dress, but the colors on this dress are much better suited to my skin tone. Plus, I automatically want to pair this with my cherry red pumps for instant vintage love. It feels soft and light. The elastic waist is comfy and adorned with two adorable yellow buttons. I think this dress would also look cute with a skinny belt. Very tempted to buy this now with the gc I got from my MIL for xmas...

This is another dress that everyone and their mothers (and sisters, and maybe even brothers) have tried on. See here, here, here, here, here, here, here

Sun Shade Dress sz 0 by Moulinette Souers ($158)
I've loved this dress ever since I saw it on the website. And now after trying it on, I still like it, but I'm less enthused. The description tells you the yellow stripes are raw-edged grosgrain ribbon, but it didn't really hit till I saw it in person. I wanted the stripes to be crisp and clean-lined. So the raw edges of grosgrain that folded and went in every which way when you look up close drive my OCD tendencies a bit too much up the wall. But from afar, this dress still does what I want. I love the big poofy skirt, the pockets, and the fitted bodice. I actually think a size 2 might fit me better in the bodice of this dress as it was a bit too snug around the top of my rib cage. I would buy this on sale, and then go find a beach to stroll along (ideally with some sun)!

See this dress on lovely ladies here, here, here, here, here, here

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Throw some mustard on it!

Evan made some Mortadella Smear (off of Saveur's top 100) this weekend. Honestly, it was only so-so. We kept trying to figure out "what it needed..." Finally, I came up with mustard! And okra pickles. :) Delish!

It turns out mustard was the magic topper for my two most recent outfits too (ha! yet another brilliant segue. I'm out doing myself, really.)

Saturday, when I hung out with the prospective graduate students - imparting my sage wisdom and whatnot - I wore this:

I was so ready to be a tour guide. I had my crossbody purse (open because I was in the process of trying to stuff it with throat lozenges and my water bottle).

I figured my boots would keep me warm and would be totes appropriate for hiking across campus. But the skirt and ridiculous amounts of tiered lace ruffles would kept me feeling pretty and girly.

But it was the the boiled wool JCrew sweater (scored off of a JCA) that was the clincher. It kept me so warm throughout the day. LOVE.

Tour Guide OOTD
Doki Geki tiered lace blouse sz S (thrifted $5)
JCrew Amber Grey Tivoli Boiled Wool Cardigan sz XS ($30)
Anthropologie Idra Whiz Bang skirt sz 0 (thrifted $6)
Katherine Leather Engineer Boots ($50)
Black tights
Metal heart locket necklace (50 cent vending machine, LOL)

Today's outfit

I bought this Antique Blooms Shell from Ann Taylor Loft a few weeks ago for 50% off + an extra 15% off teacher's discount (total $12.75! Sweeeet!). They only had this in a XSP (I would have prefered an XS) at my store. The color on the website is waaaay off. They call it antique, but this shell is pretty vibrant... It totally threw my camera colors out of whack. For another styling with this blouse check out Jean of Extra Petite who just wore it last week :)

I love how the large ruffle can just hang out over the top of a cardigan. I ended up wearing boots instead of pumps because I had to walk to lunch and I knew the day would be rainy...

Ruffle close-up!

Antique Shell OOTD
Ann Taylor Loft Antique Blooms Shell sz XSP ($12.75)
brown button-up wool skirt (thrifted $5)
H&M mustard yellow cardigan sz 6 ($20)
Grey sweater tights
Brown Franco Sarto knee-high boots ($25)
Braided orangey-tan leather belt (thrifted 99 cents)