Monday, April 28, 2014

Trendy Observations

Being that I love fashion, I enjoy following the latest trends. There is a new show on E! called The Fabulist and each week they go through what's hot and if they love it or not. Many of the trends I was already familiar with and/or already seeing in stores. I thought I would recap my faves here.......
The very first episode talked about buckles! I've already shared my collection of buckle shoes so I thought I would share some other items I love buckles on. Belts! The below pic is the Quadrivium Belt from Anthropologie from last year. I own this belt and just love it!
I could not get a picture of this one, but the Multistrap-Buckle Waist Belt by BCBG is another option.
 Far more expensive ($890!) is this number by Maison Martin Margiela. I get inspiration from these high end pieces because I think you can totally recreate this look on a budget by going to Goodwill and picking up random belts and wearing them together! That's what I plan to do!
 Look for the buckle trend on handbags and jewelry too!
High Waisted
I am loving high waisted bottoms - jeans, leggings, you name it! I remember being so frustrated a few years ago when all you could find in the stores were low-rise pants. Come on! How many times have you seen someone wearing those and they are unflattering? Would we even have the term "muffin top" if not for them?
Now, I am not talking "Mom Jeans" in the way of pleats and weird pocket placement. I am talking a higher rise or else a retro look. Let's face it: as our metabolism slows, and especially after having kids, we need some help smoothing things out. I am not ashamed to admit that even after having Richard I continued to wear my maternity tights. They were comfy and did not feel like they were falling down. If no one sees them anyway, who cares? I also recently bought a pair of high waisted leggings at a local boutique - LOVE them! Again, no one is going to see that part.
If you go the retro look - for jeans or pants - tuck your shirt in, add a belt, and show off that waist! What about retro swimwear? I had wanted a pair of high waist bottoms for a few years now. I always had black in mind because it would go with any top. But when I came across the suit below on Zulily, it was love at first sight! How cute is this?

 Jumpers, Rompers, Onsies
Whatever you want to call them, these one piece pant suits are all over the place. That's the thing with trends - they start out on the runway and then after a couple of years you will see them trickle down into your everyday stores. This one is from Anthropologie, but I am telling you if you go to Target, TJ Maxx, or the likes, you are going to find jumpers!
 Wide Legs, Harem, Pajama Pants
I've been wearing these for years, so it's nice to see them sticking around. And, just like the jumpers, being more mainstream at Target and Kohl's. My example is from Anthropologie again. You will either see a full on wide leg all the way down, or else some with a tapered ankle.
That's right! Birkenstocks are back! They've been on the runway, and if you search them on Pinterest you will see a lot of trendy ideas on how to wear them. Anthropologie's sister company, Free People, is carrying them. And fashion blogger favorite J. Crew has a selection as well. And, just like the good ole' grunge days, you can find some cheaper knockoffs. Check these out from JC Penney (I know I will be).
Ahhh, I used to have that Gizeh style (the JC Penney ones) but they are long gone. Lucky for me, I still have my trusty 2 strap ones from high school (pictured). They are a dark green suede and as you can see, toward the end of my love for them I decided to go extra hippie and glue some butterfly appliques on them. Yeah, you can see how well that worked! I am hoping that I can get the glue off with a wire brush or something, because these babies still have a ton of life! That's the thing about them, they are expensive, but they are an investment. Not to date myself or anything, but these are almost 20 years old! The more you wear them, the better they get. I got some little camo knock offs for my little guy too! I cannot wait to see his little feet in these!
So what do you think of these trends? These were all featured on The Fabulist over the last few weeks, and I thought it was fun that I noticed them while shopping too. As you can tell, I am already wearing - or will wear - all of them. Which ones do you love? Hate?

Friday, April 25, 2014

Peace Out

Seeing that it was Earth Day this week, I guess I was inspired to wear something kinda "green". That's me - one day in a ball skirt, the next day looking like a hippie. My style and tastes have such a wide range.
I braided my hair, and honestly if I tried to do this again I probably couldn't replicate it. I love the purposefully messy/effortless hair, but sometimes it takes me longer to make it look like that than if I were to just style it like normal! The trick here is that I had my hair colored/curled the day before. I did not wash it so it had some great texture. I followed this tutorial where you pin half of your hair up first to give the illusion of the braid starting before it really does.

 This peace sign t-shirt is from Lucky Brand from a few years ago. I just love all the colors against the army green. The "grandpa" sweater is from Matilda Jane and I just love all the details on their clothes - like these mismatched buttons.

 This butterfly necklace I made was published in the Spring 2013 issue of Jewelry Affaire. The colors match the tee so well.
 Lastly, when I bought my first pair (well, first pair since I was a kid) of Minnetonkas last summer, I could not decide on a color. TJ Maxx had the navy ones I got, along with these brown ones trimmed in orange. So I got these too and this was the first time I wore them. I sure am loving my Minnetonkas!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Necessary Tulle

When you are a little girl, you are obsessed with being a ballerina (at least I was). While I did not take many dance lessons, I sure did love dressing up in my leotard and tutu a lot.
Fast forward to being an adult, and a huge Sex and The City fan. Who can forget the opening credits where Carrie is wearing her pink tulle skirt? While not so practical, a tulle skirt has been on my list for quite some time.
I finally settled on the Amalia Tulle Skirt from Anthropologie (by Seen. Worn. Kept.)
The Anthro community either loved or hated this skirt. The online shots made it seem a lot more streamlined than it really is. People were upset with how "big" it was in real life. While I do agree it is a statement skirt, I don't think mine is too poofy.
Sometimes, tulle can be stiff and scratchy. I was pleasantly surprised with how soft and light this skirt is. Under the multiple layers of sheerness, there is a soft t-shirt like material lining. It just feels great on! I just love the colors too - a muted floral print in shades of orange, mauve and eggplant are on the first two layers. By having the print on two layers instead of one, it gives it an even more magical effect. Under that then is layer after layer of nude tulle.
I paired it with an eggplant shell (Kohl's), Gap jean jacket (consignment shop), Gomex heels (Zulily), and a wood bead necklace (local Charitable Union gift shop).
Moral of the story? You are never too old for tulle. Nor do you have to be a ballerina. It should be a necessity!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Holiday Weekend Away

Hi! I hope you had a wonderful Easter! We just returned from a 4 day weekend visiting our families in Wisconsin. And before I started up my laundry, I had an idea to do a post about packing.
If you've followed this blog for any amount of time, you might notice that my outfits are pretty "specific". Meaning, the colors have to be just so or they have special shoes that go with them or the perfect piece of jewelry. Packing, in general, stresses me out. I either feel like I am going to forget something, regret not bringing something, or else bring too much and not wear it. So add in the variety in my closet and it makes it even worse. I mean, honestly, it does not make sense to bring 4 different pairs of shoes with! Of course, if I had a special vacation I was going on, that would be different. But for now, I have tried to simplify as much as possible. Also, I am no longer just packing for myself - I share a suitcase with a toddler - so I no longer have the luxury of bringing lots of stuff.
Above is what I brought on this trip. I centered my outfits around one pair of dark jeans, and my navy Minnetonka Mocs. Thank goodness for slip on ease and heavy socks/boots were not needed! Coincidentally, all of my tops (minus the cardis) were from Anthropologie and fit the navy blue color palette. The "seen here" links are similar outfits, or, in the case of #1 the exact one.
Outfit #1 (seen here)
Postmark Here & There Tee Offbeat (dark blue colorway) - Anthropologie
A.N.A. Jeggings - JC Penney
Yellow Cardigan - TJ Maxx
Minnetonka Mocs - TJ Maxx
Necklace - local boutique
Outfit #2 (seen here)
Field & Flower Rainy Day Pullover (balloon motif) - Anthropologie circa 2012
A.N.A. Jeggings - JC Penney
Minnetonka Mocs - TJ Maxx
Statement Necklace - TJ Maxx

Outfit #3 (seen here)
Wonderland Silk Tunic - Anthropologie
A.N.A. Jeggings - JC Penney
Teal Cardigan - Sears
Minnetonka Mocs - TJ Maxx
Necklace - Lorelei Eurto
Outfit #4 (seen here)
Porridge "Gabby" Sweatshirt in Navy/Rope Print - Anthropologie
A.N.A. Jeggings - JC Penney
Boat Necklace - Forever 21
Minnetonka Mocs - TJ Maxx
You know what? I didn't wear outfit #2. I doubled up outfit #3 on Friday and Sunday. I mean, come on, it had bunnies on it. How could I not? Do you have any formulas you like to use for easy packing?

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Flying High

This is my last hot air balloon piece of clothing that I had not shown yet on the blog. To see the one I wore recently, which has links to 3 I posted last year, click here.
 Field & Flower Rainy Day Pullover (balloon motif) - Anthropologie circa 2012
A.N.A. Black Jeggings - JC Penney
Statement Necklace - TJ Maxx
So here's a pair of the shoes I showcased yesterday in action. They were most comfortable all day long! And, as I always preach, I am wearing my formula of flowy top = fitted bottoms. I am so glad that I remembered, before I hit "publish" on this post, that I had taken some pics of Anthropologie's Spring windows at the stores I have visited recently! The theme? Hot Air Balloons! It is always difficult to take pictures through glass, with the reflection and all. Enjoy!

 These 2 pictures are from the store on State Street (Block 37) in Chicago.

 And these next 3 are from my closet store in Grand Rapids, MI.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Get the look for less...... spring/summer shoes

I have a confession to make...... I am really, really hard on my shoes. In the winter, they get dragged through snow, salt, etc.... And any other time of the year when socks aren't required, I walk around my house barefoot collecting all kinds of dust, dog hair, etc..... and as much as I try to wipe my feet off before putting shoes on...... it just doesn't really help. By mid-summer the insides of my sandals look like I am a dirty hippie. And lets not forget ladies, how the right heel gets beat up more than the left from driving!
Because of this, I do not like to spend a lot on shoes. I used to be the sort who would only buy leather - for durability, breathing, stretching, etc. But then I realized that I was really limiting my budget and my variety. Now, anything goes if the price, fit and style is right. That way, if something does get really worn out I do not have to feel too guilty about it. I was really excited to show my recent purchases for the upcoming seasons, so I decided to do just that while comparing them to some more expensive counterparts.
First up are these cute coral lace up shooties. What's a shootie? It's a cross between a shoe and a boot, most likely with a peep toe and some kind of cutout detailing. I fell in love with these when the lovely Tieka of Selective Potential did a styling post for our local big box store Meijer. I was like, "whoa, those are from Meijer?" Anytime I can pick up something fun during my regular grocery shopping I get excited. These were $39.99 and if you are an MPerks member (really easy digital couponing app) you can get 20% off today and tomorrow. The weekend I bought these I had that coupon clipped. So, let's compare the more pricey versions:

The same sandal, Rampage Venyce Caged Lace Up, is $59 at Macy's
I also spotted these Madden-Girl Vital Cutout Booties at Macy's for $69
Moving over to my favorite store Anthropologie, I found these similar looks:
 These are the Fioni Havoc Shootie Sling from Payless. When I bought them, they were on promo for $24.99 and I got the black. These are going to be so versatile for me - a great staple! I wore them yesterday and will post that outfit soon. You will see versions of this style at every major retailer. I narrowed down a couple from Anthropologie for price comparison:
Bari Shooties for $188
 Y'all know my love for buckles, so when on a recent shopping trip with a girl friend I fell in love with these Matisse Virtue Wedges at a boutique. Over $100? I can do better than that. That same day, we scouted out TJ Maxx and look what I found! The Restricted Diety Gladiator Sandal. The link I provided sells them for $59.99 but the TJ Maxx price was $24.99.
 Lastly, the shape of my foot has never really been conducive to ballet flats. I have tried many but they dig into the bone for my big toe or else I get blisters on my heels. When these came up on Zulily, I thought I'd give them a try though (hello? buckles!). The Restricted Three Wishes Flat is $49.95 here, but I paid $24.99 on Zulily.
So there you have it. For about $100 I scored 4 new pairs of stylish footwear that I am so looking forward to wearing!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Bring on the color!

The temperatures are becoming a little more tolerable. The sun shines more often. All of the snow is melted (or at least I think it is). After the most brutal winter, spring is slowly making it's way to Michigan. Surveying our 1.5 acres a few times now, it is hard to believe that our yard will ever recover from such harshness. Honestly, in the 11 years we have lived here I have never seen my property in such a sad state. Branches, limbs, even an entire tree down (in the way back so only fence damage there). The grass is matted down in such an odd way - it just looks weird to me. Normally, by this time some of my perennials are starting to pop up, but nothing this year. So, so much cleaning is ahead of us!
That's why when I saw this colorful sweater, it made me happy. I just love the crochet trim on the navy blue. Now if only I could pack these heavy jeans and boots away for good! My freshly painted toes are ready!

Double Zero cardigan - via eBay
Brown tank - Old Navy
Jeans & Boots - JC Penney

Necklace - Aldo

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Long Skirt, Long Story

This is Free People's Lydia Maxi skirt. Here is another link for it on sale. I bought it at Nordstrom Rack for even less. How did I do it? The lovely Jenni of Gnome Lover clued me into it. The closest Nordstrom Rack to me (Grand Rapids) did not have it, but, like most any store in today's world they can locate items and have them shipped right to your door.
The fabric is like the softest t-shirt material, and feels wonderful! It has so much movement when you walk - like rippling water. It has an elastic waistband, and, a train. That's right, a train. What a cool detail but I am not sure what you would ever need a train for unless you were a bride. Luckily, the there are ties on the underside to "bustle" it up.
I test drove the skirt on Saturday night for a date with my hubby. I paired it with a simple white tank, jean jacket, long necklace, and grey boots. I know I have talked about my own fashion rules or formulas (i.e. full bottom/fitted top and vice versa) so here is a good example of another one. Since this skirt is the statement piece of the outfit, I always try to keep the rest of the outfit pretty simple. This is a good rule of thumb for dressier pieces that you might want to try to wear on a daily basis - tone down the fanciness with casual pieces.
 Jon was ever so patient with me getting in and out of the car, so as not to catch the fabric in the door. This can happen with any maxi skirt or dress though, even if they are not this voluminous. I might add that we took his little Subaru (which he rally races in) so it was a bit more difficult anyway when I am used to my Ford Edge. I will also add that he still opens the car door for me. Sigh.
I found myself stepping on the skirt a bit, and having a general feeling of tripping and falling flat on my face. So before I wore this exact outfit to work yesterday, I cut some of the length off. Don't worry, it has an unfinished hem anyway so this is an easy fix. I found it much better, and it was comforting to know that I could cut even more off if I need to. The fabric will not fray, and because of the ruffles you do not need a perfectly straight line.
Thank you Jenni for sharing this with me! I just love it and I know I will love it for many years to come!

Friday, April 4, 2014


Flashback from Monday...... after watching Frozen with my son all weekend, I was inspired by the beautiful costumes to wear this dress. Even though it's a short sleeve dress, the print says Winter to me, so I figured I'd better wear it before I looked too out of place. It's an older piece from Anthropologie (Moulinette Soeurs Swirling Villages Dress) which I scored on the trade market. It has villages (duh), reindeer, and all kinds of other cute tidbits. It's black and white pattern is offset by a colorful textile belt (which is awesomely removable to be worn with other things). I wore my colorful textile necklace with it. Oh, and the swirls on my sunglasses tie in too.
The only thing I am unsure about is my tan heels. I've realized that I really don't have any nice black shoes to go with dresses. I have black boots (both tall and short), black sandals, black flats, but nothing that goes with a dress like this. However, I do feel I've become more adventurous in my footwear so it might be okay.