Friday, October 29, 2010

Feather Dusting

I have always wanted a feather skirt so you can imagine my excitement when Ann Taylor introduced one as part of their holiday collection. Available online only, I took a chance with the size and style of the skirt. It all worked out in my favor! I got it in the mail this week and planned to save it for next year, all things considered, but I don’t have to! The fit works with the baby bump, just barely showing the tell-tell sign, and I already have plans to wear it to our anniversary dinner in a couple of weeks. If all things look proportionate in December, it will be perfect for holiday festivities. What do you guys think? Worth the purchase?

Extravagant Feathered Mini Skirt

Photo taken from Ann Taylor’s website. 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Maternity Take One

As I start to shop for maternity clothes, I have found that I really need to sit down with some of the designers and give them a few fashion tips. Things that come to mind are quality of fabric, length of pants and jeans, and more options in skirts and dresses. Just because we’re pregnant doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice style.

I hit A Pea in a Pod and Motherhood Maternity first and only found fashionable/trendy pieces at A Pea in a Pod. I picked up a pair of Joe’s jeans, which I am so excited about, a pair of Marni skinny jeans that I’ve already sported, a simple sweater dress in black, a classic black cardigan, and a couple pair of cords in chocolate and grey. The quality of fabric for all of these pieces is great, but the length of the cords is in question. I will more than likely need to wear flats or very low heeled shoes. The dress is classic and can be worn all the time. I can vary my shoes between heels and boots, but I would have liked to see different styles and colors available. The only thing I purchased from Motherhood was my Heidi Klum grey, skinny jeans which I’ve worn on several occasions. Again, flats are the only shoe I can wear, but I will try to shove them into a pair of tall, black boots.

top: BCBG Max Azria; jeans: Heidi Klum for Motherhood; flats: Tory Burch

blazer: Ann Taylor Loft; scarf: Ann Taylor; t-shirt: Mossimo; jeans: Liz Lange Maternity; flats: Tory Burch

My next visit was the Liz Lange Maternity grouping in Target. I purchased two pairs of jeans for a more relaxed/weekend look. I like them, but again, only for flats and my Privo tennis shoes. I’ve worn them a couple of times and they really are my weekend go to jeans. My most recent purchase was two pairs of black pants. You get what you pay for! The “dressy” trouser is a very light weight fabric that’s perfect for this time of year, but won’t take me very long into winter. A nice, lightweight wool would be awesome to find. Also, could we get other colors than just black? I would love a pair of gray, camel and chocolate brown. I can’t wear jeans everyday to work! The other pair is a more casual pant that I will also wear to work, and they are a made of a cotton/jersey blend. I found that Liz Lange offers extended lengths that can only be ordered online. I ordered a pair of jeans and another pair of black pants. I will keep you posted on how they work with heels.

dress: Funky People; leather blazer: ELLE Contemporary Collection; tights: Merona; booties: Nicole

dress: Banana Republic; tights: Merona; shoes (not shown): Jessica Simpson

I continue to shop out of closet for items that are non-maternity. I’ve worn sweater dresses that have more of an empire waist, loose tops, baggy sweaters, and the occasion fitted t-neck and t-shirt. I don’t want to look like those pregnant celebs who are constantly wearing form fitted clothing that exaggerates their mid-section. I’m so happy to be pregnant, but not everyone has to see it! I will continue my mission for quality maternity clothes that don’t cost a fortune and will tell you all about my finds. I will also post photos along the way. Stay tuned…

Monday, October 25, 2010

How I Would Wear It: Winter Floppy Hats

I love hats and my coat closet shelf is teeming with them. When I heard about this contest, I was so excited! I purchased this hat last season at K-Mart knowing that the grey would go with everything. Here is how I would wear the latest trend for fall. I paired my new blue cape with black leggings and over the knee boots. Perfect for an outdoor shopping trip to the Country Club Plaza.

Celebrity Baubles

It seems like everyone is getting into the designing game and that includes celebrities. Heidi Klum started a line of maternity clothing for Motherhood, of which I just invested in a pair of gray jeans. Rachel Zoe is designing clothing and accessories for QVC and I love her line of faux fur vests and coats. And Jessica Simpson has found major success in clothing, shoes, handbags and jewelry of which I own several pieces!

Though I own several pieces of clothing by celebrity designers, I seem to be investing in jewelry as of late. The Tori Spelling Collection premiered on HSN back in 2007 and the collection featured only 12 pieces. Today she offers over 40. It runs the gamut of every day to dressy cocktail. Most of the pieces I’ve purchased lean more toward every day, however, I recently purchased a cluster necklace of black, clear and gray stones that will be perfect for the holidays. 

Nicole Ritchie began House of Harlow 1960 and premiered at Kitson’s online boutique in 2008. Today, she is featured on several popular websites, including the ever stylish Piperlime. Last year, during a Live with Regis and Kelly segment, Kelly Ripa gave several ideas for stocking stuffers. One happened to be a Peacock Cocktail ring that I fell in love with. I don’t wear it often, but when I do, it’s the only piece I need. Because it makes such a statement, I love pairing it with jeans and a simple black sweater.

Last, but not least, Kristian Alfonso, Hope on Days of Our Lives, started Hope Faith Miracles in 2006 based on pieces she had designed in Italy for herself. It all began with the Fleur de lis and from there, the collection has grown. I made my first purchase last year at the annual Kansas City Junior League Holiday Mart and actually met Kristian who was working the event. I purchased her signature Fleu de lis drop earrings and matching silver band. Each piece is delicate but makes a statement. Made of sterling silver and cubic zirconia, they are great with jeans for every day but look great for cocktail parties as well. 

No matter what your jewelry style might be, there is something for everyone with these three designers. All of them are tried and true so you have my guarantee. Check them out for yourself, and if you make a purchase, let me know. I love to see what others are into as well!


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Readers Kind Words

A friend of mine sent me the sweetest message on Facebook today and I had to share it with all of you. This was my goal when I started my blog and couldn’t be happier to hear this kind of feedback. It truly made my day!

“I absolutely love reading your blog and seeing how you rework different styles. I’m more confident in buying unique pieces when I shop. I’ve been trying out some of your suggestions and love the new looks. Just by reading your blog and watching Project Runway, I’ve really seen my thoughts in fashion change. You do a great job of making fashion down to earth, and logical. You give reasons why some fashions don’t work, and ways to make it cost-effective. I can justify buying something if I can wear it in different settings.”

Again, Kimberly, thank you so much for the kind words. I am so glad that you are taking risks with fashion and that they are paying off. I would love to see some pics of those new items! Send them soon!

An Exception to the Rule

In my June post, Cameltoe: More Comical Than Comfortable, I wrote about five fashion faux pas every woman must avoid. Rule Number Two was not wearing pantyhose with opened toed shoes and I still stand by that rule. However, there is one exception to that particular rule; tights with peep toe shoes and booties. This look has been on trend for the past several seasons and I don’t see an end in sight. Tight colors and textures are in abundance so test them out and see what look you like best.

I’ve put together a look that I think is fun and shows this style off best. I got these booties a couple of years ago on our trip to Minneapolis. They go with everything and so glad I took the plunge with the trend that year. You could also pair peep toe heels with this dress, just make sure they are on the funky side. A dressy pair won’t give off the same vibe. A word to the wise, avoid strappy shoes! This look is meant for booties and fun heels only! 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Animal Print: A How To

My mom and I spent a glorious day on the Plaza this past Saturday, complete with lunch on the sidewalk at Classic Cup. It was wonderful company, great food and the best vantage point for people watching. I was inspired to write this next entry when I saw a woman walking towards us in a leopard print dress with a leopard print bags. What caught my eye is that neither of the prints matched! Leopard print, or any animal print for that matter, can be tricky. You really only need one and I suggest wearing solids when using any accent of animal print.

I have created a couple of looks using small amounts of animal print to illustrate my point. My accessories are a great scarf from Ann Taylor and fun shoes by Franco Sarto. A little goes a long so use them sparingly. Now, go get ‘em Tiger!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

As everyone knows, or should know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. There are so many things that you can do through out the year to support such an amazing cause, but during October numerous organizations offer different ways you can help raise money to find a cure. One of the easiest is to eat Yoplait yogurt and mail in the pink label. Look for details inside the cap. The other way is to go shopping!!

For one weekend in October, Back in the Swing offers a shopping card for $25, and here in Kansas City, that card is honored at 42 shopping centers and over 800 retailers around the metro. Each retailer provides different discounts, but it’s a great time to start that holiday shopping. If you didn’t participate this year, consider it for next. Again, you’re shopping for a cause. What could be better?

You can also buy clothing supporting the cause. More and more major retailers, designers and corporations are getting behind the fight. Ford’s Warriors in Pink offers a wide array of merchandise. They are also major supporters of the Race for the Cure. Ralph Lauren created a line called Pink Pony. His signature pony is now pink and 10 percent of all proceeds benefit cancer care and prevention through out the year. Avon is another major supporter of the cause and hosts an annual three day walk in cities through out the country. I find the women who sign up for the walk to be unbelievably brave! Avon’s pink ribbon products range from jewelry to tote bags to clothing. Other companies that support the cause are; Yankee Candle, Target, Saks Fifth Avenue who offers an exclusive t-shirt and Bloomingdale’s who offers a Bloomingdale’s Insider Card for $15. Even the NFL gets into the swing.

Whatever you decide to do, the support is needed and appreciated. I personally own a Pink Pony t-shirt, participate in the annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure and I’m one of six ladies on the Drink Pink for the Cure Luncheon committee that’s held annually here in Overland Park. What are you doing to make a difference?

Monday, October 11, 2010

You Read It Here First

You read it here first on i for style, but this week’s E! News they ran a segment on how to shop and dress like your favorite character from Gossip Girl. I felt like such a style maven! They created outfits for each female character from mega retailer H&M which were were super cute and affordable. If only we had an H&M here in Kansas City! Fashion gods, hear my plea! Please bring an H&M to the shopping masses! Anyway, just thought it was super cool that I am not the only one vying for the looks of the fashionistas of the CW. 

Saturday, October 9, 2010

E Fashion Police Challenge

While watching E’s Fashion Police this morning, I was surprised that The Bachelorette’s Ali Fedotowsky was asked to be a member of their panel, in the absence of Giuliana Rancic. I don’t find her to be terribly fashionable and personally, she doesn’t meet my criteria of someone whom I would take fashion advice. During the show, Joan Rivers, George Kotsiopoulos and Kelly Osbourne agreed and disagreed on a majority of the ensembles photographed and I have to say, I agreed with them. As for Ali, anything they liked she didn’t and the same went for the dislikes.

The big shock came when they critiqued Whitney Houston at a Keep a Child Alive benefit. Wearing a modest, black dress, Whitney in my opinion, was dressed appropriately for her age and the benefit in which she was attending. For the most part, the rest of the panel agreed; except for Ali. She then made the most generalized comment that really got under my skin. I quote “I feel like this dress could be seen, sort of at like a wedding in the Midwest, where no one has any fashion.” Really? You’re going to make that bold of a statement about a woman wearing a simple, black dress?

I’m a woman from the Midwest and I personally think I have a sense of fashion. I stay current in my trends, wear designer label clothing and accessories, and generally receive positive feedback on the clothing I wear on a day to day basis. I get the that show pokes fun at some celebrities choices of attire (which I make as well) and I find some of the things Joan says humorous, but no one has taken it upon themselves to categorize the American public in their statements. Show some tact, Ali.

In response to this bold generalization, I have posted several photos of myself from various dressy occasions and casual days around town. Can you tell that I don’t have a stylist and live on either coast? Can you tell that I dress myself and live in Kansas City, a Midwestern city? E Fashion Police, I ask that you take a look as well and if you can’t tell the difference, invite me to be a guest judge on your panel. I would definitely be able to hold my own against your esteemed colleges.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Why I Love Kate Spade

I have always been a fan of Kate Spade especially her handbags. I would even go so far as to say I’m a collector, since I have quite a few. In fact, my wedding gift from my husband was a red leather handbag with a cream K molded into the leather. Pretty fitting since my last name now begins with a K! I met her at a local event held here in Kansas City for the Amy Thompson organization. From that event, I now own a darling brown and tan, snakeskin clutch that was signed by Kate herself.

When she started her line of shoes, I was in heaven! The first pair I purchased was a black tweed pump with tiny silver threads running through the fabric. They are closed toe with a puff, white fur ball on the toe. DARLING! As a shoe collector, I own several pairs now; one being an incredible pair my mom got me last year for Christmas. They are leopard print with red patent at the toe, heal and ankle strap. I wore them with a camel suit and the pop of color was perfect.

She has now branched into jewelry and clothing and I couldn’t be happier. Her line of jewelry is luxe but affordable. Large bobbles, plenty of crystals, fun designs and you can make them dressy or casual. I bought my first piece last week. I needed a fun cocktail ring for a wedding I was attending and I have decided I will wear it with jeans for a casual evening out or to work for a punch of fun. Check out the line. I love to internet shop. It’s the new window shopping!

As for the line of clothing, I love her use of color, fabrics and overall aesthetic. There is a hint of 60s in the design, which I love, and it’s so feminine. Ruffled collars on blouses, swing coats with rolled collars, pencil skirts in tweed, shift dresses and lady like cardigans. You feel Jackie Kennedy. I love the bumble bee blouse my mom purchased for me recently. The bees are darling and the attention to detail is superb. There are actually dotted lines that trail behind some of the bees. The ruffled collar is so girly and it’s all you need in the accessories department. I paired mine with her cotton cardigan with ruffled sleeves and amber colored buttons with camel pants from Ann Taylor Loft. The top is a little blousy, to allow for a future baby bump, so I toned down the volume with a small black belt. I really like how it all came together.

On my wish list is a Kate Spade diaper bag. It’s one of many that made the cut as far as designers are concerned. It’s a little decadent but then again that’s just who I am! It’s going to be on my arm for quite some time and will replace my every day handbag. If I carry designer on a daily basis now, why should that change in six months? I will keep you posted on the outcome!

How do you feel about Kate Spade? Would you carry one of her bags given the chance or sport a piece of jewelry? If you are in the market for something, I have had luck at Nordstrom and Halls here in Kansas City. I rarely order off of her website but would if I couldn’t find what I was looking for in person. Her site also includes paper goods, home products and eye wear.  They have a great site come the holidays. Fun gift ideas that won’t drain your wallet, including ornaments! You won’t be disappointed.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Happy Boot Day!!!

As you all know, today is the Official First Day of Boots and I had a hard time deciding which pair to wear. With the temps climbing into the mid 70’s today, it’s hard to dress fall and still feel cool. With that being said, I feel like I made a great choice. The cardigan was perfect for the morning commute and will get me through the day in the freezing office building. Later, I plan to shed the cardigan and this little top is short sleeved and perfect for the sunny day ahead. As I’ve stated before, these boyfriend jeans have seen a lot of mileage and will continue their journey until my belly can no longer be contained! I sure hope they make maternity boyfriend jeans!

As for the boots, here are the much anticipated lug soled, high heels from Ann Taylor Loft. I am so glad I succumbed to the trend and made the investment. I know I will wear them often. They are comfortable, which is a must, and will go with everything. 

What did you do for Boot Day? Did the temps scare you off or did you make an attempt to transition into early fall? If you did, send pics! I can’t wait to see.