Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Winter White

Coat: Tulle; Sweater coat: A Holiday Mart Boutique several years ago; Leggings: INC International Concepts; Boots: Jessica Simpson; Beret: Mitzy London’s Boutique; Gloves: JC Penney

With the first flakes of the season falling this morning, I felt like I had the perfect outfit assembled! I am a huge fan of sweater coats and you will see a lot of those in the months ahead. They are great layering pieces on days like today when temps are freezing outside and not much warmer indoors. Office buildings are the worst and mine is no exception. Sweater coats work well with almost any bottom: jeans, leggings, dress pants, long skirts and the ever comfy velour sweatpants.

Today I paired mine with leggings and tall boots. I didn’t want a lot of bulk, since I’m creating that all on my own, and I like how it came together. When deciding which overcoat to wear, I originally reached for my long, black coat and decided at the last minute to go with my cream, knee length instead. I am a huge fan of winter white and I love the retro feel of this coat. With turned up cuffs, mandiran collar and a great swing to the bodice, I feel like I just stepped out of the 60s. I thought that black gloves and cream beret were a nice contrast but played well off the cream and black of my outfit. I am also a huge fan of hats in the winter so you will see those cropping in future photos as well. I am definitely ready to take on winter!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Just Not Loving It

Jacket: Vintage from Dad’s closet; Dress: Habitat Shoe Boutique; Tights: Target; Boots: Steve Madden; Bracelet: Part of the Shoe Girl Designs collection (a jewelry company I owned and designed exclusively several years ago)

As I was getting dressed this morning, I knew I wanted to wear flats because I spent the entire day on my feet yesterday, and I had a couple of options picked out in my head. This dress has been worn recently, not captured in photos, but I wanted to change it up a bit. Instead of dark brown tights and tall, chocolate brown boots, I wanted to make the look a little lighter. When purchasing the cream tights, the dress was much lighter in my mind. Instead, it’s more of an oatmeal color. I knew the cognac boots would work well with the flecks of light brown in the dress, but I’m still on the fence about the tights! Since I was running late, I didn’t have time to change, and decided to just go with it.

I added my dad’s denim jacket from the early 1970s and muted gold jewelry. I think this entire outfit gives off a 70s vibe, but just not loving the whole concept. I’m thinking that when I wear this dress again, I will sport the all chocolate look until I can I find the right look for the cognac boots. Maybe it’s a tightsless look, but it was too cool for that this morning.

Ever have one of those mornings where the outfit just doesn’t feel right but you just have to get out the door?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Weekday Day to Night

Last night we celebrated my friend Greg’s 50th birthday and what a fun night it was! I needed a look that would take me from work to play with only a few minor tweaks. My day to night weekend look was easy since weekends lend themselves to casual days, but work can be tricky. I decided on a fun top which I layered under that amazing Banana Republic leather jacket I bought back in late summer. For day I wore basic black pants with my patent leather, peep toe booties and for evening, I chose skinny jeans with tall, suede boots. I switched my daily, oversized handbag for a small clutch and away we went. Do you find it easy to pull together two looks only a few essentials? 

Day Look:

Jacket: Banana Republic; Top: Ann Taylor Loft; Pants: Liz Lange Maternity; Booties: Steve Madden Luxe

Night Look:

Jacket: Banana Republic; Top: Ann Taylor Loft; Jeans: Gap Maternity; Boots: Jessica Simpson; Clutch: Ann Taylor

Monday, November 22, 2010

Weekend Day to Night

Saturday was a day full of errands, lunch with a friend who I never get to see and a date night my husband so I needed an outfit that would take me from morning to night. While browsing through the newest J.Crew catalog earlier in the week, I found yet another look I wanted to test. They paired a chambray button down under a cashmere turtleneck and I loved the little hint of denim peaking out of the neck. Since I don’t own a chambray shirt, I asked if I could borrow my husbands. It was a perfect fit, for now. I paired the shirt with a teal t-neck, dark denim jeans and tall, black riding boots. I’m not a huge fan of denim on denim, however, I like the contrast of the chambray and dark denim. The hat was a perfect accent! It went well with the color concept and bonus, I didn’t have to wash my hair! Would you pair the button down with a t-neck?

T-neck: J.Crew; Chambray Mens Shirt: Banana Republic; Jeans: Gap Maternity; Boots: Franco Sarto; Hat: Urban Outfitters; Necklace and Ring: Silpada; Sunglasses: Tom Ford

Friday, November 19, 2010

Elizabethan Era in Today's Textures

Fashion is constantly taking a page from history and a couple of my choices this week are no exception. I’m a sucker for detail and the Elizabethan Era is full of just that. Voluminous skirts received assistance from petticoats, exaggerated sleeves were at times in contrasting colors and fabrics, and high necklines that gave a new name to turtlenecks are just a few highlights. Of course during that era, “dress” was according to class. Today, we may not dress according to class but some of us follow the saying “champagne taste on a beer budget.” That’s where I definitely fit in!

Earlier in the week I mentioned my pale, peach sweater when deciding which shadow to apply and now you can see the ensemble in its entirety. I love this little sweater for the neckline alone. The color is simple and goes with most everything in my closet and the fit, even while sporting a baby bump, is still streamlined. I added a white tee for warmth. I was afraid the jackets collar would be overkill with the already extreme collar of the sweater, but I love how it all came together. Neither one overpowered the other and the jacket was perfect the rain/snow shower we received later that day.

Sweater: Anthropolgie; T-Shirt: Target; Pants: Liz Lange Maternity; Jacket: Ann Taylor Loft; Booties: Nicole; Bracelets: Silpada

Today’s jacket was something I coveted in the Nordstrom Annual Sale catalog. I was on their waiting list for about three weeks and so thankful to the person who returned it! The collar is amazing and the little buttons on the back of the jacket are darling. I obviously can’t fasten the hook and eye closures, but I’m not sure I would even if I wasn’t pregnant. The over-the-knee boots add a little sex appeal to a very concealed look. Again, so happy with how it all came together.

Jacket: Hinge; T-neck: Bitten; Jeans: Gap Maternity; Boots: Sam Edelman

When putting this kind of look together, make sure you keep your accessories simple. The details should be the main focus of the outfit. Also, keep your shoes and handbag neutral. Can’t wait to see what history you bring to your next ensemble! 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Endless Possibilities

This is the kind of weather I’ve been waiting for. Although I hate winter, with its snow, ice and bitter winds, I love wrapping up in wool sweaters and topping everything off with one of my many winter coats. This morning was no exception. Though the temps were not as cold as winter can get, this brisk fall morning called for wool. While sifting through my sweater boxes, I stumbled upon this gem. It’s a 100% wool vest with detachable fur collar. I originally paired the outfit with black pants, but I didn’t like the look of black on black with only charcoal gray to breaking things up. Jeans were a much better fit. I added my new Sam Edelman “Effie” booties and I couldn’t be happier with the outcome.

Coat: Tex by Max Azria; Vest: Tribal; T-neck: Target; Jeans: Joe’s Jeans; Booties: Sam Edelman; Earrings: Silpada

I love this new coat I picked up earlier in the summer. I purchased it at the BCBG outlet store for $39! The ¾ length puffed sleeves allows me to create a half sleeve from the sweaters and tops layered underneath and with the no lapel collar, my collar options are limitless. See how the fur from my vest created a fantastic collar all its own? You will see this coat again and again! 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Re-Discovering an Old Favorite

Like my clothing, I get bored with my makeup as well. I generally wear a different color eye shadow every day, however, even those colors get old. Also, even though the experts say you shouldn’t, I try to match the color of my eye shadow to the predominate color in that days outfit. Today was no exception, but I had no idea what to do with a pale peach sweater and black pants.

Then I remembered my Big Beautiful Eyes palette from Benefit Cosmetics. I love that it includes two eye shadows, a neutral tone concealer and power eyeliner. It also comes with a compact style mirror, a concealer applicator, a shadow brush with liner brush on the other end and instructions on how to apply. The effect is just that, big beautiful eyes. I paired it with an iridescent pink blush and vitamin C lip smoothie in Absolute Acai both from Clinique.

Other items from Benefit that I love are the Dandelion brightening face powder, the Dallas face powder that gives you a subtle outdoor glow and their “That Gal” brightening face primer. Use the primer, after applying your normal moisturizer but before applying your tinted moisturizer or base, for a look that makes you an all over glow.

Another brand of shadows that I love is from Stila. They have a talking smoky eye palette that literally does just that, talks. Here’s the 411: simply push the button and the palette talks you through 5 easy steps to the perfect smoky eye. It’s complete with artistry tips and what brushes to use - all in under a minute. Word to the wise, they talk quickly so you may have to play a couple of times to make sure you get it all. I have their palettes in Original and The Platinums.

Other items from Stila that I love are the convertible color cream blush. I own them in Peony and Poppy. Peony is a natural cheek color that adds a warm glow where Poppy is a little on the red side. It gives you that just-out-of-the-sun pop of color. I use a foundation brush to apply but you can also use your finger tips. The great thing about the convertible color is that they can be used as on your lips as well.

I also use their Perfecting Concealer. I love how it’s creamy, not cakey, and doesn’t settle into the fine lines under your eye. To apply, you can use a concealer brush, but I find that using my finger tips allows me to control the amount I use. With the pad of your ring finger dab, don’t rub. Rubbing causes you to tear the skin under you eye leading to those pesky lines I mentioned before.

You can find all these products online, but they are all together in one mega store, Sephora. I warn you, once inside you can’t help but want to play in all the make up the store as to offer. Sign up for their Beauty Insider card. It’s free! They simply scan your card with every purchase which allows you to accumulate points for future free products. The free items are just samples but you get to test out something before you commit to the purchase. Also, you get a free gift on your birthday. Who doesn’t love free stuff! 

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Sequined Mini

I am so obsessed with the sequined mini skirt fall trend that if I could find enough fabric, and sequins, I would run out and have one made! With that being said, the latest pairing to this shiny skirt is a men’s inspired denim or chambray button down. I love the ruggedness of the shirt with the femininity of the mini! The look is everywhere too. Celebs are sporting it around town and major retailers are modeling it in their catalogs and online sites. Simply adorable!

If you too are interested in capturing this new look check out J.Crew, Banana Republic, Ann Taylor and Norstrom. If I had a body like Heidi Klum when she was pregnant, I might just try to pull it off, however, I’m pretty sure Overland Park isn’t ready for that look!

SEQUIN SKIRT photo | Blake Lively

People/Credit: Dara Kushner/INF

JAYMA MAYS photo | Jayma Mays

People/Credit: Stewart Cook/REX USA

Sequin mesh bell skirt

Photo from J.Crew

Friday, November 12, 2010

Three Rainy Day Essentials

I’m not a fan of rainy days. In fact, all I really want to do is curl up on the couch, pop in a movie and huddle under blankets for the remainder of the day. Unfortunately, that was not an option today. Instead, I decided to face this gloomy Friday morning with a little style and some rain essentials. We may not live in Seattle, but the Midwest does see its fair share of rain during the fall months. I’m actually surprised this is the first rainy day in over a month or more. Anyway, to prepare for these days, there are three basic things all women need to arm themselves against the rain, besides an umbrella.

The Trench:

Everyone should have a trench coat in their closet. Any color will do, however, I think the khaki trench is classic. It dates back to the 1850s when Thomas Burberry submitted a design for an army officer raincoat. Since then, Burberry has been synonymous with “the trench”. Actually, a Burberry trench is on my wish list, but until then, my JC Penney Fleet Street will have to do.

One thing to look for in a trench is a removable liner. Mine contains a polyester/fleece lining that’s perfect for fall and winter. Once removed, it’s light enough for those spring and summer showers. I prefer a knee length coat, but they make them in all lengths and styles. Check out sites like Gap, Old Navy and Target for affordable but stylish coats.

Sweater: Banana Republic; Trench: Fleet Street; Jeans: A Pea in a Pod Maternity; Rain Boots: Merona at Target

Rain Boots:

I love my rain boots so much that I now own three pairs! My mom purchased my first pair several years ago and it was about a year before I actually pulled them on. Since then, I have invested in a pair of black with white polka dots and my latest pair which are black with turned down, tartan plaid flannel in cream/red/black. I even went so far as to purchase the fleece inserts for winter. They will help insulate the boots so I can wear them during those snowy days that the Farmers Almanac is predicting for us again this year.

You can spend anywhere between $25 to $500, but I suggest only spending $25. They are the same quality and the only real difference, aside from the designer logo, is that they may already include a fleece liner. I like the option of being able to wear the boots all four seasons. Check out Target, which is where I purchased mine. They carry them in an array of colors and designs. I personally love the navy boots with whales!

My first pair of rain boots purchased by my mom.

My newest rain boots from Target.


I love hats! I find them to be an extension of your wardrobe and perfect for fall and winter months! (You will see them on display later in the season as we move into winter.) As for rain, I have two cute hat options. One is made of canvas and piped in patten leather and the other is vinyl with polka dots. These work best for drizzle not down pours so wear with caution. I prefer to not carry an umbrella, its extra bulk and just a nuisance, so the hat works better for me. Don’t look good in hats? That’s okay. Go with the umbrella, but instead of standard black, try one with a punch of color or a fun design.

Sweater: Banana Republic; Trench: Fleet Street; Jeans: A Pea in a Pod Maternity; Rain Boots: Merona at Target; Hat: Ann Taylor Loft

Again, these are my three rainy day essentials. They may not work for everyone, but they get me through the weather. If you’re willing, give one or all a try. Remember, take pics. I love to see what you all put together! 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Country Music Awards 2010

Last night was one of country music’s biggest nights, but it was the women of Hollywood that shined! Unlike the Emmy’s and Oscar’s, we are not graced with a red carpet special, or black carpet in this case, prior to the awards shows so we are left with research the next morning. Boy was I disappointed. The gowns were over the top, over embellished and left me feeling the need to re-style most of their looks. What was even more disappointing was that half of the gowns worn inside the Bridgestone Arena were not the gowns worn on the black carpet. I would have preferred those instead.

The hostess of the evening, Carrie Underwood, walked the black carpet in a strapless, charcoal gray Talbot Runhof gown. Over the top tulle and pools of ruffles at the hips and base of the dress completely over powered her frame. I much preferred the metallic cocktail dress with black sash or the classic blush dress with rosettes adorning the skirt. She had at least six wardrobe changes, each one more adorable than the next, until she ended the show with a sequined gown that was more fitting for a prima ballerina than a glowing country music star.

Carrie Underwood:

Taylor Swift arrived in a red strapless, sweetheart neckline, fitted Monique Lhuillier gown. The dress, which was a little too old for her, was not Taylor’s typical style, but she redeemed herself in a beaded bodice gown with cream organza skirt. Much more age appropriate and a better fit to her personality. Other young country stars weren’t so lucky. Julianne Hough wore a black Georges Chakira Couture gown that again was entirely too voluminous for tiny frame. Kellie Pickler donned a gold, sequined Pamella Roland gown that was cut so low it left little to the imagination. Along with the bouffant up-do, it made the whole thing appear costumey.

Taylor Swift:

Miranda Lambert wore a fitted magenta Sherri Hill gown that should have been the gown she wore all night. Instead, she changed into a short, white cocktail dress that needed more double sided tape than was originally applied. Hillary Scott also wore a fitted gown, in red, that was so fitted she could hardly walk the stairs to accept multiple awards. Something fitted at the waist with a flowing skirt would have been more suitable for her body type. Jennifer Nettles looked effortless in a blue, printed strapless Carolina Herrara gown. I loved the neckline and tiny belt that helped accentuate her already small waist.

Miranda Lambert:

MIRANDA LAMBERT  photo | Miranda Lambert

As I mentioned before, the ladies of Hollywood took center stage when it came to their black carpet appearances. Katherine Heigl supported her husband and brother-in-law in a gorgeous sapphire Farah Angsana gown. The fitted gown hugged in all the right places and the hemline was a perfect length. Kimberly Williams-Paisely, also in blue, was stunning in her one shoulder David Meister gown. The only change I would have made was her hair. I would have preferred a soft up-do. Joanna Garcia, who once co-starred with Reba McIntyre on her show Reba, looked effortless in her drapey, purple gown. The look was perfect for her role as presenter.

Joanna Garcia

JOANNA GARCIA   photo | JoAnna Garcia

Gwyneth Paltrow and Nicole Kidman could be on the chopping block. Gwyneth wore an ombre gown from Atelier Versace. Though the look was plucked from the runway, I’m not sure this was the right look for the occasion. While it may have had a modest one shoulder neckline, it was cut up to there and cut away at the waist. The dress she wore during her performance of Country Strong was more Gwyneth’s speed. As for Nicole, yes she was there to support her husband Keith Urban, but I felt she was entirely too undressed for the evening. Her white, lace Dolce & Gabbana dress and red booties would have been more fitting for a low key awards show like the CMT Music Awards. She’s always stunning but the overall look just wasn’t right.

Gwyneth Paltrow:

GWYNETH PALTROW   photo | Gwyneth Paltrow

Nicole Kidman:

NICOLE KIDMAN   photo | Nicole Kidman

Based on all of this, my best dressed is Katherine Heigl. She may not be a country music star, but she was the belle of the ball on this year’s black carpet.

KATHERINE HEIGL   photo | Katherine Heigl

My worst dressed is Kellie Pickler. She needs a stylist stat! Let’s see something a little more modest and low key next year.

KELLIE PICKLER   photo | Kellie Pickler

Photo Credits:

Carrie Underwood: Popeater

Credit: Michael Loccisano, WireImage

Taylor Swift: Celebuzz

Credit: Larry Busacca; Photos: Getty

 Miranda Lambert: People

Credit: Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

Joanna Garcia: People

Credit: Evan Agostini/AP

Gwyneth Paltrow: People

Credit: Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

Nicole Kidman: People

Credit: Michael Loccisano/WireImage

Katherine Heigl: People

Credit: Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

Kellie Pickler: People

Credit: Michael Loccisano/WireImage

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Comfort That's Work/Errand Approved

I love to dress down just as much as the next person, however, I still like to be cute and trendy. I believe that just because you’re out and about on a weekend day, grocery shopping or carting kids from one event to the other, you have to sacrifice fashion for comfort. Instead of your standard jeans, graphic tee/sweatshirt and tennis shoes, try adding a sweater and cute flats. I’m currently trying to master apparel that is both casual Friday and weekend errand appropriate and I think these two outfits just might do the trick.

Yesterday was my eight year wedding anniversary and we spent the day at the Kansas City Zoo. It was a gorgeous fall day, temps in the high 60s, but there was a constant breeze. I decided to toss my military jacket in the car and so glad I did. By the time we were ready to call it quits, the wind had picked up and created quite the chill. Later that evening we headed to dinner at Stroud’s and I love how my look took me from day to night without compromising comfort. I would wear this to work on a casual Friday and dress the whole thing up with brown boots or tan oxfords versus the cute Born tennis shoes.

Military Jacket: Banana Republic; Top: Gillian and O’Malley; Scarf: Gift; Earrings: Banana Republic; Jeans: Liz Lange Maternity; Shoes: Born

Even though today’s not casual Friday, I decided to be a rebel and wear jeans anyway. I am still on the look out for a pair of brown or camel maternity pants, and until that day arrives, I will just wear jeans. The sweater is thin but warm enough that I didn’t really need a standard t-neck or t-shirt for layering. Instead, I opted for a darling lace top and I love the hint of femininity it suggests. It adds additional detail but doesn’t take away from the sweaters buttons. For work, the lug soled boots are perfect, but for a day of walking I would substitute my adorable chocolate, suede booties. The heels are much lower and a little more comfortable.

Sweater: Kensie; Top: Ella Moss: Jeans: Joe’s Jeans; Boots: Ann Taylor Loft 

Again, you don’t have to sacrifice fashion for comfort. You just need to find your own spin on the concept. We all get in a rut from time to time, including myself, but give it try this weekend. Going to the grocery store? Throw on some dark jeans, a comfy sweater, cute shoes and some jewels. You don’t even have to shower if you don’t want to. No one will know the difference! All they will notice is how cute you look while out and about and will wish they had taken the time as well.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Wish List, Minus One

Last week I posted about my current wish list and as of today, I can mark the Sam Edelman Effie shoe in graphite gray off the list! I just purchased it off this fantastic website my friend Jennifer turned me on to, Lori’s Shoes. Lori’s Designer Shoes is based out of Chicago and she carries a full line of shoes and accessories. Since I’m not heading to the Windy City any time soon, the website will have to do. The store itself is on my list of shopping spots to hit on my next visit. Photos to come of the new shoes. I can’t wait to get them!

To Sir with Love Homage

Dress: Unknown designer; Tights: Merona, Booties: Nicole; Ring and Earrings: Silpada

Today I feel like I could be a school girl straight out of the 60s which reminded me of the wardrobe used in To Sir with Love I love the look of the 60s and it’s still evident in fashion today. Sweater and sheath dresses, the mini and pencil skirt, t-necks, and flats are all in abundance right now. It’s like they say, “everything old is new again”. I paired my dress with tights and booties that have become a favorite accessory with several dresses I’ve worn so far this season (seen here). I included some photos from the movie so you could compare, not only my look, but the looks from the ladies in the cast. Can you see the similarities in some of today’s fashion?

Photo Credits:

Photo One: www.moviegoods.com

Photo Two: www.services.tvland.com

Photo Three: www.ioffer.com