Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Crystal Blue Persuasion

Dress: Michael Kors via Rue La La; Shoes: Banana Republic;
All Jewelry: Silpada; Shades: Prada

No, you aren't seeing things incorrectly, there is only one sleeve to this dress and that's why I love it! The asymmetrical design has been on trend for several seasons now, but even if it weren't, I wouldn't part with this dress. The colors, the flow, the fit all make for a great piece. And, it is work appropriate but could easily be worn to dinner, parties and other social events. It's nice to have something other than the LBD to reach for in your closet.

When I tried it on at the beginning of the month it didn't fit. The lining was snug in all the wrong places and I was thoroughly depressed. I played fashion show that night before, trying to decide how to end my week of summer clothing, and decided to give it one more try. So glad I did! It fits again!! There isn't tons of room, but I felt like it wasn't so snug that I couldn't get away with it.

I purchased this dress last season and wore it once before the summer was over. I paired it with the same silver shoes but added a wide chain linked necklace. I like the delicateness of the three layered CZ necklaces. It doesn't compete with the amazing fabric. If you look closely, doesn't the design remind you of peacock feathers? You know, when their tail is fanned out? The colors are gorgeous, reminding me of the crystal blue waters for Jamaica.

I'm constantly trying to think of new ways to style my outfits. I'm thinking I will remove the self-belt and add my thin metallic one next time. Or something in a contrasting blue would be fun. As for the shoes, they would need to stay neutral. A black pump would be too heavy. I do like the silver. It's like wearing a nude shoe since it doesn't pull focus from the dress. I guess I will cross that bridge when I come to it! In the mean time, on to the next last of summer looks...

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Vote for Your Favorite

Saks Fifth Avenue and Stylist are conducting several styling challenges over the next couple of weeks so I've decided to through my hat, or creation, into the ring. The winner of each challenge wins a $2000 shopping spree to Saks! Who doesn't want to win that with fall right around the corner! I DO, that's who!

So, with that being said, this week's challenge is "A Night Out on the Town". I have pulled three recent looks that I think fall into that category and I'm asking all my readers to vote for their favorite look by adding a comment below. I need your votes by tomorrow at noon! This week's contest ends tomorrow. Nothing like procrastinating, but in my defense, I didn't decide to enter until now!

Thanks in advance!!!

Look A:

 Look B:

 Look C:

These Again??

Top: Ann Taylor Loft; Pants: Ralph Lauren; Belt: ??
Shoes: John Fluevog via Habitat Shoe Boutique;
Necklace: Silpada; Cuff: My Mom's; Shades: Prada

That's right, I'm wearing my white cargos AGAIN! Like I said last week, I'm trying to get in all my white and summery pieces in before next week. After Monday, I'm making the transition to fall. I've even started the transition within my closet. Going to put them back in their storage boxes and they will make their way to our unit this weekend.

Until then... I am so glad I went for comfort yesterday. I had a long morning of meetings followed by a dentist appointment and a doctor's appointment for McKinley. I felt like I was on the run all afternoon and this loose, breezy outfit was perfect. I purchased the chambray top back in March and didn't wear it because of post pregnancy weight. Then we moved right into summer and it was too hot to wear. Yesterday gorgeous and a perfect day for 3/4 sleeves. 

This top feels like a painters smock that we used to wear in elementary school. Remember when you had to take an old shirt for class? Do kids do that anymore? With the boxy fit, I decided to reduce the tops volume by adding a belt. I'm really into belting tops these days. I just love how they minimize my waist. And the metallic color was a nice accent.

Love these shoes! I'm thinking I might be able to wear them for about another month because of the denim blue and bone details. Had they been stark white, they would have been moved to the basement shoe storage closet. We'll see though. I have so many fall shoes that these might not make the cut. Stay tuned.

As for chambray, do you think it's a fabric that can be transitioned to fall? Because the buttons are a white wash I'm just not sure. Maybe layered under a sweater? I'll play around and see what I can come up with. I don't know about you but I am so ready to move into fall! My favorite time of year!

Monday, August 29, 2011

White - Day to Night

Top: Ann Taylor Loft; Jeans: Ann Taylor;
Shoes: Rachel Comey via Habitat Shoe Boutique
Ring: Silpada; Shades: Prada

Saturday was an uber busy day! We had a full morning of putting together McKinley's Baby Einstein play center, multiple feedings, a nap, a bath (for all of us) and finally an outing. I wanted to take my white jeans from day to night, as I was attending the Heart/Def Leppard concert later than night, so I am showing you my way of styling white jeans from day to night.

It was warm on Saturday, warmer than I was expecting, so I'm glad I wore this thin top. I've worn it before but the lighting was bad and the detail didn't turn out as well. I believe I paired it with boyfriend jeans and flats. I love the pale gray with the white jeans. I've enjoyed the softer colors with bright white versus loud colors you typically think to wear.

I originally tried a pale gray flat, but the jeans were just long enough that I needed a heel. Instead of stilettos for errand running, I thought these little gems were perfect! Great support without being terribly dressy. I can't wait to transition these shoes into fall with tights, skirts and dresses.

What does one pair with white jeans when heading to an 80s rock concert WITHOUT looking like you're trying to re-live your youth? Oh, and that said rock concert is Def Leppard? Why, leopard print, of course! I can't believe I had such a hard time deciding when the answer was so obvious! Sorry for the pour lighting. By the time we headed out to the concert it was too late to try and snap a photo and we couldn't find a decent place to take once we got there. Here is a better photo of the top. (Scroll toward the bottom of the post)

Top & Jeans: Ann Taylor; Shoes: Marc by Marc Jacobs

Here is a photo of Def Leppard performing "Love Bites" my second favorite love ballad from this era. I will never forget the first time I heard in the summer of 1987! Nothing like reminiscing about being 13 again! Ah memories!!!

Friday, August 26, 2011

I'd Rather Be Sailing

Dress:  Ralph Lauren: Shoes: Seychelles via Habitat Shoe Boutique;
Chain Link Bracelet: Ralph Lauren; Coin Bracelet: My Mom's;
Shades: Prada

This dress is so nautical with its boat neck, rope belt and blue/white stripes. But, I like that the "sea" inspired dress wasn't styled that way. I kept the accessories very neutral and stayed away from making it a themed look. There are tiny buttons on the neck in a bronze and the belt buckle is the same shade. Because of that, I went with metallic sandals and brushed gold jewelry.

If you are going to wear horizontal stripes, these are the ones to wear. Try to keep your white stripe small because it can make you look wider than you are! The low slung belt draws your eye down which happens to make my waist appear smaller. You skim over my waist without focusing on it. And I just love the crispness of this dress. It may be cotton but it feels dressier than that. You could definitely dress it down with Gladiators (seen here). Yet another summer look to put to rest.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Sunny Days

Cardigan: Target; Tank: Banana Republic; Pants: Ralph Lauren;
Belt: ?; Shoes: Faryl Robin via Habitat Shoe Boutique;
Bracelets: Silpada; Necklace: Gift

I am going to try and get all my summery pieces in before Labor Day so that I can focus on transition come September 6th! That means white pants, summery dresses and bright tops must all make their final appearance before being stored for winter. With that said, I focused on brights yesterday and felt pretty sunny all day long!

This cardigan was originally purchased to wear with a skirt my mom is making me, but in the mean time I'm finding so many other uses for it. (Seen here) I even have it planned for a skirt that has traces of yellow. Thinking that will come next week. These cargos were a great investment and here's hoping they are too big next year! (They were purchased this spring post baby weight. If I'm the same size next spring/summer, something is definitely wrong!) If they are too big, then I will definitely have them taiored. I love the ease of them, how lightweight they are and how they can go from casual to work appropriate.

I love the black accessories and how it doesn't make the outfit dark. If anything, the yellow pops against them. And I love how a thin belt can make anyone's waist look smaller. A lovely optical illusion, don't you think?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Totally Neutral

Top: Anthropologie; Tank: Ann Taylor Loft;
Jeans & Belt: Ann Taylor; Shoes: Banana Republic;
 Bracelets & Earrings: Silpada; Ring: Tiffany's

I can't lie, this outfit was inspired by a sales girl at Anthropologie. She paired a drapey blouse in blush with white jeans and I loved how soft the look was. It was simple and lovely. So as I planned my outfit the night before, I thought about this top and hoped it wasn't as fitted as I remembered it to be. I held my breath as I slipped it on, pulling over my head as I'm not about to unbotton all of those buttons, and I was shocked that it fit and loosely!

This blouse comes with a gauzy self-belt but I opted for something different. Normally, I use the belt to keep the look streamlined, but I wanted a little extra something. I first tried just my thin metalic belt but I really loved the brown and cream print against the blush. It added just a hint of color without overpowering the delicate color. Also, I normally pair this with dark skinnies but I love it with the white jeans. I'm not sure why I never thought to pair it like this. I love being inspired by others great fashion!

All the accessories, and the shoes, have been worn before. The bracelets and earrings were seen here and the shoes have been worn mulitple times, seen here and here and here. Again, with the neutral color of the top I didn't want to add too many additional details. The whisps of fabric that flow along the neckline, along with the tiny tie, are really the focal point. I've had this top for years and it has stood the test of time as far as trends go.

As far as accessories goes, this little guy is my all time favorite! He can be worn with anything and truly compliments every outfit! Isn't he adorable?? Now that's the kind of man every woman needs on her arm or in them! 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

BOHO...My Way

Dress: Forever XXI; Jacket: My Mom's circa 1970s;
 Shoes: Seychelles via Habitat Shoe Boutique; Necklace: Banana Republic;
Bracelets: Jessica Simpson; Ring: Hope, Faith, Miracles

This is that time of year where I become so uninspired when getting dressed in the morning. Fall transitional clothing is in stores, my fall fashion magazines are rolling in daily and I immediately start longing for sweaters, boots and layers. But, it's only the middle of August and entirely too hot to actually wear any of the items listed above. So, I try to find ways to trick myself into thinking I'm making that transition. This dress is a perfect example.

The colors are muted, not bright like you think of for summer, and paired with a cropped denim jacket I've added that layered look. The other great thing about the dress is that it's strapless so when you leave the office you're dressed for the heat. It's very Bohemian which is so trendy right now. A long dress, muted gold jewels, loose hair and you've got Boho down. At least that's Boho my way.

Do you find this time of year to be challenging or are you still embracing the heat and colors of summer? We are about two weeks away from Labor Day and you know what that means? No more white past September 5th. I know that the fashion guru's say you can wear white all year round, but this Southern gal will never wear white after Labor Day. I probably shouldn't say never. I do think you can wear a white blazer past Labor Day, but never white pants!!! I just wasn't raised that way.

Now, there is that all important winter white, but that will be discussed come fall!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Short Cut

Shirt: Ralph Lauren via Macys; Shorts & Belt: Ann Taylor Loft;
Shoes: Target; Zipper Bracelet: Jewelmint;
 CZ Necklace: Ann  Taylor; M Initial Pendant: Lord & Taylor

I know I said I hate my legs and don't wear shorts very often but I made an exception yesterday. I met a girlfriend at Town Center, an outdoor shopping center here in Overland Park, and with being a warm afternoon I knew I wanted something to wear something cool. I could have worn a sundress, but we were spending the rest of the afternoon at my parents house and you can't exactly laze around in a dress!

I went with the sleeveless denim button down after deciding against a plain white tee. First off, I've mentioned before that I don't own a great white tee at the moment and second, I still haven't found one I really like. Mossimo for Target used to make a great tee in various colors but he stopped producing them. They were cotton but had a little bit of lycra for stretch. I sure which he would bring those back. Had I had the right t-shirt, I would have paired these shorts with the same shoes and belt but added a great statement necklace. I will continue my search and maybe Style Mint will have one in the coming months.

I do like how the denim worked with the mustard and olive colors. So glad I invested in this top. Now I definitely need to invest in a long sleeved version. Super cute for fall when it's cool enough for sleeves but a little warm for jeans. You know that kind of weather, right?

I got this great belt at Ann Taylor Loft. I like the smaller version of this bridle belt. The larger version (seen here) is great for belting cardigans and dresses, but this one can be worn as an actual belt, as well as, all the things the large one can as well. Is anyone else singing "Anything you can do I can do better..." No?

I wasn't sure if I'd captured these Gladiators before so we took another photo. If anything, you can see the different shade the Peridot turned versus when I wore them with my Tory Burch thongs. (Seen here) I love these sandals. They are great for summer but transition nicely into fall with that rich Cognac color and brass hardware. 

Have you started thinking about pieces that can transition into fall? I can't stop thinking about that! I got my September issue of Instyle in the mail over the weekend and I can't wait to dive in. To me, that's officially the first day of fall! Bring on the wool....

Skirting the Issue

Skirt: Boutique in Southern CA; Scarf: Ann Taylor;
 Necklaces: Silpada; Shoes: Tori Burch

Friday night my husband and I loaded up McKinley and headed out for dinner at Old Chicago. I worked from home that morning and took the afternoon off to keep McKinley which was so much fun. He's such a blast to hang with! Anyway, I didn't really get dressed until Joel got home and really didn't know what to wear. I just didn't feel like throwing on the same ol' boyfriend jeans I've been sporting for weeks now and I'm feeling so self-conscious about the way my clothes fit. I just feel very limited these days.

I decided to actually wear the skirt I blogged about last year. (Seen here and I'm wondering if I still have those shoes!) I thought it was a great idea when I styled it but then never had the nerve to actually wear it in public. I got over that pretty fast this weekend. And, I'm pretty sure I can style this for fall. Ideas to come...

I tried several belt options and I settled on a black studded thin one. I started playing around with scarves to add a little color and texture to the "dress" when I decided to remove the belt and try a scarf belt instead. At first I tried knotting it and letting the fringe hang long. Didn't like that. So I tried wrapping it twice and twisting the ends along the scarf. The end result is a small knot with a tiny amount of fringe for texture. (Sorry the photos blurry but I wanted you to get the gist.) The scarf itself is white with silver metallic running through it.

I joined the Old Chicago World Beer tour years ago and I am currently on my fifth tour. I'm working toward my tenth in which I get my very own Stein that is kept at the restaurant with my name on it! Anyway, you have to drink 110 beers in order to complete the tour. There isn't a time limit on completion. And, during your first tour, there are milestones along the way in which you receive prizes. For those of us on our multiple tour, you get a cash prize when you hit half way and a final prize at 110. Last tour I got a grill set. Not sure what I get when I complete five.

Through out the year there are mini tours in which you get a specialized t-shirt upon completion. This mini tour was their summer can tour and I fell short of completing with three beers to go. I took a couple of pics of the cans because I liked their designs. The first one, the Halcyon Wheat was horrible. I'm not a big fan of the unfiltered wheat but I loved the cute can design! The second I actually enjoyed. Liked the can design as well, and if you look closely, there are little bees flying around the keg. And, the beer is just like it says, smooth and creamy.

Okay, back to your originally scheduled fashion blog...

What do you think of the nail polish? It's the new Chanel Peridot that's all over the fashion magazines these days. At first I was a little unsure, but I was wearing a white flip flop so the color was really bold against the stark white. As I've worn darker soled shoes, I like the hue that the polish takes on with each shoe. I love these thongs. The black and silver snake skin-esque leather is a nice neutral. 

Would you wear a skirt as a dress? Would you have guessed this dress was actually a skirt? Is there an item hanging in your closet that you could wear as something it was intended for and rock it? Not sure I'm rocking it, but I am comfortable and thinking of other ways to style it!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Red Hot

Top & Pants: Ann Taylor; Shoes: Jessica Simpson via Macy's;
All Jewelry: Silpada; Shades: Tom Ford

I have been stalking these pants for over a month! I first read about them in Lucky Magazine and of course tabbed the page for future purchase. I've been in and out of Ann Taylor every week checking to see if they were in stock. Turns out, the Ann Taylor's in the KC metro NEVER got the pants, but they were able to order them from a different store and have them shipped directly to me. Thank goodness because the website was down to only a size 14. They arrived on Tuesday!

That meant I had to wear them yesterday! Originally, I thought to pair them with a black twinset and leopard print shoes. Of course my black twinset didn't really work with the look, too short and a little out of date, so I need to invest in a new one. It would definitely be a throw back to the 60s. That's what I love about these pants. The cigarette style is so retro, and to be honest there is nothing really modern about them. Perfect for this retro kind of girl! I loved that I channeled Audrey Hepburn, Doris Day and Mary Tyler Moore all day. 

I am so glad that red is a huge part of fall clothing this season. Red just happens to be my favorite color, and with all the jewel tones and color blocking taking place, it's time to really start playing around with color blocking now that I have a canvas to play with. We'll see what comes of it!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

In the Navy

Sweater: Harold's; Tank: Ann Taylor Loft; Pants: Ann Taylor;
Shoes: Marc by Marc Jacobs via Rue La  La;
CZ necklace: Ann Taylor; M Pendant: Lord & Taylor;
Ring: Tori Spelling via HSN; Shades: Prada

This oufit just kind of happened. I knew I wanted to wear the white pants but had something completely different planned for the top. Then while showering, which is where I come up with some of my best creations, I remembered this sweater. I feel a little like Coco Chanel. I can imagine her sitting in the Hamptons wearing something similar and dripping in layers of pearls.

These shoes were one of my first purchases from Rue La La and I remember the expierence vividly! My girlfriend Jennifer and I were on the phone with one another for 15 minutes trying to decide exactly which shoe to purchase from the Marc by Marc Jacobs boutique. We clicked purchase before we knew it and I've loved them ever since. I don't wear them very often, but now that red is so big for fall, they will definitely be a part of the shoe rotation! 

Doesn't a weekend in the Hamptons sound amazing?? I've never been, but I know I would definitely fit in. Is there a place you have on your vacation radar? With the summer coming to a close, let's all day dream about the best vacation ever!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Look Over Your Shoulder

Dress: Bar III via Macy's; Belt: The Limited;
 Shoes: Steve Madden Luxe via DSW;
Clutch: Kate Spade; All Jewelry: Silpada

Saturday night we attended a bridal shower for our friends Julie and Danny and I really wanted to look chic. Not sure that I look chic, I could never really admit that out loud, but I do think I pulled off festive! I love the one shoulder trend and it's been a part of my wardrobe for about three years. My first one shoulder dress was actually made for me out of red silk shantung. I wore it on a trip to NY in 2008 and I felt like such a trendsetter!

This one shoulder number is from a line at Macy's called Bar III and it's actually the second piece I've purchased from their collection. I love that it's trendy but something I'll still wear it after the trend has disappeared. Those looks are true investments. The dress is very simple with just an elastic waist so I added this Obi belt for a little more drama. I love the "wow" factor. Again, it's all about that one accessories that makes an outfit go from cute to fabulous!

Because the belt was the true focal point, I kept the other accessories to a minimum. I added five small bangles, a simple pair of hoop earrings and my red straw clutch. I couldn't decided on shoes, and wasn't in love with these, but I went with my strappy zipper heels. I really wanted a cute wedge which I still can't believe I don't own. Maybe next year.

I do have to admit that these are some of my favorite photos to date. I still had that air of confidence held over from Friday when I wore my magic jeans. Plus, anytime I get my hair blownout I feel a little bit better about myself. I just don't find natural curls to be as sexy as a the look I get from straight. That Jeff sure does know his way around a blow dryer and a round brush!

Who Wears Short Shorts...

Top: Anthropologie; Tank & Shorts: Ann Taylor Loft;
Belt: Target; Shoes: Jessica Simpson;
Bracelets: Ralph Lauren; Rings: House of Harlow via Gilt;
Shades: Prada

I honestly don't wear shorts very often. I hate my legs. I feel like I can't ever get shorts long enough to cover the upper thigh, and when I do, they are so long I feel matronly. When I bought the top a couple of weekends ago, I knew I needed to invest in some fun shorts. And since I don't own any outside of denim, I HAD to go shopping!

 I really wanted some solid ones in various colors, but I can never find what I'm looking for when I need it. Had I not wanted solid colored shorts, I would have found them in a rainbow of colors. I found a really cute pair in a metalic linen, but they didn't have my size. These happened to be the last pair I tried on and I have to say, I love them. They are a little short for me, but I am just going to have to embrace them and move on. Because of the mix of mustard and olive, they will look great with other tops as we hopefully transition into fall. And the shoe pairing is endless. A great investment and they were on sale to boot!

I so wished my coral belt had been larger. It would have been a great neutral. Alas, it was too small so I went with chocolate brown and gold. I actually loved pairing gold tones with this look. Just made it look a little more luxe. And what about that blow out? I have the best guy here in KS! Let me know if you need him! He's amazing!