Recently in Clothes Category

I am picky about my little boy's clothes. Ridiculously picky, actually. So many rules: no characters (with some limited exceptions), no slogans, nothing violent, nothing stupid, blah blah blah. And yes, I definitely have a soft spot for some of the higher end (and higher priced) kids' clothes retailers (Tea Collection, I am looking at you!). However, the majority of my baby's non-thrifted clothes come from moderate-to-low priced lines, and I'm pretty typically able to find many more options than he could ever wear for cute things to buy. Because of this, I find the complaints about the lack of nice, non-misogynistic clothes available for little boys puzzling. I seriously wonder if it's a difference in taste or in where we shop that puts me on one side of this question and the majority of my fellow small-boy-mom friends on the other. With the purpose of perhaps figuring it out, I pulled together a quick collection of moderately priced and currently available toddler boys' clothes, from common stores (Target, which is my favorite; Old Navy; and Kohl's). All of these things should be accessible either in-store or online, all are moderately priced (typically $8-$15), and I think all are crazy cute. There is, however, a caveat--unlike the more "upscale" brands, where I can pretty much pick up anything and think it's nice, finding these items does require a little bit of digging, either virtual or in-store. You have to get through the obnoxious character stuff to get to these more subdued and classic pieces. But lucky you, this time I did that for you!


Old Navy



Those are cute! I really like the choo choo one from Old Navy.

My 3 year old has some of those fake layered long sleeve shirts and the only thing I don't like about the light colored sleeves is he gets them really grubby. That might be a testament to my laundry abilities though.

Megan, it's not you, it's the shirts. Light colors just stain more when subjected to a child doing the things children are supposed to do.

I totally agree. What's not cute about stripes, trains, robots, cutesie monsters?

I have a harder time finding cute but not nauseating girls clothes, especially now that she loves frills, and dresses that spread out, and lace, and tulle. I swear, it all comes with butterflies AND sparkles AND ruffles. I think they need to follow that rule of thumb during design when you put all your girlie elements together and then remove 2.

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Ode to Ann Taylor


I never expected to be an Ann Taylor kind of person. I never expected to be that conservative. Or that formal. Or pay that much for clothes. But time and circumstances change and these days, Ann Taylor is the brand most often spotted in my closet. It's easily thriftable, it fits me well, and some of their clothes are great (some are frankly still too stuffy and formal for me, but not so often anymore). The majority of my Ann Taylor clothes are thrifted, but I also stalk sales, and they have great ones, particularly online. Recently, I hit a good sale (40% off already on sale styles, I think?), and since very little of my current wardrobe fits (post-nursing body changes, we'll leave it at that), I went a little wild. The order hasn't arrived yet, so I can't tell you what worked and what didn't, but I can show you what I ordered:

Trellis Print Banded Hem Boatneck Top
Trellis Print Banded Hem Boatneck Top.jpg
This top strikes several boxes for me. It's dressy enough for work without being a dreaded button down, it's patterned, but not busy, and it's navy, which is my current favorite color. I'm not 100% sure the banded hem will work--it depends on the length of the shirt--but I love the boatneck, so I'm willing to give it a try.

Marina Print Shirred Cuff Peplum Shell
Marina Print Shirred Cuff Peplum Shell.jpg
Another line I'm not 100% sure will work--I've tried and failed with peplums several times already--but I really like the black and white graphic print and the combination of the cowl neckline and the shirred shoulder, so we'll see.

Sunburst Imprint Cinched Waist Top
Sunburst Imprint Cinched Waist Top.jpg
I really want this one to work. I love everything about it, from the front-gather at the waist to the crisp look of the fabric to the unusual and striking black and white "sunburst" print. I'm hoping the gathering will work with a cardigan over the top, as well.

Geo Print Ruffled Neck Bubble Hem Top
Geo Print Ruffled Neck Bubble Hem Top.jpg
Once again, I'm unsure, but hopeful. If the top is long enough, the bubble hem should be OK. If it's not, then it will be a disaster. But because I love the print, and the neckline, I'll try it. Again, I'm picturing this mostly with a cardigan worn over it, since it's a bit too much shoulder for work on its own.

Tie Waist Sleeveless Top
Tie Waist Sleeveless Top.jpg
This one is a classic piece I've been after for ages. I'm crossing my fingers that it ties in the correct spot, since I'm so long-waisted, but if it does, I bet it will get tons of wear.

Geo Ikat Print Wrap Top
Geo Ikat Print Wrap Top.jpg
This is one that I am guessing won't actually work on me. Wrap tops never seem to hit the right spot, and in person I may well find the print too busy. Still, I have a thing for Ikat, I can't imagine it's not going to be dying out soon, and I wanted to try it.

Lattice Top
Lattice Top.jpg
I'm lately getting a ton of mileage out of "dressier" tanks worn under cardigans for work. They solve a lot of my huge arm fit problems. This one is an attempt to add to that collection, with an unexpected color (not a lot of orange in my wardrobe) and a nice graphic print.

Lattice Print Split Neck Bubble Hem Top
Lattice Print Split Neck Bubble Hem Top.jpg
Same cool lattice print, a color I'm more comfortable with (love teal!) and a more laid-back style. I'm picturing this one mostly with jeans, assuming the bubble hem works out.

Siesta Dot Print Banded Hem Top
Siesta Dot Print Banded Hem Top.jpg
This banded hem top checks all the same boxes as the first banded hem I posted, but in a slightly less subdued colored and pattern. If it fits, it'll be versatile and comfortable for a casual work look.

Crew Neck Short Sleeve Cardigan
Crew Neck Short Sleeve Cardigan.jpg
In my work wardrobe, there is no such thing as too many cardigans, and several of my current ones are getting to worn out/stretched out/etc. This peach one is half-sleeved, which makes it multi-season for me, since I tend to run a bit on the warm side in the office, and I like the unusual color.

Spring Cardigan
Spring Cardigan.jpg
It was very difficult for me to not to buy this cardigan in multiple colors and to just stick with this great raspberry shade. Why? V-neck. I LOVE v-neck cardigans, which are much more neckline-versatile than the crew neck variety, and they're kinda hard to find. I'm a wee bit worried about sleeve length on this one, though, so I stuck with just the one.

Woodcut Geo Print Halter Dress
Woodcut Geo Print Halter Dress.jpg
This dress was probably a mistake. It will almost certainly be shorter than I want, and the neckline won't work for work without a cardigan. But I love it anyway, especially the print, and it was on super-discount, so I decided to try it. Do as I say, not as I do, folks.

Ikat Striped Maxi Dress
Ikat Striped Maxi Dress.jpg
I've been after this dress--and too cheap to pay for it--all summer. But for $36 on sale, I'm snagging it and saving it for next summer. If I miraculously change sizes by then, I'll have it altered.

Whew! That's actually a little bit embarrassing. To be fair, though, there's no way that a bunch of it won't be going back due to fit issues. That's just how it goes.

I could seriously have bought twice as many things as I did. There are tons of things I like at AT right now. If you haven't checked them out lately, you may want to.


Two thoughts:

One of my joys in life is scoring Ann Taylor stuff from Goodwill.

ARGH the button-downs. I used to think I just hadn't found the right one. Then I realized I just hate them.

We do almost all handmedowns, out of financial necessity. My daughter gets a ton of handmedowns from the family I used to nanny for. I will occasionally buy new when we have gift cards or something. And there are just some necessities that we may have to fill in the gaps on (underwear, her gymnastics clothes - I try to get those off of ebay, sneakers, soccer uniforms, etc.) About the only thing I will spring for full-price ($12) are a particular pair of jeans which are the ONLY pair we have found that we can adjust to fit her very skinny waist without being too baggy in the legs, or too short.

I keep a yearly budget, and from January 2011 to this month, I've spent $453.17 total on clothing for the two of us. I don't have it broken down completely as to exactly what was bought when, but, I know that included an outfit (and shoes - I'm a size 10, hard to find used) for a wedding, a formal interview outfit, 3 years of soccer uniforms plus 2 years of gymnastics, new sneakers for me as my old ones wore out, two new bathing suits for me (one got shredded in a waterslide/wardrobe malfunction escapade), winter boots (for me) /gloves/balaclavas (for both) (didn't have any, and I'm outside 2-3 hours a day in almost weather), etc.

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Dress You Up: ME!


So, as I've mentioned, I'm having some trouble with my post-partum wardrobe. Enough trouble that I'd be a perfect candidate for What Not To Wear, or for my own Dress You Up series. When I mentioned that to a group of friends, one friend suggested that another friend, who is tearing it up with reinventing her own style right now, step in as a guest blogger and put me through the Dress You Up treatment.

What a great idea, right?

So I told my friend A.:

I mainly need clothes for work, though there is really no aspect of my wardrobe that doesn't need help. I have no real dress code at work, just sort of rough personal guidelines. I'd wear jeans to work, but I wouldn't wear shorts. I'm still nursing and pumping, so stuff that makes that easier is great, but not 100% necessary. I'm attending an outdoor casual wedding in July and I'd like something nice for that. I also need (God help me) something to wear to the pool.

I'm pretty much size 16, though it varies. I'm curvy with medium sized boobs and a big butt/wide hips. Post-partum belly is a concern. Things that come in long length are obviously best, but some non-long length items work (though generally not long pants). I hate capris but don't mind longer cropped pants.

Shoes are a huge problem, as I am currently in a 13.

I love accessories, but don't wear earrings or rings--necklaces, bracelets, and scarves are great.

I like dark/deep colors, black, white, and gray. I really dislike pastels.

In my perfect world, I have a simple, chic style that tends slightly towards the boho.

And A. did an absolutely fantastic job, suggesting five work looks, two pool looks, and three wedding options!

Casual grace

About this look, A. said:
Since your office is casual, I think you need a great, basic denim jacket. They go with everything and denim is a big trend right now. So is lace, and this eyelet top is a great layering piece. The skirt is bold and fun, with the bright, contrasting colors, but has a simple shape that is flattering on a curvy figure. Plus, prints are so in right now!

The yellow sandals are comfortable, but still fun and young.

I LOVE statement necklaces! Love love love. They are super popular and everywhere right now, so I think you should wear it and enjoy the trend! Plus, they will not overwhelm you like they can on a petite woman; you wear the piece, it won't wear you. The coral necklace ties together with the skirt and bracelets, yet all these pieces could be mixed with the other work attire for completely different looks.

I am a big fan of this whole outfit (with the possible exception of the wallet and bag, which I don't think would quite work for me). I love the idea of a denim jacket, and will be on the lookout for one that fits right. I love both the colorful stack of bracelets and the statement necklace. The skirt, from eShakti, is a shape I hadn't considered for myself, but will definitely try. The real winner for me here, though, is the shoes. I love the shoes. They're the Ros Hommerson Quiz, available for $50 at in red, white, black, and tan, as well as this great banana yellow.

Grace Work 2

A says:

This is a great way to dress up jeans for work. The trouser cut and dark wash (so so very hard to find right now) are fine for a casual office, the blazer can be worn year round, while the printed top is very current. With your overall boho-vibe, I added some wooden and natural stone jewelry. Wood bracelets look great piled on and mixed, so grab them cheap and mix them up. The faux-croc shoes are sharp, yet comfortable and classic. The studs and fringe on the bag plus the crossbody strap make it fun and not boring.

This outfit looks very much like the sort of best case scenario of what I would wear right now. The jeans are by NYDJ and I love the cut of them so much I'd consider buying them, even at $110, if they came in a 36" inseam (but they don't). However, I have some similar trouser jeans from Eddie Bauer that I can sub in. I really love the wood and stone jewelry--I have a few things that fit that bill, but I'm going to be on the lookout for more. The shirt is a print and shape I am already comfortable with (flowing, as it does, away from the belly), as is the jacket, though I hadn't considered the light colored jacket with dark colored top and jeans idea, and I think it looks great in the set. Again, my biggest love is the shoes. This pair are by Fitzwell, on sale for $30 at 6pm (they're synthetic, but there are plain colored tan and navy leather versions available as well). I love the little platform and the chunky heel. With the 3" heel, though, I'd definitely need that 36" inseam on the jeans!

work it, Mom!

A says:

As a busy mom, I know you need work looks that as fashionable and functional, as well as pieces that can mix-and-match. Black and white is always chic, the linen pieces make it fresh for summer.

A huge current trend is mixing patterns. For this outfit, the dots and the two animal prints. By keeping the shapes basic and the colors in sync, it looks effortless and pulled together, not clashy. And no woman can go wrong with a classic pair of oversize shades, peep toes and a sturdy bag.

I love this look. Every single piece. The pants, from Loft, are just the shape I love best, with a nice wide leg (though I rarely wear linen, as I am an iron-phobe). The bag is just perfect in every way (except for that $400 Coach price tag). The safari suit jacket, from Banana Republic, is something I never would have thought of, but I love it (again, the light jacket with dark pants thing!). The peep-toe pumps scare me a little bit--narrow high heels are not my best friends, but I think they look great. My biggest love, though, is the top and scarf combo. I love the colors and the pattern mix. The top, from Land's End, is actually something I own in another color, and after seeing it in this set, I think I may have to buy a second one.

grace works

A explains:

As a complement to the bold neon trend (which I know Grace hates!) graphic black and white looks are hot for summer too. This dress is simple, the chevrons are slimming and the belt keeps it from being shapeless. I'd add leggings for the office. I couldn't pick shoes, so I put both! The red flats have such fun details and the polka dot wedges are current without screaming trendy.

Again, statement necklaces! Embrace them! And mixed patterns again, keeping to a simple palette and strong contrasts to play up the black and white. The leather cuff is very Grace, her inner SOA biker-chick.

And she's right--I do hate neon. But black and white I like a lot, and this kimono-style short dress over leggings is very cute. I'm kind of staying away from this type of shape because it reminds me too much of the maternity clothes of my near-past, but I see how this could work, too. The accessories are nothing short of perfect. The red necklace (from Etsy) needs to come home with me, as do the amazing David Tate polka dot wedges (also available in blue, lime green, beige, and orange polka dots!). The cuff, sadly, is over $600 and from Givenchy, so it's beyond even my dream budget. But maybe I can find something similar, because A. is not wrong about it appealing to my inner SOA biker chick.

Grace summer work

A says:

I know you aren't loving the pastel skinny pants, but these are cut slim but not tight, plus they are a rich tomato shade of red. This eyelet top can be office dressy if needed, and it's a-line so its slimming and comfortable. The tan jacket mixes in, neutral and polished.
These wedges are my favorite shoe I found for you. The construction is so beautiful, the wooden sole with the two soft suede taupes. I think they would look great with jeans, dresses or office attire.

Since the outfit is a bit bland, I think you need a bright scarf that is decidedly not. It will add color and interest around your face and will perk you up after a sleepless night.

I didn't love this outfit when I first looked at it--A. is right, the colored slim pants turn me off. The more I look at it, though, the more I like it. I'm still not sold on the pants, but I love the shoes--they're Antia, $77 at 6pm, and if they didn't have a nearly 4" wedge I'd already have bought them. I'm also a big fan of the scarf--this one is spendy, over $300, but the looks can easily be attained with a thrift store silk scarf, of which I have scads. My favorite part of this look, though, are the turquoise beaded bracelets. I love the idea of what I think of as "Southwestern" jewelry with an otherwise prepster ensemble like this one.

The pool looks A. came up with are just as great as the word ideas:

hot pool mami2

She explains:

For your pool looks, I went for function. With a mobile toddler, you are going to need a suit that fits well and stays in place. This halter top will hold the girls in, plus the neckline shows off the nursing-cleavge! I think skirted bottoms are awesome, they look good and are so practical.

And being practical, you are going to need a big bag, a huge hat, non-slip shoes and a great pair of shades. The cute watch is waterproof and will make sure you aren't out in the sun too long.

I'm not 100% sold on this suit--skirted bottoms have never worked for me, mostly because I don't like the way they feel in the water. However, the top is great, and could easily be paired with a regular bottom or a boy-short style one. And everything else about this ensemble is absolutely fantastic. The retro Crocs flip flops are definitely on my to-buy list (as soon as I get a suit so I know what color I want!). The hat is absolutely amazing and I will have my eyes peeled for a cheaper version, and I really want to justify the amazing chevron striped straw bag. This set has also convinced me that I really do need aviator style sunglasses.

hot pool mami1

A. writes:

Another practical pool mom look, this one a bit more trendy. Tribal prints, mixed prints and the pop of red make you look stylish, but the halter and skirt suit will be easy to play with baby.

Again, non-slip hoes, shades and a hat, this time, a bit more trendy, with the fedora.

I like this one a lot, too. Again, not sold on the skirted suit, but the top (another one from Lands' End) is great. The pattern mixing and tribal elements are hot, I think, and I especially love the incredibly chic black and white print towel (from Billabong).

Amazingly enough, I've saved the best for last. I am still trying to figure out which of the three possibilities A. presented for the wedding I'm attending in July I love the most. I may have to have a vote in the comment!

grace wedding

Says A.:

When you asked for a casual wedding look, I fell in love with this dress. It's drapey, dolman styling makes it comfortable and not clingy. The defined waist will give you a clean shape, plus it shows off your long legs and goes great with the fabulous wedges.
With the patterned dress, I thought simple jewelry and rosy makeup would look great. And a flower pin holding your hair back would be the perfect pop of color.

This dress, from Jessica Howard, is amazing. I love, love, love it. And the simple, rosy shoes/makeup/jewelry are absolutely perfect with it. This whole ensemble strikes me as both very chic and very appropriate, and also as something I could totally pull off. I'm in awe.

wedding look 1

The idea:

This is, hands down, my favorite look. It is so stunning, yet effortless, boho chic and so put together all at once.

This watercolor maxi would be STUNNING on you. We all know you rock maxis, this one would look great with your stature and coloring. Its drapey jersey could be dressed up with gold, like I did here, or dressed down for work with a solid scarf and a denim jacket.
For the wedding, I would play up the neckline by putting your hair into a soft, loose bun and adding a long, layered necklace. This one is very Great Gatsby inspired, which is another huge trend this summer. Also, gold. Gold is back in a big way and it looks fresh and summery. The gold sandals and trim on the bag tie in with the jewelry. I also added a big scarf, just in case you need nursing camouflage or it gets chilly after the sun goes down. These particular pieces are higher priced, but with the gold trend this strong, there are knockoffs everywhere!

She couldn't be more right. This outfit absolutely nails it. The dress is Presley Skye, available for $118 at Nordstrom, and I think I'm going to have to buy it whether I decide to wear it to the wedding or not. It's just too perfect not to buy. I also really, really love the shoes, which are by David Tate. They're chic and low-heeled enough to chase my probably-walking-by-that-point kid around. And the long, layered, Gasby-inspired necklaces are just wonderful. I'm unlikely to buy this $138 set, but I'm sure I can find something similar.

To round things out, A. offered another take on the maxi dress wedding idea:

wedding look 2

A. says:

Just a remix on the maxi and gold, in case you though the pattern was too much. This maxi has a great color and a super flattering wrap. The ruffle edge makes it so chic and young.

I went with a statement necklace against this solid dress, since it would be overkill with the watercolor pattern. And coral toes in those gold sandals would pull it all together.

I don't love this dress as much as the other one, but this one is great, too. The blue is a fantastic color and the wrap is really distinctive. My favorite part of this look, though, is the fantastic cuff bracelet--isn't it gorgeous?

Since I loved the pieces A. picked so much, I couldn't help but take a shot at a bit of remixing:

Remix #1

I like the idea of a casual take on the shorter dolman-sleeve dress, with the low-heel casual sandals, floppy hat, and turquoise bracelets. This seems like it could go to work, out on a weekend, to the Farmer's Market--just about anywhere.

Remix #2

The other wedding dress option could just as easily be made casual, even with the same low-heeled gold sandals--as A. mentioned, the jean jacket would be great for that. I also like the idea of adding the cuff bracelet and the wooden beaded necklace for sort of an earthy element.

Remix #3

Finally, a work remix, featuring some of favorite pieces--the drapey LE top, the trouser jeans, and those amazing polka dot platform sandals. I love the pattern mix here with the watch, shoes, and shirt.

I was a little bit trepidatious about being on this end of this process, but it's been really fun, and A. gave me some great ideas. Specifically, I'm going to try to use things already in my wardrobe to replicate the jeans-based work look and the wide-legged trouser look. I'm also going to try to find cost-friendly replicas of most of the jewelry and the jean jacket. As far as the actual pieces A. suggested, I am considering purchasing the following:
-Ros Hommerson Quiz Sandals
-OnlyPearl Red Bubble Necklace
-Jessica Howard Dolman Sleeve Smock Waist Blouson Dress
-Crocs Retro Flip Flop
-Presley Skye Print Jersey Maxi Dress
-David Tate Caress Sandals


What a fantastic blog post!!! I think Amy hit it out of the park for you; I can see you in every single piece.

Huzzah for the return of Dress You Up!! ;)

Awesome! I love Dress You Up and I think A did an awesome job capturing your unique style. Do you think you'll ask her back?

I am generally not a clothes person but I think A did a fantastic job! I especially like outfit 2 with the red, white, black, and tan colors. It is interesting she picked a jean jacket - I've been seeing them everywhere lately and have thought about that for a casual jacket. My office is casual so that would work for me.

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What I'm Wearing to Work: An Update


I've been trying for weeks to get a picture of myself in the morning so I could tell you about how I'm dressing this new body for this new job. Unfortunately, mornings at my house are still insane enough that a photo session just doesn't make the priority list. I thought about drawing you a picture, but that would only end in tears. So let's try Polyvore instead?

A recent worn-to-work outfit:

What I'm Wearing to Work


Loft Flocking Bird Print Tie Neck Blouse | Steal That DressSteal That...

The linked products are the exact ones I have, the others are approximations. My chambray trousers are actually from the Ann Taylor outlet store, and my black flats are an old style by Naturalizer. But you get the idea.

I'm not completely happy with the current look, but not totally unhappy, either. My new office is very casual, so this level of dressing makes me one of the more dressed up people around. I'm OK with that, I think, but it's a fine line and I definitely don't want to get too formal. I'm also worried recently about my move towards simplicity and understated clothes making me look just plain boring--I feel like the cute bird print blouse in the bright color guards against that in this particular case, but some mornings I do look at myself and yawn. Makeup is the same deal--I want an understated, streamlined look, but I'm trying not to put myself to sleep (or make myself look older than I am).

So, that's about where I am, fashion-wise. I am hoping to have some more in-depth and interesting things to say about clothes and the post-partum body and all that in the future.

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Spring Clothes: Digging the Bullseye

You know who has cute clothes this spring? Target. Yep, really. Wanna see?

Every single thing here is from Target! You could go with a sleek, sophisticated formal look:

Target Spring Outfit #3

Target Spring Outfit #9

Target Spring Outfit #2

Target Spring Outfit #2

Merona Tunnel Waist Floral Blouse, $19.99
Converse One Star Skinny Leg Annie Pants, $27.99
Merona Melinda Wedge, $14.98
Mossimo Hobo Bag, $29.99
Drop Cluster Earrings, $12.99
Suede Braid Bracelet, $6

Target's offerings really do rum the gamut. One thing I would advise anybody who doesn't typically consider Target an option for clothes to do is check out the online possibilities. A lot of things are available online that they don't have in store. For example, all of these pieces are online-only:

Target Online Only Clothes/Shoes

Target Online Only Clothes/Shoes

Mossimo Floral Pleated Skirt with Pleather Trim, $8.04
Merona Slimming Options V-Neck Crossover Dress, $28
Mossimo Ponte Skinny Leg Pants, $22.99
Mossimo Ona Striped Scrunch Ballet Flats, $19.99
Merona Crossover Neck Knit Dress, $17.48
Prabal Gurung for Target Long-Sleeved Cardigan, $32.99
Mossimo Ponte Peplum Skirt, $19.99
Merona Emilia Nautical Tall Wedge Sandals, $29.99
Merona Long Sleeved Sweater Jacket, $29.99

Now, a word about quality. A lot of folks will tell you not to buy clothes at places like Target because they are cheaply made and you can tell. Sometimes, that is absolutely true. Other times, the construction seems just fine to me. You really have to take it item-by-item. While it is true that you're not likely to be getting heirloom quality pieces at Target, the truth is that most of us aren't buying heirloom quality pieces anyway. Rightly or wrongly, we're a culture to whom clothes are pretty disposable, at both this price point and those several rungs above it. My best advice is always to buy clothes secondhand when possible, but when it's not, I see nothing wrong with trying to make as economical a choice as possible, and I think Target has really upped their game as far as creating pieces that are inexpensive, but don't look cheap.

I actually ordered a few things from Target for myself the other day, since I am down to a very very small section of clothes that fit in my closet (ah, the joys of post-partum dressing). I'll let you know how they work out!
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I don't know what I'd have to spend to get something that would last as long as I want it to.

I don't see anything up there that I can or should wear, ever. Am I missing something?

What numbering system are we using for the outfits? This is 9?

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Nautical Baby Clothes for Spring

So I have this obsession with baby clothes these days. Probably not surprising, given that I have a newish baby. But baby clothes are so much cuter than I thought! And so much more stylish! This spring, there is a ton of nautical-inspired stuff for babies, and I particularly love that. It's available in both the boys and girls sections, and, to me, it largely reads as gender neutral. The color scheme (navy, gray, red), the stripes, and the motifs themselves (anchors, boats) are refreshingly un-gendered, and also a little bit mature, while still being cute for kids. I just love it.

So, I picked out a few favorite things available right now for kids, at price points across the board. And I'm sitting on my hands not to buy numbers 2, 8, and 16 for my kid!

Nautical Baby Clothes for Spring

Nautical Baby Clothes for Spring by avengingophelia

Here's what we've got:

1. Carter's 2-Piece Tee and Short Set, $13.20
2. Trendy Twin Shop Baby Boy's Anchor Nautical Onesie, $20
3. Gymboree Button Stripe Top, $16.49
4. Boden Baby Applique Jersey Dress, $30
5. Circo Infant Toddler Girls' Pants in Navy Voyage, $5
6. Gymboree Tugboat Submarine Tee, $12.71
7. Cherokee Infant Toddler Girls' Stripe Blazer, $14
8. Boden Baby Vehicle Applique T-Shirt, $20
9. Hatley Infant Boys' Super Soft Day Romper, $29.99
10. Circo Infant Toddler Girls' Jean Shorts--Dark Chambray, $5
11. Le Top Nautical Stripe Tee with Canvas Shorts, $46
12. Circo Newborn Boys' Short-Sleeved Bodysuit--Gray, $5
13. Cherokee Infant Toddler Boys' Short-Sleeved Tee, $6
14. Burt's Bees Newborn Boys' Boat Print Bodysuit--Blue, $9.95
15. Hatley Anchor Long Sleeved Kids' Graphic Tee, $19.95
16. Hatley Blue Whales Boys' Short Set, $39.99
17. Cherokee Infant Toddler Boys' Long-Sleeved Top, $12

What do you think? Seen any awesome nautical baby clothes recently? What am I missing?

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Post-Partum Work Capsule Wardrobe


As promised, I have created a possible post-partum work capsule wardrobe. I put this together with myself in mind, but I think it might be transferable to someone else in my position. This is a capsule specifically with going back to work in a casual professional office in mind.

Post-Partum Work Capsule Wardrobe

These are the pieces you see:

1. Black ponte wrap dress: This one is a standard recommendation for a reason. Endlessly versatile, easy to wear, easy to launder, and even easy to nurse in! I actually go with a faux wrap, for a bit more coverage and an easier fit--actual wrap dresses often hit me in the wrong place. The one I chose is on sale for $30 at Land's End, too!

2. Slim black ponte pants: Do you sense a ponte theme? These are again, very versatile and easy for an ever-changing post-partum body to wear, while still appearing sleek and professional. The ones shown here are from White House Black Market ($78).

3. Wide leg gray trousers: I don't like all of my bottoms to be black, and I find a medium gray to be an equally versatile option. I also don't feel like wearing slim cut pants every day, so I think a wide-legged pair is a must. I actually had a workhouse pair of pants similar to these before getting pregnant that I hope to fit into again at some point. In the meantime, this pair is from White House Black Market, on sale for $50.

4. Black pencil skirt: Another classic recommendation. This one is not without its issues on the post-partum body, but a high waisted version might work well for tummy camouflage. Once again, I'm choosing a ponte option for maximum flexibility, from Gap ($55).

5. Ponte peplum blazer: With its distinctive peplum cut and aubergine color, this blazer might seem like a strange choice, but I think it would actually be a really versatile and handy addition to this capsule. I like peplum cut for drawing attention away from the post-partum lower belly issues, and the deep aubergine color can be worn with a surprising number of things, but looks particularly good with the black or gray bottoms I've selected. And, once again, choosing ponte for flexibility and washability. This one is sold out, unfortunately, but it was on sale for $27 at Dorothy Perkins.

6. Long cardigan: Assuming you don't have a super conservative/dressy work environment, I think a long cardigan is a must have wardrobe item, especially for days when you just want to feel a little bit cozy at work. I chose a merino option, to keep things looking nice, and a great bright color, since I didn't want the capsule to be completely neutral. This is one is on sale for $40 at J. Crew.

7. Patterned faux wrap top: Much like the faux wrap dress, this top allows easy access for nursing and a flexible fit for a changing chest. The high waist line also draws attention away from the lower belly problem area. This one, with a mellow floral pattern in pink, green, and blue, also offers a much needed pop in a pretty somberly toned wardrobe. It is on sale for $27 at Yumi.

8. White v-neck: Another one of those oft-suggested workhorses, but for a reason, as this top can go anywhere, from under a suit jacket to with jeans on the weekend. Though it's expensive for what it is, at $60, I like this Banana Republic version because of the half-length sleeves and slight dolman cut. I think white is a good choice for this shirt, too, since the capsule tends towards dark colors otherwise.

9. Print tunic: This is one that probably will only work in a fairly casual environment, but if you happen to have that sort of leeway in your wardrobe, I think it would be a great addition, especially on the days you just want to hide your post partrum figure. I like this economy version, $23 at Target, for its forgiving neckline and very cool bird print.

10. Chevron striped tank: Any sort of striped tank would work, but I love a chevron. This is a layering item, for sure, but I think it's still versatile enough to warrant inclusion in the capsule, as it easily pairs with all of the bottoms and both the cardigan and the jacket. I love adding a crisp, geometric type option, too, since this capsule tends towards less precise prints. This plus-sized option is apparently sold out, but was $26 at Maurice's.

11. Flat/low heeled knee high boots: Obviously, heeled boots are an option, but in an effort to keep things wearable, I chose a low heel. One cannot overestimate the versatility of knee-high boots, and they're available at all kinds of price points. This nice pair the Sam Edelman Loren, and they're on sale for $150 at My Wardrobe.

12. Black flats: Again, heels are an option, but not the one I'd choose at this point in my life. I do like a little wedge, though, instead of something completely flat, so I this pair, from Monsoon ($60) fit the bill nicely. I like the low wedge and the simple knot detail.

Total pieces in capsule: 12
Total cost of capsule: $626

And how many different outfits can it make? Well, I stopped putting them together at 16, but I'm sure there are more.

Did any of you attempt a capsule wardrobe when you went back to work after having a baby? How did it work out? Any must-have pieces I missed?

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Great wardrobe set!! I am in desperate need of a new work sweater (my gray one is worn out) and I could use a black blazer as well...gray and black seem to be my go-to colors these days. looking forward to spring colors, though!

I love the peplum blazer and chevron tank! I'm going to start watching for them!

I believe I can wear all of these clothes to work myself. I especially love wearing wide leg trousers and I love a good blazer. I am typically into colors so going to work for me requires a colorful palette definitely.

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Mommy's Interview Wear


As I've indicated, I am having trouble with clothes. I am having a LOT of trouble with clothes. And this week, that trouble was more than just my typical embarrassment at wearing yoga pants in public. I had to figure out something to wear for a job interview. With most of my closet still in bins labeled "maybe this will fit again someday," and no extra cash to buy anything new.

All things considered, I'm happy with what I managed:



I think this works for a couple of reasons. The skirt, which is a black a-line I've had forever (Josephine Chaus, via Ross, I believe), is structured enough to appear professional but forgiving enough to still fit my post-partum body, and has a blessedly high waist to hold all that business in. The gray pinstriped jacket (Calvin Klein, thrifted) is a little bit of a problem, as, if you look closely, you see that it's not really the right size for my current chest, but the low single-button style makes it wearable anyway--not ideal, but workable. Underneath, I have a blank tank with a slightly ruffled front (The Limited), which is actually half of an old sweater set. Again, not the ideal shell, but it works to cut down a bit on the severity of the outfit, and it was one of the few options I could find that currently fit, so I went with it. The shoes (Aerosoles) might not strike everyone as interview appropriate, but I felt that they gave just enough whimsy to an outfit that was pretty serious--and frankly, a little boring--otherwise. I kept my jewelry simple, as not to go overboard with the whimsey--just a small silver and stone necklace and simple bead earrings.

What do you think? Appropriate, or do I still kinda have that "Mommy hasn't left the house in six months" look?

I'm thinking I am going to have to try to put together a "new working mom" capsule wardrobe of some sort when I go back to work. Anybody have thoughts or advice on that?


Looks good! Maybe unbutton the blazer? This coming from someone who wore an all-wool outfit in 90 degree weather once. Got the job, too.

Looks good to me! Hopefully it all works out.

Good call on the black tank. Also? Consider nursing pads even if you don't usually wear them. Leakage sucks.

I think you look great!

I'd unpick and restritch the button on the blazer with a longer thread to give you more ease. Five minute job, but worth it.

Congrats on the interview! I think the outfit looks perfect for an interview. Fingers crossed! (And I hope you will talk about a WOHM uniform.)

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Some people really don't mind being pregnant. Others even like it. It is tempting for me to believe that these people are insane, but I think the reality is that they are some combination of luckier and more patient than I. I do mind being pregnant. In fact, I really actually kinda hate being pregnant. There were a few second-early third trimester weeks there where it wasn't too bad, but mostly, it's been an endless pain in the ass, of one degree or another. And now, with just a bit over five weeks left until this baby's estimated arrival date, I am not afraid to tell you how very sick I am of it.

There are a million reasons I don't like being pregnant, but one thing that is sticking in my craw right now is something that is, for a lot of people, a minor issue (or not an issue at all). I am so damn sick of the clothes I have to wear. Maternity clothes are fugly. The non-maternity clothes I've been using to fill gaps where I can are less fugly, but limited. I feel like I've been wearing exactly the same thing for the past three months, and a lot of it doesn't even really fit this expansive belly anymore. Getting dressed irritates me every single morning. To complicate things, a friend is taking some maternity photographs of me this weekend, and she has instructed me to not wear black or white close to my face, and to avoid patterns. Which pretty much leaves me with...nothing.

So, last night, I decided I had to do something to stem the tide of irritation my lack of wardrobe was causing. Late pregnancy, it turns out, has a way of magnifying minor irritations into big freaking deals, and the last thing I wanted was to continue to be furious about my lack of style. Buying any more clothes is, at this point, pretty well out--nothing fits and the whole thing is an exercise is frustration. So, I thought maybe I'd buy a few cheap spring/summer accessories and use them to "freshen" the clothes I've been wearing.

I made only two stops--Target and Burlington Coat Factory. And, when I got home with my booty, I did feel better about my options. There are many wonderful things about accessories, but perhaps the best is that they almost always fit.

This is what I got:

-Mossimo® Red Teagan Tote (Target, fuchsia), $34.99 online, $10.49 on clearance at my store
-Mossimo Supply Co. Red Cloche Hat with Pleated Band (Target, coral band), $12.99
-Charles Klein hammered "gold" bracelet (Burlington Coat Factory), $4.99
-Lime green and turquoise beaded wrap bracelet (Burlington Coat Factory), $4.99
-Blue and brown wooden beaded bracelet (Burlington Coat Factory), $4.99
-Charles Klein multi-stand coral and gold bead necklace (Burlington Coat Factory), $7.99
-Exhilaration narrow patent belts (Target, teal and purple), $10.99 each

Some of these things were, at least ostensibly, practical. I'm increasingly worried about the effect of sun on my skin, so I'd been wanting to buy at least one hat I could wear to shade my face, and I adore the straw cloche I picked up. I wanted to get a couple of hats, but I have a big head and a lot of hair, so they didn't all fit. I've also been needing a bigger bag, and for $10, this cute fuchsia one will totally work for the time in between now and diaper bag time. Belts I've been wanting to try (I've seen some cute maternity looks with them above the bump), but none of mine are big enough right now, so I thought a couple of shiny bright ones might do the trick. For the most part, though, I bought these things to cheer myself, and my wardrobe.

This was, of course, indulgent. I'm not going to try to argue otherwise--to go out and spend $75 on off-gassing Made in China discount store baubles that aren't really needed is not every going to be anything but indulgent. However, at this stage in pregnancy, I think indulgence is warranted. Yes, I could have thrifted better stuff, cheaper, and generally that would have been my approach, but I don't have the time or the stamina to do that right now. These items are about a different kind of value, which has little to do with their inherent worth or longevity. When I put on one of my new bracelets with the same old maxi dress I've been wearing for months this morning, I *did* feel better about it. And that has value. In fact, right now, it's pretty priceless.


I wore the same dresses over and over and over again to work. I tried to mix it up with different shawls/scarves. Then I wore yoga pants on weekends. Sadly, so far I am still wearing those clothes. It's only three weeks out, but it'll probably take a while to loose 20 more pounds so I'm not fitting in my old clothes anytime soon : ( I'll probably have to buy new pants when I go back to work in July.

And as for indulgences, I got gel nails the week before my due date. And I never take care of my nails. I just wanted to. It made me happy. So I heartily approve of little things you can do to make yourself happy when you're so uncomfortable.

I imagine it's a bit late for you to find this helpful, but maybe one of your readers will?

I just stumbled across and was pleasantly surprised to find some STYLISH options there. They're not as cheap as, say, Target, but they don't look like burlap sacks, either.

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Lands' End, you're slaying me!

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Not too long ago, I featured some great spring pieces on sale at Lands' End. Stunned was I, then, to pop over to their site to check something out and see even more wonderful pieces for summer. I absolutely LOVE their current collections! So, even though it's been less than two months since the last time I told you how much I love them, I'm going to do it again. Most of these things have no hope of fitting my pregnant and immediately post-partum self, so I thought I'd pass them on to you instead.

The real high point, in my opinion, is the dresses. Lands' End is just making wonderful dresses right now. Some examples?

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Women's Regular Short Sleeve Cotton Modal Drapeneck Dress, shown in Cayenne, $55

I love this dress. The neckline is so flattering, and the pima cotton/modal blend should be a great, soft, wrinkle-free fabric. One of the reviewers on the site says that the dress feels like "a high quality t-shirt," and I love that idea.The simple cut would be flattering on tons of bodies, and I adore that it's available in four bright colors. Yay for moving away from neutrals! It is available in regular and petite sizes XS-XL. A similar dress (same fabric and colors, different neckline) is also available in plus sizes.

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Women's Regular Sleeveless Cotton Modal Pattern Fit and Flare Dress, $55

This dress is made of the same pima cotton/modal blend fabric as the previous one, so it would again be soft and wrinkle-proof. I love the "liberty blue floral" pattern, and the fit and flare style is so flattering and versatile. It is available in regular and petite sizes XS-XL and plus sizes 1X-3X. If you aren't into the floral, the same dress is also available in a bunch of solid colors.

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Women's Regular Surplice Dot Embroidered Dress, $120

I love a shirt dress, but I love this one extra much because of the awesome cayenne with embroidered white polka dots fabric, and the fact that the wrap is faux (secured at the waist). The idea of a wrap dress always serves me so much better than the reality. Everything about this dress looks perfect, though--the cap sleeves, the v-neck, the just-above-the-knee it. It is available in regular sizes 2-18 and petite sizes 2-16.

Though the dresses are my favorite of Lands' End's summer offerings, they aren't falling down in other areas, either. There are some really cute tops available, including:

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Women's Regular Lightweight Pleat Scoop Shell, shown in Navy Print, $30

I love the print on this shell--available in navy, sisal (beige-ish), and chesterfield (mustard). The large abstract florals just do it for me. I also like the scoop neck with the self-fabric trim, and the easy breezy fit. It's made of jersey, so it's going to appear pretty casual, but it's summer, there's nothing wrong with that! It's available in regular and petite sizes XS-XL and plus sizes 1X-3X.

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Women's Plus Size Dot Shell, shown in Blueprint Embroidered Dot, $65

I LOVE this plus-sized only shell! I believe it is the same fabric as the shirt dress above, but available in blueprint (navy) and cayenne. It looks to be made of sturdy sateen cotton, and it's got a nice wide neckline with just a little bit of ruching that I think would look great on a number of figures. I also like that it's a bit long in length and has a subtle, figure-enhancing gather in the back. It is available in plus sizes 1X-3X.

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Women's Regular Lightweight Cotton Modal Drape Shell, shown in Algae, $25

This shell is a very basic piece. It's also probably my all-time favorite shirt cut. I love sleeveless shirts, and one like this one, made of high quality but lightweight jersey, with a super-flattering draped neckline? Can seriously do ANYTHING. Even though they won't fit right now, I'm still tempted to buy a few of these (and you save $12 if you buy any 3 regularly priced knitted tops right now!). I also love love love the available colors, including this great green, Palm Pink, and bright Blueberry. This top is available in regular and petite sizes XS-XL and plus sizes 1X-3X.

I don't know that I've ever paid much attention to the shoes or accessories at Lands' End--I tend to be a bit single minded when I'm shopping on the site, I guess--but I took a look around today and they have some really cute things. None of the shoes come in my size, but if you're more average sized, I'd definitely check them out. These are my favorites:

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Women's Parker Mid Wedge Knotted Espadrilles, shown in Rich Red Gingham, on sale for $39.99

Espadrilles kill me. They are such a fun throwback. And this gingham fabric (they're also available in blue or khaki gingham, chambray, and plain black) just makes them cuter. They're a 3/4" platform and a 3" heel, so they'll give some height, but they look comfortable, too. I think they'd be super cute with any of the dresses, or with shorts or cropped pants. Best yet, they're on sale for $40! These area available in regular and wide sizes 6-11.

No trip to Lands' End online is complete with a garner at the sale section. My favorite sale pieces are:

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Women's Emma Classic Ballet Shoes, shown in Wood Violet, $24.97

How cute are these inexpensive ballet flats? They come in a ton of colors (my favorites, besides the purple, are gunmetal and persimmon), and they'd be SO versatile. Size availability depends on color, but ranges from 6.5-11 in both regular and wide.

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Women's Regular Sleeveless Pattern Pique V-neck Dress, $34.99

I LOVE this dress. So tempted to buy it with the rationale that it will fit me someday! The tri-colored stripe, the gently draping v-neck, the soft couldn't be more perfect. And it would be versatile, too--totally cute with a cardigan over it for work, all the way down to thrown over a swimsuit. It's available in regular and petite sizes XS-XL.

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Women's Regular Fit 1 Refined Stretch Ankle Pants, shown in Black, $44.99

I believe I have mentioned before that if you're going to wear cropped pants, especially in a professional setting, I think a slim fitting, not-too-short pair, like these ones, is key. I love these pants--they read very Audrey Hepburn to me. I love that they don't hit mid-calf (what an unflattering place for a hem!), but rather just above the ankle, and I like the small, flat cuff. They're available in four colors: black, toffee, navy, and "Venetian blue," and regular and petite sizes 2-18 (with some sizes not available in all colors).

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Women's Regular Ponté Knit Shift Dress, shown in Harvest Pine, $34.99

I love ponte. I love versatile shift dresses. Stands to reason, then, that I would love this simple, stylish ponte shift dress. And for $34.99, I love it even more! The slightly pleated neckline is fantastic and I love that's not just available in black, but also dark green, as shown, and claret red! Size availability depends on color, but sizes run from XS-XL, regular and petite.

The usual Lands' End shopping caveats apply--pay really close attention to size charts and reviews, because sizing can run crazy big. Be ready to return things if they don't work. But seriously, for those looking for high quality pieces that don't scream trendy? LE is doing better and better. I'm impressed.


I especially love the first dress and the espadrilles. I love my Land's End stuff, too.

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Great spring looks from Land's End


Earlier this week, Allie posted her picks for spring from Land's End. Coincidentally, I was also perusing my LE catalog the other day and had started a similar post! Both Allie and I are big Land's End fans, so I suppose that's not surprising. And I liked nearly everything she picked, too! But I have a few additions:

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Women's Regular Sleeveless Knit Seersucker Dress, $85

I'm not sure I am preppy enough for seersucker, but if I were, I'd wear this dress. I like the classic cut of this dress, and the fact that the seersucker is modernized a touch with the darker stripe. It looks super versatile and super comfortable.

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Women's Regular Short Sleeve Pattern Drop Shoulder Dress, $64.99

Were I not going to be spending my summer in a postpartum haze, I'd buy this wonderful plaid dress. The wide neckline, the simple shape, the's so retro, and so wonderful. And apparently, I find madras, unlike seersucker, to be within the bounds of my preppiness. Who knew?

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Women's Regular Cotton Modal Drape Front Shell, $19.99

Some people don't think sleeveless tops are work appropriate. I think those people are wrong. I love this draped-front option, as it would look as great under a cardigan or jacket as it does by itself. The draping is simple enough not to be fussy and frilly, but adds real visual interest. I also like the slightly longer hemline of this top and the quality I can expect from a cotton-modal blend from LE.

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Women's Regular Pattern Knit Convertible Skirt, $35

Since this convertible skirt has a wide elasticized waist, I could probably wear it pregnant, and that is making it very hard not to order. I love the knee length and the chevron stripes SO much--comfortable, classic, extremely versatile...maybe I should order it...

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Women's Regular Fit 2 Ponté Ankle Pants, $55

Years ago, I had the perfect black cropped pants. I don't have them anymore, as my sizes have changed pretty drastically, but man did they ever look just like these! These pants look to me to be just about the perfect summer work staple--comfortable, incredibly flattering, and can be worn with almost anything in your closet. LOVE.

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Women's Regular Fine Gauge Supima Wrap Cardigan Sweater, $29.99

Wrap sweaters are one of those things that I'd love to have, but have never found to fit me. The waist is just never really in the correct place. I love this fine gauge cotton version, however, especially in the "claret red" color (which reads more coral-pink to me). I think it could go very casual (reminds me a bit of something a dancer would throw over her leotard) or dressy (with a pencil skirt and heels, maybe?) and would be a great wardrobe addition.

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Women's Regular Beach Living Paisley Halter Tunic Top, $45

You can't talk about Land's End without mentioning their fantastic, bullet-proof swimwear, and this season is no exception to the cute styles and fabrics. It's extremely hard for me to choose the best among them, but the adjustable, long-length paisley tankini top above was my favorite. Having a very long torso, I love the idea of being able to have that much room for adjustment, and the fabric choices are amazing.

I really wish Land's End made maternity clothes...


I love the drape front shell!

You wear the TALL sized clothing, right? How much of this is available in T? I have a long torso and I love the fit of T vs. regular. So frustrating when I find a nice shirt at Target, put it through the wash, and end up with a too-short shirt. "T" fixes the problem... not that Target has T.

Their sales are amazing. I say this as someone who has an employee discount at Lands' End--if you use the sale discount you don't get employee discounts, and the sale discounts are usually better than my employee discount.

Their sizing runs WAY large, so keep that in mind.

Finally, this is nitpicky, but the brand is Lands' End, not Land's End. Even my coworkers get it wrong....

Did you get a different catalog than I? Your selections are AWESOME, I totally want that striped skirt NOW and I would wear that seersucker dress with my black booties and studded leather bracelet to toughen it up. But I never saw these (haven't perused the whole site, actually first time there in months was to get my post links and pics). I am SO doing some Lands End shopping in the near future!

When did LE get so hip? Or, conversely, when did I get so square?

I REALLY love that swimsuit! I always forget to look at Land's End.

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The home stretch: third trimester time!


Today is a big day for me and my passenger--we're turning the corner into the third trimester. Today marks 27 pregnant weeks!

Thought I'd show you how we're faring:

27 weeks

27 weeks

(Pardon the goofy pictures--I haven't worked out the self-timer on my new camera yet, and Mark is not the world's best photographer.)

I'm feeling pretty good, with one notable exception. My feet. The swelling. Oh my Lord. I knew pregnant feet swelled, but I didn't expect this much puffy action so early on. Wanna see? Of course you do:


Nobody worry--my blood pressure is fine and all that, it's just fluid retention. Nasty though, right?

That said, I'd much rather deal with foot swelling (and, OK, back pain and awkwardness) than the incredible first eighteen weeks of nausea and exhaustion. If the third trimester can keep in the same spirit as the second half of the second one, I'll be just fine.

For the fashion-curious, I'm wearing:

Merona® Womens Draped Neck Value Dress in Xavier Navy (Target)
Merona® Womens Pointelle Cardigan Sweater in Elephant (Target)
Aerosoles Women's Laser Printz Ballet Flats in Dark Orange Suede (Amazon)
Pendant from Broken Plate Pendant Company
Wrapped bangles from Exotic Bangles

Also, I have to show you this outtake picture from this morning, because I think it's just too funny. This is apparently what my face looks like when I'm not posing:

27 weeks


Radiant!!!! Happy Third Trimester!!!! :)

You look beautiful. And WTG on the new camera, I could see the difference in color and focus right away.

That last one is what I would refer to as your normalface.

Cute dress!

This is where I meant to be waxing poetic about how pretty you are, and how I'm sorry to hear that your feet are swelling so much. I can't wait to "meet" Buzzy.

You look fantastic!! I'm so glad that you've moved beyond the yucky HG stage and that you are back to blogging! You were definitely missed!!

You are looking FANTASTIC! And those feet, bah, you know us moms have to show off that things were worse when we were in your stretched-out shoes, we walked uphill both ways at 40 weeks ;) but your feet are nothing compared to the scary lumps I had at the ends of my ankles! By your point I think the only thing I could fit on my feet were my sister's Crocs which were two sizes larger than I usually wore! Hang in there, you look great and I am glad you're feeling better!

You look absolutely amazing. Well, okay, other than your poor feet, that just looks painful. The look on your face in that last picture is fantastic :lol:

You look great!

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Diaper Bag Round-Up


There was a definite silver lining to the black cloud that was the first half of my pregnancy. Had I not been feeling so awful, I'd probably have been shopping. As loyal readers know, I'm a shopper by nature, and pregnancy and babies? Whole new world of things to shop for, my friends. Shiny, expensive things.

Now that I am feeling like my old self again, the shopping bug has come back. I'm trying to moderate it, but it's not like I can go cold turkey--there are actually things we need for this kid, you know? So, to at least make some of the financial damage worthwhile, I thought I'd share some of my shopping with y'all.

One thing I was really excited to buy is a diaper bag. I love bags. Bags fill my need for accessories AND my need for things in which to put other things. They're one of my favorites. And I am typically uncharacteristically practical when it comes to bags--I don't buy a lot of them and I don't change them out very often. A diaper bag, though, that's a whole new world. And once I started looking around, I saw that people take these things VERY seriously.

Some of the best ones I found:

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Timi & Leslie Marilyn II in Raspberry, $169.99

I love the color of this bag. I also like the shape, the way it looks like a regular big bag and not necessarily a diaper bag, and the roomy exterior pockets. I'm also a fan of the long straps. It's got a matching detachable clutch, a detachable bottle holder, and a mesh bag with changing pad. The Amazon reviewers love it. The only downside I see is that it's PVC, not leather, and for that price, I want a leather bag.

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Skip Hop Duo in Wave Dot, $58

I believe a friend of mine has this bag, and it looks like a great choice. It's sturdy, made of wipeable poly-canvas, and is built for comfort and utility with a lot of pockets and a padded strap. It comes in several great fabrics (though some do add to the cost) and looks to be easily convertible to a stroller bag. It was also the 2010 Parents' magazine pick for "Best Diaper Bag."

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Petunia Picklebottom Sashay Satchel in Indelible Iris, $129

I've been contemplating getting a Petunia Picklebottom bag just to use as my everyday work bag for years. I love the patterns that are available--just as cheerful as Vera Bradley, but not so loud--and the style of the Sashay Satchel in particular appeals to me a lot. It's on the small side, I think, for a diaper bag, but still roomy. It comes with a wipes case and changing pad and has four bottle pockets. The downside, based on reviews I've read, is that some of the patterns (including the one I've shown here) are not PVC glazed and thus not stain-resistant.

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Sally Spicer Baby Messenger Bag in Rattan Cote D'Azur, $130

I love this Sally Spicer messenger-style diaper bag for lots of reasons. It's so neutral and versatile, and doesn't look the least bit like a diaper bag. It comes in tons of fabrics. It has changing pad, bottle holder, and internal pockets, but no extra muss and fuss--it's very utilitarian. And? It's made in the U.S.A. How much do I love that?

StorkSac Helena in Rose, $410

Would I pay $400 for a diaper bag? No, I would not. However, if I were going to, this might be the bag I'd choose. The StorkSak Helena is just a gorgeous, gorgeous leather bag. The organizer and bottle pockets and changing pad all pop out, too, so it could easily transition to a regular bag after the diapering days are through. It's Italian leather, brushed gold hardware, jacquard lined...very classic, but updated with the rose color. I really love this bag. This bag is far too sophisticated for me.

Babymel Slouchy in Twisted Olive, $75

This is another bag that I just love the shape of--that slouchiness makes it look not so huge, while still retaining a lot of interior space. It's made of laminated canvas, so it's wipeable, and it comes with an insulated bottle holder and a changing mat. One thing that differentiates this bag slightly from a lot of other ones is that the changing mat is made of the same fabric as the bag, rather than a corresponding neutral. I like that.

Nest Hudson in Black, $280

I tend to be a fan of colored and patterned bags, but if you're a black leather purist, I'm not sure diaper bags get better than the Nest Hudson. It has a great classic shape, really nice subtle hardware detailing, and all the necessary baby-bits, like handy interior pockets and a removable changing pad.

ergo backpack.jpg
Ergo Organic Backpack in River Rock, $64

Several of my mom friends expressed a strong preference for backpacks as diaper bags, siting convenience and ease of use, as well as gender-neutrality. I'm not a backpack lover myself, but I did want to include at least one option in this list, and I like the rugged look and smallish size of this Ergo version. It has lots of zipper pockets, padded straps, and can be attached to an Ergo carrier.

lug bag.jpg
Lug Life Tuk Tuk Carry-all in Plum, $84.99

Another slightly more utilitarian option, I think this Lug Life bag looks really useful. It looks to have really well designed pockets, comes with a removable changing pad and wet bag, and is easily wipeable. It also comes in various bright colors, which endears it to me, and is supposed to be great for use as an overnight bag/carry-on after the baby is through with it.

jj cole tote.jpg
JJ Cole Mode Tote in Mulberry Patch, $49.99

Totes are another bag style I tend not to prefer--I like to be able to put things over my shoulder. That said, if you are a tote-lover, this JJ Cole bag is both affordable and super cute. It's made of laminated canvas for easy wipe-downs, has a nice slim profile but still offers a good deal of space, and comes with a coordinated changing pad and a removable padded shoulder strap.

ju ju be diaper bag.jpg
JuJuBe Be All in Jungle Maze, $140

It took me a minute to figure out why I liked the JuJuBe Be-All bag so much, but I think it's the boxiness. Something about the shape is just really appealing. I also like that it is available in non-floral patterns and in this green and orange color scheme. Another really smart thing about it is that it has a separate, zipped outside pocket intended for all your diapering supplies--way to keep a potential mess contained! Finally? It's machine washable. Good deal.

amy butler diaper bag.jpg
Amy Butler Wildflower in Fuschia Tree Navy, $201.99

I have kind of a love-hate feeling about Amy Butler fabric designs in general, but I love this particular pattern, and I am really intrigued by the unusual shape of the Wildflower bag. It really looks like a purse, and I like that the handles and closure are leather. It has contrast printed fabric lining and comes with a contrast printed fabric wet bag and changing mat, too. Mmm...

Clearly, all of these bags could be considered overkill. A diaper bag is not a necessity, at least not a fancy one. But it's still fun to look at them, and if you, like me, are thinking you're going to be carrying something every day for the next 2+ years, it might be worth considering getting something you really like, right?

Anybody have a diaper bag you just loved? Leave me a comment!


Keep the maternity/baby round ups coming. I'm striving to be a more minimalist/eco momma but you have great taste so I can appreciate the eye candy.

BTW - Congrats to you and your partner! I've been reading for a couple of years and it's fun to have a local (I live in Alexandria) blogger pregnant at the same time. I'm in the countdown phase, so only 9 weeks until my due date.

My husband and I like unisex "non-diaper bag" diaper bags, that we both can use. That way we don't have to transfer the contents from a "purse-y" bag to a more "masculine" bag when he's going out. And if I get tired of carrying it, he'll happily carry one that doesn't look too feminine.

He prefers this one, with a cross-body strap.

I like it, except I don't like carrying it while wearing the kid in the Ergo. With the Ergo, I prefer a large tote bag (but it has to have straps long enough to go over my shoulder. We have this one: If it had a zipper top it would be perfect, in my opinion.

Both are by Gravis. Both have a good number of pockets, especially the second one.

In case you're curious about what we like to carry, we cloth diaper, so we need room for 2-3 spare prefold diapers, 2 small wet bags, an extra diaper cover and onesie (and socks), a couple of toys and a book (once he got old enough to like books, that is), a Skip Hop changing pad with a wipes case, a warm hat or sun hat (depending on season), snacks, and sometimes a bottle or sippy cup (but not always). If it's cold, maybe a blanket. And sometimes a small folding umbrella or baby sunblock, depending on weather. Plus wallet, keys, and phone. Whew!

For shorter trips we leave it all at home and dash out with keys and wallet in the Ergo pocket, but it took months before we were ready to risk that (but we live in a big city and don't have a car, so we usually like to be prepared for a lot of possibilities).

No Vera Bradley!!!!?? What's wrong with you?
Diaper bags spawned my VB obsession. I was constantly on a quest for the perfect bag; not too big, not too small and two in diapers. lol.

The bags are really great, i would have never guessed they are diaper bags.

We have the wave dot bag. It's pretty perfect. Sometimes I wish it were bigger inside, but really we should probably just get better at packing it. And it would help if the baby wasn't going through 3+ outfits a day.

I would love to get a backpack one, especially for traveling, I'm going to check out the ergo you posted.

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Target: maternity clothes goldmine?


When I started my (endless) search for maternity clothes, several people told me that I absolutely had to check out Target, as it is a mecca of affordable maternity wear. So I did. And I didn't find a thing at my (smallish) local store. I then promptly forgot about Target for a couple of months. More recently, though, I've given it another go, and found that if I can see their full selection (which means shopping online at their far-less-than-stellar website), Target really does have good maternity wear. The most surprising part? A lot of it is NOT in the maternity section!

At this stage of pregnancy, and in this season, what I really need/want is clothes that move with and around me and are layer-able. Specifically, cotton/jersey dresses and cardigans are awesome. Unfortunately, my pre-pregnancy cardigans have gone from just not buttoning to looking ridiculous, so my first stop at Target online was cardigans. I am luck that the style right now is for the open-front variety, which are a lot more pregnancy-friendly than the traditional button-up kind. The actual maternity options left me cold, but in the non-maternity section, I found two winners:

target gray cardigan.jpg
Merona Womens Pointelle Cardigan, $27.99, in Elephant

orange cardigan.jpg
Mossimo Womens Ultrasoft Cocoon Sweater, $22.99, in Red

I love both of these sweaters. They're open in the front, so they work for my increasing belly, and they're (bless the Lord!) LONG enough! They're also both short/half-sleeved and lightweight, so they will be great for spring layering. My only real complaint is that I don't love the colors they come in. The pointelle cardigan comes only in neutrals (black, white, gray) and an orange-coral color called "Guava Berry." The cocoon cardigan comes in more colors, but they're still mostly neutral (black, gray, navy, oatmeal) or a bit strange (a very bright blue or something called "mineral yellow"). The sweater I ordered was labeled "red," but it's really more orange (very similar to the Guava Berry color on the pointelle cardigan). I didn't think I'd like it, but I actually do. If it came in another bright spring-y color, I'd buy another one.

I ordered my sweaters both in the size I'd typically grab at Target for something like this--extra large--and I think they'll fit until it's too warm to wear them (i.e the last month or so of this pregnancy). They're not huge, but the style gives plenty of space.

While I was browsing Target's site for sweaters, I noticed they have a whole section of cotton jersey dresses under $20. Perfect for maternity wear! I tried out the following ones:

purple cotton dress.jpg
Merona Womens V-Neck Cap Sleeve Value Dress, $19.99, in Viking Purple

teal cotton dress.jpg
Merona Womens Faux Wrap Dress, $20, in Zonk Blue

navy cotton dress.jpg
Merona Womens Draped Neck Value Dress, $19.99, in Xavier Navy

On most people, I think all three of these dresses would work great for pregnancy--lots of stretch and belly room. Unfortunately, the first two were just too short for me, especially when further shortened by the belly bump. The last one, though, is a winner--it's knee-length, totally comfortable, and I think it looks really cute. Unlike the sweaters, all three of these dresses come in great colors, too! I tempted to buy another one of the draped neck ones in another color.

Like the sweaters, I went ahead and ordered these dresses in an XL, which is what I'd typically try them in, and they seem to work fine.

My next stop on Target's site was maxi dresses and skirts. I knew pre-pregnancy (from peeping at lots of mama style blogs, mostly) that I wanted maxis to be a staple for me, and they're fast becoming one. Some of last summer's dresses, though, aren't working--mostly due to too-small busts. So I was hoping to find a couple more to slip into the rotation. Target has lots, both in the maternity section and in the regular one, and I eventually settled on these two:

purple print maxi.jpg
Mossimo Womens Challis Maxi Dress, $29.99, in Purple Print

teal maxi dress.jpg
Mossimo Womens Cowl Neck Maxi Dress with Shirred Side Seam, $29.99, in Erie Canal

The purple maxi works like a dream--plenty of room for both belly and boobs, very comfortable, and the print is cuter in person. The green one, however, was a nightmare. It was just plain lewd, showing every bump and curve and pulling tightly over my belly already, at six months. Definitely not going to work. Too bad, because it's really cute, and I like the color a lot.

Again, I ordered both dresses in my pre-pregnancy size of XL and I think that was the right choice. I don't think a bigger size would fix the issues with the second dress--they're just problems with the fitted style of the dress.

Finally, I checked Target for jersey maxi skirts. I have a navy one from Old Navy I've been wearing a lot, and it works, but the narrow waistband is getting uncomfortable, so I was hoping to find something with a wider or roll-down/roll-up waist that would give me a bit more belly support. And Target didn't disappoint!

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Mossimo Womens Convertible Maxi Skirt, $20, in Black

This may be my perfect maternity maxi skirt. It's the right length, it's the right weight, and it has that great wide rolled waistband that makes it a ton more comfortable to wear. I bought a black one and I'm seriously considering getting another one in gray.

Yeah, OK, I'll call that a goldmine. Interestingly, though, NONE of the things that I found so awesome are maternity clothing!

I'm trying to convince myself now that I don't really need any more maternity stuff, but if I did, a few more things I might try from Target, some from the actual maternity section:

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Liz Lange for Target Maternity Sleeveless Maxi Dress, $34.99, in Gray/Red/Purple

How cute is this dress? This one they do have in my store, and I have to keep myself from buying it every time I am in there buying cat litter.

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Merona Maternity Sleeveless Halter Maxi Dress, $29.99, in Blue/White

If this one were available in-store, I think I would have bought it already. I love everything about it--the interesting back, the narrow stripes, the asymmetrical skirt...

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Merona Maternity 3/4-Sleeve Boatneck Tunic Top, $24.99, in Deep Teal

Tunics are the tall pregnant lady's friend, y'all. Even regular maternity t-shirts are rapidly getting too short, and something with a longer length makes me feel so much less like my belly is going to announce it's round self to the world without my consent. I really like the sort of hippy/yoga teacher feel of this one, too.

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Merona Womens Gathered Crossover Tee, $7-$10, in Xavier Navy

I'm not sure if this tee would be long enough, and they don't seem to carry it at my store, but if it were a big on the long-side, I think it would be great for this next stage of pregnancy. It still looks like real clothes, and not sloppy, but it's flexible and soft and has room for both expanding boobs and expanding belly.

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Mossimo Womens Layering Top, $19.99, in Hollyhock Purple

This is another good top-layer option for sleeveless things--nice and lightweight, with plenty of belly room. I'm a bit trepidatious about the length, though.

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Mossimo Supply Co. Juniors Foldover Maxi Skirt, $15, in Fighter Pilot Blue/Shell Stripe

This skirt has the same basic shape as my perfect maxi, including the great foldover waist, but because it's a juniors version it is a bit shorter, almost midi-skirt length on me, probably. Plus it comes in this awesome blue-and-white stripe, which is something I can't get enough of.

As I get bigger, dressing in a way that is, if not fashionable, at least presentable, becomes more important to me. I'm feeling pretty good, and reasonably at ease with this body, and I want to present that to the outside world. So (clearly), I've been thinking quite a lot about my clothes, and I'm thinking I may need a blog-challenge to keep me motivated to dress decently as I start the third trimester. Plus it would help get me back into blogging. Maybe a Maternity 30-for-30? Something different? What do you all think?


I love this post ! And I love Target's layering pieces ! (Although I do agree, their website is a hot mess, and you'd better have a couple of hours to devote to shopping there )

I think you'll love the pieces that you choose to keep, because they will work for you for a long time after you have the baby, Grace.

And as someone who normally orders an Xl or XXL , depending on which brand ,I have actually found maternity pieces at my local Target that work for those of us who aren't pregnant.

I have a question : I was looking at the basic maxi skirt online yesterday. I am 5'5" tall. Would it be too long for me ?

You need need NEED the blue stripe assymetrical dress! Love it!

Okay, I relly enjoyed reading your blog today. I loved viewing the clothes before reading your take on the style, fit or color for you. I knew when I saw the clothing article, whether it would look on your pregnant self. I agreed on all your picks with one exception. I think the Merona Cross-Over Tee will rise to far up in the front for you, though I do like the style. The Merona Draped Neck Dress and Merona Maternity Sleevless Halter Maxi Dress are my absolute favorites. Besides just being awesome, They look extremely comfortable and stylish! The Mossimo Maxi Skirt & Challis Maxi Dress are excellent choices , as well. All in all, I think you did very well at Target. I think a Maternity 30-for-30 Blog is a wonderful idea. As far as fashions, you picked a fun time to be pregnant, since the styles lend themselves to be conducive to you new body shape!

THANK YOU for this! I haven't utilized Target nearly as much as I anticipated because their website is SO bad now.

Ugh, finding maternity clothes was a *bear*. And, uh, I notice you don't have any pants on there ... Not sure what your pants length is, but there was not a single pair of maternity pants that I could wear. I could do drawstring regular pants until the end of my pregnancy though--but they had to be superhuge and in a nice lightweight material that gathered well and didn't just ruck up.

The target stuff is great, though. I actually still wear a few of the maternity pieces and kid is 2.5 yo now. Also, if you are planning on nursing, those cross-front dresses are great. It's hard to find dresses to nurse in, and I like dresses!

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(Pregnant) celebrity style icons


I haven't done a celebrity style icon post in a long time! For obvious reasons, I am lately paying attention to the styling of pregnant celebs, and I thought I'd share some of those with you!

Jessica Simpson

Jessica Simpson takes a lot of flak, both pre-pregnancy and now. She's not someone I'd ever giving a lot of thought to as a style icon before, either, but honestly? I think she looks fabulous right now, and I love how she's been dressing:

(Image via Celebuzz!)

(Image via PopSugar.)

(Image via Jessica Simpson's Twitter.)

(Image via Celebuzz!)

The thing I love the most about how Jessica has been dressing is that there is NO shame in her fashion. She's BIG. Really big. And she's not trying to downplay it. She was just as willing to wear a body-conscious dress in January (the second photo) as she was in November (the first photo). I like that. I also really dig the maxi dress/cardigan/sunglasses ensemble she's been sporting recently--the hippy/boho feeling of it is so great for the season and for her late stage of pregnancy. She looks relaxed and comfortable and beautiful and happy. Also? Her hair is amazing.

Emily Deschanel/Temperance Brennan

I've carried on before about how much I love the way Dr. Temperance Brennan from Bones dresses, and her pregnancy changed very little. Both the actress and the character are still all about the classics.

(Image via lilSugar.)

(Image via FOX Broadcasting Company.)

(Image via FOX Broadcasting Company.)

(Image via People.)

The thing I love the most about Emily's pregnant style (and that of her TV alter ego) is how similar it is to her non-pregnant style. Both Emily and Bones are still in trench coats, fitted jackets, basic black, cropped pants with flats, and great accessories. I love it when women are able to adapt their existing style to fit their pregnant bodies, rather than having to take on a totally new look, and Emily and Bones both did a great job with that. This is especially impressive considering the major changes pregnancy makes to a body that started out as trim as her's.

Alyson Hannigan

Currently gestating Kid 2.0, Alyson Hannigan has pregnancy style down. She's another celeb whose style never pinged my radar pre-pregnancy, but I think she looked fantastic during her first pregnancy and looks just as great this time around.

(Image via People.)

(Image via Zimbio.)

(Image via omg Yahoo!)

(Image via Babble.)

The thing I love about Alyson Hannigan's pregnant style, both the first time around (first pictures) and this one (last two pictures) is that she doesn't steer clear of color. So many maternity clothes are available in the drabbest colors possible, as if pregnant women should be trying to blend into walls, and Alyson is having none of that, spending her pregnancies in super-rich, vibrant hues. She's being touted as being the happiest pregnant woman ever, and the color certainly helps her to keep up that appearance.

Laila Ali
I think Laila Ali might be my pregnancy role model. She always looks so happy and healthy and comfortable in her skin!

(Image via Electronic Urban Report.)

(Image via Pregnancy Magazine.)

(Image via Best for Babes.)

(Image via Belly Itch.)

I love the casual and well-fitting clothes Laila chooses when she's pregnant (the first picture is from her last pregnancy, in 2011, the last three are from her first pregnancy, in 2008), and I like that, like Alyson, she doesn't shy away from color, but what really impresses me is how comfortable she looks. I'm not sure if it's the clothing choices she makes or how she feels about her pregnant body or what, but there is no awkwardness to her, and I think that's amazing. I wonder if any of it has to do with Laili being a big person to begin with, or having been a professional athlete?

Angelina Jolie

A lot of people seem to have a love-or-hate relationship with Angelina Jolie. I'm team love. I think she's gorgeous all the time, but man, she shines when she's pregnant.

(Image via Babble.)

(Image via SheKnows.)

(Image via Maternity & Style.)

(Image via Daily Mail.)

The thing that really blows my mind about Angelina when she's pregnant is that she still always looks like a straight-up goddess movie star. Even in her third trimester with twins (first picture), she looked not just gorgeous, but glamorous. That stuns me. Let me tell you, glamorous is pretty much the last thing I am feeling these days.

OK, I'm inspired! Definitely going to try to learn at least a little something from these famous women and put just a wee bit more effort into my pregnant wardrobe as I start the last trimester! Any other really stylish pregnant celebs I should check out?

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My thoughts on clothes these days


Why not start with something simple?

This is what I'm looking like these days (last night, actually):

24 weeks

24 weeks

As you can see, I've "popped." My belly feels enormous, though it's actually not all that big yet. Watching the near-daily changes in my body has been a really interesting process, and one I wasn't quite prepared for. I knew things would change, of course, but I wasn't clear on how much, or how fast, or how all-encompassing the changes would be. It's not just the belly; every part of me has changed--hair, skin, etc. It really does feel more like puberty than anything else I've ever experienced. And I know some of the changes will be permanent, or will be precursors to other, permanent changes, which makes it all the more frightening and exciting.

Clothes, as you can imagine, have become a bit of an issue. I haven't purchased a ton of maternity clothes--a few, and I got some hand-me-downs from a friend, but not as many as I'd have expected. For one thing, I've been unable to find a single thing at the thrift store. For another, things that are not meant for maternity have, so far, worked in a lot of cases. For example, in the photos above, I'm wearing a non-maternity maxi skirt I bought at Nordstrom Rack last summer with an Old Navy maternity tunic. Non-maternity pants have been out of the question for a while, but elastic waist skirts are still working fine, as are maxi dresses and longer-length tops. I'm also stretching tops by layering them over long-length tank tops, which looks better than I would have expected (or perhaps my standards have dropped...).

The maternity clothes I have purchased have been almost exclusively from Gap and Old Navy. I tried Motherhood, but was very disappointed with the quality of almost everything I ordered. Gap has been the best, but I'm too cheap to buy too much there. The most recent thing I'm focusing on is shoes and bras. I've gone up two bra sizes already, and too-small bras are a world more uncomfortable when you're pregnant. Shoes are harder--anything with a heel is out at this point, because my balance is severely compromised by this growing belly thing, and my feet are swelling every day, so my regular arsenal of flats are beginning to be too small. With size 12 feet to begin with, I hate to think what size I'll end up in. Boxes without topsies, indeed.

Though I know getting dressed is only going to get harder as I get bigger over the next few months, I am looking forward to the increased clothing options of warmer weather. Right now, I don't have any cardigans that still button, but it feels like a waste to buy bigger/maternity ones with warm weather right around the corner. I envision a spring/summer of maxi dresses and skirts and tank tops, which will hopefully be a bit more fun than wearing the same pair of black maternity pants twice a week.

Ooh, this blogging thing is coming back to me, now...


You look absolutely amazing. And I'm so glad you're blogging again, I've missed you.

I agree with Jes on all points!

First, I am THRILLED that you are feeling better and are back to blogging. I missed reading here. Second, you look really great. Honestly, pregnancy certainly looks good on you.

Welcome back! You're looking great!

I just had a baby in December, so here's some unsolicited maternity clothing advice. (Hopefully it will be more helpful than most unsolicited advice.)

Motherhood Maternity is god-awful. Cheap, unflattering clothes, and they sell your name like crazy. They're essentially the equivalent of a David's Bridal, only for maternity clothes instead of bridesmaid dresses. I bought three t-shirts there and rarely wore them. They looked like tents, and they are the only maternity items in the donation bin.

I bought most of my maternity clothes from the Gap and Target. Check the sales/coupons on the Gap web site regularly--I bought quite a few items there for cheap by combining sales with 15% or 20% off coupons. I loved my Gap pajama pants, which cost me $5 per pair and were awesome loose-waisted postpartum pants, too. Their maternity dress pants and jeans never go on sale, though, so I had to pay full price for them, but since I am lazy and wear black pants or jeans almost every day, it was worth it.

Target's Liz Lange Maternity line has some nice pieces, and they carry lots of inexpensive basics like tanks and t-shirts. The quality is not always the greatest, but you're only going to be wearing this stuff for four or five months, so it will last long enough.

Bra-wise, you'll probably change sizes even more as you progress. My favorite maternity/nursing bras are by Bravado (non-underwire) and Anita (underwire). Breakout Bras has good deals on bras, if you prefer buying online.

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A few fall fashion ideas I don't hate


I haven't been posting much about clothes lately. The main reason for this is that I have been massively unthrilled by fall fashion this year. For some reason, I just can't get excited about fall clothes. My fellow style bloggers have not had this problem, and many of them have done a great job with rounding up collections of the best fall styles (check out Allie's Fall 2011 Fashion - How to Update Your Current Wardrobe for the Season and Sally's 2011 Guide to Boots, to start). However, since I am still going to have to leave the house dressed every day, and just putting a cardigan over the stuff I wore all summer seems like a bit less effort than I ought to make, I decided to force myself to find the good in fashion this fall. And there are a few styles I like. Or, at least, don't hate.

Dolman sleeves

Dolman tops

Old Navy loose shirt
$25 -

Long tunic
$15 -

Old Navy dolman sleeve top
$12 -

Long top
$17 -

Three Dots v neck tee
$43 -

I like shirts with the wide, loose Dolman sleeves for a couple of reasons. The first is practical--I have really large upper arms, and often long-sleeved shirts that otherwise fit bear sleeves that are too tight for me, which never happens in this style. I also like the body balancing properties of this style, for the wide shouldered (which I am). The other thing about this style is that it's very comfortable and feels slouchy and casual, which I like a lot for fall.

Long cardigans

Long cardigans

J crew cardigan
$50 -

Long sleeve cardigan
$20 -

Long sleeve cardigan
$23 -

Old Navy v neck cardigan
$29 -

Boyfriend cardigan
$23 -

H M long cardigan
£25 -

Missoni cardigan
$50 -

There are very few styles of cardigans I don't love, but long cardigans, even though they often have stupid names like "boyfriend" or "grandpa," are my favorite. There are very few bad body image days i can't conquer with the help of a butt-covering cardigan in a color I love. So, I'm happy that this style seems to be in this fall. I particularly like some of the budget options at Target, except that they are all so damn tight-sleeved they don't actually work for me.

Skinny belts

Skinny belts

Banana Republic wide belt
$40 -

Banana Republic wide belt
$25 -

$9 -

$34 -

Leather belt
$38 -

Jigsaw leather belt
£29 -

Forever21 skinny belt
$4.80 -

Zara braided belt
$15 -

H M braided leather belt
£7.99 -

Zara leather belt
$30 -

Zara leather belt
$5.99 -

For me, last fall and winter were sort of Belts 101, where I learned to wear belts, using mostly wide and elastic models. This fall and winter, I'm moving into upper level classes, using skinny, colorful belts to not only create a waist, but also accessorize. I love how many different colors and styles are available, and that I can use my waistline to wear fall colors like oranges and yellows that I wouldn't let near my face.

Big scarves

Big scarves

Esprit floral scarve
$25 -

Gap scarve
$35 -

Purple scarve
$20 -

Sheer scarve
$18 -

Madewell wool shawl
$40 -

Fat Face printed scarve
£18 -

Forever21 woven scarve
$11 -

Forever21 paisley scarve
$9.80 -

Just as my belts are getting smaller, my scarves are getting bigger. I wore a lot of scarves last fall/winter as well, but this year, they're bigger and more cozy and bundled, and I approve of that. I'm also looking forward to branching out in terms of color and pattern, and wearing scarves that are really the focal points of my outfits.



Lassen side zipper boots
$139 -

Steven shoes
$150 -

OTBT zip boots
$142 -

ALDO knee boots
$130 -

Eric Michael slouchy black boots
$210 -

Vince Camuto zip boots
$210 -

Frye wooden heels
$228 -

Banana republic shoes
$198 -

I was going to skip talking about boots on account of it being so obvious, but they really are, as far as I'm concerned, fall's saving grace. I love boots and if there is one thing that makes me completely happy about the cooler weather, it's the return of boot appropriateness. Boots are great in all their shapes and styles, but my favorites are low-or-flat heeled tall ones and mid-height ones with buckles. I'm still stubbornly wearing my Franco Sarto Motos, since they don't make anything similar in my size anymore. I hope they last forever.

So what great fall trends am I missing? Leave me a comment and help me get excited about getting dressed!


I get most of my fashion suggestions from you, so I"m not much help there. But I'm very excited about boots this fall.

I have that boyfriend cardigan from AE, and I'm not thrilled. I may be too short for it, or I may need a belt that wasn't solely purchased to hold up my pants. But I love layers and sweaters and scarves, so I am actually feeling like I can pull something off this fall.

(I love your new blog header, by the way!)

I just got a pair of Frye Harness boots in brown and am looking for ideas of outfits to build around them. As a wide-hipped/big-thighed person, skinny jeans are not really my favorite so I'm thinking long tops (sweaters or dresses?) and leggings. Any other ideas?

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Surprise! Awesome jewelry at...Chico's!


I was recently gifted a set of fantastic lucite bangle bracelets, after I'd admired Mark's mom wearing the same set. This isn't the first time this has happened--I've admired her jewelry and received my own version before, and I think it's great and so generous. This particular instance surprised me, though, as the set was from Chico's.

Chico's is not a store I think of for accessories. Frankly, it's not really a store I think of at all. It is filed in my mind with other "older ladies'" stores that I'm not ready for yet. So I was surprised to like the bracelets so much. On a lark, I went to the website to check out the other jewelry offerings.

Y'all, Chico's has great jewelry. It's mostly chunkier, more modern stuff--not a lot of demure or classic type pieces--and the quality seems right good for the moderate prices (it's not super cheap, but neither is it especially expensive, and right now it's buy-one-get-one-50%-off). Most of it is available in sets, and I think it gets a bit overwhelming when put all together like that, but there is a ton of potential in the individual pieces.

Here are some favorites:

Corbella Bangles, $39

Dani Bangles, $34

Clarice Bibb Necklace, $49

Jadira Long Necklace, $48

Edra Ring, $39

Emilina Necklace, $48

Elyza Ring, $49

Kerani Earrings, $35

While my look around the site confirmed that I'm still not the right demographic for Chico's clothes, the jewelry was certainly a revelation. I guess this just goes to show you have to keep an open mind and a sharp eye--great things can come in unexpected places!


I just got 7 pieces of Chico's jewelry at a garage sale for $7 total. I was also surprised at how much I liked it!

Did I miss the winner of the BlogHer swag? Was it me? :-)

Very nice jewelry and affordable, I love the Elyza ring so beautiful. Hope to see more jewelry from Chico.

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I got in a bit of a heated discussion yesterday about dress codes and school uniforms (big shocker: I'm against both) and it got me to thinking about the ways in which my style is constrained (and expanded) by my job. I work in a professional environment with a business casual culture, heavy on the casual. There are lots of khakis and polo shirts here, and I often see non-Friday jeans. Overall, I'd say my clothes are on the upper end of the spectrum here. And I make certain sacrifices, or compromises, to make sure that's the case. I do try to dress well, and professionally, as part of the image I want to project.

On the other hand, though, there are several "professional dress" style choices that I just refuse to make, at least unless or until I absolutely have to. Mostly, I've been able to get away with these refusals to compromise, at least so far. That may change, though I doubt it will change in my current job.

Want to break it down?

Today, I am wearing a pretty typical summer work outfit:


I'm wearing:
-blue and white patterned silk skirt (thrifted)
-navy Land's Cap Sleeve Lightweight Cotton Modal Drape Top
-teal Ralph Lauren belt (thrifted)
-bronze Me Too wedges (Nordstrom Rack)
-teal and blue beaded cuff bracelet (no idea)

To me, the compromises I'm making when wearing this are obvious, but probably not so much to the outside observer. This whole silhouette, with the knee length, a-line skirt, fitted top, and sensible shoes, reads to me as "work." Though I like these pieces, and like the way this looks, it's not something I'd probably wear in a non-work situation. The color palette is also subdued, reading as professional to my eye. It's modest, covering thighs and shoulders, not showing any cleavage. I am wearing subtle, work-appropriate makeup. I shave my legs and armpits. Because I work in a crowded cubicle, I don't wear scented products or perfume to work. These are all compromises, things I might choose to do differently in a non-work environment.

What may be more easy to spot are the compromises I am refusing to make, or at least refusing to make so far.The most obvious one, I think, is that I don't make any effort to cover my tattoos. I have a tattoo on my foot, one on my inner ankle, and one on my upper arm, all of which I show at work. Another obvious one is my hair--I wear it long, usually loose, and most often, untamed. I occasionally beat it into blow-dried submission, but not that often. I also have obvious and often fly-away grays. It's not a particularly "professional" hairstyle. Other things are less clear--for example, what I am wearing on top here, and what I typically wear on top, is a knitted shirt. It's pretty much a t-shirt. I really dislike how I look and feel in button downs and/or blazers, so I avoid them whenever possible. I have a pile of t-shirts I would't wear to work, of course, but one like this, which is in good shape, a nice cut, and an unfaded color? I wear them all the time. I also get a lot of my clothes at the thrift store, which may not be clear by looking at me, but is a fairly non-typical way of building a professional wardrobe.

Right now, I think I'm striking a good balance. I think I look good at work, but I also free like I'm being true to myself. Striking that balance is absolutely my goal.


Very interesting post! I'm glad you feel you can remain "you" in your workplace and I think your compromises are very reasonable.

I have had several different jobs, with different dress codes, and I have come to despise dress codes (written and unwritten) in general. :)

I got so sick of "business appropriate" black pants and button-downs when I was working in a more conservative office. Suits and button-down shirts I could afford never fit me right (I'm tall), and my conservative officey flats/pumps were usually not cute because I had so few options (I have big feet). I was so relieved on days we could wear jeans. Now, if I had been payed well enough to afford gorgeous, well-fitting suits and blouses and dresses, I think I'd have been fine with that part of corporate dress, but really restrictive dress codes still aren't for me. I think most people are smart enough to dress appropriately most of the time.

I now work in an incredibly casual office, and I don't think I could ever happily go back to business-casual! I actually threw my black pants and my boring flats out when I got my current job. So I get to wear untamed hair without feeling guilty (which is good, because I've never successfully gotten my hair to look "professional"), bare legs, open-toed-shoes, deeper necklines, bright colors, and even occasionally (on the hottest days) shorts or tank tops... It's such a relief to feel like me again.

I am not at ALL ragging on people who have to dress the way I used to (or even more conservatively), but I'm so relieved I don't. In fact, I quit my last job in part because their dress code was more strict than necessary. There were lots of other reasons, but that certainly was a factor.

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Showing off my uniform


I woke up late today. That makes 4/4 days this week I've woken up late, and probably something around the 80% mark all-time. I do not wake up well. I also do not pick out my clothes the night before--I'm a morning dresser. If you're thinking that this explains a lot about how I dress, you're right! I do have a tendency to stick with formulas, where I know if I grab one thing each from A, B, and C categories, it will probably work.

I thought that for this summer, my dressing formula, or uniform, would be maxi dress-based. It hasn't worked out that way. I know people have all manner of differing opinions on this, but, for me, maxi dresses don't feel all that office appropriate. I keep trying, but it isn't something I'm comfortable enough with to base my uniform around. Instead, I have been relying heavily on the following:

printed knee-length skirt, generally a-line or full + fitted plain colored top + sandals or flats

Today is no exception:



Sometimes I wear a belt. I usually wear a necklace and/or bracelets. But I go back to this formula time and time again.

Want me to prove it? Between June 1 and now, I've captured the following variations in photographs:


As far as formulas go, I think this is an easily wearable and generally cute one to have, but my goodness--I think I need to branch out!

Do you have a dressing formula, or a uniform you reach for day after day?


It's a good uniform. My favorite summer uniform is a cap-sleeved dress; winter allows for a little more variation.

Your formula is much better than mine. Mine is tank top + comfortable pants/skirt + flip flops.

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Playing with color


As I was getting dressed this morning, I was thinking about color. I thrifted this skirt a few weeks ago, and I like it a lot, but I find the lavender and yellow color palette really challenging. I don't generally do pastels, or light colors in general, and I'm never quite sure how to mix them in on the rare occasion I do find a piece I like in that color range. I've tried the skirt on with black on top, and with white, and neither of those options thrilled me.

So, this morning, I decided to step outside my comfort zone a little bit and try the pastel skirt with a bright, but also unexpected for me, color on top. After trying a couple of things, I decided I liked this bright coral t-shirt best. There isn't, as far as I know, a color wheel explanation for the combination of lavender and coral, but they're really working for me. I added a green stone necklace and metallic shoes and was done!



Also, a bonus shot of the recently shaved Illy!

I'm wearing:
-Isaac Mizrahi for Target lavender with yellow butterfly skirt (thrifted)
-Old Navy Ruched V-Neck Tee in Coral Sizzle
-Me Too metallic wedges (Nordstrom Rack)
-"L" typewriter key necklace (gift)
-green stone necklace (gift)


Grace, that is really flattering on you. :)

This outfit really goes with your Twitter handle, Gracie.

I had mentioned this blog to you in passing, about how she takes her photos outside:

Even in the snow...


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Everybody, Everywear: Pattern Mixing


Everybody, Everywear | Pattern Mixing

I was jazzed that this month's Everybody Everywear challenge is pattern mixing. I've been attempting pattern mixing a lot this summer, in a fairly subtle way. Though I'm hardly an expert now, I am slightly more confident in doing it than I was in June. So, today, I went with what has worked so far:



I'm wearing:
-Merona thrifted skirt (#1 summer wardrobe staple!)
-Gap thrifted blue and gray striped scoopneck tee
-Softspots purple suede wedges
-silver owl pendant (from Ebay, I think)

This skirt has been my pattern-mixing go-to. I've done it a couple of other times:


I've also made a couple of pattern mixing attempts without it:


What do you think? Are you a pattern mixing yay or nay?


I think I am pretty creative with my clothing, but I don't mix patterns often and not really sure why. I have tried stripes with florals and polka-dots in small doses, but rarely do more because I feel on me it looks weird. But it looks great on you, and I see others rock it as well. Need to keep playing with my wardrobe I guess!

I am a pattern mixing yay, for sure, but a cautious yay. It's usually a struggle for me when I try to do it, but I've never not been pleased with the results.

I love that you used a neutral color scheme for today's outfit - I think that actually might make mixing patterns a little easier. I'll have to try that next time.

Excellent pattern mixing! Perhaps I'm saying that because your outfit looks similar to the one I put together :) This was my first attempt, and I see you've got practice. I like the other ways you styled the skirt,

Normally I'm a staunch nay, but your first pic in particular shows pattern mixing can be done quite nicely!

I am a pattern mixing "yay", with certain limitations. I am loving the monochromatic pattern mixing on you - it works so well! Also, do I spy a Hedwig tattoo? Awesome!

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Another way in which I am not a fashion blogger


So there are a lot of fashion/style blogs out there. I keep meaning to do a round-up of some of my favorites, but not getting around to it. And I want to join them. Kinda. But with something a bit more...real. See, I am never going to have expensive clothes, artistic poses, or (probably) even good pictures. I just show you the clothes I am wearing. Sometimes, they rock. Often, they look kinda bad. Like the capris I have on today. I keep trying to make them work, but they just...well, my first thought when looking at today's photos was that they bunch in the front and look like a diaper. Aren't you glad I feel equipped to give you fashion advice? At least the top is cute.



I'm wearing:
-Eddie Bauer black capri pants (thrifted)
-Ann Taylor red, black, white, and gray print top (outlet)
-Naturalizer Oshee black flats (
-red interlocking circle necklace (old, no idea)
-silver charm bracelets (Ebay)


Okay - you DO NOT look like you're wearing a diaper! And yes, I think you are equipped to give style advice because for one thing, you've thrifted pants from a high(er) quality, classic brand as opposed to a fast-fashion mecca. That's smart thrifting!

Dump these capris! you won't miss them, not one bit.

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Another capri pants combo

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It's back to being a jillion degrees, so I dug the short capris back out today and decided I'd try them with my new platform sandals. I'm not loving it. I think the top and bottom are just too plain, even with the three Superhero necklaces. You live and learn.




Detail of the sandals, which I really do like:


I'm wearing:
-Ann Taylor curvy cut navy capris (outlet)
-Old Navy Flutterer Sleeve Embellished Top in Calla Lily
-Naturalizer Nuevo sandals in Coffee Bean (
-Superhero necklaces


Hi! I like swinging by your blog occasionally to check out your fashion. :) Love these sandals! I think you're on the right track with this outfit... I would try a long necklace or two with it next time. But, gotta love the shoes!

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Stepping up the business casual


As you may have noticed, the warmer it gets, the more casual my business casual gets. I think that's pretty natural--hot weather doesn't make most people want to dress up. However, there are certain days (like today) where it's necessary to give the impression not that I am dressed formally, but that I am taking my daily business casual wear seriously (if that makes any sense at all). I have both a lunch meeting and an after-work happy hour today, neither of which necessitates a suit, but both of which necessitate me looking as if I'm trying. And I think this is a pretty good outfit for that type of situation.



The timer caught me trying to fix my shirt and looking down in this picture, so it's a bonus shot of my crazy part:


I'm wearing:
-Ann Taylor Loft wide legged gray trousers (thrifted)
-Gap sleeveless purple, gray, and teal print pleat-front blouse
-Gap black lightweight half-sleeved cardigan
-Softspots purple suede wedges
-purple wooden bead bracelet (Anika Burke)
-pressed flower pendant necklace (gift)


I like this outfit a lot.

I love this outfit!

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An unexpected skirt


The weather has reached the point where I think everyone should just feel blessed that I am wearing clothes at all. I have no idea why 100+ in DC is so much harder to deal with than 100+ in Austin, but it is. So, when I got dressed this morning, my major thought was "how few clothes can I get away with?"

And then I spotted this skirt. I thrifted it on a whim a month or so ago and didn't really think I'd ever wear it. I am not really a Lilly Pulitzer girl, you know? But something drew me to its pink glory, and so I picked it up (for 50% off--it was something like $3). And when I put it on this morning, I declared it perfect for a too-damn-hot Friday. And the red shoes with it? That's just an added bonus. Either it's my risky fashion statement or my feet hurt too much for heels and these are the only comfortable flats I own. You choose which explanation you'd like to believe.

What do you think?




I'm wearing:
-Lilly Pulitizer tiered pink skirt (thrifted)
-Old Navy sleeveless cowl neck gray shirt
-red Naturalizer flats
-turquoise stone necklace (gift)
-jade and pearl earrings (gift)


I am NOT a Lily Pulizer girl, but I really dig that skirt! Very fun!

I haven't been here in so long... too long. You are looking amazing and I dig the new look of the blog!

I agree about Lily Pulitzer, but I do think this is a really cute outfit!

I AM SO a Lilly Pulitzer girl (if I could afford it) and I love it!

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I have never liked capri pants. I think they tend to make legs look short and stumpy, particularly mine, which is odd, given that I'm 6 feet tall. For years, they were simply a no. However, in recent summers I've slowly begun to try them out, and the conclusion to which I've come is that the shape of the pants and the shoes they are worn with are both really key. So, today, when our heat index is threatening 110 (which even at 8am you can see in my hair), I paired a slim, short pair with heels, and I actually really like the result:




I'm wearing:
-Simply Vera Wang asymetrical hem top (thrifted)
-Ann Taylor navy capri pants (outlet sore)
-Sofft navy blue embellished Mary Jane heels (Zappos)
-threaded bangle bracelets (Ebay and Amazon)

Now, on to more important matters! Look at What If No One's Watching! If you're on a reader, please click through! I've been wanting a new look for the site for a long time and I am so so thrilled with what my fantastic friend/web designer came up with! Tell me this isn't perfect? There are still a few kinks being un-kinked, though, so please let me know if you come across anything that looks wonky or doesn't work.


Love the outfit, and love love LOVE the new look!

I also love the new look!

And I agree about capris. They have to be quite short or else I feel like I look like I just couldn't find pants that are long enough.

The blog looks great!

There is a "sweet spot" for Capri length. I have a pair that has an adjustable length that. I like depending on shoes and top and whatnot.

Also, I'm kinda in awe of your thrifting ability!

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Summer 30 for 30 Day 30: 4 + 20 + 25/EBEW Yellow


So I don't wear yellow. The scarf I have used as a belt in this outfit is literally the only item of clothing I could find in my expansive closet with any yellow in it. I really, really don't wear yellow. But this month's Everybody Everywear challenge was yellow, so I did what I could.




I'm wearing:
#4 Merona black, tan, white, and gray patterned skirt (thrifted)
#20 Ann Taylor sleeveless pin-collar black top (thrifted)
#25 Aerosoles mint green strappy sandals

-Gustav Klimt scarf as cumberbund (gift)
-vintage green beaded necklace (thrifted)
-wooden wrap bracelet (Forever 21)

AND today is also the last day of the Summer 30 for 30, at least for me! Can't say I'm going to be sad to see it go--just like last time, 30 days seemed like about 5 days too many, but it was a good exercise. Should we look back?


What was my best outfit?


The maxi days were my favorite. Also, the day you wore the white button up with the skinny belt, and the black skirt.

Congrats on finishing!

I'm so glad you posted this even though you don't normally wear yellow. I think yellow would actually look really great on you!

I love seeing the recap with all the pics together. And I totally dig the scarf as cummerbund.

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Summer 30 for 30 Day 27-29


So I had a major weekend Summer 30 for 30 fail. I wore 30 for 30 clothes, but I never took pictures. I was out of town all weekend, visiting a friend with infant twins, and I just didn't get to the picture taking portion of my days. I thought just skipping them altogether and making today Day 27, but honestly, I am sick to death of my 30 for 30 clothes and ready for this whole thing to be over, so you're just going to have to take my word for the boring outfits I wore:

Day 27: 30 (black Merona shorts) + 19 (purple Converse One-Star top) + 28 (red Naturalizer flats)

Day 28: 30 (black Merona shorts) + 21 (Old Navy floral ruffle front shirt) + 28 (red Naturalizer flats)

Which brings us to today, Day 29. In which my camera is once again malfunctioning.




I'm wearing:
#9 gray Loft pants (thrifted)
#18 black and blue patterned Gap dolman sleeve shirt
#24 Antia black wedges

-Old Navy blue camisole
-Betsey Johnson charm necklace (Ebay)
-Jewelmint Scarab ring


Just be done with it and enjoy fashion again. I won't judge, especially since I failed much earlier in the game. Weekend trips seem to be the downfall for a 30 for 30 challenge. When I visited my girlfriend a couple weeks ago, I just couldn't fathom stopping our festivities just to have a photo shoot. Friends and fun first, then fashion. ; )

Great outfit! And I'm jealous of your weekend trip!

have you gotten any other jewelmint stuff? I have one of their things I really love.

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Target kicks maxi dress a**!


I am a maxi dress freak. For several months (or maybe weeks, time is so hard to keep) I've been scouring stores and the Internets for the best maxi dresses in the land. I pinned them on Pinterest. I made a set on Polyvore:

Maxi dresses

And I shopped. I tried on. I ordered. I sent back. I hit big stores and small ones, lots of price points. I feel, at this point, that I can say the following with some authority:

The best maxi dresses are at Target.

I have purchased THREE maxi dresses from Target this season, and they are fabulous:

The first dress I bought is from the Calypso collection, which has moved off and on and back off clearance online over the past few weeks.The retail (and current online price) is $39.99, but I was lucky to snag it while it was 30% off:

The next two dresses I bought in-store, for full-price ($29.99 each). My buying something in-store, full-price at Target never, ever happens, but both dresses are absolutely perfect.

Crochted back:

There are other really cute maxis at Target, as well, including lots of great plus-sized options. Were I to be looking for more maxis (which I'm not! I swear! This MADNESS HAS TO END!), I'd definitely be checking Target out. Maybe for one of these?

Target maxis


You are evil and must be destroyed. I DO NOT need to be looking at new clothes! I need to be at the gym so I can get new clothes in a smaller size!! You are an enabler! An enabler I tell you! A pox on you!

But not really those were really cute....

I saw the purple and white one this morning. I neeeeed it!

oh my gosh, I LOVE the purple ones! PLEASE post pictures of you wearing them!

I looked at the Calypso line when it was first released and I really like the tie-dye maxi dress. I think even my 12 year old might wear that!

I bought 3 of the multi-twist option maxi dresses in Coral for $28 each on clearance online. They are for my daughter's bridesmaids, and they are IN LOVE! These are bridesmaids dresses with a future long life of repeated wear! Just perfect for a potentially hot Texas wedding May 2012. Not asking them to pay for them either...So much better than the $200 apiece we were looking at that was a slightly different material but similar style. SCORE!!!

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Summer 30 for 30 Day 26: 6 + 23 + 24


The weather has moved past what I'd call appropriate for using jeans to signify the importance of a Friday, so today I decided to make a more subtle "yay, weekend!" gesture with my clothing. I'm celebrating Friday with a short skirt. And earrings, just because I'm a rebel like that.




I'm wearing:
#6 St. John's Bay navy skirt with flower pattern (thrifted)
#23 NY & Company gray-green cowl neck sleeveless shirt
#24 Antia black wedges

-Liberty of London for Target brown belt (thrifted)
-chunky jade necklace (gift)
-small jade earrings (gift)

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Summer 30 for 30 Day 25: 8 + 22 +25


If today's outfit says to you "I overslept and I am getting really tired of this 30 for 30 and oh by the way I need to do some laundry," then you're not wrong.




I'm wearing:
#8 AT Loft black pants
#22 J. Crew pintuck neckline lavender floral sleeveless top (thrifted)
#25 Aerosoles green high-heeled sandals

-Forever 21 tassel necklace
-threaded bangle bracelets (Etsy)
-round bead bracelets (gift)


Actually I think you look really cute and put together! Sorry you had a rough morning.

Ok, I quite like that outfit. :) Just goes to show that you've got great style even in a rush with limited options!

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Summer 30 for 30 Day 24: 3 + 20 + 24

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Today's outfit may not seem risky, but it was indeed one of my "try something new" 30 for 30 combinations. What I was trying here was mixing neutrals, which I've heard a million times is doable, but haven't done much of myself. I think it worked, though! In this outfit, I've got navy, cream, black, and brown going on!




I'm wearing:
#3: navy and cream patterned silk skirt (thrifted)
#20: Ann Taylor pin-tuck neck sleeveless black top (thrifted)
#24: Antia black wedges

-Liberty of London for Target brown leather belt (thrifted)
-turquoise threaded bangles (Ebay)
-painted shell on ribbon necklace (gift)


You look very dressy and comfortable in this one. Definitely a favourite!

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Summer 30 for 30 Day 22 & 23: All about stripes


Apparently, stripes are Americana to me, as I wore them for both the 4th and the 5th of July!

Day 22: 4 + 16 + 28

This outfit was worn for a little thrifting and and at-home dinner. Nothing fancy, but comfortable, and I am kinda digging the pattern mixing.




I'm wearing:
#4 Merona tan, black, gray, and white printed skirt (thrifted)
#16 Old Navy white with red stripe scoop neck t-shirt
#28 Naturalizer red flats

No accessories!

Day 23: 15 + 26 + 29

This is a work outfit, albeit a casual one. I like the pink tank layered under this white shirt--I find the shirt too sheer on its own, and the pop of color is fun.




I'm wearing:
#15 Gap white v-neck t-shirt (thrifted)
#26 Sofft black wedge sandals
#29 black and white striped maxi skirt (Nordstrom Rack)

-Banana Republic hot pink camisole (outlet store)
-silver faux vintage owl necklace (Ebay)
-braided leather bangle bracelets (Ebay)


I love 30 for 30. My favourite outfit is the top one, but I feel like the second outfit is more 'you'.

I really, really love the striped maxi skirt outfit. The pink pop of color works so well. And the owl pendant? LOVE.

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Summer 30 for 30 Day 21: 23 + 28 + 30


Well, it's Day 21 and my 30th item has been added. I didn't intend to add this item, but today's agenda and weather made the decision for me. A full-day of thrift shopping in 95 with high humidity? Time to add some shorts to the equation. I was glad all day I made that decision.



Holiday weekend joy:


I'm wearing:
#23 NY & Company gray-green cowl neck sleeveless shirt
#28 Naturalizer red flats
#30 Merona black Bermuda shorts (thrifted)

-pressed flower pendant necklace (gift)

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Summer 30 for 30 Day 20: 2 + 27


Today's outfit is courtesy of date night, without which I never would have changed out of my exercise clothes. I think it turned out very nicely.




I'm wearing:
#2 New York & Company black ruffle-front maxi dress
#27 A. Marinelli studded green high-heeled sandals

-purple and silver dangly earrings (Anika Burke)

Shall we have a look at Day 11-20? Which was your favorite? Least?



Favorite? 18. Definitely. Least favorite is probably 15. I am just not digging the silhouette.

You are *stunning* in that dress! That and the outfit with the white jacket are my favourites.

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Summer 30 for 30 Day 19: 7 + 19 + 28


At first glance, there is absolutely nothing exciting about this outfit. But I do find it exciting. Why? This purple shirt, #19 in my 30 for 30 items? It was the only thing I hadn't worn yet. With this outfit, I have worn every single item I picked out at least once. That totally feels like victory.


What am I doing with my feet in this picture? I have no idea.


And here, this picture taking is suddenly very. serious. business. Also, I am pointing thighs? Again, no idea.


I'm wearing:
#7 Eddie Bauer curvy bootcut jeans (thrifted)
#19 Converse purple embroidered detail shirt (Target)
#28 Naturalizer red flats

-Steinveka enamel pendant necklace (Etsy)
-three string glass bead necklace (gift)


That's a really nice outfit! I love how the red shoes and the purple top go.

I love the red and purple together! You look beautiful, as always!

Am I really commenting on those red flats again? LOL! They reminded me to tell you that I found a super cute pair of red sandals yesterday, but I'm still on the hunt for flats. I love this outfit so much. Purple + red = awesome!

Really like this outfit!!

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Summer 30 for 30 Day 18: 2 + 11 + 24


Two days of maxis in a row? Do you think perhaps someone is avoiding shaving her legs? Just a thought.

I kinda love this outfit. I wasn't sure it would work to button the jacket up over the ruffle front of the dress, but it does. I feel very boho-yet-put-together in this.




I'm wearing:
#2 NY & Company ruffle-front black maxi dress
#11 NY & Company white safari shirt/jacket
#24 Antia black wedges

-silver chain and leaf necklace (Ebay)
-lavender, teal, and magenta silk wrapped bangles (Etsy)
-Liz Claiborne faux blue snakeskin belt (thrifted)


You look amazing. Sincerely.

I love every bit of this outfit. You look great.

I absolutely LOVE this. I think this is my favourite outfit I've seen (so far). The bracelets are great, too!

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Holy clothes sales, Batman!


So I dunno if anybody else is having this happen, but I am inundated with clothing sale notifications recently! Seems like all of my favorite retailers are having sales. Since I am conveniently ignoring the "no shopping" part of the 30 for 30, I've definitely partaken in several of them. However, there were a great many things I didn't buy, either because they just didn't make my final cut, don't work for me, or (often) weren't available in my size. Since giving recommendations is like vicarious shopping, I thought I'd browse a few sales and share with you the best goodies I found but didn't purchase myself:


I have been waiting for Boden's Summer Sale since I first saw the summer line. There are so many things I like in it, and Bodens regular prices, even with the 10-15% discount you can usually get, are steep for me. Here are a few summer sale favorites:

Riviera Dress, $90 $49

Silk Feather Maxi, $240 $74

Sassy Silk Dress, $140 $74

Forget-Me-Not Top, $50 $38

Pintuck Skirt, $70 $46

Swishy Cotton Skirt, $70 $51


I buy sale items at Loft often--they have a lot of good sales. Right now, everything is 40%, including already on-sale items. Here are a few picks from that section:

Airy Flowers Tuck Detail Dress, $69 $54.99-40%

Smocked Wedge Top, $34 $29.99-40%

Ann Taylor

As is often the case, AT is having the same sale as Loft-40% off everything. Which, once again, makes their sale section really affordable. A few things I saw:

Cut-In Ruffle Halter, $78 $59.99-40%

Silk Crinkle Short Skirt, $78 $64.99-40%

Signature High-Waisted A-Line Pants, $118 $69.99-40%

Silk Shell with Lace Top, $98 $69.99-40%

Asymmetrical Ruffle Shell, $78 $49.99-40%

Not that I'm encouraging you to shop, or anything...


You should really shop for me.

I love everything you put up there. Where's my windfall so I can buy all the things????

pretty! pretty! I'm not shopping for a year so thank goodness for the freepiles/clothes swaps or these would be really tempting;)

The Riviera dress is lovely!

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Summer 30 for 30 Day 17: 29 + 17 + 28


What, 29? 29? There is no item 29! That, kittens, is because I stood in front of my clothes rack this morning and went "ug, really? I have to wear this stuff?" and decided that it was time to bring in a ringer. I'm using one of my wild-card spots, #29, on this striped maxi skirt. I think it's a good decision.




I'm wearing:
#29 black and white striped maxi skirt (Nordstrom Rack)
#17 Ann Taylor black scoopneck t-shirt (thrifted)
#28 Naturalizer red flats

-purple wooden beaded bracelet (Anika Burke)
-peacock feather necklace (Forever 21)


That skirt does nice things to your butt :) You look great!

Every single time I see those red flats, I realize how very badly I want some of my very own!! Love the maxi skirt!

I love the striped maxi skirt. Furthermore black and white works with any bright shades. Beautiful!

Ditto Jennifer! ;) I love this outfit!

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I've been going back and forth for days about what body part to feature for Academichic's Dress Your Best blog event this week. As I tried to decided, I noticed that several of Academichic's posters chose to feature body parts they'd once loved less, including pregnancy-induced body changes and a delightfully uneven face. Coincidentally, I'd been in a discussion elsewhere online about learning to embrace and even love body parts you used to dislike, so I decided that would be a good guiding principle for my Dress Your Best contribution.

From there, it wasn't hard.

I have really big arms. It's hereditary--all of the women in my mother's family have big arms, even the ones who are thin. My grandmother has what my grandfather referred to as "blacksmith arms." She's a big, strong woman and she's got natural guns. Apparently it's a strong gene.

Having big arms is something hard to love as a woman, at least early on. For one thing, nothing about you (with the exception, to a point, of your breasts) is supposed to be big. For another, it's a hassle--shirt-sleeves quite often to do not fit around my upper arms, even in shirt sizes that are otherwise too big. I can't take my blood pressure with the machine at the drugstore, because my arm doesn't fit properly in the cuff. These are small things, but the annoyances add up.

I've never hated my arms enough to try to hide them--I wear sleeveless shirts more than most people do, and certainly more than a lot of people my size do (in part because of the aforementioned sleeve fitting issue). But they've never really been something I fully embraced.

Until now. Over the past six months, as I've spent more time and the gym and lifted higher weights, my arms have changed. They've--no joke--gotten bigger. They've also gotten much more developed musculature, and they've gotten stronger. Suddenly, it's clear what an asset they are. I have a greater natural strength than many, many women. I have the ability to fairly easily build serious muscle. And I like that.

I like that a lot, actually. Muscular arms have always been a back-of-my-mind goal, ever since, as a pre-teen, I saw Linda Hamilton doing pull-ups in Terminator 2. While I know I'll never be built like Linda Hamilton, I've since noticed some other really impressive arms that are more within my reach:

Photo via Fitness Magazine

And so, I'm inspired, today, to celebrate my arms.



Who needs subtle?


I'm wearing:
#8 Loft black cotton pants
#20 Ann Taylor black sleeveless pintuck collar top (thrifted)
#26 Sofft black wedges

-Forever 21 rhinestone and feather bib necklace


Grace - you look AMAZING. And I love those shoes, want.

I have the same "issue" and have decided I no longer care. I have always had muscular arms and I'm not going to hide them.

I love your positivity! Your arms look fab.

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Summer 30 for 30 Day 15: 5 + 14 + 24

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Woohoo, the halfway point! I decided to celebrate with an outfit that looked a whole lot better in my head. Subtle pattern mixing, paperbagging a too-big skirt may just be too much for me.




I think the sad truth is that this skirt needs to be either altered or retired. It's way, way too big. But I had to try.

I'm wearing:
#5 Anne Klein black with white polka dots full pleated skirt (thrifted)
#14 Apt. 9 pink with white pin dots cowl neck (thrifted)
#24 Antia wedges

-Old Navy pink camisole
-black stretchy belt (can't remember where it's from)
-silver charm bracelets (Ebay)
-antique typewriter key necklace (gift)


I love high waisted skirts with belts. Maybe wear the skirt with your top tucked in - then the waistline detail will be looked upon as intentional and accentuate your lovely figure. I love the soft hues together.

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Summer 30 for 30 Day 14: 8 + 18 + 28

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I did not want to wear 30 for 30 clothes today. In fact, I didn't want to wear clothes at all. Had it not been for 30 for 30, I would almost certainly be headed to Target in yoga pants with dog hair on the ass. Though they'll never know it, the folks at my Target owe 30 for 30 their gratitude for that.

Instead, I came up with this casual weekend ensemble. Nothing ground-breaking, but a pretty big step up from what I would have worn if left to my own devices.




I'm wearing:
#8 Loft black cotton pants
#18 Gap black and blue patterned dolman sleeve shirt
#28 Naturalizer red flats

-Lucky charm necklace (Ebay)
-turquoise print headband/head scard (Cost Plus World Market)


Dog hair, I can so relate. But I love the little creatures.

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Summer 30 for 30 Day 13: 4 + 23 + 26

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When I did the 30 for 30 last time, I didn't do weekends--it was work week only. And so, it took over six weeks to finish. I didn't like that. So, this time, I'm including weekends, at least if I leave the house. Today, I left the house to run some errands and do some shopping.




I'm wearing:
#4 Merona black, tan, gray, and white printed skirt (a total MVP item so far!)
#23 NY & Company green-gray cowl neck sleeveless shirt
#26 Sofft black wedge sandals

-Forever 21 wooden beaded wrap bracelet
-gold owl pendant (Ebay)


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Summer 30 for 30 Day 12: 7 + 22 + 26

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I woke up this morning with what I think of as "free-range hair"--that is, hair I went to sleep on while it was wet and is now huge and unruly. Usually, when this happens, I attempt to tame it, or at least put it up. Today I decided to consider it a style opportunity and dress to compliment it, in as 70s an ensemble as my job and my 30 for 30 choices allow.

And I kinda love it.



Look at that hair!


I'm wearing:
#7 Eddie Bauer curvy bootcut jeans (thrifted)
#22 J. Crew sleeveless lavender and white floral top (thrifted)
#26 Sofft black wedge sandals (Nordstrom Rack)

-Forever 21 True Feathers necklace
-large purple stone pendant (Ebay)
-Forever 21 Gypsy Wrap bracelet (no longer available)
-Exotic Bangles magenta wrap bangles (Etsy)


My hair is at about the same length these days and it's driving me a bit nutty! I'm used to having much shorter hair.

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Summer 30 for 30 Day 11: 9 + 21 + 27


I put this outfit on intending to use it for my submission to Academichic's Dress Your Best event. With the long straight line of the pants and the high-heeled sandals, I thought the outfit would work very well to highlight my height, which is something I am trying to not only make peace with, but embrace (it's a process, people). But looking at the photographs, I don't think this came off at all the way I'd envisioned. So I'm going to try again later.

In the meantime, here I am in my nearly 6'4" glory.



I don't know what's going on with this one, sorry for the pissy face.


Since I forgot to take a detail shot, these are the shoes:

I'm wearing:
#9 Loft gray trousers (thrifted)
#21 Old Navy floral ruffle-front sleeveless top
#27 A. Marinelli Rayne green studded high-heeled sandals (6pm)

-Exotic Bangles purple and henna striped wrapped bangles (Etsy)


Let's face it - the 30 for 30 isn't called a challenge for nothing. It's difficult some days -- okay, most. Smile. I had a couple down days too.

Oh wow! I love those shoes...

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Summer 30 for 30 Day 10: 1 + 24


Yay, vintage! This vintage 1950s dress is one I put in my 30 for 30 because I've been holding on to it for months, looking for a perfect time to wear it. This forces me to make Wednesday a perfect time! I love this style more than any other in the world, and could quite happily wear it every day.


Look at that 5 yard skirt!


And I couldn't resist a motion shot:


I'm wearing:
#1 vintage 1950s pink print dress (Eons Vintage in Pittsburgh)
#24 Antia black wedges

-Etienne Atigner slim black leather belt (thrifted)
-silver charm bracelets (Ebay)

Day 10 already! Let's look at where we've been:


What's your favorite so far? Least favorite?


Love this style, love this dress, love it all on you.

This dress is gorgeous! It looks so good on you. I don't know if I could resist wearing it just about every day.

Love the vintage dress, especially since it's button down. You can also wear it open (almost like a coat) over shorts/pants and a tee. Very versatile piece. I think I missed day 7, but my memory sucks. Love your skirt!

My favourite is still day number one - that shirt is gorgeous on you! Today's dress runs a close second though - I loved the little girl twirl. lol

I think I like the one with the skirt with the big white polka dots best.

Today's dress is also great though!

I can't pick a favorite because you look great every single day. I swear I would pay a million dollars to be as cute as you are!!

I love 2,3,6 and 9. You're always so cute though!

Favourites are today and Day 4, but you are really having a beautiful month.

I like 1 & 3 the best, 5 & 6 a lot as well. 8 is my least favorite.

I love all the pictures of you in this style of dress and skirt! You look amazing in it!

5 and 7. Apparently you with your hair up/wearing teal is an eye catcher. Those were the ones that drew my eyes.

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Summer 30 for 30 Day 9: 4 + 17 + 28


I hope you all like this outfit, because I'm pretty sure modifications on it are what is going to get me through this 30 for 30. Full skirt + fitted shirt + red flats. It may not be the summer look I cultivated, but it's the one I got!




I'm wearing:
#4 Merona black, gray, tan, and white print cotton skirt (thrifted)
#17 Ann Taylor black scoop neck t-shirt (thrifted)
#28 red Naturalizer flats

-chunky jade necklace (gift)
-circular beaded bracelets (gift)


Glad you posted this skirt today. I thought about you last night (sounds creepy - sorry) while doing some fashion research. Seems Michael Kors had what I think a spectacular line in Fall 2008. Similar skirt to yours is featured, and worn with lavender. Check out Jade necklace is sweet.

really like this outfit!

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Summer 30 for 30 Day 8: 8 + 13 + 16 + 24


I was not feeling it this morning, y'all. It's raining, I'm exhausted after the weekend, and getting dressed was just not all that inspired an experience. Some days are like that.




I'm wearing:
#10 Loft black pants
#13 August Silk short-sleeved ruffle collar black cardigan (Nordstrom Rack)
#16 Old Navy red and white striped scoop neck t-shirt
#24 Antia black wedges (Shoebuy)

Lucky charm bracelet (Ebay)

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Summer 30 for 30 Day 6 & 7


We had a busy out-of-town weekend, and I have to say, having only by 30 for 30 options while packing made things a lot easier!

On Saturday, we had a memorial picnic for Mark's grandmother, who passed away this spring, followed by dinner at a Spanish restaurant with Mark's parents.

2 + 28




I was really happy with this outfit. It was comfortable for the 4+ hours I spent in the car in the morning, and appropriate for both the outdoor picnic in the afternoon and dinner in the evening. I felt like I looked really cute, too!

I wore:
#2 New York & Company Ruffle-Front Maxi Dress
#28 red Naturalizer flats

-Forever 21 Boho necklace
-Frosted Williow woodland bangle bracelets (Etsy)

On Sunday, we had a nice Father's Day brunch with Mark's parents, brother, and SIL, and headed back home. I needed something appropriate for a nice brunch in the city that I could still wear in the car, and what I wore worked out OK. I didn't take these pictures until we got home at around 11pm, though, after I'd had it on all day, so it comes off a bit sloppier than it actually was. Earlier in the day my shirt was tucked in, and I was wearing a belt.

6 + 10 + 28




I'm wearing:
#6 St. John's Bay blue skirt with floral pattern (thrifted)
#10 Loft short-sleeved teal cardigan (thrifted)
#28 red Naturalizer flats

-green tank top (Target)
-Exotic Bangles teal wrapped bangles (Etsy)
-Betsey Johnson charm necklace (Ebay)


Beautiful, Grace!

Cute weekend garb!

want those shoes! except I can't wear flats. i wouldn't have thought of them with that skirt and yet I love it.

I think that second outfit is the favourite thing I've ever seen you in!

The black dress is magnifique! So gorgeous and sophisticated.

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Summer 30 for 30 Day 5: 7 + 18 + 24


I was very thankful for casual Friday when I woke up this morning. Apparently it's going to be warm later, but it stormed last night and was still plenty wet and gray when I left the house, so jeans seemed just right.

This outfit irritates me, because I have that compulsion not to wear jeans with blue shirts. Still, I like more than I dislike about it. I look kinda strange with my hair up, though.



Emo downward stare!


And some details:


I'm wearing:
#7 Eddie Bauer Curvy bootcut jeans (thrifted)
#18 Gap blue and black patterned dolman shirt (outlet)
#24 Antia black wedges (also worn on Day 4)

-Forever 21 Boho necklace (no longer available?)
-blue and turquoise beaded earrings (LBB)
-braided leather bracelets (Ebay)


I like your hair up, shoes your beautiful face! I'm trying not to wear jeans at all, but it's tough. Blue on blue is fine - looks great on you.

I'm so excited these 30-for-30 outfit posts are back. They are inspiring. That said, I agree that blue w/blue jeans is not very exciting.

I love this outfit. I think it's probably one of my favorites that you've ever posted. It's casual, but classy, and very very you.

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Summer 30 for 30 Day 4: 5 + 13 + 24


So I looked at my clothes rack this morning, loaded with its meager fewer-than-30 items, and groaned. I did not want to wear ANY of this stuff. How long does it take to get sick of 30 for 30? Apparently, for me, 4 days.

But I knew this would happen, and had decided upon two coping strategies for days like today well in advance:

1. Wear old standbys. A day like today is a bad time to try to be creative. Just get something I know works on my body and get out of the house.

2. Cheat. Just a little.

Today, I employed both strategies. Both the skirt and the shoes are old standbys--pieces I have worn a lot and know I am comfortable with. The tank top is a cheat--it's not a 30 for 30 item. I decided at the beginning that since tanks under things are a summer wardrobe staple for me and I wear so many of them, it wasn't going to be reasonable to include them in my 30 for 30 items unless I wanted to wear the same one over and over. So, the rule I set is that as long as I am not going to wear them alone, with nothing over them, tanks are freebies.

And it all turned out OK.



Plus? This skirt has pockets. That improves everything, pretty much. Which is apparently why I felt the need to smirk about it in this picture.


I'm wearing:
#5 Anne Klein full polka-dot skirt (thrifted)
#13 August Silk short sleeved black cardigan (Nordstrom Rack)
#24 Antia black wedges (Shoebuy)

-Banana Republic red tank top (outlet)
-Forever 21 Matte Bead Necklace
-silver concentric circles necklace as bracelet (thrifted)


I love this skirt!

That is a GREAT outfit. That could totally be a day into evening outfit if you had plans for an after-work event.

That is an OSM outfit -- I love the skirt so much!

LOVE the skirt!

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Summer 30 for 30 Day 3: 3 + 23 + 25


This skirt is one of the challenge pieces for me in this 30 for 30--I thrifted it recently, and I love it--the silk fabric, the pattern, the drape, it's great. However, I haven't quite figured out to wear it yet. It's navy and white, and those aren't colors I use much, and it's silk, a fabric I don't wear that much, so I am not quite sure how to pair it yet. So I decided to add it to my 30 for 30 set to force myself to wear it.

And I think this kinda works. What do you think?



In this one, I think I'm trying to show you how impressed I am with myself that it took 3 days for me to pull out the wide elastic belts:


I'm wearing:
#3 blue and white silk skirt (no tag, thrifted)
#23 New York & Company green-gray sleeveless cowl neck (old)
#25 Aerosoles Women's South Role sandals (

-cream and blue Forever 21 stretchy belt (no longer available, from what I can tell)
-Exotic Bangles brown and burgundy silk wrapped bangles (Etsy)
-Superhero Chlorine necklace


Good luck on the 30 for 30 challenge! It looks like you are off to a great start. 3 down, only 27 to go. - Katy

A look that could easily translate into an evening out, very nice!

Love this look on you. The skirt it great and I love the shoes.

This looks spectacular! I love the belt, too, very sexy. Am I the only geek who is adding the numbers together, literally? Today is a 51, which has factors of 1,3,17, and 51. Also, all three components are odd numbers, and two of them are primes.

(Pay no attention to that geek behind the curtain!)

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Today I love: jewelry from Forever 21

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So I'm a new convert to Forever 21. I know, last person on the planet, right? I have always disliked the stores--crowded, loud, and nothing there fits me anyway. But I started noticed that a lot of style bloggers were wearing jewelry from the store. So I checked it out online. Wow. They have cute jewelry! Cheap! I was skeptical of the quality, but I ordered a bunch of stuff anyway (since I totally failed to read the "no returns on jewelry" fine print).

Well, I love everything I ordered. No, it's not handmade quality, but it's definitely worth what I paid for it, and the stuff they have right now is PERFECT for the laid-back boho look I want to cultivate this summer.

Since I'll be showing you the stuff I bought over the next few weeks, as I wear it, I thought I'd also show you the stuff that I liked, but didn't buy this time around.

Forever 21 jewelry

Forever21 jewelry
$16 -

Forever21 wood bangle
$8.80 -

Forever21 antique necklace
$8.80 -

Forever21 pendant
$8.80 -

Forever21 beading bracelet
$7.80 -

Forever21 chain necklace
$7.80 -

Forever21 antique necklace
$7.80 -

Forever21 layered chain necklace
$7.80 -

Gypsy bracelet
$7.80 -

Forever21 layered necklace
$6.80 -

Forever21 beaded jewelry
$5.80 -

Forever21 thick bracelet
$5.80 -

Forever21 long necklace
$5.80 -

Forever21 metal earrings
$4.80 -

Forever21 beading bracelet
$4.80 -

Forever21 jewelry
$4.80 -

Forever21 boho earrings
$4.80 -

Forever21 sunglasses
$7.80 -

Are there other stores I have been ignoring that I should check out?


I have really been experimenting with accessories, myself.

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Summer 30 for 30 Day 2: 4 + 15 + 28


Things are looking much better today! I'm happier with this outfit, the pictures are in focus, and I am even feeling a little bit better.

I like the sorta 80s vibe of this, without going too ridiculously 80s. I am also really loving my new jewelry, which is from Forever 21! I never would have guessed they'd have so much fun stuff, but they really do.I made a pretty big order recently, so look for more pieces from them in future posts.

Also, I wanted to give a shout-out of thanks to Kris at A Thrifty LA Life for adding me to her Go-To 30 for 30-ers list! Kris' blog is a recent favorite of mine, and I am really excited to see how she remixes her mostly-thrifted and totally fabulous wardrobe for this challenge. I definitely recommend checking in on her, and I'll be having a look at the other blogs on her list, as well.

Now, the outfit:




I'm wearing:
#4 Merona black, tan, white, and gray full printed skirt (thrifted)
#15 Gap white v-neck t-shirt (thrifted)
#28 Naturalizer red flats (Zappos or Shoebuy)

-Forever 21 Outback Spiral Bracelet
-Forever 21 Assorted Charms Necklace


So sweet. Thanks for the shout out. Perfect skirt for remixing - love the colors.

I LOVE that skirt! You look great!

Love the combo of solid tee and floral skirt. I've planned to do the combo as well. So chic yet frugal! :)


Cute outfit! I really like the necklace also.
Lately I've been quite into Forever 21 jewelry as well. They have a huge selection and the prices are really reasonable.
Good luck with the next 28 days:)

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Summer 30 for 30 Day 1: 9 + 14 + 26


Since today is the first day of the summer 30 for 30, and I want to make a good impression, I thought I'd take arty photos! Just kidding. In reality, I forgot to take the macro setting off the camera and my pictures are very out-of-focus. Sorry about that. Not exactly an auspicious beginning.

But it's not exactly an auspicious outfit, either, so I guess that works. The reality is that I woke up late, I have a cold, and this is what I threw on. It will only go up from here, right?




I'm wearing:
#9 AT Loft gray wide legged pants (thrifted)
#14 Apt. 9 pink pin-dot cowl neck (thrifted)
#26 Sofft black wedge sandals

-Mossimo white tank top (Target)
-silver bangle (no idea)
-white and silver bib necklace (NY & Company)

Not that you can tell in these pictures, but I also got a really good haircut this weekend, at a new salon. So I'll be reviewing that place later--if you happen to be local to me, keep an eye out for that!


Hey Grace, the pink top is super cool! Love that you are mixing thrift store stuff in (and that you are dressed in thrifted stuff & proud) Very cool project idea!

Pretty in pink.

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30 for 30, Summer Style


I'm doing it again! Kendi Everyday's 30 for 30 Remix Challenge! Starting tomorrow, I'll be making 30 outfits out of the 30 items I picked from my closet, no repeat outfits, no clothes shopping!

I wish I had the photographic talent and was willing to put in the effort to show you the pieces I am going to use, like Kendi and others do, but I don't, so some hasty shots taken on my bed will have to suffice:

2 dresses:
30for30 dresses
1. Vintage dress I bought on my last trip to Pittsburgh
2. Ruffle-front black maxi dress (NY & Company)

4 skirts:
30for30 skirts
3. blue and white silk skirt (no tag, thrifted)
4. black, gray, and tan print cotton skirt (Merona, thrifted)
5. black and white polka dot full skirt (Anne Klein, thrifted)
6. blue skirt with floral pattern (St. John's Bay, thrifted)

3 pants:
30for30 pants
7. bootcut jeans (Eddie Bauer, thrifted)
8. black pants (Loft)
9. gray pants (Loft, thrifted)

3 top layers/cardigans:
30for30 covers
10. teal short-sleeved cardigan (Loft, thrifted)
11. white safari shirt/jacket (NY & Company)
13. black short-sleeved cardigan (August Silk via Nordstrom Rack)

6 sleeved tops:
30for30 sleeved tops
14. pink pin-dot cowl neck (Apt. 9, thrifted)
15. white v-neck t-shirt (Gap, thrifted)
16. red and white striped scoop neck t-shirt (Old Navy)
17. black scoop neck t-shirt (Ann Taylor, thrifted)
18. black and blue patterned dolman shirt (Gap Outlet)
19. purple embroidered front shirt (Converse One-Star via Target)

4 sleeveless tops:
30for30 sleeveless tops
20. black pin-tuck collar top (Ann Taylor, thrifted)
21. floral ruffle-front shirt (Old Navy)
22. lavender and white floral pin-tuck collar top (J. Crew, thrifted)
23. green-gray cowl neckline top (NY & Company)

5 pairs of shoes:
30for30 shoes
24. black wedges (Antia, only repeat from my last 30-for-30!)
25. light green strappy heels (Aerosoles)
26. black wedge sandals (Sofft)
27. green high-heeled sandals with studs (A. Marinelli)
28. red flats (Naturalizer)

I left myself two wild-card slots to add things later that I can't foresee needing now, which is kind of a cheat, but I'm OK with that.

Last time I did this, I noticed that I could have used more shoe options, and that I didn't include enough basic layering tops in my choices. I am attempting to fix that this time. Do you see any holes? Any outfit suggestions? Hit me with your ideas in the comments!


Great choices, I can't wait to see how you put them together!

All I can really see is that you might want a solid-color skirt. All your skirts have very distinctive prints.

Linking you up on my blog for my special 30 for 30 section. Let's get thru this together.

You are so organized. You numbered your items. Good luck with your 30 for 30.

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Unlikely style icons


I just read Mrs. Bossa's Top 7 Unlikely Style Icons post. After I wiped the tears from my eyes, I knew I had to do my own.

Unintentionally, I assure you, I occasionally channel super-substitute Viola Swamp:

I never quite mean to look like an elephant, but some days I do see a bit of Ganesha:

Then, of course, there are those unfortunate Church Lady occasions...

None of those, however, are as embarrassing as my penchant for the false-modest emo downturned eyes. Oh yes, my friends, I have my Morrissey days.

Who am I missing? Leave me a comment with an unlikely fashion influence you've identified, and I'll be sure to add it! After all, if you can't laugh at yourself, you shouldn't laugh at anybody!


Love it! :)

I love this post!

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This is not a skirt.


It's going to be 100 degrees with high humidity and poor air quality today in our nation's lovely capital. Might as well have stayed in Texas! Since there is really no outfit I could wear to work that would be appropriate for this weather (my workplace frowns on nakedness), I decided to go with something very simple. And definitely to wear a skirt, for air flow. Except then I realized that every single pair of pettipants or bike shorts I own is in the laundry. So I wore pants.

Still, I like how it turned out.




I mixed my threaded and silver bangles today, for a total bangle count of 22. I am really, really loving bangles right now.


I'm wearing:
-Ann Taylor Loft Julie wide-leg gray trousers (thrifted)
-Ann Taylor black pleated neck sleeveless shirt (thrifted)
-Antia black wedges (Shoebuy)
-silver and turquoise three-tiered necklace (NY & Company)
-thread bangle bracelets (Ebay)
-silver bangle bracelets (no idea)


I'm loving the way the bangles look on you (and on Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen). I could see that being a fun way to accessorize. But, don't they get in the way when you are typing? I've always had a hard time with bracelets of any sort!

Love this outfit, even if it wasn't what you had expected.

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Dressed up, summer style

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I am leading a meeting at work today, so I wanted to appear professional. However, we're into 90 degree weather now, so a lot of what I'd normally consider for professional clothing is right out. This is the compromise I came up with, and I won't lie--I love it.



Isn't this last picture funny?


I'm wearing:
-Dana Buchman silk patterned box pleat skirt (thrifted)
-New York & Company white Belted Scoop Neck Safari Shirt
-Ann Taylor royal blue camisole (outlet store)
-Sofft navy blue suede heels (Zappos)
-Liberty of London for Target skinny brown leather belt (thrifted)
-Ling Glass stained glass pendant necklace
-two sets of silver bangles (can't remember where they're from)


You look great, I think this may be my favourite outfit that you have posted so far.

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Another day, another maxi dress

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Still working on my new summer style. Work appropriateness is going to be a problem, so I'm going to have to moderate things a bit. I think today is a pretty good middle ground.




I'm wearing:
-New York & Company Ruffle-Front Maxi Dress
-Loft short-sleeved teal cardigan (thrifted)
-Sofft wedge sandals (Nordstrom Rack)
-Etienne Aigner narrow black leather belt (thrifted)
-New York & Company Three-Panel Fringe Bib Necklace

As always, I wish this dress were longer (a true maxi), but I like it anyway. And I love the necklace. This cardigan desperately needs some friends, unless I am going to wear it three times a week all summer. Anybody seen any nice, lightweight, short-sleeved cardigans that come in fun colors anywhere? Please leave me a comment!


I love that short sleeved cardigan! Good luck in finding more!

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Summer style, take 1


This morning, I made an attempt to put together an outfit following my new summer style ideals and...came up pretty short. I'm telling myself that this was just the first try and I'll get better.

Also, I have no idea why I am posing so strangely in these pictures. Nice to take them outside, though!




Yeah, like I said. First attempt. These jeans do nothing for me, but they are the closest thing I have to jeans that fit, so I should probably do something about that. I do like the jewelry. The scarf didn't last--it slipped off before I got to work.

Baby steps towards new style, y'all!

-J. Jill trouser jeans
-Old Navy cowl neck gray tank (thrifted)
-Aerie turquoise camisole (thrifted)
-Sofft wedge sandals (Nordstrom Rack)
-vintage silk scarf (thrifted)
-Coldwater Creek bead and brass necklace (thrifted)
-gold interlocking hoops necklace (thrifted)
-turquoise beaded cuff bracelet (not sure)


I like the look. Where I work, the temp is kept at a frosty 68 degrees, so I am almost always wearing a cardigan at work. So the layering is a must! :)

How cute are you in this post!? I love it!

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My summer style plan


A few months back, I posted about the type of style I'd like to have for spring. The style I was drawn to then was very ladylike--cardigans, kitten heels, charm bracelets. While I still like that style, I am craving something very different for summer. Something almost opposite. I thought I'd give you a peek.

This is how I would like to dress this summer:

Floor length maxi dress
$28 -

Floral print dress
$20 -

Tribal print dress
30 GBP -

Old Navy flower top
$25 -

H M printed top
9.99 GBP -

Naturalizer wedge heel shoes
$59 -

Nine West open toe shoes
$53 -

Clutch bag
$25 -

Kirra straw bag
$30 -

$38 -

Hive Honey leaves jewelry
$18 -

Chain jewelry
$14 -

Sparkle jewelry
$34 -

Dangle necklace
$19 -

I want my summer style to focus on comfort, breeziness, and pattern and color. I love the idea of an army of maxi dresses, worn with colorful, fun jewelry. I want to feel free.

Here are some ways my summer style ideal is a change from the one I had for this spring:

1. I am sick to death of skinny jeans--bring on the flares!
2. No more subtle color--make it bright!
3. Forget about that attempt at preppy (argyle sweater vest?)--I'm a hippy at heart.
4. No more inspiration from the 50s--let's take some from the 70s.
5. No more blowing out my hair, I am going to wear it wavy and natural or throw it up in a messy summer bun.
6. Less jewelry is not more. More jewelry is more.

Basically, I want to make my summer style a whole lot less martini and a whole lot more cold beer. What do you think? What are you lusting to wear this summer?


Love this. I'm totally stealing about half of that.

We are twinsies this summer. I am in a tie-dyed dress, hair in braided buns. Lol.
Wan the black dress bad!

I'm also changing things up for the summer! I haven't worn skirts on a regular basis in YEARS (at least 10), but I'm slowly introducing them back into my wardrobe. Change is good. :)

You are the polivore Queen, Gracie.

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A hot day and a wrap dress


So I run late. Not, like, I ran a bit late this morning, but I run chronically late. Not horribly so--usually just a few minutes--but late, all the same. And it's especially bad getting ready for work in the morning. I can't remember the last time I felt like I was out of the house on time.

So the easiest thing to wear when you are running late? A dress. No need to coordinate pieces! And a wrap dress in a drapey synthetic, like this one? Can literally be picked up off the floor and thrown on. Don't ask me how I know.

Wrap dresses can sometimes be an issue for me--I love the idea of them, but for them to work, they have to wrap in the right spot, and my extra-long torso sometimes keeps that from happening. This one, though, a random thrift find, is perfect.



Now, let's talk about something else having to do with dresses (and skirts) and hot weather. You know what I am about to say, don't you? Yep. Inner thigh chafing. If this is has never happened to you, consider yourself very lucky. If you are like me, though, it only takes one hot day in a skirt to remind you that yes, your inner thighs do touch each other, all day long. And the result is NOT pretty.

People have lots of different methods for combating this issues. I have a friend who swears by a liberal application of avocado or other oil to the problem zone. Another suggests the Monistat Anti-Chafing Gel. A third swears by baby powder with cornstarch. I'm not a fan of any of these options, just because I don't like to apply extra stuff, I have really sensitive skin, and I am afraid it will rub off after a while and I'll chafe anyway.

So, for a long time, I went with another tried-and-true method, which I am employing today: bike shorts.


Bike shorts are good because they absolutely stop the issue, and they also provide a bit of a girdle type action--like minor league Spanx. Plus they keep you from exposing anything the world doesn't need to see if you aren't the world's most ladylike dress wearer. However, they have one major drawback, as far as I'm concerned--they're hot. They tend to be thick, they're spandexy, and when it's really warm, they stick to you in an unpleasant way.

Which brings me to my #1 way to deal with this issue, which I've seen heralded on other fashion blogs before (I know Erin and Audi have sung their praises): pettipants.

What are pettipants? Basically, they're a short, split, slip. They come in a wide variety of price ranges and levels of embellishment, but the basic, 2 pairs for under $10 version shown here works just fine for me (or I thrift them). They solve the chafing problem without sticking to you, and they also feel a little bit more polished than bike shorts. I love them to death. If you wear a lot of short skirts, or are petite, you can even go for the snip-it version, which is build for length customization. Cool, right?

Any remedies for horrible inner-thigh chafing I haven't mentioned? I'm pretty happy with what I'm doing, but I'm still curious to know how you deal with this issue.

And finally, what I'm wearing:
-Bisou Bisou wrap dress (thrifted)
-Ann Taylor camisole (Ann Taylor outlet store)
-Softspots purple suede wedges (Shoebuy)
-Champion bike shorts (thrifted or Target, I can't remember)
-multi strand turquoise and silver necklace (New York & Company)


I kept hearing you say "pedipants" the other night.

I like petti-pants way better.

I *love* that dress! You look great!

Antiperspirant on the area. It works!

I also wear men's boxer briefs under skirts. equally useful

also that dress is great. do you know who made it?

I have that dress! I originally got it at JC Penney's.

This dress is really flattering! I am going to try to bicycle shorts trick.

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Loving the basics

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I've been trying to dress in a way that is more interesting, push myself out of my comfort zone, all that good stuff. But honestly? I love the basics. They're classics for a reason. So today, a casual Friday tribute to them!




I'm wearing:
-Land's End denim pencil skirt (thrifted)
-Ann Taylor black t-shirt (thrifted)
-Liz Claiborne blue snakeskin belt (thrifted)
-Antia black wedges (Shoebuy)
-vintage owl pendant (Ebay)
-string-wrapped bangle bracelets (Ebay)


I love the basics as well, and these basics really love you!

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Nothing touching my belly, please


I try, more often than not, to wear things that are cute and flattering to my figure and all that. Some days, though, that all has to take a backseat. I've been having issues with my stomach for the past two days, and my only real criteria this morning was nothing tight around my belly.

And so here's what I came up with:



Did you happen to notice the bracelets? Allie has a set of them and I've been lusting after them for weeks, so I finally bought my own!


Here's what I've got going on:
-Yogi maxi dress (Nordstrom Rack)
-Ann Taylor Loft teal short-sleeved cardigan (thrifted)
-Old Navy black cotton camisole
-Sofft wedge sandals (Nordstrom Rack)
-turquoise and silver necklace (no idea)
-Philippine Blue Wrapped Thread Bangle Bracelets (Ebay)


I love this outfit! The colors are awesome on you. I wish bracelets didn't annoy me to wear or I would all over that.

This is a great look for you! I'm on the fence about maxi-dresses - too easy to look like maternity - but this look may have won me over.

dress + necklace = awesome! :)

Oooh! I love this. Great outfit. (And I hope your tummy feels better.)

I also think this is a very flattering outfit on you! I might have to give a maxi dress a try now.

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Calypso for Target

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Most of the real fashion bloggers have already weighed in on Calypso St. Barth's Target line, so I'm behind the game. But I wanted to wait until I could get into the store to check the stuff out for myself, and that didn't happen until last night. So...better late than never?

Overall, I like the Calypso St. Barth collection a lot. The looks are fun, beachy, summery, and generally seem to be well-made. There isn't anything I liked enough to seek it out at full price, but there are definitely a few pieces I'll have my eye on once the sales start.

The Calypso line is marketed as three collections. The first, The Sea Collection, is a mostly-blue line of beach-inspired stuff. My favorites from the Sea Collection are:

CALYPSO St. Barth for Target® Wrap Bracelet With Chain - Turquoise, $14.99

CALYPSO St. Barth for Target® Tie-Dye Print Sleeveless Crochet-Bib Tunic in Blue, $24.99

CALYPSO St. Barth for Target® Linen Tote - Natural/Blue, $16.99

The pink and orange Reef Collection is my favorite of the three Calypso lines. The looks remain beachy and casual, but the prints are a bit less sedate. My favorites:

CALYPSO St. Barth for Target® Medallion Print Crochet-Bib Tunic in Pink/Orange, $36.99

Calypso St. Barth for Target® Women's Sleep Chemise - White/Pink, $24.99

CALYPSO St. Barth for Target® Mutlistrand Necklace With Rosary Beads - Cream, $39.99

The final collection, Shore, is based on a yellow/green/khaki palette, and it does the least for me of the three. I didn't find a single "can't live without it" item in it.

One thing Target seems to do with these special collections, which I enjoy, is to tailor some of the offerings from their typical lines to go along with whatever designer they are featuring. I saw a few pieces that weren't from Calypso, but had much that same feel (and usually a lower price). These included:

Mossimo® Women's Strappy Maxi Dress - Coral Explosion, $29.99

Mossimo® Women's Racerback Bib Top - Blue Ocean, $19.99

Merona® Straw Tote - Natural, $19.99

Long Coral Charm Pendant Necklace - Gold, $14.99

One final positive note: Most of the women's Calypso styles are available in plus sizes, often up to 28.


I really like the medallion print but none of the line has really wowed me enough to go to a Target that has the collection (my local one is too small). I actually like the non-Calypso pieces you featured better... maybe I would love it more if I saw it IRL?

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A matchy-matchy thrifted outfit


Since I don't blog my outfits every day, it occurs to me that you might all think I only blog the best ones. Trust me, that's not the case. Whether or not I blog what I'm wearing on a given day comes down to two things: how much time I have in the morning (i.e. how much I oversleep) and whether or not I have something else planned for the blog on a given day. That's really it.

I'm kinda glad it worked out to blog this ensemble, though, as it shows two things. First, there are days on which I have absolutely no color creativity; secondly, it's another all-thrifted (except the shoes) look!




I'm wearing:
-Valerie Stevens box pleated floral skirt (thrifted)
-Gap white v-neck tee (thrifted)
-Liberty of London brown leather belt (thrifted)
-Coldwater Creek bead and chain necklace (thrifted)
-nameless turquoise bead and chain necklace (thrifted)
-Aerosoles South Role in "Mid-Green Leather" (Shoebuy)

Also, about my hair. It's not that I think this bun is a particular good look. It's that my hair is dirty and gross and with it down I looked unwashed. So there you have it--I'm all style.


I think this outfit is very flattering on you!

Cute! I love that skirt. And are you losing weight? I hate to even ask because I feel weird when people ask me, but you look really fabulous!

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Tone-on-tone pattern mixing


First, let me say that this outfit looks better in person than it photographs. Really. I promise. I do not like the way these pictures came out at all. In reality, neither the shirt nor the pants are shiny!

Now, I decided I wanted to try some tone-on-tone pattern mixing, and today's gray weather seemed perfect for this palette. What do you think?




I'm wearing:
Ann Taylor Loft gray wide-legged trousers (thrifted)
Apt. 9 black with white mini dots cowl neck blouse (thrifted)
Ann Taylor black and gray paisley cami (outlet store)
Coach black leather belt (thrifted)
Softspots purple suede wedges (
Black, purple, and gray beaded necklaces (thrifted, gifted, and swapped for)

Also, here's something I wore to a party this weekend. Well, sort of. I put it on, took pictures, then changed out the top and added a belt and a pashmina.



Enwrapture wrap skirt
Tahari ruffle front black top (Marshall's)
Aerosoles sandals (Amazon)
Chunky jade necklace (gift)
Beaded cuff bracelet (can't remember)

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Everbody Everywhere: Floral!


Today's challenge from Everybody Everywhere is FLORAL. How can I not participate in one so easy?

This shirt is a problem. I grabbed it from the clearance rack at Old Navy in February, in a fit of pre-spring optimism. The print reminded me of Liberty of London. Brought it home, tried it on, and realized that I am just not a huge ruffle person. Frankly, the ruffle seems a little bit...obscene. Then I promptly forgot to return it for three months, and now it's too late. So it's been in my give-away pile, but I decided to give it a try today, since it is very floral. I'm not sure I'm sold, but I don't hate it as much as I did in February. I think the structured skirt and colored shoes help.

What do you think?




-Josephine Chaus black a-line skirt (Ross)
-ruffled floral sleeveless shirt (Old Navy)
-Aerosoles South Role in "Mid-Green Leather"
-narrow black Etienne Aigner belt (thrifted)
-blue and gray faux pearl earrings (Little Black Box)

Don't forget to head over to Everybody Everywhere and see how everybody else is wearing floral today!


Oh, I actually really like the top! I think it has a nice overall silhouette, and that the ruffle adds some interest! Maybe pair it with a long, chunky necklace to help the ruffle lay a little more if that is what bugs you, but you look great as is! :)

Love those shoes! You look great!

If by "obscene," you were worried that the ruffle was doing that... kind of labial kind of a thing? No. I think it's fine. And the colors are really lovely on you.

i say keep it. it would look so cute with some high-waisted jeans and sandals. it looks great with this skirt, too! it's super versatile and not at all obscene!

I think it looks great!

I think the floral top looks great - perfect for this time of year!

I think the ruffly top is perfectly flattering on you. Also, what cute shoes! I love the criss-cross straps.

I think it looks really good on you.

LOL obscene - like Hala I am assuming you mean labia-like, but no I don't see that either. Cute, and that skirt is so flattering and lovely!

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Thrift Share Monday: 100% thrifted outfit


The majority of my recent thrifting has been for clothes, for myself and various friends. While this is necessary, and fun, it's not the most exciting thing to share for Thrift Share Monday. So, today I decided to take a page from Kris' challenge (in which I could not get it together to participate last month) and show you a 100% thrifted outfit.

The sticking point here is shoes--it is damn difficult to thrift size 12 women's shoes, at least if you aren't into orthopedics. But I remembered I had this odd vintage pair that I ran into at a tiny thrift store at least a year ago and have never worn, and lo, an outfit was born!




I'm wearing:
-Ann Taylor Loft gray pants
-Ann Taylor black shell
-Ann Taylor Loft short-sleeved teal cardigan
-vintage Nordstrom red square-heel flats
-Echo red, white, teal, and blue floral silk scarf

All thrifted!

I don't know if this outfit falls under $20 total or not, since some of the elements are from a long time ago. My guess is it goes a bit over, because the tag was still on the shoes and I apparently paid $8 for them. Still, I feel a little bit triumphant! Plus, I think it's awfully cute.

For more Thrift Share Monday goodness, head over to Apron Thrift Girl!


I love those shoes!

GREAT outfit!! I am trying to go the entire year without buying retail clothing. So far so good (except for a pair of running shoes and a Superbowl shirt)

Great outfit! Even if the whole outfit was just over $20 it is still less than a shirt at forever 21... you just can't beat that!

Such a cute outfit & loving the red shoes! Congrats on the fun finds!
Cheers ~ Lara

That is awesome! Great outfit.

OMG, this is cute cute cute! I love thrift stores, but I've been hugely underwhelmed by both the quality and the prices of the thrift stores (mostly Goodwill) where I live now. (Now, where I'm from? FABULOUS stuff, and prices so low, you could limbo under them.) Totes jealous of your adorable finds!

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Doing the casual Friday


My current job has casual Fridays. I, like many people, find casual Friday to be a bit confusing--the gap between my casual and professional clothes is large, and a lot of the "go-to" casual Friday ideas given by fashionistas (trouser jeans, button down shirts, etc.) don't really work for me.

Sometimes, I just dress like I do every other day of the week. But sometimes I play along. And I think I did OK today.




-NY & Co skinny jeans
-Gap print pleat-front tank top (outlet store)
-BCBG long green cardigan (Marshall's or TJ Maxx)
-Naturalizer red flats (Shoebuy)
-chunky jade and agate necklace (gift)



I really like those jeans on you!

I love that outfit!

I feel like a well-cut and fitted pair of dark jeans is more work-appropriate than ill-fitting cotton pants any day. But then I work in a library. :)

One of my favorite things about how you dress is the way you mix colors and prints in ways that I might never think of. Which is really wonderful. This outfit is perfectly 'you' and what I'd call truly stylish. 'Fashion'is mostly bullshit, but style is where it's at. And you haz it, bb!

you look great!

You look great!

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My Wardrobe Review


Like this outfit? Wanna see more? Click over to the review!

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The royal wedding: what I would have worn


I don't like weddings. I also don't like royalty. The whole magic-day-becomes-a-princess thing turns my stomach.

But you know what I do like? Hats. Love hats. And so, in the spirit of hats, I present a possibility of what I would have worn to Westminister Abbey today, had Will and Kate not forgotten to mail my invite:

Rochas short sleeve dress
$1,820 -

Christian Dior platform pumps
$680 -

Cathy waterman jewelry
$5,370 -

Gabrielle Sanchez pearl jewelry
$2,550 -

Gold bangle
$3,000 -

Play along--what would you have worn?


WOW that is one gorgeous outfit! Love it so much!

Ilu. And you would have been fabulous!

LOVE the hat!

That would have a beautiful outfit and accessory's, I absolutely love the shoes and would wish I could find some like that her where I am at.

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Shoe love: Aerosoles


So I'm aware, vaguely, of "hot" brands of shoes. There are the ridiculously expensive ones, like Louboutin and Manolo Blahnik, and there are the less expensive but still terribly fashionable ones, like Miss Sixty and Nine West. Got it. Even if I were willing to spend that kind of cash on shoes, though, none of those brands would really work for me--the huge feet limits me quite a bit as far as brand.

So, I'm going to tell you a secret. A brand nobody would associate with cute shoes, that I love.


Seriously. They're a "comfort" line that comes in big sizes, but they make CUTE shoes!

I'll prove it. Some things from the Aerosoles spring line:

The Platform in Green Leather

The Well Wisher in Red Faux Leather

The Raw Hedge in Gray Leather Combo

The Younique in Purple Snake

It's not just this spring, either. I've had my eye on Aerosoles for a while. I love these older styles:

The Benefit in Red Mini Polka

The Prolific in Blue Leather

The Rolling Hills in Blue Green Leather

The best part? These shoes are all under $100, most of them well under, and if my experience is any indication, they'll all be comfortable!

Obviously this style isn't for everyone--if you want a narrow heel, for example, a brand like Aerosoles is probably never going to deliver for you. For me, though, these are a perfect conflation of style, affordability, and availability in my size! Score.


I loooove The Rolling Hills!

the well wisher and the benefit are sexy as hell. I think I need to go shoe shopping (now for a brand that makes cute 10EEs).

HUGE fan of Aerosoles. They are SUPER comfortable. I actually wore them on my wedding day! I'm not sure how this happened but I did not know they had so many awesome styles. Thanks, Grace!

I only buy Aerosoles anymore. I have to buy the wides online because they tragically don't carry wides in the stores. I realized about a year ago that I needed to stop buying the cheapo payless crap and be kinder to my feet. I have Benefit in black and they're a great work shoe!

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Who wears short skirts?


There is really no point in being a wanna-be fashion blogger if you don't occasionally step outside your comfort zone, right? Well, for me, the comfort zone begins at the knees. I don't wear above-the-knee skirts. Ever. And so, in celebration of finally having some much-needed warm weather, now seemed like a good time to give it a try. What do you think?




Bonus weird action shot:


I'm wearing:
-navy with floral skirt, St. John's Bay (thrifted)
-dark green Old Navy ruched v-neck tee
-wide tan elastic belt (thrifted)
-Coldwater Creek blue and green stone and brass necklace (thrifted)
-Aerosoles South Role in "Mid-Green Leather"


I love your skirt! The large flower on it really works for you :)
Your shoes are to die for too!

ZOMG you look so good! I like the whole outfit, esp the big flower. It really brings the whole thing together. And your body is smokin, yo! V nice altogether.

I know you weren't expecting this observation, but your eyes look amazing. The color of your top certainly plays with them well. You look beautiful and your skin tone is flawless.

I like it! This post and my current skirt remind me of a complaint from high school, where our dress code prohibited skirts shorter than one inch above the knee. It's not that my skirts were too short, it's that my legs are too long!

I happened upon your blog and really enjoy it. I love to wear skirts in the summer, but am really only comfortable in knee or right below the knee a-line skirts. I am finding them very hard to find in the store. It seems everything is a mini or long. Or it has a bunch of layers or gathers at the hips, which are not flattering on me. Could you help me find some fun cotton summer skirts?

You look great! I love the dark green on you!

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Black and red all over


Since I wore the same color palette out to dinner at friends' house on Saturday night and to work on Monday, and reused the shoes and belt, I thought I'd show you both looks:

Saturday night:



Black dolman tunic: The Limited
Skinny jeans: NY & Company
Wedges: Antia
Red belt: Lucky (thrifted)
Silver concentric circles necklace: Ebay




Black a-line skirt: Josephine Chaus via Ross
Black, red, white, and gray print top: Ann Taylor Outlet
Cropped red and black cardigan: Charter Club (thrifted)
Wedges: Antia
Red belt: Lucky (thrifted)
Charm bracelet: Ebay
Typewriter key necklace: Uncommon Objects (gift)

I love black and red so much. It's probably my very favorite combination.


both outfits look good, but I especially like the second one. You definitely have the coloring to wear reds like that, you look fantastic!

You are freakin' adorable. I LOVE those jeans on you!

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Hey, look what I'm wearing!


You have no idea how much it feeds my ego when folks tell me they want me to go back to doing daily outfit posts. I'm not going to do it daily--that would require consistently getting up earlier, and that's just a non-starter--but I will try to do it at least once a week. Starting today. It is spring-like here today, so I made the most of it.

Outfit 4/14/11 2

Outfit 4/14/11 3

What's up with this posture?
Outfit 4/14/11

The camera catches me trying to rub my lips together to distribute my lipstick:
Outfit 4/14/11 4

What I've got on:
-orange and white spirograph skirt (thrifted)
-black ruffle front Loft tank (thrifted)
-H&M cropped cardigan
-Sofft platform sandals (Nordstrom Rack)
-Steve Madden elastic belt with leather buckle (TJ Maxx)
-Superhero necklace

I'm also wearing this lipstick I bought at the Bare Escentuals outlet, in "Wearable Coral," and I really love. Coral is a tough one for someone with my complexion, but it seems to work well.


Beautiful! I love that skirt on you and how you've made it not too springy too early in the year, if that makes sense.

That is a great skirt! I really like how you've paired it with a cropped sweater!

You look adorable! Springy and sassy :) Thank you for bringing these posts back, I love them!

I love that skirt. Matching it with the superhero is genius.

You are so stinkin' adorable. LOVE the skirt!

I love the skirt too!

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My life in fashion: a retrospective


Someone asked me the other day if I had always been stylish. After I stopped laughing, I starting thinking about the answer. I'm still not sure I'm stylish, at least not most days--I phone it in a lot of the time. However, I am definitely more stylish than I have been in the past. It's a learned behavior, at least for me. So I thought I'd share some of my less stylish moments.

Being only a few months old is no excuse for high waisted sweat pants and a corny message t-shirt.

A dirndl? really? I'm not even German.

Even in 1981, there was no reason for a wardrobe so heavily featuring rust.

Oh yes, gentle reader, THAT is a mullet.

And, later, a few really excellent perms.

Just thought you'd want to see that perm again. Plus, this was my favorite sweatshirt.

And then there were the New Kids On The Block years...

And my really excellent taste in formal wear...

Junior Prom, 1996 10-19-15
Which did not get any better as time went on.

All I can say about this haircut is that I was old enough to have known better.

Bald and skinny
What does it say about me that I kinda miss the underwear as outerwear days?

Me, Spring 2000
Nose piercing was ill-advised in my case.

I loved those plaid shorts.

Me showing off the tomatoes, summer 02
In closing, I never need to be blonde again.

Well...that was embarrassing!


You are adorable in each and every photo (but that mullett)!

This is so very strange. We are almost identical in our style journey. Babydom, not so much. But from the rust outfit through the mullet and then the perm and then the NKOTB and then the "party dress" and then the floppy hat and then short hair..... I think we parted style ways as young adults, but I tell ya, looking at your growing up pictures was total deja vu. :)

I love the pigtailed you! I wore that exact same outfit with the hat in the late 90s. Which says very horrible things about you because I have never had any fashion sense. :) And, keeping my last statement in mind, I think you did okay with the blonde hair.

Oh wow. I could mimic a LOT of those pictures. *shame*

I really, really love this.

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Dress You Up #7: An all-black wardrobe for El


The other day, I received the following email from my friend El:


I'm hopefully about to get a management job where I will unfortunately only be able to wear black. Would you like a challenge for your dress me up?...I have nothing black in my wardrobe, it washes me out. Makeup suggestions might even be helpful so I don't look like a zombie.

An all-black work wardrobe? That's harsh! Still, as far as uniforms go, I think I like this idea better than one involving a pleated skirt or a polo shirt, so let's see what we can do for El.

My first suggestion for El is to invest in a few black dresses. Why dresses? For one thing, they are the easiest business casual appropriate wear there is, not requiring you to match or put things together. More importantly for this case, though, they'll fade consistently. The biggest issue, to my mind, in wearing black tops and black bottoms together is uneven fading (or even uneven original dyeing with new pieces), which leaves one piece looking worn. With dresses, you don't have that issue.

I've picked five dresses to suggest for El. These dresses all have a similar, flattering basic shape. I think cotton jersey or ponte would make great choices, since she'll be able to launder those herself, and I'd go with at least one long sleeved and one short-sleeved option.

Oasis scoop neck dress
60 GBP -

Oasis short sleeve shirt dress
50 GBP -

Eyelet dress
$45 -

Dresses ruched dress
$43 -

Old navy dress
$27 -

Much as I love dresses, there are some days when you just want to wear pants. My suggestion is that El get 2-3 pair. I'd go with one straighter leg, one wider leg, and possibly a cropped pair if that's within dress code. If possible, she should go for synthetic, since it won't fade as quickly.

White House Black Market wide leg pants
$50 -

Calvin Klein flat front pants
$30 -

White House Black Market capri pants
$40 -

For skirts, I have much the same advice as dresses--I think El should go with hemlines around the knee for maximum versatility. She'll probably one want more fitted skirt and one fuller one, and she might consider some detailing for visual interest, like the seaming on the top left skirt and the buttons and slit on the bottom right one.

White House Black Market knee length black skirt
$40 -

White House Black Market knee length black skirt
$50 -

Jones New York black skirt
$79 -

White House Black Market black skirt
$20 -

Pure Simple black skirt
$45 -

On top, my main advice for El is to find as many shapes as possible and to look for interesting details around the necklines whenever she can. If possible, she should steer clear of jersey and other fast-fading fabrics. She should also try to get a mix of sleeveless (to be worn with cardigans and/or jackets), short, and long-sleeved options.

J Crew long sleeve top
$30 -

Calvin Klein cap sleeve shrug
$25 -

Kaliko sleeveless blouse
30 GBP -

Principles by Ben de Lisi black top
30 GBP -

Rocha John Rocha black blouse
13 GBP -

Old Navy ruffle tank
$23 -

Old Navy short sleeve top
$18 -

Shoulder top
16 GBP -

Dorothy Perkins black top
14 GBP -

Dorothy Perkins black top
14 GBP -

Black top
9.80 GBP -

For a lot of her outfits, El is going to want a jacket or cardigan as a top layer. Like other tops, my suggestion for these is that she get the widest variety of shapes possible. I'd try for one fitted cardigan, one fitted jacket, and one drapey cardigan, at the very least. A cropped cardi/shrug and a boyfriend style cardi would also be good choices.

Splendid cardigan
38 EUR -

Windsmoor shrug cardigan
59 GBP -

John Lewis black v neck cardigan
56 GBP -

Old navy cardigan
$25 -

Drape cardigan
23 GBP -

Windsmoor black jacket
49 GBP -

Black cotton jacket
35 GBP -

Black jacket
25 GBP -

Shoes are the single most important thing El is going to need to buy. She's going to be on her feet all day, so comfort is absolutely a must. Beyond that, though, with the limited clothing options available, her shoes are going to be more noticeable than they would be if they had a really interesting color or pattern to compete with. My suggestion is that she focus the majority of her budget on shoes and concentrate on what will be most comfortable. I'd look for supportive flats and wedges.

Sofft maryjane pumps
$55 -

TopShop loafer shoes
$100 -

Wedge heel shoes
$98 -

Ego and Greed leather shoes
$26 -

Franco sarto sandal
$79 -

Jessica Simpson flat shoes
$59 -

Me Too flat shoes
$53 -

Luckily, non-black jewelry is allowed at El's new job. I say run with that! The all-black palette will make jewelry really stand out, and necklaces, especially, can add color near El's face, which will be good if she's worried about being washed out. As far as jewelry is concerned, there's really no wrong here--El could do pretty much anything she likes. The following are just some ideas, using the clothes I've suggested above.

Dresses draped dress
$43 -

Windsmoor shrug top
59 GBP -

Me Too flat shoes
$53 -

White House Black Market metal jewelry
$35 -

Coral jewelry
18 GBP -

White House Black Market wide leg pants
$50 -

Dorothy perkin
14 GBP -

Wedge heels
$98 -

Juicy Couture post earring
$42 -

Forever21 filigree bracelet
$7.80 -

John Lewis black v neck cardigan
56 GBP -

White House Black Market pencil skirt
$20 -

Sofft shoes
$55 -

Nine West feather earring
$24 -

Turquoise ring
$9.50 -

Kaliko black top
30 GBP -

Sateen jacket
35 GBP -

White House Black Market full pleated skirt
$40 -

Jessica Simpson black shoes
$59 -

Vintage looking jewelry
$30 -

TopShop stretch jewelry
$28 -

Eyelet dress
$45 -

Black cardigan
23 GBP -

Franco Sarto black wedge
$79 -

TopShop enamel ring
$20 -

Charm gold pendant
$17 -

Good luck with the new job, El!


I love it!! El, you look great.

I want those Michael Kors ballet flats SO badly.

I think those are all really good idea. I also agree with you that if non-black jewelry is allowed that is the way to add color back into the wardrobe. It's also the perfect palette I think for adding in funky/chunkier jewelry than you would normally wear.

This is great! If I were El, I might invest in very few black pieces (2-3 dresses, 4 tops, 2 pants and a great skirt) and go nuts with accessories.
Also? I am surprised at the lack of scarf usage.
Another WINOW win!

Great pics, Grace!
When I used to wear all black for restaurant work, I often dyed my pieces to make them last longer and continue to match. A $2 pack of Rit dye will extend lots of pieces.

Wow, so many great options! I'm especially drawn to that short-sleeved shirt dress.

Great selection and I love the jewelry selection. If I could share one thing, though, at the thrift stores in LA (I assume every other city as well) the black clothing sections are always the largest in volume. The dresses are often designer, mostly a conservative cocktail length, and they are only $8.99. Hope E. will give the thrift store a chance. Four dresses to one dress at retail. Can't beat that. Dress you up is my favorite blog series.

Wow, Grace, I am just catching up on blogs. I love what you've got for me here!!!

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Dress You Up #6: M.


I've got a great Dress You Up for you this week! One look at M. and I'm thinking SUPERMODEL! Don't you agree?

melissa face.jpgmelissa body.jpg

Those great bones, that slim frame--there is so much she could wear!

Here's what M. had to say:

I'm a 26 year old mom to 2 kids and I run a charity. And I'm tired of looking and feeling like a slump. The problem? I have 0 fashion sense and even more I don't even have a clue on what size I wear. I've never actually bought clothes new that aren't too big. I've spent my whole life being told I'm not attractive and I want to look nice to feel nice about myself. I'm thin with almost no shape and so most of what I wear just looks like an ill fitting sack. I like wearing layers because I'm always too hot or too cold. I'm most comfortable in dressy casual clothes and bright colors. I like to express myself with colors.

I am simply horrified that M. has spent her life thinking she's not attractive. That's just a bold-faced lie. One thing that is true, though, is that ill-fitting clothes don't do ANYBODY any favors. I can't tell what size M. is from photographs, but my first and strongest recommendation for her is that she take the time to try lots of things on and find sizes that actually fit her.

When I started thinking about what kinds of clothes would suit M.'s face and frame best, two celebrity images popped into my mind, both of women I think are gorgeous, who are built similarly to M. I decided to start there:

Tilda Swinton in Berlin (image via Zimbio)

Tilda Swinton at the BAFTA Awards, image via CelebrtiFi)

I think Tilda Swinton is really, really beautiful. She's significantly older than M., but they share thin frames, short hair, and strong bone structure. Tilda tends towards androgyny, wearing a lot of menswear inspired clothes, and I think M. would look great in those styles as well.

Cate Blanchett in red (image via Blippitt)

Cate Blanchett in purple (image via Gossip Rocks)

Even more than Tilda Swinton, I think M. resembles the extremely beautiful Cate Blanchett. Though Blanchett occasionally adopts androygnous dress, she also looks beautiful in saturated colors and more fitted feminine styles.

Between the inspirations I found and the things M. mentioned, I am going to focus on the following when creating looks for her:
1. Use a lot of color.
2. Use layers.
3. Incorporate menswear influenced pieces.
4. Incorporate fitted styles.

The first thing I want to recommend for M. is wide legged trousers. If they fit correctly in the butt/waist/upper legs, I think a nice wide-legged pant would flatter her slim frame very well. Two possible ways to style them:

Flutter sleeve blouse
$35 -

GAP wide leg pants
$50 -

Caron flower shoes
$40 -

Satchel handbag
$28 -

French Connection cotton scarve
$7.99 -

$26 -

This casual, flowy look is based on use of lots of color. The wide belt, which could be worn at the waist of the shirt under the cardigan, or over both of them, will create some curve for M. so she doesn't feel like she's wearing "an ill fitting sack."

Another option is a more monotone palette, with M.'s all-important bright colors coming in pops. I like the style of this striped tee in particular for M., as the wide boatneck will add some width to her shoulders and make the best of her slim frame. This look also reminds me a little bit of an old-fashioned sailor, feminized by the jewelry and sandals.

Aerie oversized top
$25 -

GAP slim fit pants
$50 -

Dollhouse sandal
$30 -

Canvas army bag
$15 -

Coral jewelry
$40 -

Rachel roy jewelry
$34 -

Another shape I really think M. should try is a short shift dress. These are so cute, so mod, and so hard for those who are not very thin to wear. M. has the perfect build for them. They also dress up or down really easily, and can be very comfortable, especially if they're made of jersey fabric or similar.

Organic cotton dress
$74 -

Old navy cardigan
$25 -

Ballerina shoes
$40 -

Flap handbag
$30 -

Beaded bangle
$13 -

French Connection floral scarve
$48 -

Based around a comfy dress from Athleta, this outfit is all about unapologetic color. With the scarf adding another layer and tying everything together, it would be perfect for a springtime mom like M.

Calvin Klein sapphire dress
$89 -

Forever21 black pump shoes
$20 -