Monday, August 25, 2008

Taking the Week Off

This post is going to be short and sweet, as I'm trying to tie up a bunch of loose ends before taking the rest of the week and the long weekend off for some fun and adventure in the desert. The dress is by Orla Kiely, shirt from Anne Taylor, scarf from Promod, tights from Noa Noa, and boots from Bata. This dress makes me feel like a 1960's flight attendant, which is really how I wish I could feel every day. I got it from a cute little boutique in the Mission called Candy Store.

Well, that's all for today, dears. I'll be back next week with more geektastic office wear. I hope everyone has a wonderful Labor Day weekend!


As someone who is fairly new to the blogging community, I was surprised and gratified to be tagged by the lovely and insightful Sal over at Already Pretty. She sent some b'love my way in the form of this gold card:

One of the unexpected joys of keeping this blog has been the kind acceptance into this warm little world of supportive and encouraging ladies (and the occasional guy). I love the fact that the style blog network crosses continents, oceans, age groups, and lifestyles. Thanks Sal for the wonderful pick-me-up, and for your fantastic blog.

And now, in observance of the rules, I must spread the love to 5 blogging friends including one new one:

The Cute on the Cheap girls: A fun group of ladies who write not only about their daily wear, but also about haircuts, skinned knees, and semi-naked men.

Not Supermum: A motivated mum in the UK who is completely reinventing herself. She has a long list of goals, so let's give her plenty of b'love and encouragement.

Kimberly's Fab Finds Under $50: This gorgeous lady absolutely radiates confidence and style, and does amazing things with a few bucks and a lot of creativity.

Work That Wardrobe: Jane is going a whole year without buying any new clothes, so the rest of us don't have to. Go Jane!

And my new blogger friend, Style Symmetry: Hailey and I found each other's blogs on the same day. It must be fate.

Friday, August 22, 2008


I love the look of the butterfly sleeves on this blouse, but I rarely wear it because I don't much like the way it hides my figure. Today I tried belting it under this obi belt, which I think improved the shape. It took a lot of adjusting to get just enough fabric tucked in without getting too bulky around the waist, but thankfully the obi kept everything in place once I finally got it just right.

The bottommost layer is a full length charcoal gray slip, topped with the butterfly blouse from Sisley and skirt and obi belt by Sunhee Moon. The shoes are BCBG Girls and the pocketwatch pendant is from a flea market. The dog is some sort of pit mix and is named Georgie. Since she was rescued and I got her from a foster family, is that the equivalent of being thrifted?

Hat Season

Well, I tried all the Photoshop magic I could muster, but nothing would get this skirt to come out true to color in the photos. It is actually a rich eggplant color though it looks pretty much black here; you'll just have to take my word for it today.

I'm thrilled at the return of hat season. It was with great joy that I read on The Glam Guide the other day that hats are going to be big this fall and winter. Not that I wouldn't wear them anyway; I'm just looking forward to the selection being better than in years past. I love the way a hat can completely change the feel of an outfit, not to mention the fact that they have the power to neutralize the most troublesome bad hair day.

Hat: Seeberger (purchased in Salzburg, Austria)
Tie-top blouse: H&M
Argyle vest: A. Byer
Belt: Gap; thrifted
Skirt: H&M
Shoes: Bobbi Blu

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


This is as close as I'll ever get to a steampunk anything. I really liked all the nifty stuff people were creating when the trend first broke, but after seeing a steampunk mouse, steampunk wedding cake topper, steampunk laptop, steampunk vibrator... ok, maybe I made that last one up. But you get the idea. I was quickly burnt out on it and even the cool outfits people were sporting just didn't ring my bell anymore. However I found this cute and only-slightly-steampunk vest (from a company called Steam Trunk, no less) a few weeks ago when Mark and I were window shopping in the Haight.

The quality of the vest is excellent, and it looks equally good buttoned up or worn open like this. Today I paired it with a button-down, sheer top from Anne Taylor to give it a more business-appropriate look, and added a polka-dot camisole underneath to add a little more depth. The cords are by Marlow, and the belt is thrifted. The belt was originally too big, but my clever boy Mark shortened it for me, which actually involved cutting out a couple inches of leather and stitching it back together. How awesome is a guy that can sew?

On to the shoes. These shoes mark the beginning of a self-imposed moratorium on shoe buying for the rest of the year. In fact, I'm placing a moratorium on all clothes shopping for the rest of the year, with a couple of important caveats: thrifted items are fine if I find something really great, and during my upcoming (in October) trip to Europe, all bets are off. Clothes purchased while traveling count as souvenirs. Plus, I'm going to be in Paris for part of the trip -- how can I not shop while I'm in Paris??

The shoes are by Jo Ghost and were originally $481, which is a little too rich for my blood. However, I found them on Amazon for $105, and since there was only one pair left in my size, and since with the cute little metallic skulls and brass rivets these shoes appeared to have been specially designed just for me, and... well of course I just had to have them. The end.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Leslie's Challenge

I finally got around to taking Leslie's Red, White, and Blue Challenge today. It's not that I've been lazy or that I haven't wanted to, it's simply that it keeps slipping my mind. Because the truth is... and I know this is going to be tough to swallow, but... I haven't been watching the Olympics. I have a good reason, though, which might be even harder to believe: I don't watch tv. At all. That's right; no cable, no network tv, no nothing. Oh, I own a television alright, but since I get no channels on it, it's really just a dvd player with a screen built in. I know, it's weird. Un-American, maybe, but there it is.

Nevertheless, I was inspired to rise to the occasion not from any Olympic fervor or pang of patriotism, but because I do think that red, white, and blue can look chic together and because I always love a challenge. Dare I also admit that the sexy secretary theme of today's ensemble was inspired by the fact that I knew Mark was going to be coming over tonight?

Blouse: Red Dress Shoppe
Cropped tartan jacket: A. Byer
Navy pencil skirt: Moon Collection
Belt: Red Dress Shoppe
Blue t-straps: Paolo

Monday, August 18, 2008


I love clothes that have interesting details such as decorative buttons and contrast topstitching. All of the major pieces in today's outfit feature such details. I love the double column of buttons down the front of the skirt, and the topstitching on the shoes gives them a quirkiness that is particularly well-suited to my personal style.

This outfit also features this sorely-neglected blazer from Max Studio. I think it must have been about 2 years since I've worn it; in fact, I almost got rid of it at one point, but the original cost of the jacket made me feel guilty about casting it off without at least giving it one more try. Once I saw it incorporated into this outfit, I wondered why I hadn't worn it more. I like how the tuxedo-style lapels give the blazer a more formal look. I'm glad I gave it a second chance and wasn't too hasty with my most recent wardrobe purge.

Blazer: Max Studio
Green knit top: Forever 21
Black tee: H&M
Skirt: Anthropologie
Shoes: Art Shoes
Handbag: Lucky Brand

Friday, August 15, 2008


This herringbone jacket has been an underutilized garment in my wardrobe for quite some time. Part of the reason is that with some outfits it looks too overtly equestrian for my tastes. Then the other day Une Femme d'un Certain Age did a nice post about equestrian styles that inspired me to give it another try. Her point was that it's fine to have a theme to an outfit as long as it isn't too literal. For today's outfit, I left the jacket open with the belt showing underneath to modernize the look, and used the drape-necked top rather than a button-down for a less structured appearance. The geometric pattern on the skirt also gave the outfit a bolder and less classic look.

I found this skirt as part of my recent thrift store haul. I actually didn't like it very much when I tried it on, but upon closer scrutiny I realized that it just need the right pair of shoes to make it look good. I'm happy I ended up bringing it home, as it makes a good starting piece upon which to build an outfit of mixed black and brown.

Jacket: La Redoute
Top: Sunhee Moon
Belt: Oscar
Skirt: Thrifted
Leggings: Kersh
Boots: ??

Thursday, August 14, 2008


I've gone into a lengthy explanation before about why I don't like this skirt the way it's meant to be worn, so I won't repeat it again. This outfit is really all about the interesting accessories anyway. I had a pair of clip-on earrings lying around from a recent trip to the Alemany flea market that I've been meaning to turn into cardigan clips using Kasmira's instructions, but the shoes were crying out for embellishment, so I used the earrings as shoe clips instead. The pendant is a pocketwatch I found at the same flea market. I got the DKNY belt at a thrift store; one of the small straps was broken, but my clever and adorable boyfriend Mark riveted it back together for me and now it's as good as new. The bracelet is comprised of charms I've brought back from some of the countries I've visited; the earrings are from Noa Noa in Copenhagen and the silver circle ring is my lucky charm and is from a trip to Seattle.

Skirt: Ralph Lauren
Tunic: H&M
Scarf: Banana Republic
Shoes: Bronx

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


This little dress, a "hand-me-up" from my younger sister, was more difficult to work with than I had originally imagined. I love the flirty floral pattern, short length, and fit, but taken all together those elements make the dress look far too girlish for someone in their late 30's. Not only that, but it has a pink ribbon attached around the waist, which would look adorable if I were in my late teens instead. I toned down the pinks and magentas by adding the green jacket (Forever 21) and camel shoes (Joy Chen), but I still thought the dress was too short for me to pull off this particular style at work, so I added the tulle skirt underneath for some more length. The skirt, from Noa Noa, is very versatile; it can be worn alone or as a bottom layer, and the soft pink, almost nude, color makes it function as a neutral in an outfit like this one. The red belt helped to keep everything in place while hiding that too-cute pink ribbon.

In the end I was pretty happy with the blend of summer and fall styles and colors; I think this makes a good transitional outfit. San Francisco sort of defies conventional seasons anyway, so it's fun to play with items that are supposed to be worn at a different time of the year. Our warmest months are typically September and October, so I'm certainly not ready to put away my sundresses just yet.

The shoes are the new ones whose arrival I was waiting on the other day. The original price was something like $185, but I spotted them on Shoefly for $124 with an additional 20% off at checkout. I thought that was pretty good, but just for kicks I did a quick search before placing the order, and ended up finding them on Amazon for $65! I'm very happy with them; they have a stiff, pale mesh in the cutout areas that secures them to your feet so that they don't slip. The chunky heels give them a retro look and make them very stable to walk on, and the quality is excellent.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


This outfit features a couple more items from my recent thrift store haul. The striped button-down is Old Navy and the skirt is Express; the two together cost me about $8. The waistcoat is by Sisley (from Benetton), belt by Anne Klein, and shoes by BCBG Girls. I love the pairing of florals and stripes; I've seen Kasmira do it before and I like the way the regularity of the stripes offsets the randomness of the floral design. I threw an additional floral pattern in there with the scarf, which I thought softened the menswear look of the button-down shirt/waistcoat combo. The scarf actually began life as a belt on a pair of cropped pants I bought a few years ago.

The colors are very subtle in this outfit and are tough to make out: the shirt is a light beige with thin stripes of red, gold, and white; the skirt is ice blue with flowers in brown, red, and pink.

Monday, August 11, 2008


Today's outfit is comprised mainly of items that were thrifted or free. Lately I've been honing my thrift shopping skills, and the last visit to the local Goodwill store proved quite fruitful indeed. Both of today's tops are from that visit: the striped button-down is Forever 21 and the pink v-neck is Michael Stars. The skirt was given to me by my sister, and the belt was free from the Red Dress Shoppe because it was marred. The shoes are by Bobbi Blu.

Today I ate a fortune cookie that instructed me to, "Seek advice from an octogenarian." It didn't specify what kind of advice to seek, but it occurred to me that it possibly meant style advice. And that got me thinking, how cool would it be if there was an octogenarian reading my blog? Someone who lived through some of the most stylish decades in history would certainly have plenty of good advice to offer. It also made me think for a moment about age and the increasing recognition that women can still look stylish and beautiful long past retirement age. This makes me very optimistic about my own future, so since today is my 82nd post, I'll pretend for a moment that I'm a stylish octogenarian myself. And what advice do I have for myself?

"Buy another pair of shoes."

Oh man, those octogenarians are a bad influence!

Friday, August 8, 2008


I had another outfit all picked out for Friday, but the shoes I ordered that would have completed the look had not yet arrived, so I threw this together in the morning. I'm not really sure these shoes 'go' with this outfit. However, I had the whole thing put together and the shoes were the last item I needed to decide on. Since I hadn't worn these yet I gave them a try, and once I saw their platformy-hotness next to these skinny jeans, there was no way those suckers were coming off of my feet. I didn't have time to change any other element of the outfit, so out the door I went.

The white drape-neck tank is Michael Stars, pink and brown blouse is thrifted, cardi by La Redoute, belt by Oscar, Joe's jeans, and Saks Fifth Avenue pumps.

I'm sure I'm not the only woman who has the problem of being tempted to buy things simply because they're on sale, and the bigger the discount the more tempting the item is for me. Lately I've really tried to discipline myself and consider whether the item in question is worth the price, sale or no. I spotted (pun intended) these pumps at Saks Off 5th in Minneapolis, and since I'd been looking for a pair of leopard heels for some time, I immediately took a closer look. They were marked down to the ridiculously low price of $36! They definitely met the 'worth the price' criterion, but when you consider that the original price was $250, my sale fixation was also deeply satisfied.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


This little sheer black top is just perfect for my figure. Since I don't have a big bust to work with, I tend to wear clothing that accentuates my small waist, which I feel is one of my better features. Generally if the clothing itself doesn't do the trick, I add a belt so that my meager curves don't get "lost" under the fabric. This top, with its fluttery sleeves and wrap-tie waist, required no such embellishment. It has a delightful bird and star pattern, and I got it from La Redoute on sale for $11.

The dress is from Betsey Johnson, shoes by BCBG Girls, and there's that same Banana Republic bag I've been using all week. Since it was another cold and foggy day in San Francisco, I wisely wore a jacket. This lightweight trench is by Liquid. I've had it for a few years now and when I first bought it I was a little shy of wearing it because the pattern is so bold. However I eventually got over that, and in the meantime fashion started to catch up to it and brighter colors became more of the norm. Now I wear it all the time, and I absolutely adore it in all of its loud outrageousness.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Metal Detector

Today I experimented with layering this ultra-relaxed gray hoodie with the dressier sheer gold top and structured skirt. I love the fact that the soft, drapey hood lays completely flat and allows a jacket to be comfortably worn over the top. Can you tell that my objective with my wardrobe selections this week has been to avoid having to change out the yellow handbag I've been using since Monday? Changing handbags is one of my least favorite fashion tasks.

Since the colors of this outfit were very subdued, I piled on a bunch of flashy jewelry to boost the glam factor. This prompted one of my coworkers to remark that it was a good thing I didn't need to go through any metal detectors today.

The gold top is from Susina, gray hoodie from a local import store, skirt by Banana Republic, belt from the Red Dress Shoppe, shoes by Steve Madden. These shoes are one of the most comfortable pairs I own, however like my other pair of Steve Maddens, they somehow always cause me to tear holes in the toes of my stockings. Today I lost yet another pair of my very favorite thigh highs from Victoria's Secret, with reinforced toes no less! The difficulty in finding exactly the right pair of stockings at Victoria's Secret cannot be overstated. By the time you find the right kind of stocking with the kind type of toe, you're damn lucky if they're also stocked in the size and color you're looking for. Steve, what is it with your shoes that they destroy my stockings? Perhaps they should be called "Steve Maddening."

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Belt Clip for Nerds

I've had this Mac & Jac skirt for quite some time but have barely worn it until recently. I believe it needs some minor modifications: first, I think I'll shorten it by a couple of inches so that it hits just at the knee; second, it has a cotton lining that causes the skirt to bunch up on itself when I walk, which I'll remove. Why designers produce skirts and dresses without silky linings has long been a mystery to me.

The purple drape-neck top is thrifted, long cardi from Max Studio, handbag from Banana Republic, boots by Bata. The belt is Oscar by Oscar de la Renta, and is one I got at Saks Off 5th the other weekend in Minneapolis for only $20. Like many leather belts it has the problem of the excess belt length sticking out, and today I was at a loss as to how to make it lay flat. Finally I held it in place by strategically clipping on the security access badge I have to wear at work, which was an astounding bit of nerdiness. But hey, it worked.

To keep this outfit from looking too washed-out, I added this chunky wooden necklace. I find that this necklace, with its large black beads, is an immensely useful item to have in my wardrobe; I don't wear it very often, but when I need it there's really no other substitute for adding a little punch to an outfit without bringing in an additional color. With this one being nice and long, I can tie it in a knot or loop it around my neck several times to make it just the length I need.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Cropped Pants

Over the weekend Mark confessed that he has no great love of cropped pants on women, proclaiming that they make the legs look shorter. It's actually a very valid point; therefore I took it as my challenge to try to design an outfit with which this doesn't occur. Perhaps pairing the white pants with pale silver shoes to match my ultra-pallid complexion helped to counteract the effect, perhaps not. Either way I'm still going to wear my cropped pants (sorry Mark!); they are summery and fun, and remind me of drippy popsicles, sprinklers, and bikes with baskets on the front. You can wear them to the beach and you don't have to roll them up to go wading; you can pedal along on a bike and the cuffs don't get caught in the gears. They just don't look very sexy. C'est la vie.

The blue wrap dress is from Forever 21, cropped pants from La Redoute, shoes by Born, scarf and handbag from Banana Republic.

Friday, August 1, 2008


Today's outfit was a cinch to put together, since this fantastic Diane von Furstenberg dress really doesn't require much accessorizing. It was a great bargain that I found the Saks Off 5th store on Nicollette Mall in Minneapolis last weekend. This outfit also features several items I brought back from Copenhagen a few years ago: the hat, stockings, and boots. I have no idea what brand the boots are; in fact, I haven't worn them in quite awhile because at some point I took it into my head that they looked too Western for my liking. Inexplicably I began to love them again today; good thing I held onto them. The bag is by Lucky Brand.

I have only one complaint about this dress: the matching belt is attached. I would've loved to wear this with my wide braided leather belt, but didn't want to fuss with having the attached belt hidden underneath it. So, I have a question for my readers: do I dare cut the belt off? Is it sacrilege to modify a Diane von Furstenberg? I love that the attached belt is more of a wide sash, but it sure would be nice to have the option of putting something different over it.