Friday, April 29, 2011

3 Years -- and a Giveaway!

Wow, it's hard to believe it's the blog's 3-year anniversary today! As I've done in years gone by, I've compiled some of my favorite outfits from the past 12 months:

One thing that struck me when I did this recap is how many of my true favorites come from the most recent months; the set above represents an outfit from each of the last 12 months, but if I had to actually select my top 12 favorites from the entire years' worth they would mostly be very recent. That means there might be entire months' worth of outfits, none of which would make the cut, while others that might have been in the top 12 aren't shown here. That indicates to me that my style continues to evolve; what I loved 12 months ago isn't necessarily what I'm drawn to right now. I think that's a good thing too; constantly evolving your style means never looking stale or dated.

Here are some outfits from "special occasions" over the course of the year:

In order top to bottom, left to right: Burning Man, Giants World Series, Yard Dogs Road Show, holiday party, Mark and I getting married, Film Noir Festival, Edwardian Ball, Lisa's wedding, wearing my new Valentino dress, my first pair of Miu Miu pumps 
(do you like how I cheated and stuck two more recent outfits in under the 'special occasion' heading? I'm sneaky like that.)

Other notable events over the year: Mark and I moved in together, bought a house, got married, took a trip to Minneapolis and Chicago (which included visiting Sal and Mike), and I went on a cross-country adventure that took me to New York to meet up with other bloggers and visit the Eileen Fischer studio, as well as to Seattle and Oregon for two different weddings. Mark and I attended Burning Man, and I did a whole series of posts about the experience (click for Parts 1, 2, and 3). I also did my first-ever post on Fashion Week, and was inspired to create a few different looks from what I rounded up. As of today I've posted 715 entries. All in all it's been a great year, and blogging continues to be a fun and rewarding pursuit for me, in large part because of awesome readers like you.

But wait, there's more! A giveaway!

To kick off my fourth year of blogging and also to give a big THANK YOU to readers old and new, I've got a giveaway for you. Madeline from the Red Dress Shoppe, who was kind enough to provide me with her beautiful Amelie Dress to review, has given me the very last one of her black elastic belts to give to one lucky reader. As you probably know, this belt is a staple in my wardrobe, and I've worn it dozens and dozens of different ways. Just take a peek at a few of them:

This belt is super comfy because of its nice stretchy elastic, and it has a shiny faux leather panel at the front for a cute retro look. For one lucky winner, it'll make a great accessory for all sorts of outfits.

To enter, simply peruse the Red Dress Shoppe site and then leave a comment on this post stating which item is your favorite. Include your email address in your comment; comments without a valid email address will be disqualified. For an extra chance to win, "like" the Red Dress Shoppe Facebook page, and then come back and leave another comment telling me that you did so. The contest closes to entries at 8 pm PDT on Friday, May 6. I'll announce the winner shortly thereafter.

Good luck, and thank you for reading!!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

In Full Swing

Over the weekend I put together a few days' worth of outfits and recruited Mark to take some photos outside, just to mix things up a little. As you can see, spring is in full swing according to most of the plants, although the bougainvillea seems to disagree; it's half-heartedly putting forth a few small leaves, but seems content to hibernate a little longer until it warms up. I can't really say that I blame it.

For this outfit I kept it springy with the pale pink and off-white skirts, even though with all the layering it was designed with cool weather in mind. It was also the perfect vehicle for this fab new harness that Mark made. Actually I 'ordered' it from him; he had this very pretty caramel-colored, smooth leather in his stash and I thought it would look great for spring and summer in a lightweight harness style. This harness is the basic "Jane Doe" style, with straps that are thinner than the original. This strikes me as being a great option if you've been wanting to try out the harness trend, but don't want to look too edgy or bondage-y. The color reminds me of some of the leather accessories seen in Lanvin's SS11 RTW line.

Tank Top, pink skirt: Anthropologie
Jacket: French Kiss, thrifted
Harness: Audra Jean
Tulle skirt: Noa Noa
Tights: Hue
Shoes: John Fluevog

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Dressing for the Season

I figured I'd better sneak in one more wear of this fabulous furry vest before we get too much further into spring. Despite it still being pretty chilly here, I've decided to make a concerted effort this year to dress for the season, which means shelving much of my warmer stuff like this vest, and avoiding wintry combos such as tights and boots. I'm still planning on wearing some of my boots during the summer, I'm just going to try to do it sans heavy tights. This look most certainly says winter, but it was really cold and rainy that day so I felt it was necessary.

One of the problems with living in a climate that doesn't have temperature extremes is that my approach to dressing varies as little as the seasons do, which means I can get tired of seeing the same things hanging in my closet day after day. I figure if I try designating certain items for a particular season only, then I'll have a renewed interest in them when that season rolls around again. Thus, this furry vest goes in the Winter pile for the time being, as do many of the other garments in this outfit. The leather pants might prove to be a multi-seasonal item, but for the next several months they'll most likely be appearing with sandals instead of boots.

How does your wardrobe change with the different seasons? Do you physically pack up items and put them aside for the season, or do they co-mingle in your closet all year round? Does this contribute to how long your items have interest and appeal for you?

Vest: Adrienne Landau
Scarf: Duke et Duchesse
Sweater: All Saints
Pants: Firetrap
Boots: Bos and Co.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter Egg

I think I like using the larger picture format for my lead outfit shots; the detail is much easier to see, isn't it? Of course you can always click each photo to enlarge, but it seems like it's easier not to have to go through that extra step. Feedback is appreciated!

I felt like an Easter egg in this outfit, in the best possible way. I'm not usually one to wear lots of pastel colors together, but I really loved how the deeper teal shades gave the outfit some contrast. Note that none of the colors really match, but they all go together: the shoes, for instance, contain shades of teal that are just on either side of the skirt in terms of intensity, and the purple panels across the tops of the shoes tie in the purplish top without being exactly the same hue. This was a fun outfit, both to put together and to wear.

Making the outfit even more fun was how many of the items in it were gifts; note the list below.

Top: a gift from Mom
Cardigan: Anthropologie
Belt: a gift from my sister
Skirt: a gift from Sal
Tights: Hue
Shoes: John Fluevog
Bracelet: Betsey Johnson
Necklace: Ambiance on Haight Street

Monday, April 25, 2011

Tough but Sweet

Lately I've been getting a lot of use out of this beautiful leather jacket. Its open front and cropped length make it not quite winter-worthy, but it's the perfect outer layer for spring and all the way through fall in the mild San Francisco climate. I loved the way it looked over these light chiffon layers; it added just the right amount of toughness to the soft, feminine look.

Dress: Fremont
Skirt: Anthropologie
Boots: Timberland Boot Co.
Jacket: Skin Graft

Friday, April 22, 2011

Going to the Dentist

I thought I'd include my handbag in these photos to demonstrate how well it goes with black and even the bluer shades of gray. Honestly I think I could use this bag exclusively and it would pair beautifully with at least 90% of my outfits.

I decided to wear these shoes for another day, but this time I painted my toenails, which I thought looked a lot better. This was my "going to the dentist" outfit.

Dress: Aryeh
Cardigan: Express
Belt: Forever 21 (came with a dress)
Bag: L.A.M.B.
Jeans: Joe's
Sandals: Kors Michael Kors

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Weekend Errand

This was a casual weekend outfit; I only had one quick errand to run that day, but I decided I might as well look good doing it. This top/cardigan combo is one that gets used a lot on weekends, because it's comfortable and easy to wear, while the pattern mix keeps it interesting. The sandals are new (they're the Kors Elsie style) and I'm totally in love with them; they're comfy, stylish, and versatile. The reviews I read almost universally mentioned that the suede platform and heel scuffs easily, so I treated them with suede protector before wearing them, and I'm planning on wearing different shoes when I drive, since the angle of my foot when I'm driving tends to wear the backs of high heels. A couple of simple precautions and I can probably keep these shoes looking new for a long time to come.

As for that errand I had to run....

I finally got the Marie Antoinette wig. It makes any outfit better, doesn't it?

Top: Max Studio
Cardigan: Nally & Millie, a gift from Mom
Necklace: Wendy Brandes
Belt: Red Dress Shoppe
Jeans: Joe's
Sandals: Kors Michael Kors
Bangles: Amrita Singh
Marie Antoinette wig: Helen's Wigs

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Layered Cardigans

This crazy-ass giant cardigan cocoon thing is really cool; it's going to be the perfect lightweight cover-up for breezy summer days. If you can believe it, this is a petite size, so presumably if I were actually petite this thing would be skimming the floor. I like it better this way.

I started with a plain cream tank to fill in the low neckline of the butterfly tank. But with the two tank tops and the bra there was an awful of of strappage that was visible under the sheer cardigan, so I added another layer, the black cardigan. This not only covered the strap action, but also brought some black into the top half of the outfit and punched up the contrast. Layered cardigans! Is this a new first?

Continuing with the sharp black/cream contrast, I wore opaque black socks so that the lines of the shoes would really stand out. I'm totally obsessed with cream colored shoes lately, and several times now I've had to stop myself from buying more pairs that look overly similar to these. Something about the soft cream leather with the hardware is so appealing.

Butterfly top: Banana Republic
Black cardigan: Express
Cream cardigan: 12th Street by Cynthia Vincent
Jeans: Diesel
Shoes: Rock and Republic

I just loved the way this cardigan looked with the sunlight coming through it.