Thursday, April 26, 2012

Christmas at Easter

Most of this outfit was a Christmas gift. As I mentioned recently, I spent Easter weekend in Sacramento visiting my parents and sisters who were visiting from Oregon, and the rest of the family who lives in the Sacramento area. As we generally do, we had a very belated exchange of Christmas gifts when we got together. Personally, I like Christmas better in the spring; the weather is better and the flowers are blooming, which seems much more celebratory to me.

The dress, belt, and tights were among my Christmas gifts. It's a good thing having a sister who works in a boutique clothing store; she picks out all the cutest stuff. This dress will make a great summertime piece, but for the rainy day I layered it with a long-sleeved shirt and rain boots.

The bag is a recent score from Crossroads Trading Company. It's almost brand new and even came with its certificate of authenticity; it was also marked down 50% from its already rock-bottom price, so I got what was probably originally a $600 bag for a mere $23.

Bag: Botkier
Dress, belt, tights: gifts from mom and sis
Shirt: Promod
Boots: Aquatalia

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Slim-fitting, bright pants have been on my shopping list for a couple of months now, so a couple weekends ago I set out to find a pair. The effort proved slightly more difficult than I had imagined. I had seen this very pair on the Michael Kors website, but when I popped into the store in the Westfield Mall, I saw that they didn't have any pants on their racks. I then headed to Bloomingdale's, where I proceeded to try on bright teal, coral, fuchsia, yellow, you name it... but they all looked monstrous. What I realized is that the colors I was trying all struck me as being great for a woman in her 20's, but on me they just looked awkward, and not really me. What I needed was what I'd been originally drawn to on the website. What I needed was an intense red, which was the one color I couldn't find on the entire vast, bright-pants-laden floor.

Frustrated, I headed down the escalator to make my way out of the store, only to come face to face with a whole section of Michael Kors clothing, and there, front and center, were the red pants I'd wanted all along. I knew exactly how I'd wear them for their first outing: as a splash of intense color behind high contrast black and white. A sophisticated color combination that still looks fun and springy.

I'll definitely be avoiding things like dizzy floral prints or flowy boho sheers when I wear these pants because I think that has too youthful/trendy an appearance for my taste, but paired with black and neutrals, this is a great way to work with a current trend while keeping it office appropriate and staying true to my personal style.

Cardigan: Survival
Tunic: Asos
Scarf: Alexander McQueen
Pants and sandals: Michael Kors
Jewelry: Metal Pointu

Friday, April 20, 2012

Postcards from San Francisco: A Night at the Museum

It's been ages since I've done a Postcards installment, hasn't it? For an explanation of what this series is about, click here. To read the other posts in the series, click here.

For this installment I thought I'd tell you about a recent Girls' Night Out, for which Laura and I went to the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit at the De Young Museum. Now the De Young has long been an institution in San Francisco, residing in the heart of Golden Gate Park near some of the park's other main attractions such as the Japanese Tea Garden as well as the Academy of Sciences, which I've written about before. But ever since its complete renovation and reopening in 2005, the museum seems to have a hipness that I've never seen in other art museums.

I tend to think of art museums as fairly sedate places, but the DeYoung has a vibrancy that seems to reflect the spirit of San Francisco. When Laura and I went, they had just kicked off their new season of Friday Nights at the DeYoung, where the museum stays open late and hosts all sorts of different events with music, cocktails, film screenings, dance, and so on. It's entirely possible that other art museums the world over are doing stuff like this, but then again I'm not really a frequent visitor of art museums. However, when we walked in the place that night, it seemed like a very San Francisco sort of scene.

For one thing, the place was PACKED. Tables and art supplies were set up all over the place with people creating elaborate costumes, and further into the museum they were putting on a fashion show while the music from a DJ blared. People were milling about with cocktails in hand, while others danced near the DJ table and giant video screen. It wasn't just a trip to the art museum, it was a party.

And then there was the exhibit, which was wonderful. It was much more than just a display of different clothing pieces, it was a multimedia experience that was so true to Gaultier as a designer and a personality. Many of the mannequins had animated faces projected onto them, so that they appeared to look at you, blink, and even speak. 

One of the displays had the mannequins rotating around a raised platform, giving the effect of a live runway show. Clips from many of the movies that Gaultier has designed costumes for played in one room, and another contained a giant pink, satin-quilted boudoir to showcase many of the corsets and cone bras that have become Gaultier's signature.

As we made our way out of the exhibit and back through the throngs of people participating in the evening's event, a mostly naked woman adorned with sequins and feathers walked by with her young son, and the two of them hurried off to where the fashion show was taking place. No one batted an eye. They might do this sort of thing at other museums around the world, but I have a feeling it's still a little different out here.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


You've seen a very similar outfit to this one before, but I had to post it again to show you this coat, which has been a lifesaver during our cold, rainy spring. What's interesting about this jacket is that although I bought it in 2005 (I remember because my sister was visiting at the time and helped me pick it out), it seems to get more and more current as the years go by. The bold, graphic floral print and mix of colors seem very fresh to me, and I've worn it a ton over the last couple of months. If I saw it in a store today I'd surely buy it all over again.

The jacket helped to brighten up this otherwise somber outfit. The colors blended perfectly with the deep purple pants, and helped to bridge the pale pink cardigan with the darker pieces. I hated having to take it off once I got into my office.

Jacket: Liquid
Cardigan: Anthropologie
Tunic: Audrey Cantwell
Pants: Rag & Bone
Shoes: John Fluevog
Jewelry: Metal Pointu

Monday, April 16, 2012


Spring is always a tough season to dress for here in San Francisco, and this year is especially difficult. After a gloriously mild winter with many sunny, warm days, the rain and cold temperatures set in just as the rest of the country seems to be breaking out their sandals and sundresses. My solution has been to employ bright colors as much as possible, even though as you can see I'm still having to wear thick tights and sweaters to stay warm.

I leave tomorrow for my trip abroad, but I've got some posts scheduled for while I'm away. My first stop is Lisbon for 5 nights, on to Strasbourg for work for the next 4 nights, then a long weekend in Paris before wrapping up in Boston at a conference. In total it's a 2-week trip with several different types of activities and potentially a couple different climates. Packing for this trip is therefore going to be a particular challenge, so if I'm successful I'll share my strategies after I get back.

Cardigan: Cynthia Rowley
Top: a gift from Sal
Skirt: Skunkfunk
Boots: from Scoop in Copenhagen

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Hairstyle Inspiration

Lately I've been growing my hair a bit longer and letting the bangs grow out into a long layer. Today I tracked down a few photos of the styles I'm inspired by lately.

This is Anouk Aimée with Marcello Mastroianni in La Dolce Vita (1960). I never understood why his character became so obsessed with Anita Ekberg when he could have Anouk; I thought she was by far the more beautiful and the more interesting of the two characters.

 Here's another one of Anouk. The European actresses in the 60's had the best hairstyles. 

Need more proof? Check out Gina Lollobrigida, looking sultry with her loose curls and dramatic eyebrows:
The bangs are shorter than I want, but the style is still gorgeous.

Here's Sophia Loren with a relaxed, messy hairstyle. 
This is a look that says, "I was perfectly coiffed this morning, 
but then I had an afternoon romp with my lover and got a bit mussed. 
Now be a darling and fetch me a drink."

And who wouldn't want a hairstyle that says that?

As a bonus, here's what Anouk looks like today:
 Still a knockout, no?
 And she still has great hair.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Sorry for the unexpectedly long absence there, but things just caught up with me. Last week we were finally able to take Spencer to the vet to get his bum knee fixed (we had to wait for him to stop growing); he had a torn CCL and needed a TPLO procedure. Don't feel bad if you have no idea what any of that is; the bottom line is that the surgery went really well and we're counting down the days (just 5 more left) until he gets his stitches out and has a recheck to make sure he's healing properly.

He's still looking handsome, even with his leg in a cast.

Since then we've had our eyes on him all the time, trying to prevent him from chewing at the stitches or jumping around and doing further damage to the joint. So far so good, but 7 more weeks of this seems like forever at this point. The harness he's wearing in the photo has a handle on the back so we can help him on and off furniture and up and down the stairs. 

Over the weekend I headed to Sacramento to visit my family, leaving poor Mark to deal with all the dog drama by himself. And then of course, I have my upcoming trip to Lisbon and France quickly approaching, but thankfully by the time I leave next week, Spencer will have his stitches out. Plus by then Mark will be a pro at handling Spencer by himself -- at least that's what I tell myself.

I've still been getting dressed and going to work, of course. Here I blended the soft browns and olive, and used the splashes of pale pink to bring in some contrast. The belt is one that came off a sweater, but it happened to match perfectly with the brooch. This was also another tights-layering exercise, with olive green fishnets over sheer black hose.

Jacket: thrifted
Top: Noa Noa
Skirt: All Saints
Boots: from Scoop in Copenhagen
Brooch: a gift from my aunt

Monday, April 2, 2012

Low Maintenance

For this outfit I took one of my favorites from last year, and mixed it up a little by adding the tulle underskirt and skull scarf, and changing both the cardigan and the shoes. In fact the only items the two outfits have in common are the dress and the tights.

My new, perfect cardigan is exactly the right length and shape for an outfit with a 50's vibe. For the previous incarnation of this outfit I tied a long cardigan at the waist to achieve the same effect, and while I liked the look of it, the cardigan itself wasn't really designed to be tied, and required a fair amount of adjusting and readjusting to make it work. This version was low maintenance, which is always a good thing.

Dress: J. Crew
Cardigan: Survival
Scarf: Alexander McQueen
Tulle skirt: Noa Noa
Tights: Wolford
Shoes: BCBGirls
Ring and bracelet: Metal Pointu