OOTD: September 9th, 2012

It’s over 100 out and I’m heading out to a nice restaurant with a friend.    Here’s an example of a trend I adore: some sort of breezy chiffon poncho I can toss over a simple cotton tank and jeans that hides all the figure flaws the tank exposes.

I found the poncho on clearance at Avenue for $10; it’s a greyish white with two shades of plum and black.  I paired it with a plum Faded Glory tank in 2x from Wal-Mart and my favorite go-to jeans, a 22W from JCP St. Johns Bay in pure dark wash.  These jeans are ridiculously fabulous for the price ($25).  They fit me flawlessly, are comfy and hold their shape remarkably well.  The demin looks and feels similar to a premium denim.  I love them, and I wish I had bought a backup pair.  These are pretty close and on clearance for $17, though, so I just may have to have them.

Now if i just had Rebecca’s Naturalizer Glee Strappy Sandals in Jungle Orchid my feet would match!!!  but alas I had to struggle by with Volatile Trixxy Flips.

Lately there have been a slew of premium flip flops, and it has not been  unusual for them to be $75-100. At first I balked, but 1) I live in a warm climate, 2) they are super comfy, and 3) I would pay that for sandals.   Given that the fit/finish of the shoe and quality of the rubber is far superior, I’ve gotten over my mental block about the price.

Finally, I paired the top with a long necklace from Chico’s, pretty sure from their collection last Spring ~$40 and a chunky magenta bangle I have had in my collection for years.


OOTD September 8th, 2012

Outfit of the day: the Casual First Date

Dipping my toe  back into the dating scene, I needed the perfect “burgers and a beer” meet and greet first date outfit.  I settle on Jeans (Cato, $29);  A chocolate Peasant top (Cato, $17), my new cowboy boots, a great copper necklace (Stein Mart ($99) and some copper hoops I’ve had for years.

The Jeans are boot cut, with on-trend pocket detailing.  I typically prefer boot cut jeans with no detailing as my go-to jean, however, for $30, I’m happy to have some variety and I think they pair well with the Boots.

Boots:  I really wanted Cowboy boots, and was thinking Black, but these just grabbed my attention, and they are pretty comfy.   I bought mine at Cavender’s Boot City locally, but they have a web site.   Look for  Corral Ladies Distressed Black w/ Winged Cross Golden Inlay Snip Toe Western Boot, $260).

The final detail, with me always is a great necklace.  I have such a love of accessories, it’s not atypical for me to start with a necklace and work from there.     I found this gem at Stein Mart a few months back.  I’ll pay attention to the artist next time since I have seen some other of her pieces.   At $99 it’s a bit pricey for Stein Mart jewelry but it’s a substantial piece; the cross is handmade inlaid with copper roses.  I have the earrings as well but opted for simple copper hoops so the effect would not be too matchy.

A note on Cato :  While Cato doesn’t have an online presence (the link will let you find a location near you), their plus section has some decided benefits.  One is the price point.  Rarely is anything over $30.   It’s always on-trend, and sizes run from 14-24.   I find their Tees fit small, and I always size up, but things like jeans, skirts and other items are about normal.    2nd big advantage is the store is divided up (Similar to Dress Barn) one side is Plus, and they devote equal real estate to both, it’s not shoved back in a corner as an afterthought.   They get new things in weekly and I always find something.   I shop there for anything trendy.  I’m not typically a trendy dresser per se, but it’s my go to spot for things I don’t need to last and last and I can feel current without breaking the bank.   I tend to mix high/low anyway, so this is one of my haunts.

ISO: a Black Denim Jacket

(Today’s post is the first post from my co-author, Sandra.  We have somewhat different styles (San is classic to my strange hippy/goth/something else mashup) and very different shapes (I’m a pear to her apple), but we both love clothing and love to shop.  

This is also the first in an occasional series on pieces we are actively trying to find that we’ll be calling In Search Of: or, to be briefer, ISO.)

Black Denim Jackets in plus sizes seem to be elusive.  It’s one of those simple, casual but classic pieces (like a white denim jacket) that I love to have in my wardrobe at all times. I never see them in stores, so decided to hunt for one online yesterday.  They are perfect for throwing on over a tee, cami or tank, and do a great job of hiding figure flaws.  This type of piece is essential when you are traveling to a cooler climate without investing in warmer clothes you might not wear back home.

I’d been keeping my eyes open, and Coldwater Creek is featuring one that caught my eye, a more feminine curvy cut.   I have not received it yet so stay tuned for a post on the fit very soon.  I ordered a size 24, to hopefully allow room to allow a heavier weight top and push/cuff the sleeves to bracelet length.    I’ve been on this cowboy boot kick lately and I can envision this pairing with several jeans/skirt pieces I already worn.

This one, Denim Weekend Jacket – $99 constructed of cotton/elasterell has seams that appear to hug your curves, as well as an adjustable buckle in the back to avoid it looking so boxy. I used my $25 off anything coupon to save as the thought of a basic denim jacket being over $100 shipped was a bit more than I had hoped to spend.  However, I have been doing less “wow this is a good deal even though I didn’t need it until I saw it” shopping and spending the extra on pieces I love.

Onestop plus/Woman Within has a cropped one for $39, which i would have totally snagged had it been about 2-3″ longer.   Super cute but unless you are tall, probably is gonna hit at all the problem areas.   Also the cropped is just too trendy to be a staple.

While looking for alternatives, I ran across an online retailer I have not seen before,  Monrow & Main.   While the jacket is not “me” the cut of the jacket is pretty interesting.  (Pintuck Denim, $70).   I’ll be surfing this site for sure to see what else they have.   At first glance, there are some pretty cute things.

(Comment from Rebecca: I had never seen this site before either, and have to agree that there are some CUTE items on here.  When I have time and spending money, I intend to go back and buy a few things to check out the cut, styling, and quality.)

If the Creek one doesn’t pan out, I’ll probably snag Jessica London‘s $44 version… available in sizes 12-38.  This one with classic styling and black stitching is more what I envisioned before I got all misty eyed at the feminine cut of they Creek one.

(I found a few more: one from Domino Dollhouse that is also very cropped.  $45.99  That style looks good on some people, not so good on  others.  Since this appears even more cropped than the one above, it might not be a good bet.

The second one is from City Chic and also appears cropped.  However it has puffy shoulders which MIGHT provide some balance and width at the shoulders for those of us with wide hips. 

My guess is that neither of these would work for San, but they are here for completeness’ sake.  Cropped seems to require the wearer to be tall, and since neither of us are we run the risk of cropped jackets hitting at the wrong place.  

One final possibility would be this design from Simply Be $59.  Given her current western kick this might be really cute.)

OOTD September 5th, 2012

Today I rode my bike again, so I had to plan my outfit last night.  I am not entirely happy, but the outfit deserves to be posted purely for it’s lack of Black.  My chosen neutral for the day was actually olive green cargo pants and a white tee from J.Jill’s Pure Jill line (which I adore), with a cardigan over it that has the olive in with a pink shade (Marshall’s).  I finished the outfit by layering 2 gold neckaces.

OOTD August 29, 2012

Nothing fancy today; I have to hike across campus for a 1pm meeting, so comfort was the name of the game.  This is the ONLY top I have that has even a little of the color of the shoes I ordered last week in it, and since those seemed very comfortable and like good candidates for today’s walk, this shirt won.  Some shopping might be in order to give me more options!

Top: Tommy Hilfiger, couple of seasons old

SIDE NOTE ON THE TOP:  The fabric on this top is lovely and soft, but I still waffle on the topic of anything that reads as horizontal stripes.  This isn’t as flattering as I might like.

Pants: Coldwater Creek White Knit Jeans (similar)

Shoes: Lifestride Taco in Teal (Yes, there really are bits of that teal color in the shirt, although it’s probably for the best that the shoes are that far from the top.)

Bracelet: Actually, it’s a necklace I’ve had for years…It’s uncomfortably tight on my neck, but doubled up it makes a nice, loose bracelet.

Glasses: (Progressive Bifocals *sigh*) Jessica McClintock JMC013 in Amethyst

One of the interesting things about posting my outfits every day has been that I am being far more demanding of my outfits than I had been in the past.  By demanding, I mean they need to fit, look flattering, work for my lifestyle and be in decent condition.  Taking pictures has resulted in my seeing things differently than before.

For example, the neckline on this top and the way the sleeves are attached make my shoulders look narrow, which is NOT an illusion that works on me. My shoulders need to look broader in order to compensate for the fact that hips are wider than my shoulders, so something that seems to be narrowing them is not good.  This shirt may be headed to the goodwill soon (or at least the “wear around the house only” part of the closet…

OOTD – August 21, 2012

I had lunch yesterday with a friend who told me I could pass for 30.  I almost kissed him!  I’m 46.  I’ll take 30 any day of the week.

Today may look like a Tuesday on your calendar, but it is sort of a friday for me.  Tomorrow I have to be up at *gaak* 4am to catch a 6am flight to Chicago for a 2 day project kick-off meeting.  That means today is the last day in the office.

Top: Izod XXL, purchased at Marshall’s, bottom elastic removed (see this post).

Pants: White Knit Jeans from Coldwater Creek (22) although I think mine are straight leg and not slim leg.

Bracelet stack in White and Gold from the cute little boutique across the street

Necklace by Cyd

I have to admit that I’m still getting used to working with the bracelets.  I never wore them to work because I was always concerned about them hitting my wrists funny.  (I work at a computer all day, so I worry about my wrists.)  Still, these have been fine so far.

Grazie - Topaz (Brown) - Footwear I’m wearing the outfit with these shoes.  I like the sparkle and the gold, but I won’t be walking very far in them.  They provide very little cushioning or support, for all that they are cute.

OOTD August 17, 2012

It’s Friday, and the first day of student move-in weekend, so Jeans were the order of the day.

This outfit is simple, light-weight and comfortable.  It consists of:

Black jeans from Avenue Jeans from their old Denim Lite collection.  Boot cut.  (Skinny jeans are next on my “Trends that should end” hitlist.)

Red print top is from last fall, Lane Bryant.  One thing to note is that there is a seem around the bottom that USED to contain a band of elastic.  I removed it in order to fix the shape.  If you’re not sure what I mean, check out this post.

The necklace was made by an artist friend of mine.  You can see it more clearly in this picture:

The stone is actually a fossil, which is then wire-wrapped.  You’ll see a lot of her jewelry over time, since one of the advantages of having an artisan friend is that you end up with a lot of their art!


Have a nice weekend!