Monday, April 30, 2012

Closet Remix: Mint Seersucker

[Mint Blazer: Gap outlet (old); White Shirt: Forever 21; Jeans: 7 for All Mankind; Necklaces: Forever21 and Banana Republic outlet (old); Ring: Old Navy; Flats: Zara]

Let's talk about my pant legs. One rolled, one not. I SWEAR I'm not trying some twist on J.Crew's half-tucked shirt look. Nope, this was completely an accident.

The Mr. and I joined my friend in a wine tasting event extravaganza in Boston at noon. Fifteen or so wine vendors, each with a few wines for the trying. It was awesome, and exhausting. So, Mikhail and decided to curl up in our car for a nap after the fact. We woke up refreshed, albeit a bit disheveled. (Hence my hair. I'm sorry for that. I really am.) We starting shooting to catch some of the good light, and only halfway through our adventure did I noticed my orphan rolled pant leg.

But I am pulling inspiration from J.Crew in another way. One of its catalogues (or Style Guides, if we're being proper here), showed two chunky canary yellow necklaces layered over a beautiful shift dress in the same shade. I realized I had two cobalt blue necklaces and a cobalt blue H&M dress from a few years ago in a similar shape. I just went with the necklaces here, but I'm excited to try to the whole ensemble later on. For now, I thought the chunky necklaces went nicely with a mint seersucker blazer my mom bought me about five years ago from the Gap outlet in our town. She got me a pink one too. I haven't wore them a ton in that time period, but the mint color works great for this season. I think the flowy, slightly mussed white shirt balances out the pure prep of the seersucker. Happy Monday!

All photos by Mikhail Glabets 

Friday, April 27, 2012

FBFF: My Outfit Spreadsheet

I was so pumped to write this FBFF* post on outfit planning because I think I have the most incredibly dorky way of tracking and planning looks: A Google Docs spreadsheet!

This started in part because I am a complete ogre in the morning. Ask my roommates and my husband. This doesn’t just mean I hit snooze 20 times and will bark at you if you try to talk to me. It also meant that I was getting frazzled when selecting my outfit for the day, so I just grabbed the first thing I saw. Throughout the day I’d be reading fashion blogs and thinking of all the ways I was inspired to play with my own wardrobe, but come the next morning I’d forget all these awesome ideas.

Let's go play in my closet

So, the spreadsheet was born a few months ago. It has a column for each category of item that could potentially go into an outfit: top, 2nd top/sweater/jacket, dress, skirt/pant, shoes, accessories (ie belt, hat, scarf), and jewelry. For each potential look, I write down which item goes into which category (see the screen shot below). This also helps me see how versatile a piece is and how many ways I can remix it into different outfits.

I take some time in my closet a couple times each week to test out the things I’ve put into my spreadsheet and make sure they look as good in reality as they do in my head. I don’t take pictures like Cher does in Clueless (except for this post), but usually just give the outfit a yay or nay on the spot, or find a way to tweak it to make it look better. I often spend way longer than originally intended on this process, because I think of new combinations, rediscover old pieces, and basically play dress up in my own closet, jotting down notes as I go along. (Are you embarrassed for me yet?) I don’t necessarily plan these outfits out for specific days, but generally take stock each week of what the weather’s going to be like and think of some looks that will work with that. I love getting dressed up for special occasions and planning those outfits down to the last detail, but I like to put similar care into my day-to-day looks, too. (Except when I've wildly overslept.)

OK I do take outfit test pictures. Just this for the purpose of this post, though! Oh, and my photographer husband is thoroughly embarrassed by my cheesy iPhone photos and over zealous use of filters from picfx (which I learned about on Twitter from Blair of Atlantic-Pacific)

The spreadsheet also helps me track how long it’s been since I’ve worn something. At the end of each row, I have a column to input the date I last wore a particular outfit. Right now, most of my spreadsheet is dominated with Spring/Summer outfit ideas. One thing I’m pumped about is that as the season draws to a close, I can take a look to see what rows have blanks in the date last worn column, and make an effort to wear those outfits before the warm weather runs out. (Yes, I just said pumped).

I’ve said before that I love to recreate looks worn by my favorite fashion bloggers using similar items in my own closet. Whenever I come across something I think could work for me, I usually pin them and log my version into my Google Doc on the spot. New purchases inspire me too. I love buying a single new piece and thinking of all the ways it can remix with things in my closet. Because of this, I can’t remember the last time I had to buy an entirely new outfit for an event. #Gofrugality

Trying to recreate this look from Atlantic-Pacific with clothing I already own 

I'm sure you're all thinking I'm either incredibly high maintenance or hopelessly nerdy, but an outfit spreadsheet is actually a lot easier than these seven paragraphs might indicate. You can jot ideas down on the fly and test them out whenever you get the time. And that part is loads of fun. I encourage you to try it! Not only will it help you get more creative and organized with what you wear, but you’ll probably find that you have a lot more going on in your closet than you thought you did!

*FBFF stands for Fashion Beauty Friend Friday. It was started as Katy Rose over at Modly Chic as a way to regularly connect fashion and beauty bloggers around a specific topic. (Read more about it here). I heard about it at a blogger conference I attended last month, and this is my first go! Thanks for reading.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Swapped Style

[Cardigan: Old Navy, last seen here; Pink Shirt: Gap, swapped; Jeans: Citizens of Humanity via REVOLVE; Flats: Zara; Earrings: BaubleBar; Ring: Old Navy; Necklace: J.Crew factory (old) Bracelet: Flea Market]

I have been so excited the wear the goods from my first ever Swap party. The ladies at The Swapaholics put on this incredible event where you bring in three to five items in exchange for new (to you) pieces. I've heard that previous events are reminiscent of a Filene's Basement running of the brides, but this particular night was leisurely and lovely. Whenever you saw an item you wanted on the racks, you simply replaced it with something you brought. The idea was to hang out and see what else made its way onto the racks as more people arrived and swapped in their own items. You could even sip wine, munch sandwiches, and meet new people in the process. Way better than the mall or Newbury Street, if you ask me. And way greener, of course.

Sad you missed it? Don't be. That party just kicked off their swap season, and there's even another event coming up in Boston May 16. Oh, and expect to see more of my fun finds on the blog. I'm finally starting to embrace the color red, which inspired me to pull this awesome number off the racks. I have so many ideas on how to style this maxi dress, which I admittedly don't think I would have sprung for at any retail price. And the pink oxford in today's outfit is something I had been wanting to buy anyways, so being able to swap it out for something I didn't want anymore felt quite lucky.

Boston has slipped back down to its normally chilly winter temperatures, so I was happy to layer this pastel pink shirt (trendy this season but also timeless, in my opinion) with the Old Navy cardigan that looks and feels far too well constructed and luxe for its $15.99 (on sale) price tag. I played up the pastels even further with blue ring and lavender nails (Essie Lilacism). I think the color trend is really cute, but am a little wary of spending much money on pastel clothing just in case those shades become stale next year. But an $8 bottle of nail polish? I can do that.

All photos by Mikhail Glabets

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Coral, Neutrals, & Night

[Coral Blazer: Forever 21 (appears to be sold out now but similar shades are here and here); Ruffled Top: J.Crew factory (old); Pants: Gap (old); Earrings: Old Navy; Ring: Old Navy; Bracelet: Flea Market; Shoes: Goodwill]

Where's the daylight, you say? We ran out of it before managing to take some good outfit photos on Saturday, so Mikhail got playful with his flash. That's why you see the fun hazy effects swirling around my face.

This blazer is a bright orangey coral, so I paired it with neutrals and some blue accessory pops. I bought the pants a couple years ago on sale at Gap during my senior week at college, and they have served me well. They can be dressed up, down, with color or with neutrals (and sometimes both in the same outfit). My favorite thing about the look, though, is the subtle print mixing, with the striped brown pants and the polka dot lining of the blazer, which flashes when the wind picks up! Otherwise it feels like my little fun secret.

All photos by Mikhail Glabets 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Vintage Red

[Jacket: Forever 21; Shirt: Crossroads Trading Co.; Jeans: Joe's Jeans; Shoes: Old Navy; Sunglasses: Ray-Ban Boyfriend; Earrings: BaubleBar (only available in other colors now); Ring: Old Navy; Bracelets: Flea market and J.Crew (on mega awesome sale)]

I was all ready to splurge on a spring jacket until I came across this red number in Forever 21 for $35. The shade it comes in is called Lipstick, which is right on. It also reminds me of the color of a candy apple. Yum. In any event, it's functional and cute, and can dress up jeans for a night out with friends. That's what I did on Friday, when a bunch of us dessert picnicked in the North End for my best friend's 25th birthday. 

And the shirt. This is the third and final purchase from Crossroads Trading Co. that you will be hearing about (following the blue watercolor-esque dress and black Theory pants). It's worth mentioning, because I tried it on and felt like I didn't really "need" it.  So I brought it out of the dressing room and placed it back on the shirts rack. I was at the register pulling out my credit card when I turned around to grab it. The unique vintage shape just wooed me. And it made me realize that I don't hate the color red on me like I thought I did. So thanks, shirt.

 All photos by Mikhail Glabets

Friday, April 20, 2012

Nautical Coral

[Dress: J.Crew factory, different shade but same style here (It's $24.50 now, buy it!!); Cardigan: H&M (old); Shoes: Ruche; Necklace: J.Crew factory (old, seen before as a bracelet here); Nails: Essie Turquoise & Caicos; Toes: Essie Tart Deco]

Told you I liked this dress. This is the lipstick coral pink version, which I think looks best with a tan, but I jumped the gun here. I've caught the summer dress craving, thanks to the warm Boston weather lately, and it won't go away. And this one has that awesome swing to it, so really, how could I say no?

This is the second appearance this week of these Ruche shoes, which are already a spring/summer favorite. Not gonna lie, I'm loving the kitten heel height. I'm often running to the bus or rushing to get somewhere on time, so 4-inch heels just aren't a reality for me, now matter how chic they are. The 1-2 inch kitten height gives a look just enough polish while still being practical.

My favorite accessory here would have to be my nail color, though. Essie has captured my favorite blue beautifully in a shade called Turquoise & Caicos. The name makes it that much better.

Happy weekend everyone!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Watercolor Dress

[Blue Dress: Crossroads Trading Co.; Grey Dress: J.Crew factory; Jacket: Banana Republic outlet (old); Shoes: Old Navy (only available in blue now; Necklace: J.Crew factory (old); Earrings: BaubleBar; Sunglasses: Ray-Ban Wayfarer ]

This blue dress is another delight from the San Francisco thrift store I was telling you about back here. I loved the watercolor-looking print but almost left it alone because it is so unbelievably sheer. But then I remembered I had this J.Crew strapless grey dress, which fits perfectly under it. The dress is one of the most versatile things I own. You can fold over the top to make it long or short, or wear it at your waist as a skirt. I have it in this dark steel grey, a bright lipstick coral color, and a grey white floral pattern. You will see them all here remixed in dozens upon dozens of ways. They're a few seasons old, but luckily still available online here in a couple of colors.

Neutral and neon has been a big color combo lately. Usually beige is the neutral at play, but I liked mixing the neon shoe with navy. It's my favorite neutral color (and was the shade my bridesmaids wore at my wedding). The jacket is a Banana Republic outlet goodie that I bought as part of a pants suit for an intership interview in college. That was five years ago and this classic number is still going strong.

All photos by Mikhail Glabets

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Closet Remix: Floral and Lace

[Floral top: J.Crew factory store (last seen here); Brown Lace Dress: Modcloth (old, another similar one here); Scarf: Buffalo Exchange; Shoes: Ruche; Jewelry: Flea market; Belt: Topshop]

I have about three skirts that actually look good on me, so the recent realization that you can turn dresses into skirts by layering shirts over them has been a revelation. It's been an awesome fix for someone like myself, whose long-legs-to-short-torso proportions make skirt-wearing a challenge!

This particular outfit gave me the opportunity to bring back the brown lace dress I purchased on Modcloth two summers ago for a dear friend's wedding. I think the cocoa color tones down the punchy floral print.

This scenic photo shoot took place at the Tufts campus, just a few minutes walk from our house. We were happy to discover these little nooks for a fun change of scenery.

All photos by Mikhail Glabets

Monday, April 16, 2012

Blue Grey Flashdance

[Grey Shirt: Old Navy; Striped Shirt: Forever 21; Jeans: 7 for All Mankind; Shoes: Goodwill; Necklace: J.Crew Factory (old); Sunglasses: Ray-Ban Wayfarer; Earrings: BaubleBar, Bracelet: Flea Market; Bag: Flea Market, last seen here]  

We welcomed the gorgeous weather on Saturday with some flea market shopping. It provided the colorful trailer backdrop you see in these photos. This grey top caught my eye on the Old Navy website for its sale sticker price and it's fun Flashdance vibe. It's just comfy but just cute enough for a day outside shopping and picking through booths of funky old stuff. And I thought it made the perfect pairing for all the accents in my favorite turquoise blue color. I just painted my nails in a similar shade (Essie Turquoise and Caicos) and it makes me so very happy.

We were hoping to walk away with some fun knick knacks for the house, but came up empty handed on that front. I did get four bracelets at $1 each, one of which is on my wrist above. And that gold star ring is something I just found in my jewelry pile this week. I know it's about 10 years old. I remember picking it up with my cousin on a trip to New York with our moms and Nana in middle school. It's from one of those fun-but tacky, hole-in-the-wall jewelry shops. I remember all of us going nuts over that place.

All photos by Mikhail Glabets 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Ladylike Print Mixing

[Striped Shirt: Forever 21; Cardigan: J.Crew Factory (old); Jacket: Forever 21 (old) ; Jeans: James Jeans via Gilt; Necklace: J.Crew; Earrings: BaubleBar; Shoes: Cole Haan (old)]

I've loved seeing all the fun print mixing this season and wanted to try it out with a few pieces I had. I bought the striped shirt earlier this spring from Forever 21 to have as a good staple, and realized it was the same color tone as a leopard-esque cardigan I got from the J.Crew outlet a few years ago. I also remembered this fun houndstooth cape-like jacket I bought at Forever going into my junior year of college. I think it gives the look a Mad Men feel. Who says bargain purchases have to be thrown away after a season?

All photos by Mikhail Glabets 


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