Keep It Casual

by - Saturday, September 29, 2012
I go through a mental checklist when deciding on a location to take outfit photos:

1) Is there an object nearby so I can manually focus and set the camera? Open fields won't do.

2a) Does the spot have shade or is the sky overcast? Much preferred option. I find photos to have the prettiest bokeh background when I'm standing in the shade but the sun is shining bright behind me (example). Camera settings also seem to be easier to configure.
2b) Where is the sun in relation to the camera? With my back to the sun results in soft, glowy photos (example). Facing the sun usually washes out details. I have the most trouble with camera settings on this one.

3) Is the background pretty? Will the outfit clash with/blend into the background? Usually don't realize the latter happened until after the fact.

4) Will my shoes be able to handle the terrain? No to heels on sinkable surfaces, untreated leather on grass.

5) Are there a lot of people around? Depending on how self-conscious I'm feeling that day, I may or may not want to answer potential questions.

1 is a must. The object today is a log lying to the left of my foot. 2b and 3 are usually an either-or. Today's photo is the perfect example of having chosen 3 over 2b. Pretty background, but unfortunately I was facing the sun which completely washed out the details of the jacket. Sorry about that.

Have a great weekend, everyone!
sunglasses: Walmart aviator (similar)
jacket: American Eagle peacoat (similar)
necklace: Forever 21 oval chain (sold here)
top: Saint James Galathee tee (sold here)
belt: J.Crew (similar)
rings: Forever 21 braid & chain stack ring set (similar)
bag: agnes b (similar) - gift from cousin

In With the Old

by - Thursday, September 27, 2012
I was watching an old rerun of What I Like About You a few months back. Typically what stands out with these type of shows is the fashion at the time. Or gigantic cell phones. During this one particular episode, I kept noticing Amanda Bynes wearing a ballet wrapped-style sweater with a cute skirt. And so that's where I drew inspiration from for today's outfit. Whoever said fashion is cyclical is so right.
sunglasses: Old Navy (similar)
lips: Maybelline Color Sensational Lipcolor in coral crush (sold here)
necklace: Ann Taylor oval pearlized (similar)
sweater: Ann Taylor cotton blend tie front wrap cardigan (sold here; similar)
bracelets: Forever 21 swirled pearlescent bead cuff (similar; similar);
Forever 21 rhinestone snake chain (similar)


by - Tuesday, September 25, 2012
I must've made the mistake of shrinking this dalmatian printed dress in the dyer, because it's now too short to be worn bare-legged :( Darn it! Guess I'll have to improvise and stick to wearing it as a top (like in today's outfit) or with leggings. It's too bad because I was just starting to really love the concept of easy shift dresses.
sunglasses: Walmart aviator (similar)
necklace: gift from aunt (similar)
jacket: Burberry Marystow trench coat (sold here)
dress as top: H&M (recent - sold in stores)
ring: Forever 21 textured horse shoe (similar)
jeans: LOFT black modern skinny (this season's sold here)

As Seasons Change

by - Sunday, September 23, 2012
When the weather starts turning cooler, I think about the lives bears lead, and how great it would be if I too, can also go into hibernation and sleep my way through winter. But since I can't, the next best thing about living in a region with four distinct seasons is watching the leaves turn color in the fall. I must remember to come back to this tree-lined spot in a few weeks to capture the pretty autumn colors.
sunglasses: Walmart aviator (similar)
sweater: Abercrombie & Fitch (similar)
tank: Old Navy (similar)
cuff: Madewell tree-twig (sold here)
shoes: Via Spiga Missy (similar)

Saying "I Do"

by - Thursday, September 20, 2012
A few months ago, bf and I finally decided to make it official after ten years of dating. The day was everything we could have hoped for: relatively low-stress, simple, just the two of us with our families. For two laid-back souls, it couldn't have been any more perfect ♥

All photos by the talented Leah @ Studio Juno. Note: Most are originals, but some have been cropped for a closeup.

Petite Fashion Challenge #19: Trend Benders

by - Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Hosted by Angie, Petite Fashion Challenge #19: Trend Benders has us picking a Summer or Fall 2012 trend and making it work for us, whether it's going all-out, incorporating it into a professional outfit or using it in moderation.

Like many, burgundy/oxblood/maroon is at the top of my must-wear list for Fall 2012. I've already been getting wears out of this sweater (with many more to come), so I didn't feel I'd be challenging myself if I put together another regular ol' outfit.

My eyes have been focused on burgundy lately, so I turned to Google thinking it'd be fun if I could somehow mix another trend with burgundy. I saw brocade as another and knew I had an item from my closet to experiment with.

The dress is an old one that was already a bit tight when I bought from Elle awhile back, and even more so now that I've gained some weight. The skirt portion poofed out much more than I remembered, so I ended up channeling Blair, the queen of full skirts. The burgundy sweater served two purposes: 1) complements the patterned gold brocade fabric and 2) hides the strained back zipper that I came this close to giving up on. To top it off, I added simple and neutral accessories.

Be sure to check out outfits from other participants!
sunglasses: Old Navy (similar)
necklace: gift from aunt (similar)
sweater: H&M (recent - sold in stores)
belt: J.Crew (similar)
cuff: Forever 21 swirled pearlescent bead (similar; similar)
rings: Forever 21 braid & chain stack ring set (similar)
dress as skirt: Zac Posen for Target (similar)
shoes: Ann Taylor covered platform bootie (similar)

Christmas In September

by - Sunday, September 16, 2012
I know I know, it's a few months too early to even start thinking about the holidays. This is what happens when I'm going through my must-wear-new-items-all-at-once phase. No worries, it'll pass soon.
sunglasses: Walmart aviator (similar)
necklace: gift from aunt (similar)
top: Saint James Galathee tee (sold here)
cuff: Forever 21 swirled pearlescent bead (similar; similar
skirt: Express (similar)
shoes: Via Spiga Missy (similar)

Color Coded

by - Thursday, September 13, 2012
My closet is full of drab neutrals with a few sprinkles of brightly colored items. Brights are usually an afterthought, thrown on as accent colors after I've decided on a neutral outfit. I reversed my thinking today and started with colors (a combination I've seen across the web) before finishing off with neutrals (leopard pumps). I still felt like a beacon in the middle of the ocean, but a little less so.

Have a good Thursday, everyone!
sunglasses: Walmart aviator (similar)
lips: Revlon ColorBurst in rosepearl 014 (sold here)
necklace: gift from aunt (similar)
cuff: Forever 21 swirled pearlescent bead (similar; similar)
sweater: Old Navy (similar)
pants: Ann Taylor Chelsea cropped (sold here)
clutch: H&M (similar)
shoes: Jones New York Harlem (sold here)

Do The Polka

by - Wednesday, September 12, 2012
It's a theory kind of day. I've had the blazer for a few years now and the dress since May, but this is the first time I've thought to pair the two together. Perhaps my subconscious knew to wait until I found the perfect red accessory to finish the outfit ;)

Happy Wednesday!
sunglasses: Walmart aviator (similar)
necklace: gift from aunt (similar)
belt: J.Crew (this season's sold here)
cuff: Forever 21 swirled pearlescent bead (similar; similar)

Leather & Leopard

by - Monday, September 10, 2012
There was a bit of chill in the morning air, but by mid afternoon, it was simply gorgeous outside. What a way to start off the week. Have a good Monday, everyone!
necklace: gift from aunt (similar)
jacket: Zara jacket with zips (this season's sold here)
top: Ann Taylor asymmetrical drape (similar)
belt: H&M (similar)
shoes: Jones New York Harlem (sold here)

Soft Florals

by - Friday, September 07, 2012
I had the pleasure of spending time with Elle this past weekend while she was in town. In between chatting and laughing like old friends, we shopped, ate, and ate some more. We did pretty well most of the afternoon, not buying anything until we stepped foot inside H&M... and that's when the enabling began. She convinced me to try on printed pants, to which I agreed only if she tried on a forest green blazer. Both of which are really just excuses to take photos.

We concluded the day with Korean food, with the first stop at Nak Won and then at Bon Chon. There's two Bon Chons in the area, but this is the first time I've ever been. It's good... though I still have to give the nod to Popeye's.

Have a good weekend!
sunglasses: Walmart aviator (similar)
necklace: Forever 21 oval chain (similar)
top: Abercrombie & Fitch (similar)
cuff: Madewell nautical knot (similar
belt: J.Crew leather denim (similar)
jeans: Hollister boot destroyed (sold here)

Stripe It Rich

by - Wednesday, September 05, 2012
As the saying goes, "a picture is worth a thousand words." My mind's drawing a blank today, so I'll leave it at that.

Have a great Wednesday!
necklace: Ann Taylor oval pearlized (similar)
bracelet: Forever 21 rhinestone snake chain (similar)
bag: Chanel camellia WOC (should still be in stores)
shoes: Old Navy faux-leather capri sandals (this season's sold here)

Chanel Camellia WOC (in 11A Red)

by - Monday, September 03, 2012
A few weeks back, I was helping SIL decide on her first Chanel purchase. While at the store, the SA brought out a beautiful rose colored camellia wallet on chain (WOC). SIL tried it on and felt the strap was too long and hits her at an awkward spot. In a moment of insanity, I tried it on and immediately knew it was a bad idea. Lesson never learned: don't try on things for fun.

Now that the seed for a small and colorful crossbody bag has been planted in my head, I considered my options. A mini flap in burgundy also caught my eye, but I decided the color was too dark and the shape and style was too similar to my medium flap. I wasn't set on buying a Chanel, so I expanded my search to other brands but focused on their red selections only. I considered the Coach Legacy Penny Shoulder in carnelian, J.Crew Little Edie in flame, Tory Burch Robinson Crossbody Mini in raspberry, and the Marc Jacobs Single in burgundy. After sleeping on these options for a few days, the excitement for each soon faded for one reason or another (color/shape/size/style). It was back to the drawing board for me.

SIL on the other hand, had reached a decision on The One, a small bright pink Boy bag in stingray. She talked about how she used The Purse Forum to do all her research, even picking out a store with a specific SA in mind to buy from. It's been awhile since I've actively used tPF, so that conversation with her triggered thoughts of the rose camellia WOC from a few weeks back.

Through tPF, I familiarized myself with all the information I could find on camellia WOCs, current and past colors, leather options, quality, size, etc. The more photos I saw, the more enamored I became with the camellia embossing. The design is beautiful up close, feminine, and different than the quilting on my medium flap. Best of all, the camellia WOC comes in various shades of red, depending on the year/collection. Some were bright red with orange undertones, some a true lipstick red, some a darker wine-colored red. Photo comparisons helped, but I much rather see the colors in person if I could.

I went to two stores before the SA brought out the color that made my heart aflutter. The Chanel Camellia WOC in 11A red with silver hardware (tag info / buy pre-owned) was the perfect shade of red for me, not too bright, no orange undertones, a true wine-colored red. 11A means the bag was part of the 2011 Autumn collection, where it debut in the $1400-1500 range. A year and a couple price hikes later, the bag now retails for $1700. Ouch. I had been following the eBay market for pre-owned red camellia WOCs and haven't seen many I'd be comfortable with below $1600, so I figured I'd sleep much better at night buying brand new for a little more.
[photo above]: Due to various shadows and lighting, the bag looks to have an all-over gradient of colors. In real life, the bag's color is consistent througout.
[photo below]: A close-up of the camellia embossing that I fell heads over heels for.

End of Summer

by - Saturday, September 01, 2012
I don't know how many more opportunities I'll have to wear linen pants, so I'm making the most of it while I still can. Have a great long (for some) weekend, everyone!
sunglasses: Walmart aviator (similar)
lips: Maybelline Color Sensational Lipcolor in coral crush (sold here)
bracelet as necklace: gift from SewPetiteGal (custom order from her Etsy shop)
top: H&M tunic (similar)
cuff: Madewell nautical knot (similar)
belt: Forever 21 (similar)
pants: LOFT Julie linen trousers (this season's sold here)
bag: agnes b (similar) - gift from cousin
shoes: Old Navy faux-leather capri sandals (this season's sold here)

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