Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Blurred

I bought a new camera lens recently and I've been having so much fun with it in recent outfit posts. It's my first prime lens, so there's a bit of a learning curve. I still find myself wanting to set the tripod down anywhere before zooming in to frame the shot. Instead, now I have to place the tripod farther away to capture a full body shot. It's a longer walk back and forth with a self-timer, but the prettier bokeh background is worth the effort. Any tips for newbies on using a prime lens would be much appreciated!
blouse: Gap raw edge henley (similar)
necklace as belt: Forever 21 curb chain (similar)
ring: Forever 21 faux stone (similar)
skirt: Forever 21 striped bodycon (this season's sold here)

A comparison shot with my kit lens. Perhaps a bit unfair because the background and weather was completely different.
cardigan: Talbots epaulette boyfriend (similar)
top: Modcloth Brandi's Something in the Era (sold here)
ring: Forever 21 faceted faux gemstone (similar)
bag: H&M (similar)

Monday, August 27, 2012

In Withdrawal

Over the weekend, I went up to NYC with a few girlfriends. It was a spur-of-the-moment trip because we realized this is the last weekend for the next few months where we're all free. So what better way to spend it than shopping and eating our hearts out together? Sadly I didn't take any photos worth sharing, so I'll write about the jumbled thoughts still circulating around in my head as I deal with post-vacation blues.

- Ippudo still serves the best ramen. I downed my bowl in less time than it took for us to be seated. Their pork buns are more delicious than I remember, while the chicken version was only so-so. Can any DC people share their experience with Toki Underground? I'd love to find an alternative closer to home.

- I satisfied my curiosity for C. Wonder. The store itself is so bright and colorful. I considered a few home decor items, but decided to wait until my local store opens instead of lugging around a potentially heavy shopping bag in the city. Clothing sizes seem to run similar to J.Crew (ie: XS fits a bit big on me from both stores).

- I wish I hadn't set high expectations for the W Hotel (in Midtown East). I was underwhelmed. At first glance, the decor looked nice and modern, but a closer look revealed imperfections. Our bathroom sink was partially cracked in half, the bathtub could use resealing, no free WiFi and fridge (I know, I'm spoiled), and one of the rooms was freezing (broken thermostat). Geez I sound so nitpicky, but there were positives! Rain shower head in the bathroom (I could get used to this), complimentary car service (didn't use, but reservations are booked quickly), and friendly housekeeping.

- Laduree or not, macarons are wasted on me. I just don't appreciate them like others do.

- Uniqlo legging pants are the comfiest bottoms ever. They are currently on sale for $20 in a variety of colors. I would've bought a pair in olive if XS hadn't sold out. Details include an elastic waist, back pockets, and are made of stretchy fabric that is easy to pull on and off (usually my biggest issue with jeggings) and aren't too tight.

- Gotta love Chinatown. So many cheap eats! Prosperity Dumplings are always a favorite ($1 for 5. Unreal). I also ate Xi'an noodles for the first time. Chewy wide noodles served hot or cold, dry or in soup. I had a plate with non-spicy chicken for $6. Good stuff.

- You'd think after a weekend of sensory overload, I'd be inspired to dress in more colors. Perhaps a longer stay next time is needed ;) For now, here's a simple outfit from today.
sunglasses: Walmart aviator (similar)
lips: Revlon Colorburst Lipcolor in soft nude 070 (sold here)
necklace: gift from aunt (similar)
ring: Forever 21 textured horse shoe (similar)
belt: J.Crew leather denim (similar)
shoes: Jones New York Harlem (sold here)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Leopard & Lace

I seem to always reach for this versatile lace dress to try new item pairings with. For today's look, I'm really liking the combination of feminine lace with a little bit of leopard. It feels like a lot of pattern all at once, so I kept the jewelry simple and to a minimum.

Have a great weekend!
sunglasses: Old Navy (similar)
lips: Revlon ColorBurst in rosepearl 014 (sold here)
dress: Ann Taylor vintage floral lace (similar)
belt: Zara Girl from fur vest (similar)
cuff: Madewell tree-twig (sold here)
rings: Forever 21 love birds (similar)
bag: H&M (similar)
shoes: Jones New York Harlem (sold here)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Pencil This In

Pencil skirts are a bit of a challenge for me. I haven't found one that sits at the right height with a flattering length to suit my body type. For example, the black one that I'm wearing today is a tad too rectangular for my liking. At the time of purchase, I deluded myself into thinking a black pencil skirt is a "must have" and picked up the first one that fit decently. I've tried on various others over the years (ie: the popular J.Crew No. 2), but haven't come across any that felt perfect. Where is your favorite pencil skirt from?
top: Modcloth Brandi's Something in the Era (sold here)
belt: Express (similar)
shoes: Ann Taylor Iris bow patent leather sandals (sold here)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Fall For a Day

I'm not ready to let go of summer yet, but I couldn't resist wearing my new sweater out on an abnormally cooler day. I've been pining for a thin burgundy sweater since last year, so imagine my giddiness when I started seeing this color pop up everywhere. It's just my luck that burgundy is being touted as the it color for this fall.
sunglasses: Old Navy (similar)
necklace: Forever 21 leaf accent (similar)
sweater: H&M (recent - sold in stores)
ring: Forever 21 textured horse shoe (similar)
cuff: Madewell tree-twig (sold here)
pants: XOXO (similar)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Business As Usual

Every once in awhile a meeting at work calls for dressier attire. I almost always turn to my one pair of dress slacks before changing up the top for different looks. For today, it's a plain black top accessorized with a colorful scarf. A tad boring, but it gets the job done.

Have a good week ahead!
sunglasses: Walmart aviator (similar)
necklace: gift from aunt (similar)
scarf: Collection 18 chain via Nordstrom Rack (similar)
top: Ann Taylor asymmetrical drape (similar)
belt: J.Crew (this season's sold here)
pants: Express Editor (this season's sold here)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Weekend Gear

The weather's gorgeous this weekend. Short shorts for the outdoors and a jacket to combat the AC indoors. Hope you're having a good one!
sunglasses: Walmart aviator (similar)
necklace: Forever 21 curb chain (similar)
top: Old Navy (similar)
belt: J.Crew leather denim (sold here)
shorts: Hollister Hobson (similar)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Riding Boots Part II: Tory Burch Nadine

*** Update as of 6/19:
Tory Burch Junction riding boots looks very similar to my Nadine boots  ***

After an unsuccessful attempt at finding a pair of riding boots last year, I couldn't wait to get an early start this year... even though summer's still in full swing. My criteria hasn't changed much with time, as I'm still looking for a pair that is black, preferably leather, flat/low heel, buckle detailing, and with a tall and slim shaft.

I've never paid much attention to Nordstrom's Anniversary Sale in the past, so I hadn't realized that the sale is for next season's styles. Apparently I've been living under a rock all these years (!!) I was excited to see a few pairs of boots on the list, but was enamored with only one, the Tory Burch Nadine riding boot in black, size 6.5 (sold here), which bears a striking resemblance to last year's H&M boots that I coveted but couldn't find.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Long and Short of It

On this beautiful morning, it was just me (and my camera and tripod) at this scenic spot. I was in a rush, so I didn't get a chance to stay long. Next time though, I'll be back with breakfast in hand (eating has a way of slowing down time for me) and truly enjoy my surroundings.

Have a great Monday!
sunglasses: Walmart aviator (similar)
 lips: Revlon ColorBurst in rosepearl 014 (sold here
necklace: gift from aunt (similar)
sash: J.Crew silk bouquet (similar)
dress: Old Navy drawstring-tube jersey maxi (may still be in stores; similar)
cuff: Madewell tree-twig (sold here)
flats: H&M (similar)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

C. Wonder

On a recent trip to the mall, SIL and I walked past a store with "Coming Soon" signs. I didn't pay much attention until she excitedly asked if I've heard of C. Wonder. I shook my head, but her excitement level was enough to warrant a second glance. Their coming soon billboard featured many items, ranging from clothing to accessories to home decor. What jumped out immediately were the bright colors and patterns (ie: ikat, monogram, stripes, anchors) that gave off a distinctive preppy vibe. Whoa, this is right up my alley were my first thoughts. I then took note of prices listed next to each item. Not bad and certainly in my range. I can see myself really liking this store.

(can also swap out the C for other letters)
(7) $10-14 Ikat Dinnerware

SIL proceeded to tell me that the store was founded by Tory Burch's ex, Christopher Burch. It's supposed to be a rival for her label, but at more affordable price points, similar to designer collaborations at Target. Apparently New Yorkers (herself included, until recently) have been going nuts since the first store opened last year.

Since the "Coming Soon" signs didn't give a time estimate, I went home and hopped on Google. I was stoked to see that the store in my area will be opening this fall. In the meantime, there is an online shop. After browsing their site, I would say C. Wonder has less of a boho feel compared to Tory Burch. The coolest thing for me is that Christopher and I share the same initial, so their logo-ed items work double duty. Unfortunately there are no free shipping and returns so I'll be waiting until my store opens to try on clothing and check out quality in person.

Have you shopped at C. Wonder before? How would you compare their sizing and quality to other stores'?

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Pastels

This weekend is for relaxing and running errands in my most comfortable ahem wrinkliest clothes ;) Have a good one!
necklace: gift from aunt (similar)
shirt: American Eagle favorite shirt (this season's sold here)
belt: J.Crew leather denim (sold here)
shorts: Old Navy perfect khaki (this season's sold here)
ring: Forever 21 textured horse shoe (similar)
bag: H&M (similar)
shoes: Via Spiga Missy (similar)

Photo thanks to DH

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Copycat II

For today's look, I took inspiration from two of my daily reads, Pink Peonies and Atlantic-Pacific. I thought about wearing my lace dress over the oxford shirt because the lace's thicker material will do a better job at hiding random shirt bulges. But I ended up going with this ruffled dress mainly because the shirt's sleeves can only be rolled up so high, so that worked better with the dress' short sleeves. My curiosity's been piqued, so you bet I'll be trying this look again with the lace dress.
sunglasses: Walmart aviator (similar)
shirt: Abercrombie & Fitch oxford (similar)
belt: Old Navy grosgrain (similar)
ring: River Island oversize bow (sold here)
flats: H&M (similar)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Pattern Play

This dress is an old item that I've come to love eve more over time, most notably for its length. As is, the hem falls below my knees. With a belt, anything from knee-length to mini is a possibility. For today's outfit, I kept the hem hovering around the knees for a demure look with the bow flats. Please do excuse the wrinkle sleeves and messy knot on the shirt. My goodness, photos certainly don't lie.

Happy Tuesday!
sunglasses: Walmart aviator (similar)
dress: Express (similar)
ring: River Island oversize bow (sold here)

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Americana

I've been watching Olympics coverage non-stop over the past week. And boy, do I have the bags under my eyes to show for it. So for today's outfit, here's a nod to Team USA. Red, white, and blue? Check. Stripes? Check. All I'm missing are some stars. Let's just pretend I've got that covered with the polka dotted necklace... from afar :)
sunglasses: Walmart aviator (similar)
lips: Maybelline Color Sensational Lipcolor in coral crush (sold here)
necklace: crewcuts Girls' pearl medley (sold here)
Madewell nautical knot (similar)
top: H&M tunic (similar)
belt: Express (this season's sold here)
shorts: American Eagle (this season's sold here)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

To the Maxi

I lied about this dress in my fitting room post. A few strategic pulls here and some folds there, and I'm able to secure the maxi to fall about an inch off the ground. No need to shell out money for alterations after all. Yay! That made my day.

This is the first long dress I own where I have to watch my steps. Apparently the narrower bottom doesn't accommodate my unbeknownst-to-me large strides. Now I know why I arrive at appointments early.

Have a great Thursday, everyone!
lips: Maybelline Color Sensational Lipcolor in coral crush (sold here)
flower pin: Old Navy (similar)
sweater: Old Navy button-back 3/4-sleeve pullover (similar)
Spotted Moth via Kendi's giveaway (similar)
bracelets: Madewell nautical knot (similar); Forever 21 chain link (similar)
belt: Ann Taylor exotic perfect skinny (this season's sold here)
dress: Old Navy drawstring-tube jersey maxi (may still be in stores; similar)
nails (on toes): Deborah Lippmann Naked (sold here)
shoes: Old Navy faux-leather capri sandals (sold here)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Copycat

After seeing this Modcloth top on Jean and Jess, I finally pulled the trigger... after inventory was restocked for the third time. I simply couldn't resist the pretty bows. Oh yeah, the blue grosgrain ribbons don't hurt either ;)

Have a great hump day! (And first week of August -- where has the time gone?!)
top: Modcloth Brandi's Something in the Era (sold here)
bracelet: Madewell nautical knot (similar)
belt: J.Crew piped glitter (similar)
pants: Ann Taylor Chelsea cropped (sold here)
bag: H&M (similar)
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