Monday, December 30, 2013

A Year in Review: 2013 Edition

As 2013 comes to an end, it's time for my yearly self-reflection.

On shopping:

- One recurring theme I noticed was "upgrading" several items in my closet due to various reasons, ie: finding a better alternative, wear and tear, etc. Items include a chambray shirt, white pants, green military jacket, long wool coat, white skirt, cowlneck sweater, and a fleece jacket. Another pattern I noticed is one I try to avoid, buying duplicates. I now own two cowlneck sweaters, two Saint James striped tees, and two Express Editor pants.

- On the usual shopping side, 2013 is the year of shoes. Oh boy. From high maintenance shoes with straps to wobbly 4" heels to shoes in a rainbow of colors, my shoe closet has seen an almost complete overhaul. When it came to heels, I almost exclusively bought pointed toe pumps. For flats, this is the year that I ventured away from ballet flats to loafers.
left -> right: Gap driving moccasins, Zara satin bow pumps, Sole Society Desirae blue suede pumps

- My best (aka practical) purchase this year is the ubiquitous Longchamp Le Pliage tote. The style is the perfect black bag replacement for my RM MAM. My favorite purchase this year is the By Malene Birger Callinga dress that I'm still head over heels for to this day. I just need to find (or make up?) more occasions to wear it. I've been pretty good about avoiding spontaneous purchases, so I can't think of anything I regret buying. However, I do wish I had given certain items more thought before getting them tailored, like the faux-leather dress that was only a bit baggy.

- Overall, I spent 6% of my gross salary on clothing/accessories/beauty this year. The number is on par with last year, but I have a feeling it'll be completely shot next year (more on that later).

On the blogging front:

- I'm still terrible at keeping my social media accounts up-to-date. I've gotten into the groove of updating Facebook whenever there's a new blog post. I'm pretty good at replying on Twitter, but generally don't have anything to share. Same goes for Instagram, but I place the blame more so on a lack of a smartphone. My New Year's resolution will be to do a better job at oversharing. The standard is set so low that it shouldn't be too hard, right?

- The funniest keyword search award goes to: turning my bf into a stud. To the person who ended up visiting my Valentino Rockstud shoes post instead, I'm sorry I couldn't help you (or your bf) out. I had a good chuckle though, so thank you for making my day!

- My top 5 favorite outfits of the year are: [from L -> R] one / two / three / four / five
Favorite outfits of 2013

- I don't feel like I jumped on the trend bandwagon very often this year. Harem pants, geometric prints, skorts, and metallic heels are some that come to mind that I didn't feel the urge to try. However, I'm did find myself playing catchup to faux leather pants, studded heels (1-2 years late?), and the Lanvin x H&M collab (3 years late!)

- I had the absolute pleasure of meeting up with several blogging friends I've made through this hobby of mine. It was only for a short weekend, but in one of my favorite cities (SF!) Great food, great company... what more could you ask for?

- Taking photos in RAW then editing in Adobe Lightroom has completely opened my eyes, but I fear, made me become even lazier as a photographer. Lightroom is amazing and I'm barely scratching the surface with what it can do (pretty much just color correct my photos). Now that I know things like washed out photos or dark lighting can be fixed in the post-editing process, I haven't been playing around with the camera's settings as much to get the ideal shot. Just a few quick snaps because I know photos can be tweaked in Lightroom later.

On the personal side of things:

- The company I work for recently changed its leave policy. So now instead of cashing out any extra hours above the cap (which I loved doing), anything over would mean I'm working for free. Technically I should experience a better work-life balance next year? The jury's still out because I really enjoyed those nice bonuses. This segues nicely to...

- Traveling. I enjoy traveling, but really am so lazy when it comes to planning. This past year I found myself going on short trips, most with a purpose, but I was able to enjoy downtime on the side. My company's new leave policy may just be the push I need to get off my lazy butt and go on an extended vacation next year. Japan is on the table as DH has never been (and probably so tired of how I go on and on about how wonderful it is). Also, I promised a friend I'd visit sometime during her two-year stay there. Oh yeah, my love for all things green tea helps too. I'm generally more of a city/sight-seeing type of traveler, but on my bucket list is to one day stay in a hut over the water on the beach. Any non-swimmers who can put my DH's mind at ease? Because he doesn't trust me to save him if he drowns in his sleep, lol. I actually did some initial research (gasp) and only saw this amenity offered at the French Polynesian islands (Caribbean would be much closer to us). The trip that is most likely going to become a reality is one to Europe. And it's all due to a conversation I had with my SIL about Chanel. Apparently there are other crazy girls we know who are interested in a trip across the ocean because Chanel bags are cheaper in Paris. Off the hook on planning + never been to Europe + potential new bag = killing three birds with one stone. Now I just have to seriously figure out if I want to replace my classic flap with a reissue.

Lastly...

Thank you for visiting and reading this little blog of mine. I've valued each and every one of your support, comments, and critiques. I've always told myself that I'll continue blogging as long as it remains a fun hobby, so I'm excited to see what 2014 brings. Stay safe and have a happy new year! Cheers!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Weekend Stripes

Sale alert: Take 40% off final sale at J.Crew through 1/7 with code SHOPHAPPY.

A few recent buys/old favorites included in the sale:
- Tissue turtleneck tee in heather stripe - $11.99 (wearing XS / outfits: here, here)
- Tissue turtleneck tee - $17.88 (wearing XS in yellow, XXS in red - prefer XS / outfits: here, here, here)
- Etta pumps - $107.99 - $179.99 (wearing sz 6.5 / review + outfit here)

Also, take 50% off everything at LOFT through 12/29 with code GOODCHEER.

Closet favorites include:
- Colorblocked collar blouse - $22.50 (TTS, wearing sz XXS / outfits: here, here)
- Knit denim leggings - $29.75 (TTS, wearing sz 24 / outfits: here, here, here)
- Modern skinny jeans - $34.75 - $44.75 (old review here / outfit: here)
- Modern straight jeans - $29.75 - $44.75 (believe it used to be called the modern slim / outfits: below, here, here)

Lastly, take up to 60% off on select styles at Sole Society through 12/30. All sales final.

- Desirae almond toe pump - $29.98 (I own in twilight blue suede; review here / outfits: here, here, here)

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Keeping the post short today with a casual outfit. Have a great weekend, everyone!
striped shirt, yellow belt, jeans, brown loafers
sunglasses: Walmart aviator (similar)
lips: Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in blushing mauve (sold here)
necklace: Forever 21 (similar)
shirt: J.Crew Factory printed classic button-down (sold here - $29.50)
tee: Uniqlo heattech crew neck t-shirt (sold here)
belt: J.Crew Factory patent buckle (sold here - $13.99; similar)
bag: Longchamp large Le Pliage (sold at Nordstrom / Bloomingdale's / NM)
shoes: Tory Burch Ludlow driver (similar; similar)

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Neutral Territory

I hope everyone had a nice Christmas yesterday! I'm back at work this morning because well, I didn't go out of town and it's not a holiday. I actually prefer working on days like this because things are slower with so many people out. Plus, the commute's a breeze. Sometimes I take for granted how lucky I am to live in the same area as my family. I can see them whenever, no headaches with holiday travels, figuring out when to visit who, etc. So the holidays really feel like any other day. Geez, I sound like Scrooge, but really, I'm not complaining.
infinity scarf, open cardigan, striped top, brown suede ankle boots
infinity scarf, open cardigan, striped top
sunglasses: Walmart aviator (similar)
lips: Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in blushing mauve (sold here)
scarf: Cuyana alpaca infinity (sold here) - thanks to ShopSense
sweater: Banana Republic piped open cardigan (similar)
jeans: LOFT knit denim leggings (sold here - $29.75 w/code GOODCHEER)
bag: Longchamp large Le Pliage (sold at Nordstrom / Bloomingdale's / NM)

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Tweed & Glitter

Subtly festive is the theme for today's outfit. I chose a basic black palette as the backdrop with a touch of sparkle and bright lip color. Can I take a moment to gush over these tweed and glitter pumps? I had to wipe the drool off my chin when I saw them online before quickly snatching them up during one of J.Crew's promo periods around Black Friday. Yes, they were still expensive at 30% off retail, which gave me a slight pause, but my lust-filled mind paid no heed. I'd place these shoes under my "museum pieces" category because they're more pretty to look at rather than practical. I'm a believer in that material things are still just things at the end of the day, so they will be used and loved. I know I'll have trouble styling the shoes with different outfits, but they were just too pretty to return. So, I'll probably end up wearing them with the same ol' boring black outfit every time.

For sizing reference, I typically take the larger of my two shoe sizes (6-6.5) because I find J.Crew shoes to run narrow (the one exception for my wider feet was the Everly suede pumps, which I probably need a sz 7 in). I went with the 6.5 in these Etta pumps and they fit much more comfortably in the toebox than the Everlys. I'd say they're TTS for narrow-to-normal feet, or go up half a size for wider feet. They've stretched a bit now so I'll have to put in heel pads soon.

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a very happy holidays!
J.Crew Collection Etta tweed and glitter pumps
black blazer, black tee, tassel necklace, tweed and glitter pumps
sunglasses: Walmart aviator (similar)
lips: Maybelline Color Sensational Lipcolor in coral crush (sold here)
necklace: H&M tassel (similar; similar)
blazer: H&M (similar; similar)
tee: Gap pure body v-neck T (sold here - 20% off w/code GAPCXMAS)
jeans: LOFT knit denim leggings (sold here - 40% off w/code GIFTS)
shoes: J.Crew Collection Etta tweed and glitter pumps (check for popbacks; similar)

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Inspired and Copied

Update #2 on the cowlneck sweater: My black version seemed to have shrunk and pilled after I got it back from the dry cleaners. However, the gray one (worn below) seemed to have remained unchanged -- fits the same as pre-dry cleaners with no noticeable pilling. I'm still scratching my head over this one. Was it not cleaned? Was the gray material somehow not susceptible to chemicals? Whatever it is, I'll take it!

PS - Today's outfit, right down to the first pose is inspired by an image found on one of my favorite Tubmlr sites, Prepfection.
gray cowlneck sweater, striped top, camo belt, ripped jeans
gray cowlneck sweater, striped top, ripped jeans
sunglasses: Walmart aviator (similar)
lips: Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in blushing mauve (sold here)
sweater: Gap cowlneck (sold here - 20% off w/code GAPNEW)
belt: crewcuts camo (similar - $14.50)
bracelet: Madewell friendship (similar)
jeans: Hollister boot destroyed (sold here)
bag: Longchamp large Le Pliage (sold at Nordstrom / Bloomingdale's / NM)

Friday, December 20, 2013

Blue-Black

Sale alert: Fall/winter sale at Zara has begun! I'm not sure why they pushed it back by a few weeks this year, as in the past it's always occurred on Black Friday. Prices will be further discounted with time, but styles/sizes will be limited.

My purchases from the past few months + an old favorite:
- Straight combination dress - $39.99 (I'm wearing sz S with sides slimmed just a tad / outfits: here, here, here)
- Checked blazer with elbow patches - $59.99 - check for popbacks (went up a size for shoulders - I'm wearing sz S / outfits: here, here, here)
- Silk satin high heel court shoe - $69.99 - check for popbacks (went up half size - I'm wearing sz 6.5 / outfits: here, here, here)
- Girl fur vest with belt - $29.99 (I'm wearing sz L from ~2 years ago / outfits: here, here, here)

Other picks: high heel high-cut leather boot ($139.99 - purchased, hope it works out!); suede leather court shoe with mid heel ($59.99 - love the electric blue color - wear my Sole Society pumps often); moccasin with decorative band ($19.99 - love my Gap moccasins)

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There's something about leather pants with a silky blouse that seems minimalist chic to me. I'll definitely be wearing this combination again over the weekend as the weather warms up even more. Have a great weekend, everyone!
white blouse, emerald necklace, faux leather pants
white blouse, emerald necklace, faux leather pants
sunglasses: Walmart aviator (similar)
lips: Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in blushing mauve (sold here)
necklace: Heirloom Finds (sold here)
top: LOFT colorblocked collar blouse (sold out online, check in-store inventory)
bracelet: Madewell knot cuff (similar; similar)
pants: Blank NYC faux leather skinny (sold at Nordstrom / Zappos / Revolve Clothing)
bag: Chanel M/L flap (buy pre-owned)
shoes: YSL Charlotte pumps in Millennium print (sold here; similar; similar)

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Stripes on Stripes

This may be the last cold weather-appropriate outfit for a little while. Temperatures are expected to be in 50-70 range for the next week!! Absolutely no complaints here.

Happy Thursday, everyone!
gray open cardigan, striped scarf, striped turtleneck
gray open cardigan, striped scarf, striped turtleneck
sunglasses: Walmart aviator (similar)
lips: Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in blushing mauve (sold here)
scarf: Forever 21 nautical striped (similar; similar; similar)
sweater: theory Ashtry F open cardigan (tag info; similar)
necklace: stone pendant via eBay (seller's shop for stone, chain)
turtleneck: J.Crew tissue turtleneck tee in heather stripe (sold here - $11.99 w/code GIFTNOW)
bag: Sole Society Shay textured vegan satchel (sold here)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Dress Obsess

I do make a conscious effort to pick from my list of 5 go-to photo-taking spots depending on the outfit. Ie: Work attire calls for something more... serious (for lack of a better word). From my list that would be a location with buildings in the background. So what was I thinking when I picked a snowy backdrop when I wasn't all bundled up?! Well, I was feeling a bit people shy, so I went to the one spot I figured nobody would be around after a "snowstorm" -- by the water where no one in their right mind should be out fishing. No worries, it was the quickest photoshoot ever because it was just a tad too cold that day.
tartan shirt, polka dot bow tie, faux leather dress
camel peacoat, polka dot bow tie, faux leather dress, red loafers
polka dot bow tie, tartan shirt, faux leather dress, red loafers
sunglasses: Walmart aviator (similar)
lips: Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in blushing mauve (sold here)
bow tie: American Eagle (similar; similar)
coat: American Eagle peacoat (similar; similar)
dress: Zara straight combination (sold here)
tights: American Eagle (similar)
shoes: Gap driving moccasins (similar; similar)

Monday, December 16, 2013

Winter Blues

A note on sizing for the H&M ankle boots I'm wearing today. I bought it online and went with my usual sz 6. I received a 37 in the mail when I was expecting a 36. I'm guessing sz 5.5 is the one that translates to a 36. It worked out for me because the 37 is perfect with socks. I don't think H&M carries half sizing, so 36 probably would have been a bit too tight. Long story short, I'd say the boots run half size small, or size up to wear with socks.
striped shirt, fur vest, brown suede booties
sunglasses: Walmart aviator (similar)
lips: Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in blushing mauve (sold here)
necklace: Forever 21 (similar)
fur vest: Zara Girl (this season's sold here)
shirt: J.Crew Factory printed classic button-down (sold here - $26.55 w/code 12DAYS)
bag: Longchamp large Le Pliage (sold at Nordstrom / Bloomingdale's / NM)
shoes: H&M suede boots (sold here; similar)

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Past vs. Present: Express Editor Pants (40% off)

My first office job occurred during my college years. At the time, I had nothing in my student wardrobe that would be appropriate for business casual work attire. I remember thinking I had two options, Express or Banana Republic. I felt Express was more budget-friendly and the clothes were less "stuffy" (remember I was still a teenager!), so off I went. I managed to stock up on a week's worth of trousers and button-up shirts. Then for the rest of the summer, I just mixed and matched tops with different bottoms. I didn't end up giving BR a try at all.

As I've progressed in my career in the years since, I find myself going back to Express whenever I need work pants, even though I'm no longer a poor college student. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, or in this case, if a style works, why go elsewhere. While I have many pants that no longer fit, there is one pair that I bought sometime between 2005-2008 (I believe) that is still my favorite work pants ever. They're the Express Editor pants in gray. So when I decided to replace my camel pants a few weeks ago, I turned to the Editor pants once again.
black cowlneck sweater, trousers
left outfit details here / right outfit details below

Express Editor luxury stretch pants
bought sometime between 2005-2008
style: flare
price: $69.50
color: light gray melange
size: 0 R
waist: 14.25"
inseam: 32"
63% polyester / 33% rayon / 4% spandex
Express studio stretch Editor pants
bought in 2013
style: barely boot
price: $69.90
color: safari camel
size: 00 R
waist: 14.5"
inseam: 32.5"
61% polyester / 34% rayon / 5% spandex

There's been some changes to the Editor pants since I bought my gray pair from a few years ago. Most noticeably vanity sizing. The current 00 fits pretty much the same as 0 from back then, albeit slightly bigger and longer. The fabric also feels thicker on the camel color (note neither pair is lined).

My favorite thing about these pants (aside from being super comfortable) is that they're machine washable. Not only that, my gray pants come out of the dryer wrinkle-free. Amazing.

From now until Sun. 12/15, take 40% off everything at Express. The camel Editor pants are marked down to $41.94. Browse all available Editor pants here.

On a different note, a few people have asked me how my Gap cowlneck sweaters have held up since I've been wearing mine an awful lot. Many reviewers on Gap's website say they've experienced a lot of pilling. Perhaps I subconsciously took note and was careful when I wore mine because I haven't noticed the same issue. That is, until now. After I took my sweaters to the dry cleaners, there are now noticeable pilling on both. Argh! I guess I was just putting off the inevitable. It seems worse on the black sweater for some reason. Also, comparing the before-the-dry-cleaners vs the after [pic above], it also looks like my sweater shrunk =/ So just a heads up if you're considering a purchase. I plan to use a sweater shaver (found at Old Navy's checkout line) to see if I can fix the problematic areas. I'll also be prolonging the cleaning times between wears.
black cowlneck sweater, tartan shirt, camel trousers
sunglasses: Walmart aviator (similar)
lips: Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in blushing mauve (sold here)
pants: Express studio stretch Editor (sold here)
bag: Longchamp large Le Pliage (sold at Nordstrom / Bloomingdale's / NM)
shoes: Ann Taylor covered platform bootie (similar; similar)

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Bags, Bags, Bags

Back in 2010, I posted about my then-collection of 7 bags. Fast forward three years to present day and my love for bags has not waned. During this time, I've sold some, donated others, bought more, and now am the happy owner of 11 bags in my possession. At around the #8 mark, I told myself to employ a one-in-and-one-out rule to keep my materialistic side in check. Umm... yeah, so much for that. My willpower was no match for my greediness.

I thought it'd be fun to do a bag collection update. I'll also take this opportunity to reflect on shopping lessons learned, regrets, and share any other thoughts in general. Here we go...
Bags (December 2013)

1) Longchamp Le Pliage Large Tote (c. 2013, paid $154 / buy at Bloomingdale's, Nordstrom, NM) - I don't know how I've lived without a large, dark-colored throw-around bag before this year. It easily tops my bag list and is the one I reach for the most often. I should've known an ubiquitous bag like the Le Pliage is popular for a reason! I could've waited for a F&F 20-25% sale, but was impatient and paid full price instead. No biggie. I've made up for the lost savings in the number of uses since.

2) Longchamp LM Metal Medium Tote (c. 2011, paid $108 / buy at Bloomingdale's, Nordstrom, Selfridges, Saks) - I'm normally not a fan of bags with signature logos plastered all over, but figured Longchamp's horse and rider isn't as well-known (not sure if my perception is accurate or delusional?) I used to reach for this white tote more often, but ever since the black Le Pliage was added into the rotation, this one has been mainly relegated to pairings with preppy-casual outfits. I can't definitively comment on my bag's condition without seeing it next to a brand new version. But from my observations, it looks like there's been minimal creasing on the canvas, the corners have held up well, the silver handles haven't lost luster, but the white color has most likely yellowed over time. This is after two years of abuse in all types of weather and travel conditions.

3) Jenny Yuen Cleo (c. 2008, paid $65) - This bag was bought during a phase where I snubbed all the "popular" brands in favor of up-and-comers or brands that flew under the radar instead. Ha! How times have changed (ahem Longchamp, Chanel). The clutch is actually quite roomy and fits all the essentials. I just don't use it as often because of the metallic pink color -- which I love but is just harder to pair with outfits.

4) Marc Jacobs Large Single (c. 2012, gift from aunt / buy at Nordstrom) - Before receiving this bag as a wedding gift from one of my aunts, I was actually considering the MJ small single (eventually bought the Chanel Camellia WOC instead). My aunt and SIL (whose help was enlisted to pick out the color) must've been reading my mind with this choice. I've still yet to figure out how they sensed that I'd prefer a bag over jewelry (which is what everyone else gave).

5) Chanel M/L Classic Flap (c. 2010, paid $2730 / buy pre-owned at Vestiaire) - Hindsight is 20/20 and I'm so glad I bought my flap when I did (1-2 weeks prior to prices increasing from $2600 to $3400). I regret not giving the reissue more consideration because the longer strap can double as a crossbody bag. At the time, I was worried that the all-metal chain on the reissue would pose a problem on hot summer days against bare skin. LOL at me. Most recently, I've briefly considered selling my classic flap to buy a Boy flap, which may suit my casual lifestyle better (and can be worn crossbody!), but I don't think I can bring myself to pay the price difference.

6) H&M Snakeskin Envelope Clutch (c. 2011, paid $19) - This bag is the least functional due to its flat shape and envelope style. I really can only fit my keys and a few credit cards (forget about my phone, iPod) before the clasp wouldn't snap shut. Sometimes an outfit just calls for a smaller brown bag, so that's when I'd use this clutch. It actually doubles as a crossbody, so that's another plus. I think eventually I'd want to replace this with a similar sized brown bag that has more depth.

7) Chanel Camellia WOC (c. 2012, paid $1785 / buy pre-owned at Vestiaire) - I seriously thought my black flap would be my one and only Chanel. Riiiiight, who're you trying to fool? I've expressed the exact thoughts when others tell me they'll stop once they own just one Chanel. Now I'm the recipient of my own snarky thoughts, so laugh away! This bag fills my bright and feminine bag void due to the color and camellia embossing. The only regret is with the Chanel brand and their yearly price increases. If only I had bought it earlier when prices were lower. Should've, could've, would've...

8) Sole Society Shay Textured Vegan Satchel (c. 2013, paid $47 / buy here) - My newest addition to the bag family (literally a few days old), so I don't have many comments thus far. I bought it to replace my H&M bag because this one is more structured and less pink in color. It also comes with an adjustable shoulder/crossbody strap (not shown in photo above).

9) agnes b Nylon Tote (c. 2005, gift from cousin) - I've admitted to myself that the only reason I still have this bag is due to sentimental reasons. The fact that it was my first "adult" bag and a gift makes it twice as hard to let go. In all honesty, this bag is sorta redundant now that I own the black Le Pliage, which is roomier and the longer handles make it easier to throw over (and stay on) the shoulder.

10) Ann Taylor Tweed Clutch (c. 2013, paid $68 / buy here) - The second-most recent acquisition, so I don't have a whole lot of thoughts on this clutch yet either. Bigger than typical minaudieres I've seen, I love how the size fits all the essentials, plus shows off the pretty (and semi-sparkly) tweed pattern. So far, I've only used the clutch with casual outfits, but can see this tweed pattern pairing well with dressy outfits as well.

11) Balenciaga City (c. 2009, paid $1152 / buy at NM, Barneys) - This bag was my first foray into the designer bag realm. You know that saying, once you go designer, you can't go back? Well, I was afraid that would happen to me, but thank goodness, it hasn't (knock on wood). Of all my bags, if there is one that needs to be babied, this would be it. The lambskin leather plus light color have potential disaster written all over it if not treated with care. I don't handle this bag like fragile china, but nor do I toss it around like my nylon bags. After three years of use, the corners and handles are showing wear and tear as well as denim color transfer. I personally think that fits with the bag's casual moto style and adds "character" rather than detracts.

Looking over my entire collection as a whole, it's easy to see what types of bags work for me, and the ones that don't. Satchels with only top handles are not my friend. I need the option of a long shoulder strap. I value versatility -- the more ways to wear a bag, the better. I gravitate towards bigger bags in neutral colors, and save the fun colors/patterns for smaller bags.

In the back of my mind, I've always known the ballpark figure of what I've spent on this bag "hobby" of mine. I've just never actually totaled up the cost... until now. $6,128. Yikes! Well, I'll just hope my "shoe collection" never gets to this point ;)

Whew, that was long-winded. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Faux Sure

I've been on a (faux) leather kick lately. First came the dress, and now I find myself the owner of leather pants -- though the pants were not the no-brainer buy like most of my purchases. The main reason being I wouldn't be able to transition them between work and weekend, like I do with the bulk of my wardrobe.

As casual as my work environment is, with no clearly stated dress code, I just feel leather pants fall under the big fat NO category (same as shorts). Leather jackets are ok in my mind, partial leather items (like my dress) are also ok, but tight leather pants? It's probably better to be safe than sorry. I went back and forth on this purchase, but ultimately decided to keep the pants because it's a trend I wanted to try at a discounted enough price (used reward points).

I wore the pants for the first time over the weekend to hang out with my girlfriends. Before I left, DH remarked that he's not a fan because the leather pants looked "so shiny and futuristic... alien-like." Way to make me second-guess my decision before going out in public! Turns out, my friends all liked the pants. I swear, if they weren't all in relationships already, those innocent touches against my thighs could've been misconstrued as something else, lol. One friend loved the pants so much that she wanted to try them on, but sadly, we weren't able to find them at neither Nordstrom nor Bloomingdale's**. I guess the brand isn't popular enough to be sold in stores, only online.

I couldn't resist asking my friends for their opinions on the work appropriateness of leather pants. I figured since I was actually waffling a bit, my stance fell somewhere in the middle. Not surprisingly, two friends who work in a more conservative environment answered with a resounding "No. Weekend-wear only." That left one friend who works in the same type of environment I do. She also didn't hesitate, but said instead, "Sure, why not?" We started throwing out examples of what is "allowable" without crossing the line. We agreed on flip flops and short(er) skirts, but leather pants was just something I felt was too much but she deemed ok.

So, leather pants -- would you wear them to work?

**I have a few extra one-time use codes for Bloomingdale's, valid through 12/11. Please leave a comment if you use any:
20% - X50E174XEMMD
10% - X80YK74DCSYG, X205O74ASSOO, X80CF74ABSMW
gray cowlneck sweater, striped turtleneck, faux leather pants
gray cowlneck sweater, striped turtleneck, faux leather pants
sunglasses: Walmart aviator (similar)
lips: Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in blushing mauve (sold here)
sweater: Gap cowlneck (sold here - 35% off w/code OFFER4U)
turtleneck: J.Crew tissue turtleneck tee in heather stripe (sold here - $19.99)
pants: Blank NYC faux leather skinny (sold at Nordstrom / Zappos / Revolve Clothing)
bag: Balenciaga city (sold at NM / Barneys)
shoes: Mossimo ballet flats (similar; similar)

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Doubled

I wore this outfit a few days ago, right before the cold front passed through. I woke up this morning to snow on the ground and flurries in the air. Sigh. It's the first snow of the season and I can barely muster up the excitement. Whatever happened to those days where I'm giddy at the prospect of snow?! Oh yeah, the excitement was aimed at school cancellations more so than actual snow. Oh to be young again.
military jacket, chambray + plaid shirts, red loafers
military jacket, chambray + plaid shirts
jacket: Old Navy military-style (sold here - 25%+ off w/code HOLIDAY)
necklace: Forever 21 (similar)
shirts: Gap fitted boyfriend flannel ruffle shirt (similar);
Gap chambray tailored shirt (similar)
jeans: LOFT denim leggings (similar - 40% off)
bag: Chanel camellia WOC (buy pre-owned)
shoes: Gap driving moccasins (similar; similar)

Friday, December 6, 2013

Close Knit

Sale alert: Take 40% off everything at LOFT (no code needed) through 12/8.

Closet favorites include:
- Knit denim leggings - $35.70 (limited sizes left online; check in-store inventory / outfits: below, here, here)
- Modern skinny jeans - $32.99 - $53.70 (old review here / outfit: here)
- Modern straight jeans - $35.70 - $53.70 (believe it used to be called the modern slim / outfits: here, here, here)

Also, take 40% off party-ready styles at Sole Society (prices as marked) through 12/8. All sales final.

- Desirae almond toe pump - $35.97 (I own in twilight blue suede; review here / outfits here)
- Anneke mid heel pump - $35.97 (I do not own, but is a great lookalike for Valentino Rockstud pumps)

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I could've been one with nature in today's outfit. Fur? Check. Animal print? Check! I don't feel like the combination is too much, given the neutral color palette and keeping prints to a minimum.

Have a great weekend, everyone!
fur vest, camel open cardigan, black turtleneck
fur vest, camel open cardigan, black riding boots
sunglasses: Walmart aviator (similar)
lips: Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in blushing mauve (sold here)
fur vest: Zara Girl (this season's sold here)
sweater: Banana Republic piped open cardigan (similar - 40% off)
turtleneck: H&M (similar)
belt: Banana Republic animal print haircalf (sold here - 40% off w/code BRTWICE)
jeans: LOFT knit denim leggings (sold here - 40% off)
bag: Longchamp large Le Pliage (sold at Nordstrom / Bloomingdale's / NM)

Thursday, December 5, 2013

How Suede It Is

An easy way to break up a monochromatic outfit is by mixing and matching various textures. A (faux) leather dress, cotton turtleneck, and suede booties make up the bulk of today's outfit. I finished the look by accessorizing with beige/gold accessories. I'll go ahead bump the total texture count up to four by also adding in the tweed clutch.
faux leather dress, tassel necklace, trench coat, black suede booties
Ann Taylor tweed clutch
faux leather dress, black turtleneck, tassel necklace
sunglasses: Walmart aviator (similar)
lips: Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in blushing mauve (sold here)
necklace: H&M tassel (similar; similar)
dress: Zara straight combination (sold here)
rings: H&M (similar)
tights: American Eagle (similar)
clutch: Ann Taylor tweed (sold here)

*Post title stolen from a ShoeMint email ad

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Of A Different Stripe

My wallet took a beating during the month of November. The items that I had on my wishlist (and eventually bought) mostly fell on the higher-end of what I typically spend per item. So when totaled, the amount sure added up quick. We'll see how much I end up keeping once the packages arrive. In the meantime, an outfit today featuring a mixture of a couple new(er) and some older items across varying price points.

Have a good one!
navy blazer, striped shirt, coral cardigan, white jeans
navy blazer, striped shirt, coral cardigan, white jeans
sunglasses: Walmart aviator (similar)
lips: Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in blushing mauve (sold here)
necklace: gift from aunt (similar)
blazer: theory Bindi Tailored (similar)
cardigan: Old Navy open-front hoodie (similar)
shirt: J.Crew Factory printed classic button-down (sold here - 30% off w/code SALE30)
jeans: Blank NYC spray-on (sold at Piperlime / Shopbop / NM)
bag: Longchamp large Le Pliage (sold at Nordstrom / Bloomingdale's / NM)
shoes: Tory Burch Ludlow driver (similar; similar)

Monday, December 2, 2013

'Tis the Season

Happy Cyber Monday! If you missed out on Black Friday prices, the discounts offered today are pretty much the same... but the best part is that many stores are offering free shipping at no/low minimums. Check out the right side bar for the roundup.

I wore this outfit prior to the holidays for a Chiligiving lunch at work. I'm not much of a cook, so I prefer to pay $5 over bringing in a dish of my own. I definitely got the better end of the deal, but others weren't far behind because they weren't subjected to my mediocre cooking. I sampled over 10 different types of chili, where most were at least medium-level spiciness. I'd like to think my tolerance level for spicy foods went up just a bit after that meal.
gray cowlneck sweater, plaid shirt
gray cowlneck sweater, plaid shirt, red loafers
sunglasses: Walmart aviator (similar)
lips: Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in wink for pink (sold here)
sweater: Gap cowlneck (sold here - $35.97 w/code CYBER)
bracelets: Forever 21 edgy curb chain (sold here); Madewell friendship (sold here)
shoes: Gap driving moccasins (similar; similar)
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