Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Blah to Blog-Worthy

Sometimes an outfit needs a make-under not a makeover. I really wore the first outfit to work today, but felt kind of blah.  I always want to make my outfits a mix of classic and quirky, but this crosses the line into just plain wacky.


Outfit 1 - Blah

The skirt is a little too short for the outfit.  I originally had heels on this morning, but that was way too "sexy secretary".  I switched to the brogues thinking it would tone down the outfit, but it just ends up looking dumpy and out of proportion.  And I'm not sure the world is ready for plaid mixed with polka dots.

2012-02-29 B

Outfit 2 - Blog-Worthy

I switched the skirt out for my trouser jeans.  A yellow polka dot tie-neck skirt is bold enough to stand on its own.  The wide leg of the jean balances out the fitted proportion on top.  Simple and classy.

Blazer - Ann Taylor, Thrifted
Blouse - Vintage, Thrifted
Jeans - Gap
Boots - Antonio Melani, Thrifted

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Casual or Cute

One thing I did not take into account with my 5 Piece French Wardrobe was supporting local businesses.  I added it to my Fast Five Challenge late in the game, but it's there none the less.  I've made a commitment to support local businesses first, before I resort to chains or mass market retailers.

I did my part yesterday and bought a new top at Savoir-Faire, a cute shop close to my work.  Below you'll see two outfits, one casual and one cute.

2012-02-28 B


Cardigan - Banana Republic
Top - October Sky, Savoir-Faire
Skinnies - BDG, Urban Outfitters
Flats - Naturalizers
Necklace - Vintage

2012-02-28 A


Cardigan - Banana Republic
Top - October Sky, Savoir-Faire
Skirt - Thrifted
Pearls - Vintage
Belt - Thrifted
Heels - Gianni Bini, Dillard's

Monday, February 27, 2012


Inspiration for today's outfit came from my newest blog crush, Hilary of Dean Street Society.  Not only does she wear the cutest outfits, she also post helpful "how to" videos.  I watched them all back to back last night.  When getting dressed this morning I thought of her video "How to be Remarkable Before Breakfast".  Hilary encourages us all to dress remarkably, in a manner worth remarking upon.  With these thoughts in mind (and perhaps a little inspiration from Hilary's own outfit), I pulled this outfit together.  Low and behold, her advice worked!  I attempted to dress remarkably  and first thing this morning a girl at the bank remarked on my outfit. Head over to Hilary's site for good advice in abundance.


Blazer - Banana Republic
Button-Up - Old Navy, Thrifted
Skirt - Vintage, Thrifted
Shoes - Gianni Bini, Dillard's
Necklace -  Simply Vera, Kohl's
Belt - Dockers, Thrifted

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Thrift Finds of the Week


Did a little Goodwilling today. Found the above items. One that is still wintery and four that are looking forward to Spring.

l to r
Floral Blouse - Jones Wear, $3.50
Yellow Polka Dot Blouse and Skirt Set - Vintage, $7.00
Wool Plaid Skirt - Vintage, $2.00
Gingham Shirt - Old Navy, $3.50
Floral Blouse - Vintage, $3.50 

Total: $19.50

Friday, February 24, 2012

Thrift Spoiled

After a year of restricted shopping, I've loosened the reins a bit. Despite more shopping freedom, I haven't done much buying. Y'all, I think I'm thrift spoiled. A year of mostly thrift shopping has me spoiled to thrift prices. I have done some browsing at various stores, but I find it hard to pull the trigger due to price versus quality. It's hard to justify spending $50 on a new polyester shirt of dubious quality when I know there is thrifted silk to be had for $4.

Does anyone else have this problem? I can still see the benefit in buying quality items. I love my black blazer from Banana Republic and anticipate wearing it for years to come. It was quite expensive when I bought it, especially compared to thrift prices, but I wear it frequently, it's high quality, and it makes me feel put together.

It's the middle ground where I have a problem. I feel like I get so much more value at a thrift store. Take this weeks finds. A wool pencil skirt, three leather belts, and a pair of vintage leather shoes (skirt, shoes, and one belt below). I purchased all five for $8.50. There is no way I could get new items of this quality for anywhere near that price. I might be able to get one of these items in a lesser material (polyester, vinyl, etc.) for $8.50 but even that is a stretch.

But a wool skirt for $2.50, a leather belt for $1.50, or leather shoes for $2.00?  Not going to happen new, only thrifted.  So what about you?  Are you thrift spoiled?


Cardigan - Banana Republic
Blouse - Gap
Skirt - Rafaella, Thrifted
Bracelet - Mom'd
Belt - Dockers, Thrifted
Shoes - Vintage, Thrifted

Monday, February 20, 2012

Thrift Store Personality

One thing to keep in mind when thrifting is that each store has its own personality.  With a little research, you can determine what that personality is and use it to your advantage when shopping. 

1.  Know the area.
To know the personality of a thrift store, you need to know the area in which it's located, i.e. where the donations most likely come from.  I live in an area with four cities that basically run together, but each city has its own unique feel.  I live in the "college" town, so the thrift stores and resale shops have more trendy items and mall brands.  The two cities farthest north have a larger concentration of wealthy people, so you are more likely to find a $660 Theory suit for $20 at that Goodwill (which I did by the way).  This doesn't just apply to cities but also to different neighborhoods within one city, which brings me to point two...

2.  Know the donors. 
This may take a bit more research, but you can determine who generally donates to each store.  This is based on a variety of factors such as where the store is located and what it benefits.  In our city we have stores that benefit the hospital, a women's shelter, a program for at-risk children, two national organizations, plus several for-profit resale shops.

Take The Attic for example.  It benefits the local hospital.  It is run by the little old ladies in the hospital auxiliary. I have a feeling that most of the donors are other little old ladies in the auxiliary.  At this particular store, I am more likely to vintage, such as the dress below, as well as this blazer.    

3.  Know the merchandize.
You can make all the assumption you want about a store based on its location or beneficiary, but you really won't get a true picture of a store's personality without digging in.  It's going to take more than one trip, but after a few visits an observant shopper should have an idea of what they will most likely find.  I know which store has the most vintage (see above), which store has the most high-end brands, and which has the widest variety.

Knowing the personality of my local thrift stores helps me know what to expect when I go in.  It also focuses my shopping, since I know what types of items have a higher probability of being on the racks.  It can also help when I'm looking for a specific item.  Lately I've been searching for a vintage red wool pencil skirt.  For a day of shopping, I would focus my search to stores with more vintage (such as The Attic) and stores with a wide variety (such as Goodwill).  If I'm looking for a more trendy item, such as red skinny jeans, I look at the big stores with variety as well as the resale shops where the college kids sale their items.

Do you find that thrift stores in your area have a certain personality?  Does it affect the way you shop?  What is your experience with thrift store personality?


Blazer - Ann Taylor, Thrifted
Dress - Vintage, Thrifted
Belt - Vintage, Goodwill
Heels - Gianni Bini, Dillard's

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Hana Flat Iron Review

Chances are I will never be a famous blogger.  I think it all hinges on the fact that I don't have blogger hair (or a DSLR).  I may eventually be able to afford a new camera, but no about of money will get me blogger hair.  You know what I'm talking about.  Long, full luscious hair with soft waves.  For one, my hair is baby fine and mostly straight.  Secondly, I love my sleep and refuse to wake up an hour earlier just to primp.

I do have a new secret weapon that will tide me over until stick straight hair is back in fashion.  The lovely people at Misikko sent me a new Hana Titanium Flat Iron.  I guess they got wind of all the bad hair days I've been having recently and decided to help a girl out.

2012-02-20 Hana Before

Before - Air dried hair.  It is a little wavy, but the waves don't hold.  (Also no make up.  It wouldn't be a proper before and after, if I didn't make it extra dramatic).

2012-02-20 Hana After

After - You are witnessing the results of maybe five minutes work with my new flat iron. I was very pleased with its performance. It heated up quickly and alerted you to this fact with a blinking red light.  The flat iron I received had a nice wide plate which made quick work of my hair.  

I was really impressed with the quality of the iron.  It was heavy duty, but not so heavy that it was hard to handle.  My hair ended up straight, shiny, and ready for a date night with my husband.   Maybe next time I'll attempt to use my iron to make blogger waves.  I've seen several tutorials online....

If you are thinking of buying a new flat iron, I highly recommend Hana for their professional quality irons. While on the Misikko site, be sure to check out their extensive collection of hair dryers as well.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

From Blah to Blog-Worthy

For me a bad outfit day is just like a bad hair day.  I can get down right cranky.  Whether I'm in a hurry or the weather is dismal, from time to time I leave the house in something that makes me feel less than stellar.  Last week, I got to thinking.  Could some of these outfits be salvaged?  Maybe they only needed a little tweak, one switched item to make it work.  So here goes my experiment to take an outfit from blah to blog-worthy with just one swap.


Outfit 1 - Blah

So what's the problem with this outfit?  I'm wearing four pieces that are on the masculine side, the grandpa cardigan, the button-up shirt, the skinny pants, the brogues.  They also have a fitted silhouette which on my boyish figure, doesn't do me any favors. Lastly, the sweater has a bit of shade variation, but not enough interest to salvage this outfit.


Outfit 2 - Blog-Worthy

The simple fix?  I swapped out a skirt for the skinny pants.  The skirt adds a touch of feminine (it is a skirt after all) as well as a touch of interest with its pattern.  The shorter length and the slightly fuller shape balance out the snugness of the top.

So what do you think?  Does this one switch make a difference? Do you try to salvage blah outfits or just try to forget them?

Sweater - Mossimo, Target
Blouse - Jason Wu for Target
Skirt - Ann Taylor, Resale Shop
Brogues - Aldo

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

EBEW: Pink & Red

You tell me to wear red and pink together, I do you one better.  I wear red and three shades of pink.  This outfits really shouldn't work but it does.  Kind of.  I think....

Did I wear this to work at an architecture firm staffed with with only two guys and myself?  No.

Did I wear this in my backyard to take photos?  Yes.

Well, I'm nothing if not truthful.  Some things are just hard to pull off in an male-dominated environment.  And pink and red, together, is one of them.   I tend to shy away from clothes that are overtly feminine or too youthful for work, but I'll break those items out for you, my lovely blog readers.  What types of clothes do you avoid wearing to work?


Jacket - Banana Republic
Blouse - Ann Taylor, Thrifted
Skirt - Theory, T.J. Maxx
Brooch - Anthropologie
Shoes - Gianni Bini, Dillard's

Pink + Red | Everybody, Everywear

Monday, February 13, 2012

Four Eyes are Better than Two

There really is something to the stereotype about architects wearing funky glasses. We would joke in school that if you were shopping for glasses and showed them your AIA (American Institute of Architects) Card, the would pull out a special case where the funky classes were kept. Now 'nerdy' vintage inspired frames have gone mainstream.  I used to be to spot an architect based solely on eye wear, but with so many cool glasses now on the market, it's getting harder and harder to tell.


When the lovely people at offered to let me try out a pair of their glasses, I pleased to find they had an entire section devoted to vintage inspired frames (what can I say, old habits die hard).  I quickly found a pair I liked and order them.

I must admit, I was a little leery of buying prescription glasses online.  Even though I emailed the company my exact prescription from my optometrist, there is just something a little unsettling about buying glasses that you haven't tried on in person.  When these arrived in the mail, I put them on and was pleasantly surprised by how clear they were.

If you are in the market to buy glasses, I suggest checking out  The process was really simple, they have a great selection of glasses at affordable prices, and they shipped really quickly to boot. 

If you do decide to order your own pair of eyeglasses, you can take 20% off your entire order of $80 or more and get free shipping with the code: FS20.


Glasses - iSee 026,
Blouse - J.Crew, Gifted
Jeans - Bullhead Black, Plato's Closet
Boots - Gianni Bini, Dillard's
Necklace - Resale Shop
Bracelet - Vintage, Mom'd

Sunday, February 12, 2012


The last piece of the wedding puzzle...the honeymoon. Fair warning: when people in architecture go on vacation they have a tendency to take photos of buildings and not people.  All photos taken at the Atlantis Resort, Paradise Island, Bahamas.

Honeymoon 1

See the rest of photos after the jump.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Five More Favs

5 More 1
Grandma embroidering my slip.

Monday, February 6, 2012


Wedding 1 copy
We did a "first look" before the ceremony.  I love David's face in the second photo.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Fast Five - The Rules

Everyone seems to approve of the Fast Five as my new fashion diet, so I thought that I would lay out some ground rules for myself.

1.  All shopping must fit within my $25 per week budget.
2.  Additional money can be earned through resale shops, free-lancing, etc.
3.  No limits on thrifting or secondhand shopping (other than budgetary).
4.  Limited updating of basics with a focus on quality.
5.  Limited statement pieces (as budget allows).
6.  Shop locally first.  Purchase from national retailers only if not available locally.  
7.  Only five pieces of fast fashion per fashion season (Spring and Fall).
The hazy part of this challenge is the definition of terms. 

What is “fast fashion”? Is it anything from certain stores?  Anything under $50?  Anything under $25?  Anything off a clearance rack?  Anything that is “trendy”?  Perhaps this question is more personal.  Perhaps fast fashion is anything you buy that ends up having very little longevity in your closet. I think this really gets down to where you have a problem.  I tend to over buy at Old Navy and Target, but I'm not tempted by J.C. Penney.  I just never shop there.  Maybe fast fashion is from which ever stores are your "problem stores". 

What is a "basic"?  One girl's white tee shirt, may be another girl's red skinny jeans.  I think for this one I will stick to the classic definition, "simple pieces in neutral colors".   And yes, I consider "stripe" a neutral.

What is a "statement piece"?  For me, statement pieces are somewhere between fast fashion and basics.  These will be quality pieces that add interest to my wardrobe.  A top in a beautiful color or print, a killer pair of boots, items that I truly love and see having in my wardrobe for years.  

I’ll be doing weekly or biweekly posts on “Where did the Money Go?”  It will be like my “Thrift Finds”, but chronicling all my purchases. 

Starting Point:

Fun Money:  $46
Cash from Resale: $85
Visa Gift Card: $7.41
J.Crew Gift Card: $30.91

Total:  $169.32

Fast Five starts Monday.  After Jason Wu for Target.  Haha. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Fast Five

I’m not wearing camel or my usual boots!  Yay, me! for stepping outside my sartorial comfort zone.  If yesterday was True Confessions Part 1, today is Part 2.  I went shopping.  At Old Navy.  A place definitely know for their fast fashion, but, man, are they on trend this season.  I just had to have this bird shirt after I used it in my Colored Jeans post and saw Daena wearing the cream version.

Maybe instead of a 5 Piece French Wardrobe, there should be a Fast 5 Wardrobe, where you buy only 5 pieces of fast fashion a season, instead of 5 nice pieces each season.  I’ve never had much trouble with nicer items, my budget usually helps regulate that. It’s the $5.00 pieces at Old Navy and Target that are a temptation and the most likely to clog up my closet, because I have a tendency to buy them in bulk.  What do you think about a fashion challenge that limits the “shallow” items you get and not the nice things?  A Fast 5 instead of a 5PFW?


Blazer - Vintage, Thrifted
Blouse - Old Navy
Jeans - Gap
Boots - Gianni Bini, Dillard's
Necklace - Vintage


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