5 Outfits I Wish I Was Wearing This Summer

June 23, 2012 § Leave a comment

There are not a lot of ways to dress a bump.

Gap is nice, but unless it’s a sale, pricey! I walked into Motherhood Maternity Peapod or whatever it’s called, saw a shirt that said “I LOVE MY BUMP!”, burst out laughing, and walked out.

I have taken to buying the most boring maternity basics — namely, black leggings and long, simple gray or white tanks — and layering a super-discounted top, size medium and soon, size large, on top. Blazers, cardigans, vests, scarves, necklaces, bracelets. (Earrings aren’t an option, because my once-pierced ears grew shut during the first trimester, and I’m too lazy, and too much of a sissy, to get them redone. Yes, I realize that I soon will experience pain above and beyond ear piercing.) This strategy is working, for now, and I think will work a little while longer.

However, it is BORING.

If I could wear whatever I wanted, these would have been my summer 2012 wardrobe staples.

Shorts.

J. Crew Nautical Stripe Short

If there’s one thing I love, it’s color, second only to patterns. Neon and brights are everywhere right now in shorts and jeans, and it’s KILLING me that I can’t participate. Orange! So many shades of orange; I have nothing but envy. These shorts are the perfect, perfect mix of a pop of color and a pattern; put them with a denim workshirt, and I love everything about this. I would have worn this outfit the entirety of Memorial Day weekend, and every casual Saturday outing thereafter, cursing whenever I’d get in the car and sit on the hot, prickly leather seats.

Pencil Skirts

J. Crew No. 2 Pencil Skirt

Pencil skirts feel like an old friend I haven’t seen in a long time, who also keeps blowing me off whenever we schedule an after-work get-together for cocktails. There’s a lovely black cotton one hanging unworn in my closet, and an even lovelier linen one with a brown and neon leopard print next to it. If they were an option this summer, I think I would have treated myself to this one, a deep rich burgundy. And with that light peach blouse? I swear don’t normally steal looks right out of the J. Crew catalog (OK fine I do), but this one is so pretty and so worth it.

One-Shouldered Cocktail Dress

Shoshanna One Shoulder Dress

It pains me that I don’t own a Shoshanna dress, because they are all so finely detailed and cut so flatteringly. It pains me even more that this one is deeply discounted right now, and only available in my size. The color here is perfect, the length is just right, the detail at the shoulder means I’d have to skip hair-drying and go with an updo. All that, AND pockets! I’d pair this with my trusty black-and-white envelope clutch, and demand to be taken out for drinks somewhere outside and/or swanky, either Eventide or The Source, where I would predictably have one glass of white too many, spill, ruin, and be sad.

Half & Half Maxi

Anthropologie Half Day Maxi

Fact: If you are pregnant and you try to put your bump into a non-pregnancy maxi dress, you look ridiculous. I have scientific proof of this failure from last summer hanging in my closet. It’s hard to tell from this photo, but this dress from Anthropologie is half a lovely orange (do you see a color pattern here?) and half cream. For a month, it was on a model in the window of a store I walk by every single morning on my way to work, and every single morning I pined for it the way the model in this photo probably pines for bigger boobs. I never went in and tried it on, because I knew any love affair we had would be overpriced and fleeting, and I never would have been exactly sure where to wear this or what shoe to pair with it. (Side note: The sandals they’ve styled this dress with are atrocious.)

The Shoe I’m Old Enough to Know Better Than to Buy

DV Dolce Vita Wedges

There’s nothing better than a wedge in the summer. I’ve sworn off most heels but I wedge I can still get behind, particularly in the summer. I have a complete love/hate relationship with this pair, which as a viewer of romantic comedies I know means we will end up together for a brief, torrid, lustful affair before I leave them for something more stable and sensible. I love and I hate the cork; I am historically a big cork hater but in this case, pair it with the ridiculous hiking boot treads, and two wrongs make a right. The black and brown simplify everything, fooling me into thinking I can wear them with so many things, and of course I’ll come to realize that NO I CAN’T and they’ll go back in the box, back to the back of the closet, to be forgotten while I slap around in flip flops. I’m a firm believer that you have to make this mistake at least once a year, but maybe not shopping, and rotating between the same three inexpensive outfits, isn’t all bad, after all, especially not for my wallet.

More of this to come, in the fall.

Gilt Warehouse Sale Review: Washington, D.C.

February 12, 2012 § 1 Comment

Gilt and I have an on-again, off-again relationship.

Lately our status has largely been “off” given some looming financial changes on my horizon (more on that much later). However, when I saw the words “Warehouse Sale” come through my inbox, I immediately clicked on through and purchased two tickets to the Washington, D.C. event, which took place on Saturday, February 11. Five bucks a pop seemed totally worth it for hubby and I to flit through racks and racks of discounted designer goodies.

The day was divided into three sessions: 12 p.m., 2 p.m., and 4 p.m. I was a little slow on the uptake so we were in the 4 p.m. group. We got into line around 3:45 p.m., and were maybe 15 people back — eventually the line stretched up the block and around the corner. Once inside, we were among the more prepared shoppers. The voucher warns that you’ll be forced to check your coat and bags and carry just a small wallet; some deal shoppers seemed to not be aware of the fine print and had obvious anxiety about parting with their mirror monogram Michael Kors bags. I intentionally wore leggings and a slim t-shirt under a track jacket (pockets!) thinking that I could avoid dressing room lines and try on anything right there on the floor. (I’m in the market for flowy dresses for spring and our annual pilgrammage to Miami; budget, $100.)

Inside the art gallery-turned-warehouse was exactly what you might expect — a DJ was spinning Gwen Stefani and Pitbull, waiters offered a signature cocktail, Smart Water was available by the bottle, and the clothes were organized by size — racks of extra-small, small, medium and large for both women and men, with a table full of handbags, a table full of really random odds and ends (a Marc Jacobs bandeau bikini top, size small, $30, alongside a Paul Smith tie, $29, horrific rabbit fur accessories) and homegoods (giant tambourines? a broken lamp? a salad spinner?), and a long, long table filled with shoes in boxes piled two or three high.

Since we were near the front of the line, we had a few minutes of relative quiet to browse — I started by doing a quick survey of the whole space to get my bearings, then focused on handbags. I saw a gorgeous oversize black Valentino bag, all leather and sequins, but didn’t bother picking it up — even at Gilt warehouse prices, Valentino wasn’t going to be in my budget. Nothing else caught my eye — lots of brands I didn’t recognize, likely the lower-tier brands that seem to fill out Gilt on “slow” days.

Gilt Warehouse Sale Review Washington, D.C.

People with more patience than I do sort through the table of random sheets, belts, panties, etc.

Next I moved onto the clothing racks. This got a bit awkward as typically another woman would be on the other side of the rack, looking at the exact same thing I was. A few things caught my eye — a fluttery Marc Jacobs cocktail dress, a pair of Acne white jeans, a short-sleeved purple Splendid sweatshirt (oh so Bill Belichick). The best, most beautiful thing I got my paws on was a Temperley London floral dress — a gorgeous bustier number perfect for the Shore Club, but a size 2 (and still $249). By this point the clothing racks were starting to get jammed up with cocktail sippers, so I moved on to shoes, where I didn’t find a single size 7 (lots of 6.5 and lots of 8.5), a single thing that appealed to me, or a single brand I recognized. Shoe sadness.

Let’s check in with Scott on the men’s section of the store:

The men’s side was nice respite from the mayhem of the women’s side. It was staged in the same amount of space but with about a third of the number of shoppers. There were 4 racks labeled S, M, L, and XL, and thankfully things were categorized correctly. But the clothing itself was barely memorable — full of black DKNY blazers, Paul Smith solid-color polos, nothing jumped out to me. And there were no coats/jackets, sweaters, bright colors, or resport wear, so any purchase felt like an addition to your smart casual wardrobe.

After 30 minutes, we ended up glancing at each other from our respective sides of the sale, shrugging, and going to the coat check — we bought nothing.

Was it worth it?

I certainly wouldn’t go to another — the shopping experience felt like a Nordstrom Rack transported to an art gallery with cocktails. What was advertised as “curated” felt more like “a bunch of crap thrown on a table!” (It’s possible that the selection and organization was better at the 12 p.m. or 2 p.m. session, too — we certainly saw a lot of people leaving with bags while waiting in line.) I have no patience for digging, but if you’re the type who’s in it for the thrill of the hunt, certainly make it a point to go.

And the day was far from a total loss … on the way out there was a table with a new flavor of Pop Chips (chipotle lime — delicious!) and two new flavors of Kind bars (I forget, they immediate got stashed in my gym bag). The free snacks and the free drinks more than covered the $10 we paid to get in, and not buying anything means I can treat myself to something new from Lululemon soon.

Win, win.

Let’s Talk About Elizabeth Banks’ ‘Lucky’ Mag Cover …

January 21, 2012 § 1 Comment

Start by drinking a good, long look at this:

I won’t go into her face or her impossibly-flat tummy because Photoshopping isn’t my main concern here.

My concern is that monstrosity of a dress, which I’d wager came directly from some sort of Project Runway All-Stars challenge / Lucky crosspromotion, Make a Dress Out of Items From CVS, using the following materials:

  • Tissue Boxes
  • Gum Wrappers
  • Washcloths
  • Hair nets
  • Tampons

Seriously, who thought this dress was cover-worthy? But no, I’m wrong. It’s not from All-Stars (is anyone watching that? no? me either, didn’t think so). It’s Stella McCartney. And costs $3,845.

What Do Those Announcements at Nordstrom Mean?

February 5, 2010 § 7 Comments

I’ve wondered this for as long as I’ve lived anywhere near a Nordstrom.

(If you’ve never shopped there, basically, it’s an endless stream of “Jenna C. Jones” and “Mark D. Spots” over the intercom system — in fact, whenever I hear that first one, I always think about how much that girl’s parents must love beer to have named her after Genesee.)

It’s very noticeable, and it’s been a point of speculation in my household for years. Are they the names of fashion designers? Can’t be — I’d recognize at least some of them. Are they the names of customers who left something behind? Can’t be — they are too prevalent. Customers can’t be so forgetful that consistently.

I am pleased to report that I finally squeezed the scoop out of a recently hired Nordstrom employee: They are the names of store employees. If they put a C in the name, it means they have a phone call; if they put a D in it, they’re needed by their department. THE WORLD MAKES SENSE NOW. The employee didn’t tell me this specifically, but I’m betting this little system is designed to minimize the perception that employees are focusing on anything but the customers.

But I will tell you this — Genesee Jones gets A LOT of phone calls.

Marc Jacobs Is Toying With Me

March 8, 2008 § Leave a comment

I love this dress. I love how wrong it looks together, how completely mismatched, how it’s kind of how, in another life, I used to dress on a regular basis.

I tried it on today, and THANK BEER it didn’t fit me very well. It also made me think about what Marc Jacobs must fantasize about. DUDE, YOU’RE WEIRD.

cubscout

This dress is actually called The Meredith. THANK BEER it is ugly; if it was the slightest bit cute, I’d have no choice but to buy it.

mjmx

My current clothing focus: Figuring out what to wear to the Derby. The Kentucky Derby,  y’all.

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