Thursday, December 17, 2009

J Crew Skirts...and the Good Red

Most recently, I picked this skirt up at my local B&M - the J Crew Gold Coin Skirt (#17235, orig $150, purchased for $59.99, but I hear it got marked down again to $39.99, so I think I'll head in for a price adjustment tomorrow). I actually don't think I've seen anyone post on this skirt. Granted, I admit my blog reading has been a bit spotty lately, but I haven't seen much of it on Polyvore either.

I first tried on this skirt at FP, and it just wasn't worth it. But I've been wanting a "special" skirt to wear for things like Christmas Eve or dinner out...or anything fun like that. Specifically something to wear with a black turtleneck and tights because I have always loved that look. (Like Summerilla's outfit here.) It just looks so chic and so sleek. And you stay warm with the turtleneck and tights.

I took an 8 in the skirt. And you don't want to size down much or the pleats will do that weird pulling thing and it just looks bad. I will admit that it's a little weird to try on the skirt in store when the pleats are tacked closed because you get that weird "lady parts" look. So I asked the SA if we could cut the thread. Instant 110% improvement. It's an A-line skirt. And can we please talk about the length? 21 1/2" long. J Crew - could you pleeeeeeeeeeeeeease make more skirts at this length? I just can't wear your minis. Trust me...I've tried.

The fabric is a jacquard. I love the black and gold. For you Project Runway fans, this skirt reminds me a lot of Jillian Lewis' (season 4) last challenge look and her finale collection. Something about that black & gold combo....

The only thing that may turn some people off about the skirt is the waistband. It is actually a thick piece of black elastic with 2 hook & bar closures. Me? I don't mind at all because it's not like I ever tuck anything in. But it could annoy some.

I paired the skirt here with the JC black merino turtleneck (size M). Like I said above, I love the black top plus tights look. Right now I am only imagining it with black - my black cashmere shell, a black tee or tank in summertime with bare legs and sandals, maybe a white shirt? I'm sure I can pair it with more color, but right now, the black top will pretty much meet my needs. Piccolinas just made a fun set on Polyvore, pairing the skirt with a vintage forest cardi - very nice!

And since heaven knows I won't be blogging as it will be too busy, here's my planned Christmas Eve ensemble with the skirt. Yeah, it's pretty much the "try-on" picture above with earrings and shoes.

Christmas Eve
Christmas Eve by HeidiGblog featuring J Crew

Next here, the skirt I didn't keep. J Crew Deco Shirred Skirt (#17480, orig $98, last purchased for $59.99). Yes, this is the Michelle Obama skirt - well, one of many, I supposed. A Bigger Closet did a great review of it and looked fab as usual, here. First of all, pardon the gray tights - I was wearing those and the black boots with my outfit that day and was just too lazy to change.

I really do like this skirt. It's very cute. However, it is only 18" long. So what did I do? I sized up to a 10 to get it to hang low. In her review, ABC mentioned that she went up to an 8 from a 2 or 4. Ahhhhh, so that's how she got it to such a decent length. There may still be 1 or 2 of these floating around your B&M. If you see one a few sizes up, grab it.

I did not keep the skirt, however, as I felt I could only wear it with opaque tights and that was limiting. I wanted a skirt that I could wear more often and the gold coin skirt fits that bill.

Plus the black and white print reminds me of the ATL dress I got last year early spring...and if I really want to wear a black/white print with tights, chances are that I'll just wear that.

If I had all the money in the world, I probably would have kept it, but a girl's got to make choices, right?

Finally, I did uncover a red that I actually do like on my nails. Even was already in my stash. I think I got this summer before last but hadn't really worn it much. Chanel Shangai Red. Much much much better on me than the Essie Russian Roulette of the last post.

And just for fun...this is what I sometimes resort to when trying to decide which polish to wear. From pinky to forefinger: Sephora by OPI Never Enough Shoes, OPI Here Today Aragon Tomorrow, Chanel Vamp, Essie It's Genius. (btw, mainly took the pic because I was playing with my new camera hubby got me for my birthday - I think the colors are pretty good - and by "good", I mean "accurate")

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Gray Cardis...with an unfortunate splash of red

I have been on such a gray kick lately. Wearing gray, looking at and sometimes purchasing gray clothes. I think it's a reflection of the weather - but not the gray of the cold. It's actually a reaction to the need for constant coats - specifically the yummy yellow Winnie coat and my much beloved workhorse, the gray hooded wool coat. I love how the yellow wakes up a simple classic outfit - and I do love gray with yellow. But other days, I love the tonal combo of pairing a gray coat with other gray pieces. I do think charcoal gray looks good on most people, and a lot of my gray does tend to the darker shades. And quite honestly, J Crew's dark charcoal is one of my all-time favorite colors - something about that particular shade works really well with the yellow tones in my skin. I realized that I had a lot of gray going on this week as I was looking back at pics, so I thought I would share the last couple of days before I get back to party prep. We're hosting our annual Christmas party tonight, so lots to do.

Starting with yesterday...Friday's outfit - This is the J Crew Knox Sweater Jacket that I posted on 2 days ago. So here I'm actually wearing it intentionally (size M). I picked up the JC striped tissue tee in the gray/white combo this week since my BR gray/white striped tee got a hole in the wash. (See? It's not just JC...) The tissue tee is in an M, like my navy one - and I believe I will enjoy it just as much as the navy one. I did get it on sale ($19.99 in store), though, so that made me happy.

Oh wow, was it windy on Friday. Wardrobe selection consisted of my opening the closet and saying "Which pair of boots do I want to wear and what do I want to wear with them?" I went with my new Chicos Ultra Slim jeans that I posted on earlier this week and my black boots. I added my Silpada pearls to finish off the neckline of the Knox.

I am still experimenting with what works best here - but I did like it with the scoopneck tee instead of a crewneck - less crowded looking to me. And next, I want to try a scarf or two. And of course, the Winnie jacket makes any outfit more fun. Plus requisite hat & scarf. Did I mention I picked up the JC Bucket Hat in store for $9.99? See...patience pays off occasionally...

Friday's Polyvore:

Thursday was a fun post-birthday day. A friend was hosting a Holiday Brunch, so I wanted to be festive - but I also wanted to stay warm. So I pulled out a Chicos cardigan from a couple of years ago - I love the faux fur trim. It makes it so cozy and just looks fab. I loved this cardi so much, I got one for my mom that Christmas. Both of which were purchased with coupon, of course. I got mine at 50% off...and it has been so worth it. You all know that I'm always cold, so this is the perfect piece to wear out in the winter with a black tank, jeans, fun shoes (or boring black flats), and some chunky but sparkly jewelry.

I did once have a funny incident at a friend's house where her dog was very weirded out by the sweater - usually Cody was my best buddy, but he slunk around the perimeter of the room for quite a while until he figured out it was me. Lucy had no problem, but she did see me put it on, so maybe that made a difference.

Given the outside temps and the wind, I chose a JC tissue turtle in dark charcoal (M again) instead of the usual tank, and then paired it with my black Minnies tucked into black boots. Between the fur collar and the boots, I did feel a bit bad-a$$, like I could pretty much take on the world. And oh, how warm I was. I am going to experiment with this cardi over some of my (many) black dresses for Christmas eve - I hope one of them will work so I can be festive and warm. If I find one that works, I'm sure I'll post it here.

Thursday's Polyvore:

12/10/09 by HeidiGblog featuring J Crew

Ok, now here's the promised splash of red. When I was at JC on Wednesday picking up the above-mentioned gray striped tee, I did fall into the Crewlade. Oh I know better. I know I don't usually love Essie polishes. But sure enough, I grabbed a bottle of Russian Roulette sitting by the counter, thinking that there was enough orange in it to maybe work. And here are the results:

Hmmmm....maybe I've been doing too many light and dark colors for the past few...years, but this was just way too bright for me. Or just not at all the right color or what I wanted. I had applied Thurs night...and took off Fri afternoon and applied another color. If E wants me to keep this one for her, I might. Otherwise, I'll offer it up to the DC JCAs at our next outing to see if anyone wants it.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A Slew of J Crew Reviews, plus the Ann Taylor Loft Sequin Tank

So melissa molasses' question about the Knox sweater jacket made me realize that I have been woefully behind on reviews...since I've been behind on blogging altogether. One of these items has already gone back and most of the others are currently under review. I'm trying very hard to be more intentional about my purchases and scale back. As my earlier post said just trying to keep all things in moderation. So let's knock a bunch out, shall we?

J Crew Dream Cabin Cardigan (#20609, $148). Oh how I wanted this sweater to work. I even was ready to pay full price. The gorgeous creamy heather fog color. The very cool motorcycle-inspired detail. The soft dream knit. That perfect balance of soft & edge.

Darn you, J Crew!! It's just too darn short. I tried...I really tried...I really really tried to make this work. I must have put this on and taken it off so many times trying to make it look right. But no dice, so back to the store it went...the next day.

At 5'10", it just was not long enough - it looked short. Maybe over a dress, worn open - but not for FP. BTW, I took an M - width was fine. Those of you on the more petite side...I now have another grudge to add to my J-Crew-minis-are-too-short list, so enjoy! Quite a few bloggers have posted on this cardi, I can't remember them all - sorry. I can't believe it's actually still FP since it's been out long enough. Interesting...

And now something that worked for me. Ok, a short sleeve dress in December. I know, I know, but we'll get back to why this is a smart choice. J Crew Flutter Scoopneck Dress (#, orig $78, curr $59.99). This dress is a catalog/internet only item. And sorry so delayed on this one - as of this exact moment, it's only available in L in navy. But we all know how the popback goes, so I will provide the info.

I ordered an M in the dress. Navy was the only available color, so I went with that. (I think it was during one of the 20% or 25% off promos, so the cost was closer to $45 or $48.) Fit? Perfect! Just long enough, just fitted enough, just enough room. Very pretty pleated layered detail at the neckline. I will live in this in the summer.

And yes, this is the 2nd summer dress I have purchased in two months (1st was the Gap dress with the F&F). Why? In November and December? Well, I have said this before - I love dresses...especially in summer and winter. Interestingly enough, I don't do them so much in fall & spring - probably because I can never decide what legwear to go with. But summer is made for dresses. And honestly, I had trouble finding perfect dresses this past summer - that's why I ended up getting the dressy jersey strapless dress in 2 colors. So for me, a very wise choice.

You can also see the dress on dinagideon here. She mentions winterizing the dress with tights, boots, & fierce jacket. I think that would work great with the raisin, but not so sure about the navy. But I'm sure I'll wear it enough anyway.

J Crew Tivoli Cardigan (#20967, orig $78, curr $49.99 sold out online at this moment but available in many B&Ms). Hmmmm, don't know about this one. Still undecided on whether to keep or not.

The good - (1) I love this color combo - the amber & gray. (2) As Slastena has shown us on Polyvore, this cardi looks *gorgeous* with the heirloom antique flora earrings so many of us have. (3) I love long cardis. (4) It's very warm. (5) I like the boiled wool - I admit I think of boiled wool from the 80's in Nordic-style fitted jacket paired with plaid skirts, so this is a very modern take on it.

The bad - (1) do I really need *another* long cardigan? i.e. is this just a wasteful purchase? (2) I definitely need a tee with this - too itchy to wear a tank only. (3) I took a size M, but it doesn't always look "smooth" over jeans in the midsection when buttoned, so that's going to make me hesitate before choosing this sweater. (4) It seems like this cardi has already started to pill just hanging in the store, so I am afraid of how it will pill IRL. Anyone have info on that? (again been bad about catching up on blog reading, so if anyone has posted, please share.) Or is it just the different look/feel of the boiled wool?

I'm thinking that if I am so on the fence about this, it really should go back - it's not like I'm exactly lacking in the sweater category. And I'm trying to be a little smarter fiscally.And now some holiday dressing...

J Crew Keaton Tuxedo Cardigan (#20631, $118). Really torn on this one, too. I ordered this with the 25% off sweater sale, so it was under $100, but still. I love the whole idea of this - take a traditional jacket, the tuxedo, but make it as a sweater. And the lapels are silk crepe de chine. Very pretty. But in this case, I think I liked it better on the table than I do on me.

I love the whole idea of the sweater as an easy dress-up piece. With jeans & a tee, plus some great jewelry...effortless. But I don't think the fit is exactly right...or something's off. I'm not sure about the single hook & eye closure - would it have been better if it were either open or closed with a button instead? Plus - and remember I'm definitely *not* in the well-endowed category - it tends to gape open wider at the bust, like it's framing the girls. I can't imagine how that would work on someone who is curvy.

So again, if it's not totally perfect, maybe that's telling me that it should go back...esp at FP with only 25% off.

By the way, I will give kudos and mention that the packaging when I ordered this sweater online was fantastic - on hanger, folded around cardboard to reinforce shape, plastic bag to protect, all inside box. This is in marked contrast to my recent Land's End order of a cashmere sweater that was in a plastic bag that was stuffed in my mailbox behind all the regular mail. See picture below - I carried it in exactly as it was in the mailbox - wanted to have proof. Thank goodness it was a knit sweater and not something totally wrinkle-able. But still...not happy at all about this.

Ann Taylor Loft Sequin Sparkle Tank ($60, sold out online). I got this one with the 30% off F&F. Very pretty top. Like the fact that the back is jersey knit, not a sweater, so less (no) snagging. The neckline and armholes are trimmed in chiffon. The sequins are sewn on very well and they are just fabulous.

So why am I not jumping for joy over snagging this great top at just over $40? Weeeeelllllll, I'm just wondering if I really need it. I mean I like it a lot. But I'm mentally going through the holiday events, and I've kinda already allocated outfits to each event. And not drab, crappy outfits - but fun & festive outfits. And I'm not 100% sure that this is so special that I wouldn't be able to find something else I really love next year.

Again, this is one I've been going back and forth on. If I had somewhere to definitely wear this and I was dying to do so, I would definitely keep it...but I think it is going back.

Ok, so that's where I'm at. Hope some of this helps some of you as I work through my choices.

An Even "Skinnier" Alternative, plus Pics of the Knox

As I have mentioned time and again, I am a big fan of Chico's jeans. Even at JC, I find the waistband is too low plus too big leading to muffin top plus big gape at the back. Sure, I could get jeans tailored, but I'd rather find a pair that fits really well to start with. I blogged about the Chico's Platinum Denim Slim Leg Jeans a couple of months ago. And I have been loving them...but when I ordered, they no longer had the blue washes in the 35" inseam, so I just grabbed the regular inseam in store and have been wearing them cuffed with flats or tucked into boots.

New Find - even skinnier jeans from Chico's. I'll admit right up front that I was bold enough to try these because (1) they actually had my size - 0.5 - in the 35" inseam in the "Rinse Wash" - now of course, they are sold out and (2) I had a 50% any item if purchase is $50+ - usually the threshold is $100 - so I got these for half price. Behold..Chico's Platinum Denim Ultra Slim Leg Jean ($69). I think even my sister would be impressed at how skinny these jeans are.

Speaking of my sister - a huge Happy Birthday to my twin & birthday-mate. I can't think of anyone I'd rather share a birthday with, other than Donny Osmond, which we do - and when we were 10 years old, that was just so cool. And since I can't sleep, it's 2:34 am, which is about 2 minutes after you arrived, and 1 minute before I did. Those blissful 3 minutes when our mom thought she would only have to deal with 1 baby. Ah, the days before ultrasound...

Back to the jeans...I am very happy with the fit. I like the higher waistband because it kinda holds everything in so there's no muffin top or gaping. I do realize that on some, this waist would be too high, but on my rectangular form, it works. I took a size 0.5, which is supposed to equate to a 6 (yeah, whatever), but I find in their stretchy jeans & pants, it's best to size down because they will stretch out.

I still need to experiment with which tops work best. A long cardi is kind of a no-brainer. I had on the tango top with a long sleeve tee layered underneath and just wasn't feeling it this morning. The biggest pitfall to avoid is the Stacy & Clinton ice cream cone effect, aka ICE. (ICE where the top part of your bottom half is really wide, and your pants narrow down to really skinny at the bottom - your ankles may look tiny by comparison...but your behind - by comparison - looks huge. ICE is best managed through trouser or straight cuts.) But I think these are workable by choosing the right top half. And even if I only wear these with long sweaters & tees, hey, they were under $40 - so I'm not complaining.

Yesterday, I opted for my BR Michelle-twin, a white open neck painter tee and then piled on some gold/sparkly necklaces including the should-have-picked-one-that-doesn't-snag twisted crystal with my dangling crystal shapes bracelet. Simple, yes...but it really suited my mind frame and you know the drill - toss on the yellow Winnie coat and the outfit goes to fab immediately.

Polyvore for today:

12/8/09 - What I really wore...
12/8/09 - What I really wore... by HeidiGblog featuring J Crew

And on the subject of charcoal sweaters...melissa molasses asked for an IRL pic of the J Crew Knox sweater jacket (#18172, orig $132, curr $49.99 in store). This sweater is sold out online, but still pops back. Most stores seem to have a number of them back in the sale section. I stalked this one for a while, waiting for the price to drop.

I haven't yet gotten a pic when I've worn it as an actual outfit - but here's the pic from just after purchase. Love the sweater - very warm. It's a very tight knit, so it's less likely to snag. And (not pictured) even though it's double breasted, it still looks very cute open. I was paging through the JC Oct catalog and the model was wearing it open...but I can't quite remember what else she had on though.

I took an M. It's not tight, but I feel like it's streamlined enough to not be boxy. The sleeves are plenty long. You could consider sizing down in this, depending on your shoulders. I think the sweater is very versatile and plan to wear it a lot this winter. The only thing that I'm still working on is the best neckwear when the sweater is closed. A regular "shirt" would be great. But I feel like it needs something extra when wearing with a tee - but I haven't figured out which necklace works well, or if a scarf might be better. In fact, the last time I wore it, that was vexing me, so I just wore it open. Ah well, plenty of time to experiment.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Nail Files - The Science? Art? of Frankenpolish

Have you heard of Frankenpolish?

Ok, it's like this...You know how in beauty magazines we often get the whole "I used this lip color and this lip color and this one to produce this fantastic look"? Yeah, i'm usually going, seriously? You get paid beaucoup bucks to do makeup and you can't find this color already out there? Ok, maybe I'm being a bit rude, but it does bug me when the answer to what color is that is a laundry list of lip products. And you know I'm lazy...I mean I like to use my time judiciously, so I am a 1-lip-product girl. One and done.

When it comes to nail polish, you can achieve similar effects. One way is to layer. I'll be honest - other than covering a bad pedi color with a darker polish, I don't do the nail polish layering thing. Why? technique just isn't that great. That's why I always mani & pedi at night - so I can scrape the excess off in the shower next morning and go Voila! Decent mani/pedi!! I'm just not consistent enough with the application to do the layering thing. Kudos to those who can. Feel free to stop by anytime. :)

Frankenpolish, or "frankening", is mixing multiple polishes together to achieve a new shade. I'm sure some thrifty gals out there already do might not even know it has a real name. For some full scoopage on frankenpolish, I will send you to my nail expert, as always, the All Lacquered Up blog. When cincyfan describes frankenpolish, she uses specific's a science, much like baking. For me, it's more like regular cooking - it's art. Well, maybe not art, but it certainly isn't an exact science. I like the idea of frankening because it's a great way to use those polishes that just aren't what you wanted them to be, or you've had too long to return, or you just don't wear anymore, etc. As much polish as I buy (I know it's an addiction, but it's cheaper than designer handbags)...

The process itself, for me, is pretty simple. You can get an empty polish bottle - I think Sally Beauty sells them. Or you can use an existing bottle - esp if you love love love the brush (yes, I'm talking about OPI). If you use an existing bottle, start by dumping out about half of the polish in there and then just add other shades & mix until you get something you like. I find it handy to have a white plastic plate or white paper with tape on it to test out my mixes.

HUGE caveat - please read - if you are going to do this - remember these are chemicals, folks. Be careful with mixing. And only mix polishes of the same brand. And, um, if you pour out excess polish onto a plastic plate, eventually, it will eat through that plate. (I don't even want to think about the implications of that...) So when you dump out, put down some paper towels to absorb.

This probably works best if you have a variety of extra polish to choose from. I decided to give it another go after I went through my polish again and had a huge stash of get-rid-of's. This one...I really love. It's perfect (for me). It's like a glittery version of OPI You Don't Know Jacques. (all of the following are OPI) I took last year's Brand New Skates (gray with sparkle - but never the right shade - too dark or too light or too blue), added a whole lot of this year's Holiday Glow (way too brown for me), and then a bit of Sand in My Suit (gold-tan metallic) and Up Close & Personal (gold sparkle). And here is the result:

Give it a try...

Monday, December 7, 2009

...And How Have You Been?

Whew...December starts at a full gallop, no? I feel so lame, constantly apologizing for the absences - and oh, am I reaping what I sow because I have so much blog reading to catch up on...

But here's the thing...the holidays are meant to be a time of joy, of family, of love, of fun, of peace, of reflection, of giving, of just being in the moment. They are not supposed to be a time of rushing, craziness, aggravation, frustration, getting sick, missing out on the small moments, and all of the bad stuff that we often associate with the holiday season.

Oh, the wisdom of Linus...So I have vowed to *not* let Christmas get me crazy this year. I am not going to over-do, over-buy, over-commit, over-party, over-spend, over-eat. That "over-commit" part? Harder even than the over-spend part. And so, I have been pretty absent in the blogosphere for the past week as I was decorating and working and mothering and all that. Bear with me...and in the New Year, maybe my resolution will be better & more active blogging, hehe. (that would be easier to keep than others)

What else has been going on? The fabulous bichonluvr headed up to MD last week and we met up at (where else?) my local JC to shop a bit and then have lunch. It was so fun to meet her IRL and hang out. And 6 degrees of separation and all that, it turns out that the only other person she knows in MD is the husband of one of M's teachers since they went to high school together in a whole other state. Small world, indeed. I figured we'd have some sort of Richmond connection, since that's my hometown...but no, the Maryland connection. She was so fab and so fun - and it was a great afternoon!!

And otherwise most of the rest of the week was work, helping out at school, and decorating for Christmas. (All done but the tree - which is up, waiting for hubby to get back from business trip so we can decorate it Wed night.) fun holiday party on Thursday. (and getting to dress up is, yes, still part of the fun) I got to wear the fantastic JC wool shift dress that the equally fantastic dinagideon gifted me that I also wore here. For the holiday party, I wore the dress solo, with tights & heels and then added some gold & gray sparkle. The Ugly Betty gray fireball necklace (retail only), the gray beaded bracelet (again, retail only), and the clementine garden pearl bracelet. Plus the Dina hoops. I loved the gold/gray mix of thew jewelry and the 2 bracelets really complemented the necklace, IMO. (and when Patina asked if I'd been "patinalized", I knew the jewelry was spot on...)

Looking at this picture made me realize I really needed to trim my I did the next day since my hair cut got cancelled. But I do need to reschedule that hair cut as I am finding myself sporting a ponytail more often than usual...and that's always my sign that I need a cut!

Polyvore from Thursday:

12/3/09 by HeidiGblog featuring J Crew

Items in this set:
J Crew Wool Shift Dress
80 Den Opaque Tights, 6 GBP
Movado Two-tone Watch, $600
Large 18K Yellow Gold Hoop Earrings - Forzieri, $449
Women's Cotton Sweaters & Cardigans - J.Crew, $75 have you been?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Flannel Sheets Are Sexy

Ok, maybe this is a funny post for today since it *did* get up to about the mid-60’s today here in MD. (Yes, I was smart enough to go ahead and do the outside Xmas decorating to take advantage of the weather. Still a couple of things to finish up, but most of it done.)

But here’s my point…it’s hard to feel sexy or anything else good when you are shivering and freezing! And flannel sheets don’t have to be plaid or boring.

top pic from Lands End
bottom pics from The Company Store

Nowadays, there are lots of modern colors and prints to make flannel work in your bedroom (see above) without making it look like you live in a cabin…unless, of course, that’s the look you are going for (below).

top pic from Lands End

I have been a fan of flannel sheets since childhood. To me, that was the sign of the beginning of winter…when you put the flannel sheets on. Of course, you all know me, I am so tactile, I just want cozy, warm, soft, etc.

Which brings me to my current dilemma…sweatpants. No, I’m not going to try to tell you that sweatpants are sexy. Well, maybe the right kind on the right person. But that’s not exactly what I’m looking for here. I need some sweatpants. Just a good old pair of sweats. Why? Well, other than today, it’s getting awfully chilly outside. And I do have an 11-month-old Labradoodle to walk. So I need some warmth!

It seems that nowadays, everything offered in the active pants for women category is
1 – plain cotton jersey – just won’t do. I want more than a tshirt for my legs.
2 – poly/spandex/quick dry – ok, comfy, but not warm…at all.
3 – velour – ok, thicker, but um, yeah, I want the cozy part on the *inside*, not the outside.
4 – just way way way too short.

So what am I looking for? Sweatpants, thick – regular fleece or polar fleece will do, and they must must must be long enough. (Remember, I’m 5’10” with a lot of height in my legs.) I would prefer a 33” inseam.

Any ideas???

Friday, November 27, 2009

Bananas for the Annalise Tee

This is a fun little tee from Banana Republic - per my receipt, it's the Annalise ??? tee, but I can't find it online. So maybe it's store only? And that "???" is there because I actually can't find the receipt right now - but it was, I believe, about $45. I got it with the Gap/ON/BR F&F 30%, so I actually paid about $33 or so.

Apologies for the *total* lack of details, but I still wanted to share. I got this tee less than 2 weeks ago at BR so it should still be around (and I've already worn it twice, so yes - love it). I wore it to JC last Friday and when my fave SA saw it, she swore to go get one at her break. ("What? I can wear it on the weekends.")

Size-wise, I got an M. As you can see, there is still some room in it and it's not supertight, so size down. The fabric is thin, but not sheer. (a nice change from so many super sheer JC tees, to be honest.) I love love love the necklace design on the tee - so fun - and the necklaces themselves would be so me, so it really fits. In case you couldn't tell since the pic isn't front on, the design is printed - there's no texture. That could be good or bad, but I'll take it as good because (a) less expensive (b) totally machine washable *and* dryable, and (c) fits under any top layer, even just another tee.

I realize you can't see so well from the pic, but the neckline is very pretty; it has an inlay of chiffon just inside the crewneck. And it's a crewneck, but not a super-tight crewneck. And can we go back to the design? One less accessory to add to your look!

This is a perfect tee for layering a jacket or cardi on top. I wore it both times with a black cashmere cardi and then a black scarf. Of course, in the pic here, you can't see the design at all since the scarf is tight because I was chilly, but when I wore it, you could see the desing on the tee just tine.

And then jeans and black flats. The first time I wore this was on the way home from the wedding weekend and let me just share - definitely pack the "boyfriend" jeans for the trip home vs. the skinnies - even if it's only an hour car ride. Obviously from the photo above, I wore the tee with skinnies the second time.

And here's my Polyvore from when I wore it the first time. Since the tee isn't online, I found a perfect sub for PV in the JC slub cotton crystal necklace tee.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Nail Files - More Fun Holiday Polishes

As a Thanksgiving treat, I have for you some fun holiday polishes that I have sampled lately. (Just a little something to think about as you are licking your fingers clean after a yummy turkey dinner.)

First up, Dior Silver Purple. Great name - it's a silver toned purple color. (Don't get me started again on that Lemon Balm...I still don't get that name, loved the color, but the name was ridiculous.) Available at Sephora for $20. I was very mixed on this color. I alternately really liked it and then really didn't. If this color works for you, it could be a 12-season color, because I think this would be really fun in summer. It definitely works as a holiday color now. Interestingly enough, it reminds me a lot of a "jeans" color.

Next, Absinthe Makes the Heart by Sephora by OPI ($9). Fun holiday color. Somewhat similar to some other colors I have, but nothing matches it exactly. Per the website, "smoky dark gray with green and iridescent glitter." Similar to the 212-Sephora shade, but definitely different. I think this would be a great metallic to go with just about anything.
Last, an fave from last fall - Barielle Misbehavin' Mistress ($8). Metallic taupe. Yep, that's it. I actually wore this a number of times as a summer pedi shade. In the photo, it looks rather brown, but IRL, it's less brown. That must be the metallic effect. I love this shade. And that's why I'm still using it, I suppose. A great neutral that's not quite black.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Like the Tango Tank Actually Needs *More* Layers...

Told you I would be catching up... starting with today's outfit.

Ok, totally honest...I was going to just go with my tissue turtleneck and Chico's boyfriend jeans with a statement necklace to break up all the blue. (you know me and my simple, I mean, classic, outfits.) But then I thought...what if I added a statement top...on top? I know the tango tank will be just fantastic in spring & summer, but I'd like to try to wear it more now since 1 - it's cute, 2 - I like the shape and thinks it's pretty figure flattering, and 3 - trying to use what I have and stop buying all new stuff, you know.

So, attempt #1 at layering with the tango tank. (I have a M in both of these tops, btw.) Navy tissue turtle under the gray tango tank. Then gray fireball necklace, Dina hoops, and gilded daisy ring. And navy patent flats.

What did I think of this outfit? Ummmm, ok. It looks a little heavier in the picture than I thought it did IRL. Maybe that's because my hair is down. I actually think this would have worked much better with hair up. And I kept feeling like I should be layering a navy blazer on top for some reason...hmmm, I'll have to work on that since I don't actually have one.

Next time, I'll try this with a regular tee underneath. Have you done any creative layering with your tango tank?

Polyvore of today's outfit:

Items in this set:
J Crew top, $50
J Crew top, $40
Current/Elliott jeans, 243 GBP
Maloles flats, $130
Forzieri earrings, $449

A Little Fun with Blogging...And Some Blogging Questions

I will be trying to do some catchup blogging this afternoon, and since I'm not planning to take my laptop when we head to the river for Thanksgiving, I'll probably advance-post it so it trickles in over the next few days.

Sometimes I'm good about blogging. Sometimes I'm slack about blogging. I know, I know. I just tell myself that I'm saving people's Google Readers from getting over-clogged. (yep, that's right...I do it just for you...)

How do you handle it when you get too overloaded? Do you stop blogging? Do you stop reading other blogs? Commenting on other blogs? I am still trying to find the balance here. Because I do enjoy blogging, but I don't feel it's right to just blog and not ever read/comment on other blogs. And when I'm not reading, I do miss all the other bloggers I read. And I seem to just keep adding blogs to read (they're all so goooood!) But most important to me is for it to be fun. I never wanted blogging to feel like a chore or something I *had* to do.

There's fun to be had in the daily outfit posting (which I realize has dwindled to weekly outfit posting...)

Fortuantely, the shoes didn't really matter that day... They weren't the killer detail in the outfit - not that there really was one. (real quick - cashmere femme sweater from last year, chico's jeans, ON cami, gray ribbon fireball necklace - retail-only) I don't even think I Polyvored this outfit since I still don't have the necklace on PV, so here it is for the clipping...

Monday, November 23, 2009

Is Edward Cullen the new Jake Ryan?

First of all, if by "Jake Ryan," you think I am referring to Hannah Montana's friend/boyfriend on the TV show, stop reading right now. You won't get this. (I mean that in the nicest possible way, of course.)

So I went to see New Moon yesterday afternoon with friends. Fun movie. Great one to see with girlfriends. (And Gigi has a very cool giveaway sponsored by Orient Watch, ih honor of New Moon - check it out if you haven't signed up yet.) I do enjoy the Twilight series. I read all 4 books plus the online excerpt of Book 5 (Book 1 from Edward's perspective - loved it - it's about half the book - you can get to it from Stephanie Meyer's website here ) last October when E was home from school for a week with pneumonia.

A fun way to pass the week as we were doing multiple nebulizer treatments. To me it brings back that emotion of being young and in love - the angst and the anguish, the joy and the suffering of the teenage years. And one of the all-time classic chroniclers of that exact time period in life is John Hughes.

So naturally, all of the frenzy over Edward (and Jacob) led me to ponder Edward Cullen and the parallels to "Sixteen Candles" and Jake Ryan. For Valentine's Day in 2004, the Washington Post ran an article on the relevance of Jake Ryan to the romantic lives of today's young woman. In 2004, I was a "late twenties to mid thirties" chick. To me the lead sentence says it all:

...let's finally admit that Jake Ryan from "Sixteen Candles" is never
going to come get you.

(ouch, really? hehehe)

I read the article as a bit tongue in cheek - but there are some good points. How many women are still saying "he's nice, but he's no Jake Ryan." What high school boy really is that nice *and* that gorgeous? One of my neighbors named her son Jake after this character. But let's be honest, who didn't secretly pine for Jake Ryan?

So this leads us to Edward Cullen today. Are you in love with Edward Cullen? If not, are your friends? Or are you a member of Team Jacob?

Has Edward Cullen (or Jacob Black) replaced Jake Ryan as the new ultimate mate? Is he going to scar millions of young women for life because they will never actually find the perfect vampire? Or does Jake Ryan still stand the test of time, while Edward Cullen and Jacob Black rank among the classic Dawson/Joey/Pacey and Brandon/Kelly/Dylan triangles? You tell me.

I will say that when I mentioned at our post-New Moon dinner my theory of Edward Cullen finally knocking Jake Ryan off the pedestal, one of my friends just went "Ah, Jake Ryan as Edward - that would be the best." Hmmm, yeah, when I first read the books, I did picture Jake Ryan as Edward...just much paler.

Discuss amongst yourselves...and try to remember that there are wars and hunger and injustice in the world, too.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Spicy Olive Day

As I sit and ponder over some new purchases at JCrew the other day, I pulled out one new item since I knew for sure it would be a keeper - the Perfect-fit Long Sleeve Crewneck Tee (#18098, online - $24.50 or 2 for $35, in store - $19.50 - pricing monkeys at work again)

I like to stock up on a few new ones each year. This time, I got white, spicy olive, and light berry. I was actually looking at the light berry in the tissue turtle but it was much less "crisp" in color than the perfect fit tee and other light berry items.

Fit-wise, I take an L in the perfect fit tees. I feel like they are still cut close enough to the body, but that gives me breathing room and doesn't show the bulgies so much. I love how long the sleeves and overall length are in this tee. Makes it a great layer under sweaters for warmth.

I started out the day with the tee layered under a JC dress for church. Yes, this looks a lot like the Gap dress I got a couple of weeks ago during the F&F event. But, not so. The Gap dress is a heavy knit and its waistband is about 1 or 1 1/2" higher than the JC dress. The JC dress is wool - it actually came from the lovely dinagideon, who was kind enough to pass it along to me after she got it at the outlets and the lower waist totally did not work for her. Also the JC dress is from HO 08 and it has pockets (and size 8). But yes, very similar shapes and I plan to be able to wear at least one of them every month of the year.

So, spicy olive long sleeve perfect tee, wool shift dress, confetti necklace, Allison Daniel design ring, and cuff link earrings - plus tights and black patent pumps. I was actually so comfortable that I didn't change until about an hour ago.

Why did I change? Honestly, I don't usually love to wear dresses to the movies and I have a date with the girls to go see New Moon. One of the friends pre-ordered the tickets, so we are all set. We'll see how insane the crowd is...

So, for the movies - kept on tee, necklace, earrings, ring. Added dark rinse Chicos jeans, black flats, and this cream sweater. Anyone have any idea what it's called? It's from HO 07. It's so swingy that I actually bought it in the S. I love this sweater. So comfy, such a fun shape - I love the swingy. And it works as long as you have a fitted piece underneath. This would probably work even better with Minnies or skinny jeans, but instead I am wearing the jeans I wore for all day family Tysons outing yesterday because hey - it's a long movie, want the comfy pants. Not to mention the butter popcorn...

I have some thoughts that I've been mulling over about New Moon and the whole Twilight series. Will post later tonight or tomorrow...

Have you seen New Moon yet?

Polyvore for today:

11/22/09 by HeidiGblog featuring J Crew

Friday, November 20, 2009

Borrowing from the Boys - Lilly-wear

When we were in Annapolis last weekend, I had a bit of time to do some shopping. Oh, it was so nice just to leisurely stroll around the streets - such a pretty town. It's a shame we don't visit more often since it's so close by. Must rectify that next spring - you know, when it gets a bit warmer.
But since it was actually warm on Monday, I got to don my sole purchase for myself from the Annapolis weekend (lots more done - sweatshirts for kids, a couple of thank you's for my parents since they were watching the kids, 1st Xmas present purchased - for my mother-in-law, and collar for Lucy because I am a total sucker). Back to that collar in a minute...

Here it is - Lilly Pulitzer long sleeve Gulf Stream Polo in...some pretty shade of blue (GingerSnap? You're the expert) Much as I love Lilly, this is the first actual piece of Lilly-wear that I have purchased., it's not even womens. It's a mens shirt. I got it in an M. It was uber-on-sale and I thought it would be a fantastic slouchy weekend option (who are we kidding, every day is my weekend, wardrobe-wise) - but an option with perhaps a bit more style than the typical slumpadinka wear.

I love how long this shirt is. Not the most tailored option, sure. But comfy. (don't throw too many tomatoes) And hey, it's color! I liked it with my black cafe capris. And I will love it with a pair of white jeans in the spring.

And what was my possible inspiration? Maybe Lucy's new collar? Yes, I am going to be one of *those* dog owners with a different collar for every month, probably. How cute is this? Navy and aqua blue, with little green bones that say "woof." Ridiculous to be sure but, like nail polish, it's much cheaper than designer handbags!

And yes, that is a tomato she is eyeing here. Apparently the doggie brain doesn't distinguish between tomato and ball. You wouldn't believe the green tomatoes laying around the yard. Maybe we need to add a fence to the veggie garden next year. Fortunately, this was a very late in the season discovery of puppy's.

Such a pretty puppy...

And this pic, just because it cracks me up... Yes, Lucy in her tshirt during post-surgical recovery. She was going through a laying-on-the-dress-up-dresses phase. She is a girl, you know.

Polyvore for Monday:

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

It's All About the Hood - the Workhorse Coat

You all clearly know I've been majorly slacking in blog-world - reading, commenting, posting, replying to comments. I'm getting back there, I swear.... Thanks for sticking with me.(And thanks for the reality check at the bus stop, snaphappy.)

So in contrast to Monday's post on the lovely, luscious Winnie coat, I'm going to talk about my workhorse coat. Last month, Stylestance had an interesting post on choosing your top 3 coats in the closet. I remember thinking that there was really only 1 that I needed to get me through 90% of my days. Or at least the days that require a coat.

No Polyvore of the coat to speak of, since it is 10 years old. From Larry Levine, purchased at Bloomingdales while shopping with my sister. I'll readily admit that there is major sentiment attached to this coat as I purchased it when I was, ahem, with child. Yep, prego with my darling M. And when you are going to be in that condition in the winter (not mega, but still getting thick in the middle), you want something with a little room in the middle. Which is why I got in a...get this...size 14. (I think dina is scowling at me online now.)

So it's an A-line hooded charcoal gray wool coat. It does not get more basic, or perfect than this. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways...

1 - Color - charcoal - goes with everything and doesn't show lint. Plus it's a great backdrop for bright scarves...or any scarf for that matter.

2 - A-line to offer a little room to the expanding middle *but* fits bulky sweaters underneath as well.

3 - And can we get to the Hood part? It has a hood! Yes indeed. You know those icky fall/winter/spring days where it's chilly and just kinda spittin' or lightly snowing outside and you don't really want to bring an umbrella and you don't want to wear a full-on parka? This is the perfect coat for those days. And hood = no hat = no hat head. (Trust me, that equation works, I was a math major, after all.)

4 - First baby sentiment? Don't even go there. Don't even try.

If the coat does have a downside (other than that it's not bright screaming yellow like my Winnie), it's the the sleeves are a little short. But that just means that I wear my fabbie opera length leather gloves with it - and it's got a little of that mod 60's vibe. If you need something similar, Target had a great pair of long black (soft) leather gloves for $17.99 in store - I highly recommend. I think this is that pair, which is out of stock online, but check the store - and really, they had a great selection of fantastic gloves.

The sad part is that this coat is kinda on its last legs and I will soon be looking a replacement.

(moment of silence for my coat)

Back to blogging...

And the rest of the outfit from yesterday? Sweater dress from Banana (HO 2007) that I couldn't really fit into last year and yay, it fits now. Plus footless tights, black flats, and my new constellation necklace. Necklace scored for $9.99 at my local B&M last week. So if you happen to be in your store and see one, snatch it up. Mine is the antiqued one, not the shiny one, but I think the antiqued is nice for a change.

Back to the footless tights...what do you think? Do they look ok? I'll be honest - they looked worse in person. I had to tug down on the tights & the dress to get a decent picture. Otherwise, the hemline of the dress combined with the visual cut off at the ankle - dang, I was looking awfully thick in the legs. Does that mean I'm ditching the dress or the footless tights? Nope. Next time I wear the dress, I'll go with full-on tights and flat boots, and it will be fine. Next time I feel the yen to go with footless tights (which truthfully aren't very "me" to begin with), I'll go with a different sweater dress or skirt. Lesson learned. And this is what I love about the daily outfit pic. Always educational for me.

Polyvore from yesterday: