Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Today's Outfit and the First Set of JCA Outing Purchase Reviews

What a pretty day we had here. Sunny and 60 degrees. Ok, I spent part of the morning in sweats after taking Lucy for a seriously long walk after the bus stop and then had to get some work done. But when I finally did get officially dressed for the day, she passed out on the bathroom floor (for any new readers - this is my 3-month-old Labradoodle puppy, so it's ok), so I had a little time to do some quick try-ons of my DC JCA Shopping event purchases.

First of all - the outfit for the day. I was dying to try out my new Canvas Atelier Jacket (#13105, orig $148, curr $89.99). Remember I had my 25% crewpon (thank you, Gigi for the terminology), plus I got a J Crew card, so I got an additional 10% off - which together worked out to be about 33% off. End price $$60.76. Yippeeee! I really needed a nice spring/summer jacket. I anticipate wearing this one a lot. I added some turquoise beads for color (they were my grandmother's) along with my basic white tee and jeans. But the beauty of the outfit is how quickly I was able to swap jacket & shoes for hoodie and crocs for E's soccer practice - bringing Lucy and tramping about in the woods next to the park.

Here is my Polyvore: (Fun stuff! Love Polyvore.)
3/31/09-Out and At Soccer
3/31/09-Out and At Soccer by HeidiGblog featuring Crocs flat shoes

And on to the other items...

Don't have a heart attack. This might be a little too exciting for you... Ok, I know, so boring, but so basic, and necessary. (basically awesome, I say) I went ahead and got a Boyfriend Tissue V-neck Tee in white (#11657, $29.50 online, but $19.50 in store). I know it's sheer, but I'll be wearing a cami or tank underneath anyway. Have I mentioned in the last 5 posts how soft these are? Well, I'll say it again. Love.... Anyway, I will probably wear this as much as anything else. And promise I'll accessorize it to within an inch of its life. Is that ok? And see, left on the turquoise beads that I wore today. So there's a little color.... Yeah, I know, lame. But me likey.

Next up - the ruffle favorite tank (not online anymore) in navy. I think this will be a really great layering piece. I like the ruffle - it adds detail, but not too much so that it misbehaves under other tops (bunching, etc.). End price $13.16. What do you think? Worth it? I think I will regret taking this one back. 3-Penny Princess had one on in putty at Sunday's event and it was way cute. It will definitely add a little something instead of the usual tank or cami. So I am thinking I will probably keep it. Will try on with some other tops to make a final decision.

The last item in this batch... we have the silk-linen v-neck sweater (#12961, orig $59.50, curr $49.50 online FS). End price was $40.16 on this sweater. I was and am still very iffy on this one. I love the fit. It's nice to have a not-long sweater for a change. I really loved the fit - in M. What don't I like? 2 things - (1) dry clean only (machine washable is the main reason I tried the gateau skirt - to be reviewed later this week) even though I know I could hand wash, and (2) the color. I'll be honest, I love orange. But this sweet cantaloupe just isn't it. The color is too faded/muted. My IRL picture actually makes it look more vibrant than it is. Here is a better pic of what it really looks like. And um, I hate to say it, but I have thrown up and had it be this color, and unfortunately, that's what it makes me think of, which is a pity. Plus, hello - more on sale now than 2 days ago. I wonder if it is also marked down in store. I am thinking I will take it back and see if I can get another color, especially on sale. (Sorry, Dina, but I promise I'll get a bright.)

More pics to come over the week. I'm cooking up a fun outfit for Girls' Night tomorrow.

What do you think so far? I am totally open to feedback, except negative feedback on the Atelier jacket since I already cut the tags and wore it. If you hate it, be honest, but realize I can't do anything.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Today's Outfit and a Quick Peek at the Purchases

Like I said earlier, crazy-ish day - hubby out of town for the night, kids home from school (teacher work day - not that I'm complaining, they sure do need them!), and puppy to take care of. My biggest difficulty in getting dressed this morning was that (1) it was chilly - or at least really windy, and I really, really wanted to wear a turtleneck sweater, but (2) I *finally* got my grubby hands on a Merona Pearl Cluster necklace yesterday. Huge thanks to AnneG who posted on 3-Penny Princess' blog that she had picked some up. Yay!! Can't wait to see the necklace on my new jewelry boards, but yeah...haven't gotten to the hanging yet.

Anyway...chilly weather, but wanted to wear the pearls. Plus I was still really feeling the orange from yesterday, so I pulled out an orange BR sweater from Fall 2007, (a bit more red than what I could find on Polyvore) but I thought the shawl collar would show off my necklace nicely, even if the only people who saw it were the kiddies and the puppy. And shoes are different, but this was the closest I could find to 2 1/2-year-old Payless flats!

OOTD-03/30/09 - Merona Pearl Cluster Necklace
OOTD-03/30/09 - Merona Pearl Cluster Necklace - by HeidiGblog on Polyvore.com

Here are my quick peek at the purchases, hanging on the closet door, waiting for me to go through and make some final decisions:

And the Polyvore set (I wish the molten metallic shirt showed up better, because it's gorgeous):
3/29/09 Purchases
3/29/09 Purchases - by HeidiGblog on Polyvore.com

The only thing I couldn't find on Polyvore was the gray bangle bracelet, which I totally love and want to wear everytime I put on my gray patent flats. Like the gray bubble necklace with Joyce and ShopaholicDiva have, the bracelet has that mix of gold and medium gray that I love.

What do you think?

Update from DC JCA Event and My 1st Polyvore

Wow, what can I say about the DC JCA Event that 3-Penny Princess arranged? It was so lovely. So fantastic to meet all these fabulous J Crew Aficionadas! 3-Penny Princess posted some great pics, and so did Dinagideon, so check them out if you haven't already. Also check out 3-Penny Princess' post with everyone's Polyvores - and keep checking because she keeps adding!

The Private Shopping Event at the Pentagon City was just amazing. I felt pampered, I felt spoiled, loved loved loved it!! The refreshments were divine - I felt so galm strolling around the store with a mimosa in hand. The sales associates were great - especially Joanne - who was a total doll (literally, she is a size 0, so cute & stylish) and so helpful. More on my purchases later - not sure whether to Polyvore (see note on Polyvore below) or do IRLs and I still have to go through them all. Plus kids are home today and not as much time to post, you know?

I did try on the infamous "hot mess tank top" (see Gigi's post on the tank here) and now I understand the problem. Hellooooo, the XS fit me! And I have to say, I likey! Yes, I said XS. I didn't get it yesterday, but am definitely keeping my eye on it for a future purchase. Definitely too sheer without tank/cami underneath. But would be just a great spring/summer tops with jeans/slacks by itself or under a jacket. But seriously, again, the XS fit me, at 5'10" and a size 10? What were they thinking?

Back to our outing... we had brunch at the Boulvard Wood Grill. In general, I just love brunch. Yummy drinks, yummy food. Eggs Benedict Florentine - yum-yum! (with spinach subbed for the Canadian bacon, you can pretend that it's really, really healthy). And 3-Penny's recommendation for the Grand Mimosa (mimosa with some Grand Marnier) - wow, such a fun little cocktail - glad I had the metro ride home before I got my car.

I *finally* dove in to Polyvore this morning. I've been wanting to, but was postponing until the closet was 100% done. Well, the closet's about 95%, but it was time. Here is a Polyvore of my outfit.

DC J Crew Aficionada Brunch-03/29/09
DC J Crew Aficionada Brunch-03/29/09 - by HeidiGblog on Polyvore.com

Yes, it looks familiar because it is pretty much the outfit from this post, with some modifications accessory- and makeup-wise. What can I say? The Lili cardi is my frilliest J Crew piece. And I've been dying to wear my white jeans again, which aren't at all puppy friendly on rainy days. As soon as I got home I had a muddy paw print on 1 leg. So bye-bye pretty outfit, jeans to the wash, and hello sweats for the rest of the evening. Not that I'm complaining, because a great way to end such a fabulous day is hanging out with the family with a puppy in my lap.

So I can't wait to play with all my purchases, and I'm sure you'll be seeing quite a few of them this week. Thanks again to 3-Penny Princess for putting together this amazing event! Hope to see everyone next time...

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Jewelry Board - Part 1

After reading and being inspired by FabulousFloridaMommy's post and Joyce's post, I decided to make my own fabric covered jewelry board to hang next to my lingerie chest for storing and displaying a good portion of my necklaces and bracelets. I wish I had space in my closet, but I don't, so therefore it has to look presentable. This is Part 1, since I actually made the bulletin board, but I haven't hung them yet, so that will be Part 2 (which may or may not include a new piece of jewelry from today's DC JCA outing).

Step 1 - Assemble your materials. Given the space on my wall, I decided to do 2 bulletin boards, 1 small (18 x 12) over 1 medium (24 x 18), both hung "landscape." My fabric is leftover from doing the bedroom - I love this print and wish I had used it in more than 1 little pillow. Given the colors, I don't know that I'll be hanging much in the way of brightly colored beads, but we'll see.

Materials = cork board, fabric to cover and wrap around, ribbon to glue around perimeter, thin cotton batting for cork surface, push pins, glue (I used a quick-dry, rock-solid-hold glue from Michaels), scissors, masking tape - and a towel to cover my work surface, which was the dining room floor, since the kids were doing Play Doh in the kitchen and snagged my "craft" vinyl tablecloth.

Step 2 - Cut a piece of cotton batting to cover the cork part on the front and then glue around edges just to help hold it. This will help the fabric look better at the edges of the frame.

Step 3 - Cut the fabric to hang over the edges by several inches and then center the fabric on the cork board, then flip over so you are looking at the back of both. You may want to trim the fabric again so that it just comes up over the backside of the frame. Remember that you will want to stretch it a bit when attaching so make sure you account for that.

Step 4 - Start gluing. Work on 2 opposing sides first, remembering to make sure fabric is pulled taut, not too tight, not too slack. Then do the other 2 sides. BTW, you could use a staple gun or hot glue gun if you wanted - this was just my choice for this project. Give the glue a chance to dry (I worked on the other board in the interim).

Step 5 - Glue your ribbon on the edge. Given the pattern and the fact that I was going to have jewelry hanging, I chose not to have any ribbon on the front surface. Depending on your situation, you may want to change that. Start at the bottom corner and glue about 3" to the corner and continue around. End at that same bottom corner. (shows less on the bottom)

Step 6 - Let glue dry again and hang. Yeah....I haven't gotten to that yet. But here they are sitting in the dining room drying. For you eagle eyes, yes they are upside down (because we glued the ribbon on the bottom last, weren't you reading?).

I am very excited to see how this works on the wall. I also think you could do this just for decoration on a wall with an amazing fabric. We have the DC JCA outing today so I may not get to the hanging part until tomorrow. As soon as they are up and going, I will post. Hope you all have a blessed and restful Sunday!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Today's Outfit and the Story of the $2 Purse

Another bit of spring for you - although today was pretty Spring-like here, with the sunshine and warmer temps. (Tonight, though - 40 degrees and rain, whatever... Ugh!) So here are the tulips I picked up at the store yesterday - they always need a day to settle in the vase - I love that they totally match the polka dots on the vase! Tulips are one of my most favorite flowers. I love how they still continue to grow and twist and turn after you put them in water.

So, um, yeah, I wore another cream sweater today. What can I say? It's a favorite color and it always looks good on me. But today's sweater is the J Crew Tartine cardi in snow. This one was $19.99 online, with the 20% off to counteract the shipping. It's so thin that it's great for a day like today. And yes, I did brave it with Lucy, but I took her on 2 nice walks this morning, before and after PT, so she was wiped all day long. Tired puppy = good puppy.

Ok, yeah, cream sweater, whatever. Navy tank, Chicos jeans, pink patent Clarks peep toes to show off the navy toes, and then some sparkle. I love this necklace combo - it's Anthropologie's typeset initial necklace with J Crew's twisted crystal necklace doubled. Fun and sparkly. Plus a few bracelets. Not quite as blah anymore. But if anyone has some suggestions about what *else* to put under the Tartine cardi (other than my usual cami or tank), I would love to hear!! To me, the bracelet sleeves, with something this sheer can be a little tricky when it comes to layering.

And I finally remembered to get a pic of the short yellow trench from AT Loft. This color always makes me happy. And it definitely perks up any outfit. Love it with navy, gray, tan, pretty much anything. So it was perfect for yesterday's rainy, nasty day!! (Dina - makeup inspired by Vanessa in the Paris JC catalog - reddish lips, heavy (heavier) on the eyeliner. Fun, fun!)

In other wardrobe news, pulled out my warm white purse in honor of the spring weather. Now, I'm not one of those girls who change out their purse all the time. I'm just too lazy. I hate to totally rearrange purses that often. But this purse has a special story. I got it for $2 in cash from Ann Taylor. And it will forever be famous. I coveted it at the original price of $199, then it was marked down to $99 online. In I went to the store with my 30% F&F coupon, and asked about the purse. They checked and in spite of the misinformation on the price tag, yes, it was marked down in store as well. I had a sweater to return that was a gift but unfortunately had arms that were too short (or mine were too long). And I had 2 $20 reward certificates. So let's do the math, shall we?

$199, marked down to $99, take off 30%, credit of $34.99 or so, $40 in reward certificates = you owe us exactly $2.
I handed over my 2 $1 bills and walked out with this purse. Now I have several nice purses that I really love, but I don't think anything will ever truly take this one's place in my heart.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Today's Outfit and Mall Outing

First...a little dose of spring for you. Haven't had a chance to pick up pansies to put in pots, but I did grab a hanging basket of violas for next to the garage (we have a detached garage out back). I always love a bit of color here. So nice to see the sweet yellow flowers, especially on a yucky, gray, rainy, chilly day like today. Memo to spring: where did you go?

My mom came up last night to visit and meet Lucy and we went to the mall to run around and have some lunch. I did return the 2 ON striped sweater jackets (and the medium tall is on its way to me, thank you, FFM!). And I didn't buy one more thing. I really and truly wasn't tempted. I checked out the new Chanel Spring polishes, but naw, not that great. I browsed by the shoes at Nordstrom on our way to the Nord Cafe but mostly out of idle and not targeted curiosity. And I wasn't even interested in J Crew because (squeeee) can't wait for our DC JCA outing on Sunday. The desire just wasn't there. I think this is a big step for me.

But it's chilly, gray, rainy, icky - yes, I know I already said that. So what to do...cashmere, please. Pull out the J Crew cashmere long sleeve tee, add trusty Chicos jeans and these cute Clarks Artisan red patent peeptoes (insanely comfy). When we went out, I put on my yellow AT Loft short trench from last spring (need to add that pic sometime), which always totally bumps up the color of an outfit. So yellow coat and red shoes - much more colorful than this pic here. I'm working on the color thing....

Then I need a great necklace. I had to do a close up pic of this one. I love the mix of metals. It's so sparkly. Isn't it fab? Well, of course it is because fab friend Sherry picked it up for me at the jewelry show in NOLA when she was there for Mardi Gras (so pre shopping ban, thank you). I will say that I did think about it before I emailed back a "yes, get it" after she sent the pic. It wasn't immediate.

And here's your Lucy pic for the day. Well, 2 pics actually, because I couldn't choose. I love the one of her looking down because it's so puppy-ish, but the look-at-the-camera pic really shows here eyes - she just look so old there! And the detail in the outside pics is so much better. Funny Lucy story for you all...when my mom got here late last night, we were hanging out in the family room. She was playing with Lucy and said "Where does her brown nose come from, the poodle or the Lab?" Hubby and I both looked at each other and in unison said "The dirt." Well, it made me laugh. I'm still giggling thinking about it...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Nail Files - Navy Nails

Well, it's springtime, so what does that mean to me, nail wise? Some pretty pales, a few brights, and yes, navy nails. My love of dark vampy colors started about 4 years ago when E accidentally (that time) stomped on my big toe with one of those plastic dress-up heels right below the nail, you know, where the nail forms and can get really messed up? I'll spare you the goriest details, but the bruise grew out under the nail and it was ick, so I said, hmmmm, I need a nail polish that can cover this up. At the time, there weren't that many dark polishes (this was before Chanel's Black Satin). So I headed to Target and came home with a Cover Girl that seemed the best purple-ish/burgudy-ish shade. And I just loved it! It reminded me of back in the Pulp Fiction days of Uma and the original Vamp polish. I had Revlon's knockoff, Vixen, but I totally worked it.

And let me tell you, dark polish matches everything! So a love affair was born. It's so bad that last summer when I went with a pale on my toes a couple of times, I didn't even recognize my feet. It was like looking at someone else's feet where mine should be. My dark shade of choice changes with the season, but Summer 2007, OPI released their NightBrights colleciton, which included Light My Sapphire, and that was it. Navy blue polish? I loved it. Navy is so preppy and dark polish is so goth, it was the perfect marriage for me - which is actually why I love dark polish - because I tend to dress so preppy/conservative anyway, it gives me a little edge.

And then Chanel came out with Blue Satin in Spring 2008. Also loved that. And that's what I have on my toes to welcome spring! This and the OPI one will probably alternate on my toes for many months to come. Which one do I like best? Hard to say. I'll have to test that out. Important note - the darks really do look best on short nails (or at least that's my personal preference).

The 2 pics below illustrate my example of doing your nails before bed. Top pic is right after they were done - total mess, seriously tacky, right?

And here we have, next morning, after a quick excess polish clean up in the shower. Not too shabby, huh?

Now, I flat out admit that I have a nail polish issue. But clearly I have way too many colors (personal stash below). I think it's time to narrow down.
But I will give you my quick primer on my own personal opinion of these polish brands:

  • OPI - love the formula, love the new wide brush-makes polish application easier. You Don't Know Jacques from Fall/Winter 2008 was a particular favorite this fall. In general, I find OPI polishes look as good or better on me than in the bottle.
  • Sephora by OPI - like the formula, wish they had the same wide brush. Great color selection. Liked Metro Chic a lot this year - but only worked on my pale skin; did not look good on my tanned skin (but I wear SPF 45-70 all summer long, so no lectures please - I am a total sunscreen Nazi, you should see me at the pool with my hat, shades, spray sunscreen bottles)
  • Essie - I have so many issues with this brand. Many of their colors look different and worse on my skin than in the bottle. And many colors, especially their cremes need 3 coats to be opaque. I find most of the lights, especially the cremes, to be streaky. That being said, my 2 faves are Nude Beach and Risky Business (my dupe for J Crew's Essie shade - Mini Shorts)
  • Chanel - These colors are so gorgeous. They always look sparklier in the bottle than they do on. But that sparkle is what gives them such amazing depth. Delice is a summer fave, but looks awful on my skin right now. Still would love Rouge Noir (the original Vamp shade)
  • NARS - ok. not the best lasting. not sure why I still have these.
  • China Glaze - have 2 colors - Wagon Trail (dark olive-y with gold, total fall and St Patrick's favorite) and Princess Grace. Really like these.
The others are assorted odds and ends. One pile is my daughter's mini-stash. She's only allowed to use my top coat if she uses good polish (BTW, I am the one doing the nails; she picks the color). Some of the glittery junk she got from somewhere once messed up a whole bottle of my Seche Vite top coat.

Speaking of cutting down on colors... I used Chanel's Antilope on my tips last night. Have to say, it's very close to OPI's Sand in My Suit and I think I really like OPI's version better. If any of the DC JCA's want this bottle, let me know and I'll bring it to the event this Sunday to pass off.

And by the way, this post (as well as counting out 50 polishes) has made me realize that much as I want to order the Chanel Rouge Noir polish, especially today when I got the email from them with the free shipping code (0309TIPS), I really, really, really don't need it.

I will probably change out and go with the navy for my fingers for the weekend. I think they would really work with the JC cerise Lili. Hmmmm...

Old Navy Sweater Coat Sadness and Today's Outfit (yes, they're related)

Well, this was a big screw up. The Old Navy Sweater Coat (that I mentioned earlier this week). Yep, my F&F package arrived. Camis good. Sweater bad. Should have paid more attention because it is offered in a TALL, hello????? And it's the same shipping no matter how many items you order? And it actually says "hits at the waist"? Yeah, I messed up.

The medium (here on left) looks like it belongs to my 6-year-old daughter in terms of length, and the large (here on right) is really too big. I took pics and was trying to convince myself that I could maybe go ahead and keep the large, after putting it to a vote here, but as I look at it, it really is a bit too big. I think the Tall Medium would be perfect. Unfortunately, no more F&F, and I don't want to pay the shipping just for the 1 sweater. It's $24, shipping & tax puts it over $30, when I paid $20 for the other two. And I am planning to return in store, so they won't have the tall for me to exchange. Dang.

And I really made the definite decision to return after I saw the pics from today's outfit - my BR sweater jacket from last year (plus trusty Chicos jeans and Payless flats - are you tired of seeing them yet?). I love this sweater jacket, it always evokes a Chanel-esque feel in me, and I always feel great in it. But it's a little on the bigger side also, like the ON one. So I don't want 2 sweater jackets that are on the large side. Although the BR one doesn't usually look this wide, maybe it's the way I'm standing (whereas I think the ON one actually looks wider IRL). Anyway... What do I do? Should I go ahead and pay 50% more the M Tall sweater coat that seems like it would probably be perfect? Should I wait until after the DC JCA outing this weekend, because I've had my eye on the cricket cardigan and they may be too similar? What do you think?

Side note about today's outfit: This was my first piece of J Crew jewelry - the dog charm bracelet from Fall 2007. Love it!! Lucy thinks it's the most marvelous toy, so I am taking it off when we play. Luckily, it is sturdy.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

J Crew Cashmere Femme Sweater

Today's outfit... the J Crew Cashmere Femme Sweater, in navy. Gosh, I can't even remember how long I've had this. I got it this fall, but I don't even remember if it was online or B&M - probably B&M since I likely wouldn't have chanced this fit online. It has been a great sweater - you know how much I love my cashmere... And of course, navy, my favorite color. It was a good choice today for season (spring=navy in my book) and weather (sunny but very, very cool).

And...stop me if you've heard this...Chico's jeans - yes I do wear them this much. Plus the cute Payless flats from Summer 06. And I added a long necklace from Ann Taylor Loft - last spring, I think, with some silver bracelets (1 Tiffany and 1 Schwarzchild) and a pair of hoops (Silpada). I think I'll wait just a little bit longer before doing the long necklace again, it was a little too tempting for Lucy.

I like the flowy fit of the sweater. It is a-line, but not too trapeze-like. I would actually love to get this sometime in another color. It makes a fabulous backdrop to any accessories. And the bracelet sleeves...well, they show off my bracelets.

Unlike the other puppy training sweaters, which I was wearing knowing I would need to wash before storing, I plan on wearing this one a few more times this spring. I think my white jeans or pale khakis would really jazz it up a bit. But Lucy's not ready for white jeans yet, is she?

A Little Fun for the Little Girls

So E and I decided that she needed some spring shoes since it's getting to be March and she is mostly wearing her dark fall/winter shoes, and the white sneakers are just about toast. So off we went to Target on Sunday afternoon, and this is what we came home with - Target's Girls' Camp Rock Wedge.

Ok, ok, they are heels. But seriously, have you seen some of the trashy things they have for this age group? It's hard to keep them from looking like a 14-year-old hoochie most of the time. (Don't get me started on my bathing suit rant. I like 2-piece for her because it's easy come bathroom time, but I don't want her wearing a Brazilian bikini) And we (yes all of us) did love Camp Rock.

Anyway... they have such a cute selection of toddler shoes, but the girls shoes were rather lacking. These at least, aren't too high (you wouldn't believe some of the girls shoes...) and they are definitely more secure than a flip flop. And she loved them. Good fun. And I'm sure they'll be trashed within a few months and we can bid them adieu!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Outfit of the Day, plus a Casual Discussion

Puppy training still in full force - lots of walks today and some garden clean up this afternoon (you know, from the holly hedges that I butchered yesterday). Plus work and E's soccer practice. Busy but fun day. Sunny but chilly and windy, but decided to go ahead and pull out for its inaugural wearing...the J Crew Ringspun Painter Tee (what was this, Holiday-ish 08?) I was in love with the green Bon Voyage tee for quite a while. Fantasized about how crisp it would look with white jeans, about how it would ground a floaty white skirt. Almost got it once for 29.99, but couldn't decide between with pink and the green. Oh, decisions, whatever, I know. Finally made the decision when I thought it was gone forever and happened to see 1 in my size hanging on the sale rack and I grabbed that sucker, only to find it was 19.99 with 30% off. Squeeee!

So since it's totally not short sleeve weather, and I'm always cold, I pulled out a white long sleeve perfect tee to layer underneath along with yes, the trusty Chicos jeans and my LL Bean navy polka dot slipons. Add some gold hoops and the cheapo H+M ring. For bus stop and dog walking, add the green Gap corduroy jacket and a pink pashmina (bunched up as a very cozy scarf) and I was good to go.

But it got me thinking about casual in general. Here I was in a tshirt and jeans, yet I felt very polished and pressed. Not quite church-ready, but not that far off. And my reality is that I am casual most days, since I am blessed enough to work 95% of the time from home (so fantastically flexible). I think that all too often, people equate casual with sloppy. I remember way back in the day, when I was relatively fresh out of college, and my company then instituted casual Fridays, and later jeans Fridays. (woo hoo!) There were some guidelines, of course, but it was so widely open to interpretation. One time in particular, two guys that I worked with had on the same basic outfit - a navy blue collared knit shirt and jeans - but the effect was so totally different between the two. "C" had a nice blue shirt, well-cared for, just the right fit so that it was a light loose casual, with a white tshirt underneath, tucked in with a belt, and nice sneakers. "J" had a faded blue shirt, that was a size too small-ish because it stuck to the chest area a bit, if you know what I mean, no tshirt underneath, not tucked in, with very dirty sneakers. Amazing the difference.

And I think that's what I strive against in my daily casual wear. Ok, you know my "dirty" secret - the gardening overalls. But I have other sloppy clothes - like the mens XL fleece pullover from Disney that is oh-so-cozy and my favorite thing to wear when I'm sick or just really chilly & tired. Plus tees like the one at right here, which make great sleep tees, especially when I roll out of bed and throw on sweats to take Lucy out in the morning. But most days, I try to make the effort. It can be a slippery slope. (For you Project Runway fans, yes, that is me channeling Laura Bennett - love her!!) And it doesn't take any longer to throw on a fitted tee or sweatshirt, or add a nice cardi or cozy sweater than it does to put on a sloppy, torn, paint-splattered faded tee or sweatshirt. (This is the plug for the well-organized closet.) Trust me, I am all about comfort. With the possible exception of the occasional dress heel, I only wear extremely comfortable clothes/shoes/etc. But I think it is possible to be comfortable and chic at the same time. If you need some more great ideas, FabulousFloridaMommy had an entire post devoted to some great casual chic options for spring/summer. Definitely check it out, if you haven't seen it already.

And another Lucy puppy pic to make you smile, or at least it makes me smile...

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Wardrobe Challenge Days #6 and #7, plus Wrap Up

Ok, so 1 day behind posting on the wardrobe challenge. It was way too nice outside, and I do have to sleep, you know. But I do at least have pics.

Day #6, Saturday - Fun day. My dad came up to visit the new grandpup. (Mom's coming up later this week - too much stuff going on this weekend.) We had lots of fun. Kids loved seeing him too, of course. Got lots of doggie goodies - unfortunately because my parents had to put their dog to sleep a month and a half ago. Sad for them, but nice to think the puppy supplies have a good use, and we saved some bucks. (I spent enough at the pet store this week!!!)

Outfit for Puppy Training - BR striped cotton turtleneck sweater (Spring 08, I think) - I love love love this sweater. It's such a nice light weight but it can layer for warmth, and even without under layers, it still doesn't show any lumps or bulges because of the stripe pattern. Love that!! Totally perfect sweater for springtime. I stalked this sweater until it went on sale, or I had a coupon and then I nabbed it. Totally worth it! To complete the outfit, Chicos jeans, and a cute pair of flats from Payless (totally comfy, too) from August 07. See, aren't these shoes cute??

And then Saturday night... Dinner party at my friend, Sherry's house. (BTW Sherry is the creative soul who came up with the name for my blog - thanks again, Sherry!!!) Anyway, she is a fabulous hostess, a fabulous cook, and just, well, all-around fabulous. Such a fantastic time. 7 adults, 6 kids, yummy food, fine conversation - it was all good. I was trying to decide what to wear... and inspiration in the form of FabulousFloridaMommy struck. I remember how much I loved her Polyvore & IRL pics of the white shirt layered under the Jackie shell. So crisp, classic, and chic. And PoseyFord did it too. So fab. So I grabbed my white AT Loft shirt from last year and a black Lord & Taylor cashmere shell, and threw them on. Perfect, just what I was looking for - especially when I added a favorite necklace (Limon-something from Anthropologie last summer - limonade? limoncello? can't remember) And finished it with my H&M ring, Mossimo Desta flats and my self-made Gap cropped pants. I tried on these black pants in store last spring, and of course, way too short to wear, but they fit perfectly. Light bulb went off, bingo, dropped them off at the cleaners on the way home, asked them to shorten 3 inches, and I had the perfect long cropped pants. The bonus is that I had forgotten about these, found them in the closet clean out, and they fit me better last night than they had when I did the try-on. Woo hoo! And hot rollered the hair - that, or massive amounts of noxious chemicals is the only way my hair ever sees curl (I remember when a friend asked me: You don't flat iron or blow out your hair? hahahahahahaha - that was good. Can you say straight as a stick?) Ok, so it may not be the most exciting outfit in the world, but I felt fabulous! Thanks, FFM & PoseyFord!!

Day #7, Sunday - I can't claim that I went really original today at all. First of all church - I totally recycled last night's outfit (minus the excess eye makeup and hot rollers). Worked great the second time, too. Then for puppy-don, well, not so original either. The sweater here might look a little familiar. Yep, it's Saturday's sweater in a heathered medium blue. Loved the striped one so much, I snagged this one later in the season on major sale. Need to underlayer sometimes, but love the color. Amazing with white jeans, too. On feet - Crocs Primas (they were last spring's ballet flats), because on today's agenda is a little gardening - not overalls worthy, though. I really wish I had taken pics of my projects because I did a major trim of the hollies in front of our front porch. They were so wild and unruly, and I probably took off half. It was awesome! I filled 2 1/2 of the brown yard recycle bags from 1 side, and the other side....um....well, I put some of it in the bag. And the rest is in a nice, big, huge pile for me to bag tomorrow. I can handle that. I felt so productive though. Also moved the bird bath to the side yard, outside the fence, as Lucy seems to think it's a raised water bowl. Not so good.

So how did I do with this week's Wardrobe Challenge? Pretty good, I would say. I think I proved that I didn't need to sink into total slopitude to work with a new puppy. And I felt better since I was spruced up, too. Friday's effort wasn't so great due to the unfortunate match up of late PT with sick daughter pick up at school. But let's face it, the ickiness that day was more due to the lack of shower than anything. (Yay for hygiene!) I give myself a solid B+ for the week. Still, it will be a while before I pull out the white jeans or the Lili ruffle chiffon cardi. But one of these days...