Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Khaki & White...Just So Right

You all know I love navy.  But one of my fave combos year round - especially in the spring & summer is khaki and white.  It always looks fresh and crisp to me.  And it's easy.  My usual formula is white top + khaki bottom + whatever accessories you feel like.  And it works just as well if you switch up with khaki top + white bottoms.  And it almost always feels just a little bit beachy. Here are a couple of outfits to share from a few weeks ago, that I have since copied with varying tees or shoes or whatever.

Pencil Skirt:  Loft Iconic Pencil Skirt (#241906, $49.50).  I actually think this skirt is totally worth FP, but I did get it during the 30% F&F a few weeks ago.    They are showing Black and Pebble online, but mine is much more of a gray color - I'm thinking it's probably Moon Gray?  Ok maybe it's gray, but it's with me here.

The skirt is 98% cotton/2% spandex and *machine washable.*  It's 22" in length - which for me, is perfect because below knee skirts - esp pencil skirts - just don't work well on a short-shinner like me.  Since it's above the knee, I can totally get away with wearing flats with it - yay!  And that means I will wear it much more than a heels-required skirt. 

Fit-wise, I got the 10 because I wanted to be able to wear it sans tights or control garments and it's a light color (like my size up for white jeans rule).  This is a summer skirt.  I wanted something comfy & easy...and I got it. 

I love this with just a white tee - here the perfect fit white crewneck.  The combos are endless since (1) I have quite a stash of white tees, and (2) any group of accessories works as long as they work together.  For this ensemble, I chose the pink Danielle sandals and the fireball necklace which is really a light pink, plus gold hoops.

And I feel polished every time I wear this skirt - even when casual.  And it's so comfy.  Another plus is that it really doesn't wrinkle badly - and that's always a danger with pencil skirts. I highly recommend this skirt.

Polyvore for pencil skirt (had to use a different Loft skirt in the PV, since you know the Loft/PV issues - argh):
5/5/10Fashion Trends & Styles - Polyvore

5/5/10 by HeidiGblog featuring J Crew

Utility skirt: Banana Republic cargo skirt. No idea on style number since I got it a couple of months ago (thanks for the coupon, Gigi) at 40% off the FP of $59.50, so it was $36. A great summer skirt. Much more casual than the pencil skirt, above, but very versatile. I think I'll wear this a lot - especially for travel. Have I ever mentioned that I prefer skirts when I travel in the car, esp in summer? Not dressy, fussy, wrinkly ones, of course. But easy cotton skirts. They're usually cooler than shorts or ccapris, easier for potty stops, and I'll wear them with a tee so the seatbelt doesn't irritate as it can with a sundress (my other top summer clothing choice).

Here, I have on the open crewneck painter tee, J Crew olive sneakers (which are a great way to ground a shorter skirt), and my Anthro initial typeset necklace. Nothing earth shattering, but a clean classic look that I loved all day.

Fit - in case you happen to stumble upon one at your local BR - I got a size 10.  BR skirts seem to be tighter on me in the hips than most JC skirts are.
Polyvore for utility skirt:

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Loft Fern Print Maxi Dress

Loft Fern Print Maxi Dress (#240415, $98). I got this dress with the 40% off dresses promotion, so it was only $58.80 - which, for me, is a more reasonable price. It's navy - Midnight Navy, to be exact - so you know I'm a fan to start with.  And I've been wanting a maxi dress, but the knit ones just haven't worked out for me.

I finally ended up returning the J Crew Promenade Jersey Gown because it just felt too heavy, esp for the price I paid, so I questioned how much I would end up wearing it (thanks to Kate who originally pointed that out, and Anon/Fave Fit Model who mentioned it in another post).  Plus the whole bra thing was going to be a pain. 

I am doing the review now, while the dress is actually up on the Loft site, so that hopefully the link will work.  It's been disappearing from the site over the past few days, which means stock must be running low.

I am wearing a 4 here.  Yes, you read that right - a 4.  But I swear that's not the only reason I got it (snicker).  Fit on this dress is *all* about the bust - it glides right over my hips.  If you are non-curvy like me, you can size WAY down.  And it's plenty long on me, but you could still get away with it if you were just a bit shorter, I think.  I had originally gotten the 6 and then returned it - it was just too loose on the bust so I kept fidgeting with it - anyone see Bachelorette last night (I embarrassingly admit)?  Poor Ali kept pulling up that left shoulder strap all night long.  I think her dress must have been too big because she kept having to pick it up any time she walked and then there was the strap thing.  Plus, she was kinda standing like she needed to hold the straps up via shoulder position (we've all been there, right?).  I just wanted to take in an inch or two out of the straps - she would have been so much more comfortable.

But back to this long dress, which is way more wearable than a long black evening gown, at least in my reality...with the fabric design and ruching over the bust, if you are non-curvy, you can get away without wearing a bra (and I'm not in the pic at right) - always a bonus in the summer.  But it works fine with a strapless bra, too, if you want a little more shape...and it's not bloody hot outside.

The fabric is fantastic - cotton voile, so it's nice and lightweight.  (see comment above on heavy jersery promenade gown).  And it's machine washable - always nice for a summer dress when you've been outside in the muggy heat and you feel icky so you *know* your clothes are icky.

It's also a nice, lower cost alternative to the fab >LL Bean signature sail boat dress here - which is not machine washable. (I've been coveting that dress, btw, but I realize the Loft one actually is more practical.)

And E approves - I had her vote on dresses before school this morning.  So it's a keeper.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

J Crew Sequin-Stripe Henley Tank

Ok, I'll get to the comments from the last post on the Jaspe sequined slouchy sweatshirt, but I seem to be getting in this groove of blogging at the beginning of the week and then just trailing off by mid-week. So post first, comment back later. It's been a busy week - I've been painting the kiddies' rooms this week. (since I'm out of hours on my current project at work, so I might as well as get some work done at home right now, right?) I'll share pics as soon as we get everything put back in order, pictures hung, etc. But I'm thrilled with how they turned out.  So I'm  sitting here typing during commercials while watching the Grey's Anatomy season finale.

Back to the post...J Crew Sequin-Stripe Henley Tank (#26531, price - well, that's a longer story).   The tank is a Collection piece.  It was originally pictured in the catalog with the price of $59.50 but the in-store tag said $68.  At the FH store, we heard mixed stories from the SA about whether or not they would honor the catalog price.  I had originally purchased it then, for the catalog-honored price of $59.50.  But *then* came the 20% off knits special, so I re-ordered it along with the Jaspe sweatshirt, so that was 20% off $59.50, or $47.60.  But when I just went to grab the link for this post, I saw that the tank is now $68 online.  Wow, price whiplash...

This is the size M, in Quarry (ooh, is that  new color name?  haven't heard it before).  It's also available in seashore beige.  Fit-wise, I'm pretty happy with the cut and the length.

So if I got it for $47.60 and it's currently $68 online and it's a Collection piece, that's an amazing deal and I should keep it, right?  Hmmm...still trying to decide.  Don't get me wrong, I think it's a really nice top.  It's a fun piece.  Actually, it's a pretty fab tank.  It would go with a lot - denim-dark to light to white, black, tan, gray, red, ummmm....pretty much anything you pair it with.  Such a perfect white jeans partner.   Rocking under a jacket.  Softened with a cardi.  Lots of options.

But here's the thing...I'm just not feeling it.  Do I have that weird smile on my face again in the picture?  I know not everyone loved the Jaspe sweatshirt.  But as soon as  I put it on, I was in love.  I got *that* feeling.  And shouldn't that really be where we allocate our pennies?  I think the main reason I picked this one up was that I wasn't sure, but thought it would be best to to get it at the lower price in case I really did want it...then it was 20% of that, so it was an even better buy.  But I still think it's going back.

Chances are that if I want to wear sleeveless sequins in the summer, I'm just going to go ahead and wear a dress.  Or another top, say the tango that I don't wear often enough, with some piled on jewelry. 

I can think of all kinds of great outfits that I could make with this top.  But if you're not dying to wear something right away, that's the sign it should go back.  I've said it before and I'll say it again...if we all wore the same thing all the time, how boring would that be?  You'd never find your size!!
Final verdict:  Back to the store it goes....(but next week - I've got a 3rd grade field trip and then shopping for M's birthday sleepover to do tomorrow)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Oh la la...J Crew Jaspe Sequined Slouchy Sweatshirt

J Crew Jaspe Sequined Slouchy Sweatshirt (#21197, $150).  "Sequined" and "Slouchy"?  Count me it. 

The back story is that, as you probably read on Summer's and Slastena's blogs, a bunch of us DC JCAs got together to do a little shopping and Starbucks time on May 1.  And what happened?  Well, we all dove into the Crewlade, as shown in my Polyvore below:

So here's our total:
2 = already had it in white, aka "grey jaspe" (dinagideon, Summerilla)
1 = pregnant so actually had a bit of sense (Amber)
1 = Cleo was strangely immune to the charms of the sequined Jaspe
6 = the rest of us, who bought out Friendship Heights' stock of the metallic jaspe (me, drewablank, kater, Slastena, Rosa in DC, and Jane-who ordered it)

Yep, that was pretty much it.  Thank goodness they didn't have crewcuts there or a crewcut version, since I brought along my mini-Jenna, E. 

The sequined jaspe originally came out in December and then was waitlisted forever.  But wow, that front table display was wiped out after we whirled on through.  dinagideon wore hers here in the "grey jaspe" version, which has the white sequins. 

This is the "metallic jaspe" color, which just means the sequins are a dark silver color.  Admittedly, I re-ordered it when knits were 20% off, so at least I only paid $120 for it...which still seems like a lot...but it's just so cozy...I really love the fit.  Most of the ladies got a regular sweater size.  I actually got the Large.  And truthfully, I really only tried it on for a lark after the SAs told kater that there was an M on the mannequin that they could grab for her since she said the L was too big. (Slastena snagged hers from a mannequin, too - like I said, we cleaned them out of Jaspes)  I was thinking NO WAY, but as soon as I put it love loved it!  It's so comfy.  And such a great combo of shiny & slouchy.  And let's be honest, I love to dress up, but it always has to be comfy. 

The sequin-sewing backing is totally fine - I ended up returning the Loft sequin shell because every time I put it on, the back sewing of the sequins was totally irritating to me.  (wardrobe test - if you can't stop fidgeting when you try something on, don't get it because you'll be doing the same thing when you try to wear it for real.)

But back to fit...I think the Large worked on me because of my frame.  With wide shoulders and a fairly flat chest, I can usually pull of slouchy better than someone with a curvier figure.    And it has a nice long length so it sits on me as slouchy, not boxy.  It really is a fine line, though, but fit-queen dina approved.  The open neck adds a lot to the sweatshirt since it shows off some skin...and who doesn't have a great collarbone?  But because of the slouchy fit, I will only wear it with slim bottoms.

So for a house party the other weekend, I wore it with skinny white jeans (KUT from the Kloth at Nordstrom - love them).  Not this pic here, since it was a come home from soccer game and immediately change to go out evening - no time for pics.  But this is pretty much how I wore it.  Except that I also had on silver flip flops and the gray pearl earring that drewablank brought back for me (which I still love - thanks, honey!).  With all the sequins, you really don't need much else - too much jewelry would actually be distracting.  And oh yeah, I got a multitude of compliments.  So I give it an A+.

Other ways to wear it:
  • Like I am in the first pic when I just tried it on for a photo but hadn't gotten around to posting.  How fab would you feel lounging around home in this? 
  • I tried it on in store with a navy blazer, while wearing my white jeans and it looked amaaaaazing under the blazer.  If I actually worked in an office, I would totally try it out.  And if I had a regular real navy blazer, which I don't, but it really should be on my list.  Maybe next fall, I think I've blown through my spring/summer wardrobe budget.
  • With skinny jeans - the sequins almost have a blue tone, so it would totally work with medium to dark denim
  • With Minnies, duh - black definitely.  not sure about the coal ones - haven't tried.
  • With khaki pants & black heeled sandals, a la Dec 2009 Marie Claire feature copying a Celine look ("Cents-ible chis: Shimmering sweaters and sexy ankle strap heels amp up low-key khakis) but the printer with the scanner died so you'll have to take my word for it.  And yes, I have been cleaning out my magazines.
  • With cute shorts and flat sandals for a very casual glam beach party.
Am I crazy?  Or crazy like a fox?  We'll see...

Updated with:
Gigi's post on the Jaspe...
and Debye's original post on the Jaspe, her 2nd post on Jaspe styling ideas, and most recent on pairing with a pencil skirt.  Thanks, ladies!!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

So Hair's the full story...

So when I was posting pics of the bad hair cut, I was doing my darnedest to make them as flattering as possible. But in the interest of full disclosure, I will show you exactly how crappy of a cut it was.

This is me a few weeks ago after the bad cut, before we fixed it. This was probably the best it looked over that interim time without using hot rollers or the cop-out ponytail. Usually it didn't even look this good.

(Back story to very new readers - a month ago I went to someone new for a hair cut and it was awful - he talked me into layers - they cut the layer - yes, singular - about twice as short as he said he would and then, before I could stop it, proceeded to "texturize" my hair - which you never, ever, ever do to straight fine hair. The multiple "wow, you're hair really *is* straight comments he made should have been the sign to send me running. So the end result was a cut that took much longer to style and didn't look as good unless I gave it major heat damage. And gave me frizzy hair, which I never had before.  Nice, real nice.)

At a distance, it's not too bad. A bit shaggy looking, a bit scraggly. Of course, after going out in the humidity, it went fuzzy because of the awful "texturizing" the bad stylist did. I think the logic was that I was supposed to start flat ironing my hair. But why would I add extra heat damage that I didn't need to? and wouldn't that flatten the volume that the texturizing was supposed to create.

Here are the close ups:

Yes, they do look like mug shots.

So you can see, as the next stylist pointed it, he basically cut 1 layer, and then left the remaining hair in a heavy blunt cut, with fuzzy edges from the texturizing.

But the upside...I got a call from the manager at the salon, since I had only given them a 7 out of 10 on the online survey (kind of me, I thought) wanting to know how they could have improved my experience. After I very politely explained how bad the cut was, she offered to refer me to another stylist for a complimentary cut to fix it. Which was nice and the right thing to do. (Of course, I was still out an extra $15 since I tipped the new stylist because it was the right thing to do.)

So Sue agreed that the cut was really bad and didn't work with my hair and we basically chopped 3" off the bottom to bring the length up close to the "layer". She even asked if I'd had the frizziness before and when I said "no," she was like "oh, wow."  And so now I have to wait a year or so for the fuzzy texture crap to grow out.

So here's the new cut, which I'm still getting used to, but it's much easier. And it's fun to have my hair at a shorter length for a bit. I may even keep it for a while.

But in the meantime, I have my hair products to help me out. I've been using both of these products for about 6 months and have been really happy, so I thought I would share.

First up:  Umberto Blow Dry Lotion ($9.99 at Target). Grab it when you see it because it always sells out at my Target. And shoot, I should have looked when I was there this morning.

I love this product because it does a little bit of everything - heat protection, smoothing, and hold - so you get all that in 1 product instead of having to layer.  My mom just got some after I recommended it and I think my sister did too.  I have been bouncing around trying out different serums, cremes, mousses, whatever, and this one seems to be spot-on perfect for my hair.  And it's not expensive. 

Next, we have:  Tresemme 24-hour Body Finishing Spray.  This is available at most drug stores, grocery stores, Target, Walmart, etc.  And it's cheap.  What I really like about it is that it's not quite as heavy as a true hair spray but it helps hold and protect your style.  Kind of like a hair-spray-light.  And I do need help holding that volume in my hair..even with the fuzzies. 

So that's the full story on the hair cuts...and I'll try to stop whining about my hair for a while...because if it's boring me, goodness knows it's got to be boring you.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

J Crew Sweeping Ruffles Shirt

Show of many people had their J Crew Sweeping Ruffles Shirt (#22852, $98, and I have no idea why it's still full price) on back order?  And waited and waited?  Only to be utterly disappointed when they got it?  According to my SA, a LOT of these have been returned to the store in the past week or so, so I'm guessing you all feel the same way as I do about it.

Here's the online pic...How cute.  The floaty it.

And here's the reality.

What can I say? 

Let's see...




and let's not forget.....


Ok, seriously.  The full scoop.  Maybe it's just awful on me because I really don't have much in the way of curves (drewablank and I were talking about it earlier this week so I hope hers worked when it arrived).  And maybe it loses something when it's been folded flat in a package as opposed to being steamed into floaty loveliness in store.  I got a Medium. 

The good:  It fit fine in the shoulders (thank you, J Crew!)  I really liked the length.  And I still like my new hair cut (more on that in an upcoming post).

The bad: all those flaps of fabric hanging off the shirt.  I felt like a laundry line.  Seriously.  It's wash day, woo hoo!  A hot mess on me.  And I try not to overuse that term, but oh, it seriously applied here.  And it was MUCH more sheer than the online pic would lead you to believe.  And, for us lazybones, who wants to iron this sucker?  "Not it."

Bottom line: Not even on sale, honey.  Or maybe my Polyvore will tell you how I really feel....

ps - props to Chris of A Little "Crew"zy, who called this as a major miss back in January. You were right, Chris, but at least I didn't pay for shipping!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

955 to go...

955 blog posts to read
955 blog posts
take one down
read it around
954 blog posts to read...

(it is kinda catchy when you set it to the tune of "99 bottles of beer on the wall", I swear - or maybe I'm just that tired & punchy.)

Oy...I've been gone again.  It's been fits & starts for me over the past few weeks, hasn't it?  My wireless modem blew up last week and then this past week has been busy and I've just been wiped out.  But I'm on my Z-pack now work has slowed way down, things are looking good.

But it's such Catch-22 - with limited time, do you post?  or do you keep up with everyone else's posts?  It seems kinda selfish to just post and not be reading other bloggy friends.  And I miss keeping up with everyone.  So I'll be back to posting soon...once I catch up.  Toodles for now.  And Happy Mother's Day to all!!