Monthly Archives: October 2011

J. Crew No. 2 Pencil skirt in Vibrant Flame – how to love it

I am a girl who likes a challenge. Tell me I can’t do something and suddenly I am on a mission. Just ask the poor ski patrol in Jackson Hole, Wyoming who dared ask me if I needed a ride down the mountain on their snowmobile after they watched me fall approximately 18 times in thirty seconds on the bunny slope. Instead of politely saying “no thank you” I yelled at them that I would get down that mountain on my own or I would die trying. Sorry nice ski patrol lady!

Keeping that in mind, I recently convinced a friend to buy this skirt:

And when she agreed to buy it  – which was a good call on her part b/c she looks totally fab in it – it was with the caveat and understanding that I would be responsible for helping her figure out what to wear with a bright orange pencil skirt. Challenge accepted!!

Now here is how J. Crew suggests you wear this skirt:


Woof! And to think – J. Crew actually paid someone to put this look together. Call me J. Crew – because, as evidenced below, I can do better.

Outfit No. 1:

J Crew No. 2 Pencil Skirt - Set 1

Now as a double Alabama grad it pains me to match this orange skirt with a navy and white top. But try as I might I cannot deny that navy and orange look good together. Plus I’m toning down the AU overtones with a beige open cardi with some great details and a fun chunky necklace. Also my friend is an Ole Miss grad so she probably doesn’t have as much of a natural aversion to this color combo as I do.

Outfit No. 2:

JCrew No. 2 Pencil Skirt - Set 2

I am LOVING the idea of a dark purple paired with this bright orange. And I am especially loving it with this amazing leopard-print cardi on top. I could make a whole week’s worth of outfits out of that cardi – I love it that much. So if you want one you better get it before I snag them all for myself.

(And b/c I know you will ask – yes Emily, you should wear this with dark brown tights.)

Outfit No. 3:

JCrew No. 2 Pencil Skirt - Set 3

While I certainly do not advocate wearing this mustard yellow shirt alone with this skirt, I think a little bit of yellow peeking out at the collar of this yummy gray sweater would be fab. But if that makes you nervous you could substitute a light blue collared shirt instead for an (almost) equally stylish look.

So there you have it. Three ways to wear one of the season’s hottest colors without looking like a giant pumpkin. (Which would only be acceptable today – so if you already own this skirt and aren’t wearing it there’s still time to go home and put it on with a green shirt for instant pumpkin-ness.)

Happy Halloween kids!!


Want vs. Need – a dilemma we do not love

I just started writing this post by saying that I didn’t actually buy that many pairs of shoes or boots last fall and winter. And then I started counting them in my head. And I realized that was a lie. (And no, I will not tell you what my final internal count was because it is slightly embarrassing. And probably inaccurate. To the low side.)

Now given how much I talk about shopping, shoes, and shopping for shoes you might think I have an unlimited budget for these type of things. But trust me, I do not. And as a result, sometimes difficult shoe-purchase-related decisions must be made.

This weekend I almost impulse-purchased this pair of boots at Nordstrom:

Luxury Rebel Abby Boot

In real life they’re more of a light gray-brown than the dark taupe-y color they appear to be in the picture. And they looked super-cute with the tan slouchy socks and leggings I was wearing when I tried them on. I WANT them. But I don’t NEED them. And I really don’t need to spend $165 on them right now.

Especially when what I NEED right now is this pair of shoes:

Coach Taffy Pumps

Now obviously I do not NEED these in the strictest sense in the word – I obviously own other black pumps and shoes. I mean, I do not need these like Lindsey Lohan NEEDS an intervention or like the Kardashians NEED to disappear from our national consciousness.

But I do spend a good part of the winter months putting on black and black-related suits for courtroom appearances and my go-to black pumps have seen better days. I think this pair is  cute and non-boring but still conservative enough to be courtroom appropriate. And right now they’re on sale

And yes, I could get spend less money and get a perfectly functional pair of black pumps to get me through the winter. But lately I’ve been thinking a lot about how I’ve reached an age and point in my professional life where it’s more important to have quality over quantity when it comes to fashion – especially in my work wardrobe. It really seems to cut down on the number of people who think I’m there to be the court reporter and not the defense attorney.

I think I already know the answer but I’m going to ask anyway:

Kenneth Cole New York Faux Fur Trim Anorak – do we love it?

Sometimes an outfit or a piece of clothing can be more than the sum of its parts. Take this jacket for example:

This jacket features many elements to which I am vehemently (fancy word of the day) opposed if taken individually:

Faux fur trim – check!

Adjustable waist toggles – check!

Overall aura of New Jersey ski bunny  – check!

Despite all of that, I think I might love this jacket. Or maybe it’s just freezing in my office right now and I love the idea of anything warm. Obvs I need you to help me decide.

Tory Burch Reva Flat – do we love it?

As a general rule I don’t like logos on my clothing and accessories. And I especially don’t like logos on my designer clothes and accessories. For example, I would never buy a Coach bag like this one:

Or date a guy who wears a pair of Gucci shoes like this one:

I wouldn’t date a guy who wears shoes like those for many, many reasons but not the least of which is wearing shoes like these or buying a Coach purse like the one above says “I want you to know exactly how much money I paid for this” and that’s a pretty douchey (And that’s pronounced dou-shee, not dou-shay. Name that tv show.) statement to make. Plus I’m not paying all of that money to advertise for Coach, Gucci or anyone else. They should be paying ME to advertise for THEM because I am fabulous.

But despite all of this, and for reasons I cannot explain, I have always had a soft spot for the Tory Burch Reva flat. And right now I am seriously lusting after this one:

I know that gold medallion is just a giant status symbol but I can’t help myself. And they’re definitely not cheap. So if I’m going to give in and sell out like the masses would I be better served getting a classic black pair like this one:

Or if I’m going to splurge should I get something fun like these purple ones:

So many logo-riffic choices, so little time. Help me decide.

Charlotte by Charlotte Taylor collection for Anthropologie – do we love it?

If you only know one thing about me it should be this – I don’t like to lose. Or be wrong. Ever. And if you know me, then you already know that. I mean, I’m the girl whose Senior “award” in my high school choral group (we were glee before Glee was cool) was something along the lines of “winner of all debates no matter what.” And yes, I am the perfect example of the cliche of going to law school because you like to argue.

But as I’ve grown and spent a lot of time arguing professionally, I like to think that I’ve mellowed a bit – or at least become more open-minded to opposing points of view. And I’ve gotten a few opposing points of view on this post I made a few weeks back.

And so, in the interest of fairness, I’m going to put it to a vote – the site is called “do WE love it?” (emphasis added) after all,  not “Things Shea loves and/or hates and tells you about.” So  here it is again:

Now you can obviously read my thoughts on this dress in this post if you’re so inclined. (Here’s a hint – they’re not very flattering) But now it’s your turn to tell me what you think.

But wait – there’s more!!

Because I’m now such an open-minded person I don’t want to judge a designer’s entire body of work based on one dress alone. So before we write-off Ms. Taylor as a designer of camel-dresses only, let’s take a look at some of the other pieces in her Anthropologie collection:

Fire Ants Maxi Dress (yeah no kidding)

If there’s a second thing you should know about me, it should be this – I am never going to wear a dress with giant fire ants on it. But you might. And that’s great. But I will judge you for it.

Adelie Blouse (no idea why this isn’t called “Penguin Shirt”)

Even without the penguins this blouse is a little too twee for me. But remove the peter pan collar, exchange the penguins for something in a graphic or geometric print and it would be right up my alley because we all know I love a defined waist.

In Clouds Blouse (do not be fooled – those are snails)

I actually really love the shape and color of this blouse. And if those were big white polka dots instead of medium-sized white snails, I could totally picture myself tucking this into a black pencil skirt and rocking it with a big gold cuff and some fab black heels. But they’re not polka dots, they’re snails. So no.

I’m sad to say that as long as this collection consists solely of brightly-colored animal patterns, the odds of me becoming one of Ms. Taylor’s customers are slim. But what about you?

Things we love – the Notorious P.I.G.

When I was but a small child, before I knew who Audrey Hepburn or Coco Chanel was, I had but one style icon:

Laugh if you must, but this little piggy is undeniably fabulous. And the fact that a brash, bossy, high-maintenance woman like Miss Piggy can land a nice guy like Kermit (even if he is a frog) gives hope to all single girls everywhere.

So imagine my glee when I opened InStyle’s November issue to find my icon finally getting the fashion props she deserves in this photo spread. Let’s enjoy some of the fabulousness shall we?

Miss Piggy in Prabal Gurung:

Image credit

Miss Piggy in Jason Wu:

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Miss Piggy in Opening Ceremony:

Image Credit

I don’t care that she’s a pig. I don’t care that she’s a muppet. And I don’t care that I’m 30 years old. I still love her. Check out the full spread in the November issue of InStyle and I promise you will love her, too.

And if a brash, bossy, high-maintenance pig can get to wear fabulous designer clothes, then one day maybe so can I.

Velvet by Graham & Spencer Jenize Sherpa Vest – do we love it?

This hasty post is coming to you from the Panera Bread in Hixson, TN where I am killing time until my next deposition. I know, I know – what a glamorous life I do lead. (And the post is hasty b/c Panera cuts off your internet access after 30 mins during peak use hours. Not cool Panera. Not cool.)

But during my precious few minutes of internet access I came across this vest and I can’t decide if we love it or not:

Before you judge me, I should confess that I have been up since 3:30 a.m. so if this vest is totally horrible I blame the sleep deprivation. Also, I blame the weather because this cold, gray Wednesday has got me longing for something warm to snuggle-up in – even if that something might be a wearable bathmat.

So what do we think kids? Am I suffering from a sleep-deprivation-induced fashion breakdown? Or is this kind of cute?

Things we love – boots on a budget (Part 2) : knee-high black dress boots

Happy Wednesday kids! Who’s ready for some more boots?

I thought I would continue my ‘boots on a budget’ series by actually showing some of my choices for budget-friendly boots* – a revolutionary idea, I know.

*For purposes of this post I considered ‘on a budget’ to mean $150 or less because it is uber-difficult to find a decent looking knee-high boot for under $100. But as you will see below I did manage to do it so feel free to be impressed.

So let’s start with one of the essentials: knee-high black dress boots.

Up first – the Bandolino Pardey Boot:

Why I love these: At $149 is at the very top of our budget-friendly price range, but they are 100% leather. The stacked-heel and almond-shaped toe are classics that will still be in style next year. And the buckles at the top of the shaft are a fun, but subtle detail.

Next up – the Franco Sarto Advent Boot:

Why I love these: Yes I realize that these are virtually identical to the Bandolino pair posted above – but I posted these for a reason. (Yes there is a method to my madness. Sometimes.)

These boots are a great example of why it’s a good idea to shop around. First of all, they’re originally $179 which puts them out of our budget-friendly price range. But they’re on sale at for $155.11 which puts them back in the ballgame.

But wait!! They’re also on sale at for $129.50! Which not only puts them back in the ballgame but gives you money left over to buy beer and nachos, too.

Lesson = shop around, save money, buy beer!

Next up – the Santana Canada Sydney Boot:

Why I love these: The squarer (Is that a word? I guess it is now.) toe and chunkier (I know that’s a word.) stacked heel make this a more casual option. If you’re looking for a knee-high black dress boot that will do double-duty with both dresses and jeans I would go with this one.

And with the current DSW offer to take $15 off an order of $74 or more, the price of these boots comes down to $114.95. I’m getting closer to that magic $100 mark – but can I do it?

Next up – the Annie Shoes Women’s Cardy Boot:

Hell yes I can – $89.95 so there!

Why I love these: Because black pleather looks and sounds as cheap as it actually  is, black suede is a great option if you’re looking to find a knee-high boot under $100. Love the button detail up the side, too.

And finally – the Enzo Angiolini Barrows Boot:

Why I love these: $99.95 + $15 off from DSW = $84.95 for a knee-high boot that is actually made of leather. I. Am. Awesome. :)

Whew!! My computer and I are worn out from all of this boot shopping. What do we think of the selections above? Any faves? Any misses? I love feedback almost as much as I love boots so let me know in the comments.

PS – Please keep in mind that while I do want total credit credit for any successful purchases made of the boots above,  all recommendations come with the caveat that boots may look and feel different in person than they appear online – kind of like people. So read the reviews, make smart purchases and enjoy free shipping and returns. Happy shopping!!



Charlotte Taylor Dromedary Dress – a crime of fashion

The date: Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The place: the “you may also like” sidebar

The crime:

The description: A bright orange dress with pink camels on it. I’m going to say that again, and I’m going to say it in all caps in case you didn’t hear me. That is a  BRIGHT ORANGE DRESS WITH PINK CAMELS ON IT. Let that sink in for a minute.

Now ask yourself, “what kind of girl would wear a bright orange dress with pink camels on it?” Is she the same type of girl would would wear this blazer:

Because based on the fact that Anthropologie put that dress in my “you may also like” selections while I was looking at that blazer, they sure seem to think so.  Well Anthropologie, I DON’T think so.

In fact, when I first looked at the name of that dress I thought it was called the “Doomsday” Dress – which would have been much more fitting because to me, that dress signals the end of the world as we know it.

The lesson: Never blindly trust the recommendations of any retailer and/or salesperson no matter how well you think they may know you. Because as soon as you start to trust them, they recommend a BRIGHT ORANGE DRESS WITH PINK CAMELS ON IT.


Tabitha Tartan Boucle Blazer – do we love it?

First off – belated shout-outs to Travis and Emily Lamb on their recent showings in the Nashville Scene’s annual Best of Nashville contest!! They rock (one of them literally) – so check them out. Congrats Lambs!!

Secondly – based on the recent subject matter of my postings I’m thinking of renaming this blog “Boots and Suits”. Although I’m pretty sure this would lead to a very narrow readership – perhaps only cowboys who like to dress up on their nights off, or slutty Texas girls who like to wear bikini tops with cutoff jean shorts.

But in my never-ending quest to find suiting options I can live with, I present to you my next proposed alterna-suit:

From the mothership

Now obviously a whole suit of this lovely tartan would be pure crazypants. Literally. Pants in this pattern would be crazy so please do not get any ideas Anthropologie. But paired with some pieces I already own (which are shown below) I think this could work:

Tabitha Tartan Blazer

When you consider that I already own the rest of the pieces, $148 for the jacket means $148 for a new suit. And that’s a good deal. Plus I think it would be tres adorable with jeans, too, so yay for double-duty!

I think I’m sold – but what about you?


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