Merry almost Christmas kids!!! Hope all of your trees are trimmed, all of your gifts are wrapped and all of your halls are decked. Because if not, it’s probably not gonna happen.
I, myself, was a responsible fashionista and got all of my Christmas shopping done well in advance this year – so when I made a trip to the mall on Saturday, December 22, it was for the sheer joy of gloating at all of those poor, poor souls who were not as smart as I. And because I wasn’t busy shopping for others, I had plenty of time to check out things for my own closet.
Also – this may have happened.
And one of the things I checked out for my own closet was one of the many faux fur vests that have been crowding the racks for the past few seasons. Now, in theory, I love a faux fur vest. I mean, it’s the signature look of my stylist icon:
But much like the long-loved, yet never-worn fedora, no matter how hard I try, I cannot have any reaction to the faux fur vest on my own self other than this one:
I mean, what kind of animal is that supposed to be??? And how do I make it look like anything other than a bathmat over my outfit??
Yes – I realize that these vests are kind of ridiculous. But in theory, I cannot quit them no matter how hard I try. I see something like this in a store and I think that against all odds I can somehow make it work:
I have a confession to make. And this might shock some of you so prepare yourselves….
I do not always put a lot of time and effort into my outfits.
There, I said it. And today, this Thanksgiving Eve as I sit at my desk doing anything other than work, is one of those days. As proof, I offer this e-mail I sent to BrHS this morning:
“Speaking of wardrobe, you would be appalled by what I’m wearing today. Black leggings, button-up plaid shirt (untucked), wet hair in a braid (since I’m going to yoga anyway) and minimal make-up. AND b/c it’s sub-arctic in my office I’ve kept my black fleece jacket on the whole time I’ve been here anyway so all of that other stuff doesn’t matter. Then I felt extra-bad b/c when I was walking in, (name of co-worker who prob doesn’t want to be mentioned on my blog redacted) was heading out to do a court approval in a full suit. I should prob be ashamed – but I’m not.”
I don’t offer any photographic evidence because well, frankly, I look gross – gross enough that some of you might not come back and take fashion advice from me if you saw what I look like today.
But, rest-assured, I plan to get back to looking cute and stylish in the very near future. And one of the ways I plan to do that is by taking advantage of all of the stellar Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals that are coming our way. Here’s a jacket a came across while doing a little pre-sale window-shopping on Piperlime the other day:
Snakeskin is quickly becoming the leopard print of the Winter 2012 season for me.* It’s neutral enough to be mixed and matched with a variety of colors and pieces, but fun enough to add a little punch to an otherwise simple ensemble.
*This should in no way be construed to mean that leopard print is not still the pattern that stirs me to my very soul. Just that now snakeskin is also a once tacky and taboo animal print that is starting to work it’s way into my fashion heart.
Now I’m loving this chic little jacket worn just as it’s shown above – with a simple black tank and jeans maybe for date night with your boyfriend/hubs. But I’m also picturing it paired with a fun little black cocktail dress for an office holiday party, or with black leggings, knee-high boots, and a flow-y silk top in a jewel tone for girls’ night out or New Year’s Eve. It seems like such a fun, inexpensive way to punch up your winter wardrobe.
But am I crazy? Is this really cute or does it look like something a 47 year-old divorcee would wear to the Jersey Shore? Has my love of animal prints finally made me blind to the fact that this jacket might veer dangerously close to cougar-ville?
I don’t know if you’ve noticed or not, but it’s COLD y’all. Like, Winter cold. Sure do hope you enjoyed all two days of autumnal weather we had this year because Winter has officially arrived with a vengeance. Given that it looks like we’re facing highs in the mid-50’s from here on out, I decided this past weekend was as good as any to put my Spring and Summer clothes back into storage (i.e. hang them in the guest closets) and move my Fall/Winter wardrobe back to front and center. And as I did so I noticed that – like a lot of you, I’m sure – I own a LOT of dark and not very vibrant Fall and Winter items. A LOT.
And here is where I brag on the AMAHZING deal I got on this adorable blazer. I originally ordered this blazer on sale for $178. Shortly after it arrived I noticed it had been marked down to $130 online. So I took it to J Crew for a price adjustment, which they happily gave me (even though it was outside of the normal price adjustment period – THANKS J CREW!!) – AND they gave me the 30% off sale merch promotion that was currently going on. So my $178 purchase ended up costing me less than $100!!! YAY ME!!!
The Why: Well first of all, there’s the aforementioned drabness of most of my current Winter pieces. This blazer seemed like a perfect way to pep them up without spending a ton of money. And I already knew I liked the cut and fit of this blazer because I bought it in a light gray last year. Throw in the fact that I had a linen blazer in a similar bright blue that I wore the beejesus out of this Spring and Summer and you have a recipe for a purchase I won’t regret.
Here’s are a few ways I am already envisioning working this stunner into my wardrobe rotation:
The How: First up, the obligatory lawyer look. But because I still hate suits, I’m making up my own. A gray tweed skirt reads as classic, not dowdy, when paired with a floral print blouse in similar tones and topped with the vibrant blue blazer. Capped-toe pumps are huge this year and I’m loving this versatile bone and black pair. I kept the jewelry simple so as not to compete with the color, texture and pattern that’s already in the look. And finally, a classic, grown-up work bag.*
*And now here’s where I confess my mother had to literally shame me in public to get me to finally make a big-girl bag purchase. Because I couldn’t find it online and I’m sure you’re just dying to know what it looks like, here’s a pic I took when it arrived:
Super-cool Instagram filter making it look red – in real life it’s closer to the color of the bag in the set above. More money than I’ve ever spent on a bag, ever, but it’s gorge, and I love it, and I’m no longer bringing shame to my family. As always, mother knows best.
The How: Maybe you don’t need a pseudo-suit for work. Maybe you need something that’s office appropriate, but can transition to a fun night out on the town. For a non-court workday to be followed by a night out with the girls, I would pair this blazer with skinny black pants or leggings, add a black and white patterned top, throw on a pair of killer black ankle booties and add one last pop of color with a fun clutch that you could use as a wallet in your big-girl work bag during the day. Instant chicness guaranteed.
The How: But maybe you don’t need a work look at all. Maybe you need something to wear to a friend’s baby shower, or to have lunch with your boyfriend’s parents/your in-laws when they’re in town. In that case, pair this awesome blazer with a classic pair of dark-rinse, boot-cut jeans (with absolutely NO obnoxious stitching and/or rhinestones on the back pockets – NONE), add a lacy t-shirt, a fun scarf and a pair of sparkly gold flats (those are for you, H!!) and voila! So cute, so put together, SO EASY.
I was excited about my blue blazer before, but now I’m SUPER-PSYCHED to start wearing it ASAP. Even if it does mean coming to terms with turning on the heat at home and breaking out my Uggs. But what do you think about adding a brightly-colored blazer to your Fall/Winter 2012 wardrobe??
The place: The annual Nashville Scene ‘Best of Nashville’ party
The description: Howdy, kids! Thanks for coming back despite my woeful neglect of this blog. But as you can see above, I brought you a gift to make up for my absence in the form of this gem spotted at the Nashville Scene’s ‘Best of Nashville’ party.
Now lest you think this girl was wearing this outfit as some sort of costume because it was a “Nashville” party, I will tell you the theme for this party was actually The Roaring 20’s. But for those who chose not to don their best flapper gear, snappy cazsh was the order of the evening as evidenced by my own really small gang pictured at the same event:
World’s Greatest Sister Wives, from L to R: H, Me, BrHS, B
No, instead of dressing to fit the theme or just dressing to meet the general, socially-accepted standards of appropriate attire, our patriotic friend above chose to wear the very worst in East Nashville hipster chic: ironic thrift store jean jacket, too-tight cut-off denim shorts and tights underneath said shorts. And yes, those tights have a hole in them right beneath her butt cheek. Knowing East Nashville hipsters, this was probably not an accident.*
*Also, it’s hard to see in the blurry iphone (thanks again Apple) pic above, but she was wearing a banana clip in her hair. A banana clip of the giant, 1980’s variety – you know the ones I’m talking about. She might as well have been wearing a scrunchie. Shudder.
The lesson: Let us not waste time wondering why this party attendee chose to thumb her nose at the rest of us by looking like a crazed fashion refugee from 1983. Let us instead learn from her by all solemnly vowing not to repeat her mistakes at our next social event. Or anywhere, ever.
Despite all of my best efforts to make Summer last forever, this week it looks like Fall is on its way.* So I guess it’s time for me to start confronting the realities of the changing season by consoling myself, like I always do, with wardrobe purchases.
*Although it is admittedly hard (hard, but not impossible) to complain when the weather is a perfect 85 degrees and sunny with a breeze everyday.
One thing I’ve been trying to purchase for a while now is a peplum top. What’s a peplum top? This is a peplum top:
And this one is looking pretty fierce paired with printed pants and purple pumps.
Sadly, much like my efforts to stall the coming of Fall, my efforts to add a peplum top to my wardrobe have so far gone unrewarded. That’s because finding the right peplum top is quite the challenge. If the peplum starts too high it makes you look preggers. If the peplum starts too low it makes you look hippy. Ideally the peplum would start right below your ribcage, emphasizing the narrowest part of your waist. For whatever reason that has been incredibly difficult for me to find – but I am undeterred!
Today I fell in love with the gorgeous detailing on this peplum top from Elizabeth and James:
The embroidery makes it look like leather without all of the sweating and chafing that comes with actual leather and I am dying over the asymmetrical hemline of the peplum. Now the price… the price I could do without.
So I did what I always do when I come across something I love, but can’t afford – I set off across the internet in search of a suitable substitute at a reasonable price. Join me in evaluating my finds, won’t you?
Let me start by saying that there is no such thing as “vegan leather.” It’s not anything leather if there are no cows involved. Vegan leather is a fancy way of saying “plastic.” And therein lies my problem with this top. Otherwise I really like the notched collar and center seaming detail on this one.
This one is a fairly good overall replica of the Yumi top. My concerns = the floral motif (because I am not a 13 year-old girl) and the low level and full volume of the peplum (because I do not want to look like I put a tutu over a tank top). But still, this one’s a serviceable option.
This is our least-expensive option so far and one that’s basically one-tenth the price of the Elizabeth and James top. I call that a good deal. And I do like the cut-in shoulders. But while I complained about the tutu-like nature of the peplum above, I’m afraid this one swings too far in the other direction and will end up just looking like a stretched out yoga tank.
Hey look! This one’s even cheaper than the last. And I definitely like the open, scooped neckline of this top. (I take issue, however, with them calling this top “extreme” as though it will be jumping out of a helicopter and snowboarding down a mountain while on fire at some point during the day.) What I miss, however, is the fun embroidery of the original E and J top.
And so, along those lines, I present our final top that I think combines the best of all of the above:
Let’s check off the boxes, shall we? Cheap? Check. Scoop neck? Check. Lace? Check. Peplum appropriate in both location and volume? Check. Not made out of plastic? Check.
I think we have a winner kids! This top looks adorable with a brightly-colored pencil skirt as shown above. I also envision it looking totally a-mah-zing over a pair of BCBG leather and knit leggings I bought last winter with some knee-high boots and a cozy sweater layered over top. But what do you think??
It’s Friday kids! Hoo-freakin’-ray!! I’m so happy it’s almost hard to be judgmental – I said almost.
But before we get to the judging, I ask that you indulge me for a few paragraphs while I wax rhapsodic about yoga. Specifically hot yoga. I know I’ve mentioned my love of yoga before, but that was in the early days of both this blog and my yoga practice, so I thought it was time to revisit that love.
Simply put, yoga has changed. my. life. How? Well first of all, it’s helped me lose weight. And more than that it’s helped me get and feel healthy from my head to my toes. But second of all, and more importantly, yoga has connected me with an inspiring community of fellow yogis helping me to form some amazing friendships with people I would never have met without it. There is almost nothing better than the feeling of moving and breathing as a class – when you can feel the energy from those practicing around you pushing you to do more and be better.*
*And yes, I realize how cheesy and new age-y that sounds, but it’s true. And I don’t care what you think anyway because I’m so very enlightened from all of the yoga. So there.
And if you are lucky enough to live in Nashville you are lucky enough to live near Hot Yoga Plus. Each and every person at that studio – from the awesome instructors to my phenomenal fellow practitioners – has helped me to be not only a better yogi, but a better person. So if you are one of those lucky folks, get thee to Hot Yoga Plus ASAP. You might struggle through some of the postures, you will definitely sweat through all of the classes, but you will never, ever regret it.
END OF RHAPSODIC WAXING
Back to the judging – which is ironic because one of my favorite things about practicing yoga is the lack of judgment you feel from the other yogis while you practice. This is in stark contrast to say, the YMCA or any other gym I’ve ever been to where I always felt like someone was watching/judging me at all times. But if someone showed up to the yoga studio in this, I’m not going to lie, there would be LOTS of judging:
Yoga, as I’m sure you’re aware, involves a whole lot of bending and stretching. And when you bend and stretch, a lot of things move around. Like, for example, your boobs. And the bottom of your shorts. In this thing, there’s not much room for error in either of those areas. So let’s take a look at this one piece in action:
Let me be clear – I cannot do this. But if I could do this, I would not want to do it in this outfit. And I’m pretty sure the person on the mat behind me wouldn’t want me to do it either (unless that person is a disgusting pervert). I generally practice in some sort of tank top and capris or leggings. But if your practice is so inhibited by that amount of cloth on your person, you can wear a sports bra and shorts. That is completely respectable (provided you do not spill out of that bra and shorts like the Michelin Man). There is no reason to dress like a hoochie.**
**Aside: I love Lulu Lemon. I own a great many of their products and have been very satisfied with all of them. So Lulu, if you’re reading this, please do not be mad at me. I just hate this one thing you made and I hate it a lot. Perhaps my hate could be lessened and/or eliminated with some free merch.***
***But no pressure.
So far an informal polling of my fellow female yogis has resulted in a unanimous thumbs down to this latest Lulu creation. But what do you think??
I have, on more than one occasion, noted this blog is called “Do We Love It” and not “Things Shea Loves and/or Hates and Tells You About.” And that’s still true. But I have also, on more than one occasion, been asked by friends how I make my wardrobe purchasing decisions – or in layman’s terms – why do I buy what I buy. So being the selfless soul* that I am (ha!), I thought I would start sharing my thought process on some of the new pieces I’m buying for Fall 2012.
The What: 7 For All Mankind The Skinny Jeans in Wildflower Print
The Price: $189 via Piperlime (In my defense, I bought them using a 20% off coupon so they were actually around $150 for me.)
The Why: I’m sure you all remember when we previously discussed printed pants. Since that time, the idea of printed pants, especially a printed jean, has really grown on me. Which is a good thing because now they are everywhere. So naturally this means I became obsessed with having a pair.
From the get-go I had my heart set on a floral pattern. And at first I contemplated a pair in a more subtle, or neutral palette, like so:
And those are, no doubt, very cute. But ultimately I decided there’s no point in buying a pair of printed jeans that no one can tell is printed. Still, I was hesitant to pull the full-color floral trigger. But while the pattern is bold and they are plenty colorful, the 7’s are still ultimately made up of a pretty neutral palette of navy, tans, dark purple and a little bit of army green. I thought they could potentially be both versatile and awesome.
When I ran the idea past Brown-haired Shea, she wisely pointed out the 7’s are a pretty bold statement piece and I might not be able to get as much wear out of them because they would be so memorable. That caused me to pump the brakes a little. While everyone loves to have a signature look, no one wants to be the girl who wears that same pair of pants all the time. Maybe the price was a little too steep for something I could really only get away with wearing once or twice per month.
But I capital-L loved them. And the more I thought about them, the more they reminded me of another purchase I had made earlier this summer with spectacular results:
This floral pencil skirt has been a wardrobe all-star for me this summer. It’s a bold pattern, but on a classic shape. I’ve worn it five times this summer and not once have I repeated what I wore with it. And off the top of my head I can think of at least three other ways I can wear it. This skirt, like the 7’s, is memorable, but versatile, and that makes it a winner in my book.
Here are a few ways I’m already envisioning working these memorable pants into my Fall wardrobe.
The How: First I should admit these “skinny jeans” are tight. And I mean tight as in “really snug leggings”, not tight as in “off the chain.” (Although they are also tight like that, too.) I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to wear these to my office, even on a casual Friday. But if you work in a more creative or lenient office environment, they sure would look swell paired with a navy blazer, loose cream-colored shirt and brown knee-high boots (all of which I already own – hooray for wardrobe recycling!!).
The How: I’m picturing this look as a fun date-night outfit (This is assuming I ever have a date again, ever. Which given the man-situation in Nashville is not looking likely. Am I right Nashville ladies???) I would leave the blouse un-tucked and the leather jacket open. Throw on some platform pumps and add the delish orange clutch that pulls out the same color in the pants, and you would be one stylish chica.
The How: This is how I envision wearing my sassy pants on a cold day come Winter. The top picks up the purple in the pants and you can never go wrong with a classic navy peacoat. Plus I think I’m also loving a mid-calf, lace-up flat boot as a casual wardrobe staple this Winter. I’ll let you know if (who are we kidding) when I buy some.
So that’s why I bought a pair of floral skinny pants for Fall/Winter 2012. But lest you think I plan to pack these beauties away until the leaves start to change, I plan to wear these in the near future with a navy blue t-shirt, long pendant necklace and gold flat sandals. I can also wear them with a loose chambray shirt and my cowboy boots. Or one of my five hundred cream-colored lace tops and a pair of ballet flats. Moral of the story: bold statement pieces CAN be a versatile addition to your wardrobe. Buy what you love, love what you buy.
*And just because I AM such a selfless soul, I’m giving you a chance to weigh in.
I am not a girl of many talents. I mean, there was an absolutely ZERO percent chance of me ever qualifying for the Olympics in any type of athletic event whatsoever. And while I was a fairly proficient piano player back in the day, and I like to think my singing voice is slightly above-average, I have never been under any illusion that I might one day perform at Carnegie Hall.
But one talent I do have is the ability to remember what I and/or other people were wearing on random, non-specific days. I’m not talking about remembering what your senior prom dress looked like, or what you wore to your college graduation – that’s easy.*
*And if you forget, there are most likely pictures to remind you.
I’m talking about what I wore on the day I had my kindergarten orientation. (Pink shorts, pink and green plaid short-sleeved button-up shirt. Until I puked on them. Then I changed into an identical pair of shorts in navy and the same shirt, but white with a butterfly pattern. Until I puked on them, too. Then I stayed home and wore pajamas.)
Or what I was wearing the day I met Brown-haired Shea. (Black pencil skirt, short-sleeved blue button-up top with my tan blazer and snakeskin sling backs)
Or what I wore to Opryland on a church youth group trip in tenth grade. (Walker High School homecoming t-shirt, black with white piping Umbro shorts, my purple and green Sauconys and a black and white polka dot ribbon tied around my ponytail. That’s right kids – I have always been a fashion icon.)
Sadly I have yet to find a way to make money from this particular talent.
Now I do NOT remember what I was wearing on my first day of high school. But I DO remember what the girl (Her name was Starla. #ofcourseitwas) sitting behind me in freshman English was wearing. Probably because it looked almost exactly like this:
Except it had flowers on it. Of course it did. Because it was 1993.
But the shirt above is not from 1993 – it’s from now. And these open shoulder tops have been popping up all over my fashion radar lately reminding me of both Starla and my youth so I thought we should take a look. Now as a broad-shouldered gal myself, I have a natural aversion to anything that makes me look even more like a linebacker than usual. Even itty-bitty Lauren Conrad looks like she could kick some ass for the Green Bay Packers when she wears one:
Now this shirt is not horribly offensive. It’s a great color. And the overall voluminous shape is pretty cute paired with shorts or skinny jeans. But the shoulder cut-outs seem so unnecessary to me. What is their purpose? Is there a sweaty shoulder epidemic sweeping the nation? Are men everywhere eschewing boob cleavage for shoulder cleavage and no one told me?
I don’t know if you kids have noticed, but for the latter part of June and the early part of July, America has been on fire. And I mean that both literally in terms of Colorado, and figuratively in terms of the temps everywhere else. Usually those of us living below the Mason Dixon line have the market cornered on extreme Summertime heat. Not this year:
That’s a 106 over Nashville. One HUNDRED and six degrees. That is a lot of degrees.
Let me just say that it is very hard to dress for one hundred and six degrees because you are immediately going to sweat through anything you put on. So both I and the dying grass in my front yard were super-excited for the rain and the break in temps that came with it this week. Now I can finally wear clothing that covers more than the bare minimum that is appropriate in public! Maybe even something with sleeves! Maybe even something like this dress:
J. Crew Striped Dress (formerly, but no longer available at theoutnet.com) – $63
What a cute little knit dress!! And had the temps in Nashville not been equivalent to those on the surface of the sun, I would be living in something quite similar this Summer.
As you probably already figured out by the title of this post, I discovered this dress on Pinterest. And someone had styled it like so:
I don’t like this. I especially don’t like the pair of pantyhose someone fashioned into a scarf. I mean, I’m all for reusing items in your wardrobe, but this is a step too far.
Instead, I would reuse the dress and make it work across several seasons. How? I’m SO glad you asked. Here’s how I would wear that dress in our now moderately-climated Summer:
I am currently obsessed with bow belts. And I’ve always been obsessed with mixing patterns. Here I’m doing it by treating the black and white stripe as a neutral and adding a fun tribal-inspired wedge. I pulled the pink from the shoe to add a pop of color with the bag and I suggest wearing your hair up to show off a fab pair of gold hoops.
But as I’ve sadly been reminded by the flurry of e-mails from retailers in the past week announcing their new arrivals, Fall is just around the corner. (Insert frowny-face here). Let’s take a look at how I would roll this dress over into Autumn:
I love the idea of punching up a casual outfit with a fancy accessory like this gold bib necklace. And you can never go wrong with a classic denim jacket like the one here. *
*Unless you are pairing it with more denim on the bottom. I don’t care how many times magazines and stylists try to convince me it’s okay – denim on denim is NEVER okay.
And finally, because I was so judge-y about the Pinterest look above, here’s how I would wear this dress come Winter:
Even though Winter is my very least fave season, I think this might be my very most fave look. I do love a good black and brown combo and nothing ties the two together better than our old friend leopard print. Add in the always versatile turquoise earrings and the handbag I would sell my soul to own and you have one killer look for cold temps.*
*Which I’m starting to think we may never see again. But just in cases.** **Name that movie and we can be friends.
So are you kids enjoying the recent cool down? Or do you long for the days of sweaty hair on your neck and legs that stick to your carseat? Try looking at the pieces in your wardrobe with a new eye towards transitions and you’ll be ready no matter what the weather fairy brings. Happy almost Friday!!
ATTS (that’s “All that to say” for those of you who are not Brown-haired Shea and don’t automatically understand my abbrevs), there was no reason for me to love this men’s tie when I recently came across it on Pinterest:
I don’t know who this guy is. I don’t know where he’s from, how old he is, or what he does for a living. I don’t even know what his face looks like. But what I do know is that he is magical. Because despite all odds against it, he has made stuffy English tweed + a preppy, striped oxford + a skull and crossbones tie add up to a SMOKING HOT look. Seriously guy. I love you. Call me.
I’m thinking this maroon one would rock with a gray suit and a black and white gingham shirt. Or you could add it to your hubs’ traditional navy suit and blue oxford shirt for a subtle, but unexpected cool factor. But what do you think?