Sunday, November 27, 2011

It's been a while.

   You all haven't seen me in a work dress in a while, huh? That's because I haven't put one on in a LOOONNGG time. 


   I had an idea for an outfit, but what resulted was something totally different than what I initially envisioned in my head (it's still fairly warm here in DC if you're wondering why there are no tights yet):


Blazer: Zara (Black with contrasting blue lapel, size S).
Dress: Banana Republic Sheath (Grey, size 00P).
Shoes: Ann Taylor Signature Pumps (Black Patent, size 6).
Scarf: Adrienne Vittadini, inherited from my late grandmother (Leopard).
Ring: Forever21.
Clutch: Botkier Charlotte Clutch (Black).
Belt: ASOS Double-wrap Leather Belt (Black, size S).


    This Zara blazer is one of my favorites in my closet right now. I bought it out of necessity a few months back when I went home to Toronto for a friend's wedding and realized that I had forgotten to pack a blazer or a coat to wear over my dress. D'oh! I needed some sort of black cover-up around the $100 mark and this fit the bill. I love how just a bit of the lapel is blue so it can only be seen when it's folded down, and how I can pop the collar and it suddenly looks like a different jacket. I do wish, however, that there was some sort of button closure to hold it closed. I think I may add a small hook-and-eye myself.


    Any good finds this Black Friday? I bought a bunch of things, but I think they might all be going back. Lots to return this coming week! Maybe I'll have better luck tomorrow (Cyber Monday).


    Blazer worn not too long ago, here: 


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Friday, November 25, 2011

AFD Inspiration





     Love Love Love this look on Olivia Palermo. Photo taken from her blog--read the full post here


     When her blog first began a few months ago, I wasn't all that impressed with the content. It definitely wasn't what I was expecting, but it's really starting to come into it's own and is now one of the few blogs that I just can't get enough of.

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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy (US) Thanksgiving

...and to all my American friends. It's a special day of reflection to be sure that we remind ourselves of all our wonderful blessings.  No matter what is going on in our lives there are always things to be thankful for. I hope you all get to spend the holidays with your loved ones.






   Now are we all ready to shop?? Black Friday/Cyber Monday, I'm ready for ya!

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Keeper.

 


     One of my other purchases from the J.Crew 25% sale was the Keeper Chambray (regular price, $78). I eyed this in the store in Toronto a few months back before it was in the catalog or online and I knew I had to try it out. The color isn't too light, the material not too thick or sheer and is actually very soft. It's *almost* perfect. 


     Initially, I purchased it in a 00, but I eventually ended up with a 0. In 00, it was quite snug in the back which I didn't find surprising given the fact that this shirt is 100% cotton. Generally it's probably a good idea to go up a size when your jacket or shirt doesn't contain any stretch (admittedly, I don't always follow this rule and regret it later). At first, I was sure I was going to stick with the 00 given how big J.Crew runs, however, as I began layering it under sweaters and blazers, there wasn't enough room for my arms to move around without feeling like I was going to rip the shirt.  Not sure what's going on there. Lately, I've been finding the need to go up in size on top to accommodate what is  apparently an increasingly muscular back, despite the fact that my measurements haven't changed at all and I'm not exercising as consistently as I usually do. I'm starting to develop a complex. Or maybe things are actually being made smaller?!


 


     The sleeve length and width is great, and fits well across the shoulders. In size 0, it is still a bit snug in the back. It would be a different story if the material contained stretch, but given what chambray is, it was never going to happen. So ladies who are a size smaller than I am on top and are struggling to find a chambray shirt, this Keeper is worth a try.


     Two issues with this shirt. One, the overall length. Oh how I wish J.Crew would make a petite chambray shirt. The Keeper is not overly long, but the shirt tail does peek out under a long jacket. Tucked in, even just partially, it's not noticeable at all. See here under my J.Crew Hacking Jacket, again (yes, indeed, I've done it: chambray on blue denim):

Shirt: J.Crew Keeper Chambray Shirt (Afternoon Sky, size 0).
Necklace: J.Crew Five-Layer Pearl Necklace.
Denim: J Brand 910 Skinny Jeans (Ink, size 24).
Shoes: Sam Edelman Adena Studded Loafers (Black, size 6).
Watch: Michael Kors Runway Watch (Silver).
Handbag: Olivia Harris (Dark Teal Patent).

    Shirt pulled out completely under the jacket (whoops, popped collar gone wrong):




   As you can see, the shirt is longer than than the jacket. The shirt tail actually doesn't show at all under my Aritzia Exeter Boyfriend Jacket, so its not *that* long (sorry, no photo). I was a bit put off by the length of it at first. But the more I played around with the shirt with the rest of my clothes, the less it bothered me. It's a bit long, but workable.


    The other issue I have is that it's a bit too wide in the waist, however, I'm starting to think there isn't really a way around this unless I add darts since it is a "boyfriend"-fit shirt. The boxiness also isn't noticeable unless I wear a high-waisted skirt with it and I don't foresee myself doing this too often anyway. Overall, I'm really liking this chambray shirt! Finally, "the one"! I've been wearing it non-stop since I got it.


   BTW, what do you ladies think of the "denim on denim" look? It's uh, interesting. I haven't done denim on denim since the early 2000s, but the light/dark contrast here seems to make it work.

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Sunday, November 20, 2011

New Beauty Faves.

    I don't usually do beauty reviews, however, given that I posted about the Sephora F&F sale a few weeks back, I thought it would be fun to show you all some new favorites that I discovered. I usually use the F&F to try out new products that I've had my eye on for the past year. As a result, I usually make multiple purchases and make tons of returns. This year, even though I was trying to just buy my usual "necessities", I ended up trying a few new things I've had my eye on anyway.


   The first one of my new faves is the Urban Decay Naked Palette:




   I'm not going to say too much about this since every blogger and her cousin has blogged about it. I've been eyeing this since last Christmas, but I never bit the bullet because it is a bit on the pricey side for someone who doesn't wear eyeshadow on a regular basis. It's often sold out in stores and online, but it was actually on display at Sephora in the front of the store and when I saw it I couldn't put it down. Initially, I thought I wouldn't like it that much because I wanted more matte colors. However, the more I used it, I actually prefer eyeshadows that are a little shimmery because add a little extra depth to the eye. Some may think it's too much for daytime, but as long as you blend well enough, it doesn't look over the top at all. Anyway, I love this. And because I love it so much, I've been using it everyday. 


    As a comparison, I also bought Stila In the Light Palette and I just didn't like it as much. It is less expensive, and if you think the UD Naked palette is still too expensive even with 20% off, it is a good alternative. The color pay-off is good, and the colors are nice, somewhat similar to the UD palette but the colors appear to be a bit more glittery rather than shimmery. As a result, it seems to be a palette more for night time looks since I can't see myself using this palette that often for daytime. It comes with a little book to show you how to different make-up looks which is what had my buying this in the first place. Overall, it is s a nice palette and it comes with a brown eyeliner, but I just prefer the UD. 




    The second thing I fell in love with was the Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-hour blush:




      I got two colors and ended up keeping Blissful which is a peachy color (the color is a bit washed out in my photos above). With my skintone (I'm a C40 in MAC), I find it difficult to find good pink and red blushes that don't look extremely unnatural when worn.  Peaches and corals are much easier to pull off mostly because they are pretty much universally flattering on all skintones. I have quite a few peachy and coral blushes, but because Blissful has a bit of more of a pinky tone to it than my other blushes I decided to keep it. The color pay-off is amazing. A little goes a long way--I will never get through this thing. Does it stay 12 hours? Well, no. My skin is on the oily side, so it tends to just absorb blush, but it does stay on for a good while. I've seen it stay on for as long as eight hours, which is unheard of on my skin. Love. I also want to purchase the shade "Natural Beauty" in the near future. I didn't like it when I tried it on in the store probably due to the lighting, but when I got home and saw it in natural light, it looked really nice so it is on my shopping list. Jen from From Head to Toe has a great review on these blushes.


    The final item that I absolutely fell in love with was the Stila All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner:



    LOVE LOVE LOVE. This thing does not budge. It has an interesting tip, which is actually a sponge as opposed to a brush. It is very pointy, but so easy to use. The point allows you to get the perfect cat-eye look. By the end of the day, it may fade a bit depending on how oily your lids are, but smudge? No way. Not unless you've deliberately rubbed your eye. I have extremely oily lids and this does not move. I compared this to Bobbi Brown Long Wear Gel Eyeliner and I just didn't like BB as much. Even with a UD Lid Primer, it would still smudge during the day. 


    A few things to note about the Stila Eye Liner: It does have a bit of a "glossy" finish. The BB Gel eyeliner is completely matte. Some people say the Stila dries matte over the day, but I never noticed any change. Also, if you make a mistake or left a gap in the lash line or whatever, fix it while it's wet. Once it dries, it's difficult to go over the line again. Third, you might find that as you get to your second eye, the tip dries a bit and you can't get the ink flowing to finish your other eye. I was getting really frustrated about this point. As much as I loved the liner, the fact that the tip was drying out before I got to my other eye was pretty much a deal-breaker if I couldn't figure out how to to get the ink flowing again. After asking a Sephora SA, she said to press the sponge tip against the back of your hand until the ink starts flowing again, then you're good to go. It's also a good idea to store tip down. BINGO! I cannot say enough about this liner. It even stays on the waterline all day. Holy grail? Quite possibly. If you like that cat-eye or winged- eyeliner look or even if you just like to line your eyes the boring way like I do, I most definitely recommend this liner. I'm not sure how long this will last after everyday use, but so far, it's certainly worth its price (regular price $20US). And the question of how easily it comes off? With a good cleanser and water, it washes right off. Much easier than my UD 24/7 and MUFE Aqua eyes pencil liners which smudge and fade throughout the day. Go figure.


   Did you find any new winners during this year's F&F that you think I should try?

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Letting it all hang out.

Blouse: Ann Taylor Leopard Trench Blouse (Leopard print, size 2P).
Denim: J Brand Lightweight Lovestory (Dark Vintage, size 25).
Blazer: Zara, popped collar (Black, size S).
Necklace: Forever21.
Ring: Le Chateau.
Boots: Coach Letty Wedge Boots (Black, size 6.5).
Clutch: Botkier Charlotte Clutch (Black).

    I've been experimenting with my shirt-tails lately. Fully tucked in, the "mullet"-tuck (think J.Crew), and all hanging out. The mullet-tuck and a fully showing shirt-tail isn't always so appropriate for work, but it's still kind of fun to see how it looks under layers of different lengths. In this case, a shorter jacket. 


    The story behind this AT Leopard Trench Blouse: I am in love with it.  I'm not sure what possessed me to try this on in the store, but when I did, there was no doubt that I wasn't leaving the store without it. In fact, I loved it so much, I didn't even really pay too much attention to the fit (does anyone else do this?!). It felt a little small in 0P (my regular size), but I thought that was just because it was polyester and there wasn't much stretch to it. But when I brought it home (to Canada, no less), I realized that it was *REALLY* small.  I'm pretty much a 0P/XSP on top across the board in most brands, sometimes an XXSP, or a regular XS in Canadian or Euro-brand things. But I had to exchange this for a 2P! I don't think that's ever happened before in my lifetime. But even still in 2P it is still a little snug across the chest when buttoned up all the way, and I'm not even large chested. I contemplated going up to a 4P but thought that this would make the blouse way too boxy around the waist. I love this thing though and I thought I would never be one to wear a leopard blouse. How things change.


   Like these Lovestory jeans? Me too: 


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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

AFD Fashion Fixation: Teal Denim (and Piperlime sale).

   Now that I'm officially sucked into wearing colored denim, I'm trying to resist purchasing a pair in every color. Right now I'm totally obsessed with a teal pair, teal being one of my favorite colors:






These are Flying Monkey Colored Skinny Jeans, and they can be found on Tobi.com for $47 with 30% until tonight. They come in six other colors, regular price $68, and they run small. I'm also loving the Royal Blue:



   And on somewhat of a sidenote, Piperlime has 20% off (almost) everything on their site until 11/16 with the code "TREAT". If you have a GAP/ON/BR card, you can get an extra 10% off with "TUESDAYS" (EDIT: OK, apparently this code doesnt work with the 20% off, I tried. Boo). Plus, 10% cash back on ebates! Link:



     These are the AG The Sateen Stilt Pant in Dark Teal on Piperlime, regular price $159: 



   I'm oh so tempted.

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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Hey there, Sailor!

    Trying to hold my purse J.Crew-style, but it just looks messy. Too many straps. I give myself an "A" for effort though:

Blazer: J. Crew Hacking Jacket in Double-Serge Wool (Bright Poppy, size 0P).
Trousers: Theory Alleen Trousers (Sailor, size 00).
Belt: Banana Republic Factory (Black).
Sweater: Jacob (Black/white, size XS).
Boots: Coach Letty Wedge Boots (Black, size 6.5).
Watch: Michael Kors Runway Watch (Silver).
Ring: Le Chateau.
Handbag: Olivia Harris (Dark Teal Patent).

     If you're wondering what the title of this post has anything to do with this outfit, the color of these Theory trousers are actually called "Sailor". They are deep, deep navy. Almost black. In fact, I thought they were black until I took them to the cashier at TJ Maxx and realized under the lighting that it was actually blue. It reminded of when I was a child and my dad always asked me if his socks were black or blue because he could't tell. I thought he was nuts. Apparently as I've gotten older, I've become nuts as well. Like father, like daughter. 


    Sweater and Hacking Jacket re-styled:


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Thursday, November 10, 2011

AFD Inspiration

Madonna's outfit on the cover of the December 2011 issue of Harper's Bazaar (via People.com):



     Perfection.

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Sunday, November 6, 2011

Conditional Love.

 
Sweater: Jacob Kimono Sleeve Sweater (Grey, size XS).
Bag: Olivia Harris (Dark Teal Patent).
Pants: GAP Really Skinny Pants, folded (Black, size 00P).
Bracelet: Express.
Booties: D&G Suede Booties (Charcoal grey, size 6).
Necklace: F21 Pendant.
Shirt: Smart Set Crew neck Long-sleeve T-shirt (Black, size XS).

     I've been getting a lot of wear out of these GAP Really Skinny Pants lately. I love the idea of them, however, they bag out like crazy and not only in the butt area, but at the knees as well. It drives me completely insane because it can really make an outfit look sloppy. If anyone has any suggestions as to a similar pant that does not bag out so much, please leave a comment below! The J.Crew Minnie pant was too short, and although it doesn't bag out as much as the GAP, I really want something that holds its shape throughout the day.


   Now, having said that, I'm really trying to minimize my spending the next few months (aren't I always??). The Christmas holidays are coming and I have some very expensive bar exams that I will need to pay for in the coming months so I'm *really* going to try! I've already cut myself off from jeans, shoes, and purses. I have one more sweater purchase allowance for the F/W season which I just ordered from Nordstrom but we'll see if I love it enough to keep it. Other than that, there isn't much left except blouses, skirts and maybe some trousers. Admittedly, I have been stalking a few things for the last two or three months, so if those go on super sale I probably won't be able to resist. But if not, this blog is likely going to be filled with a lot of re-mixing and re-styling and even some experimenting for the next little while (I do still have a few newer items I have yet to show you all). Hopefully I won't fall into a style slump, but I'm already starting to feel it. I'm just so uninspired lately, but I think it's just a result of certain aspects of life leaking elsewhere. Do you have any tips for staying out or coming out of a style slump without having to buy new pieces? I'd love to hear them!

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Friday, November 4, 2011

Birthday Cupcake!


  

     Can you believe my favorite cupcake place in all of D.C., Sweetbites, of *all* days in the year, decided to service their truck on my birthday?! (Yes, they're even better than Georgetown Cupcakes). I was severely disappointed. The only other alternative near my temporary place of work is Hello, Cupcake! So I settled. It didn't taste as good as my beloved Sweetbites, but the cupcake it was still pretty good and it was certainly pretty. (Confession: This is a photo of an old cupcake, because my camera phone refuses to allow me to download the pic of the cupcake I took today. You'll have to trust me when I say that it was pretty. :P). Have a great Friday night! I will be spending it with some beer (and friends).


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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Endless Family & Friends, again.

   For anyone who missed it a few weeks ago, Endless.com is having another Friends and Family sale. Use the code "NOVEVENT" for 20% off your purchase. Free two-day or overnight shipping and free returns within the US. Free international shipping to Canada for purchases over $100. Good until November 3 and some restrictions apply. Don't forget your Bigcrumbs cashback for another 13.6% off! Referral link:



    Enjoy! :)

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