28 September 2012

Red Stripe & Checked Wool

red stripe

Unintentionally, this has apparently become Stripes Week on respect the shoes - even though I really wore this outfit last week. I'm probably like most of you ladies, though, and have enough stripes in my closet to  last several several several days weeks of non-repetitive wear.

I'm not even sure what it is about stripes that make me adore them so much. I guess because stripes are a pattern - but a pretty simple subtle one, so they can kind of worn like a neutral? Did that make no sense ...  Because they are kind of crisp and preppy and pleasing to the eye? That's why to me they are superior to dots or most other patterns ... ? Oh I don't really know, I just know that I haven't met a striped yet that I hadn't liked.

red stripe  red stripe

It's still pretty warm in the SE so I haven't really had a chance yet to break out my real deal fall gear, but I couldn't wait to show you a blazer that I bought weeks ago (and has been sitting unhappily in my closet wanting out since). As soon as I saw this blazer online, I literally couldn't wait to drive to the mall to so I could satiate my grabby hands. It's a wool-blend (correction from reader Margaret - this blazer has no wool in it, and she's so right, but the name says it is wool - wth?) and got a subtle checked pattern and fun red detailing - patches on the elbows and - the killer for me - a tie print fabric under the collar. This blazer has been one of my favorite fall purchases yet, and I haven't even really broken it out to wear yet (without breaking out into a sweat first).

What have been your favorite fall purchase(s) so far? What's still on your wish list?

red stripe  red stripe

red stripe

Blazer 1: Zara trf printed (worn here - sim, sim, simblack floral)
Blazer 2: Zara checked wool (same in grey, sim, leather)
Dress: c/o StyleMint (worn here - sim, simsim, w/black)
Belt: J.Crew (sim, bow)
Necklace: Elizajay Charm via Etsy (worn here - sim silver)
Bracelets: J.Crew & Old Navy (sim, sim, sim, sim)
Bag: Kate Spade quilted signature ellen (worn here - sim, patent)
Shoes: Keds spright (worn here - sim, sim, ankle-strapped)

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If you've got fall transitional outfits you would like included in the next Respect the Outfits reader feature, please send them in today! You can get the deets here. Thanks!

26 September 2012

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

casual stripes  casual stripes

As much as I adore getting dressed up every morning, what I think a part of me may actually enjoy more is coming home at the end of each day and getting the heck out of my clothes.

There's nothing quite like the feeling after getting home from a long day and throwing down a purse that now seems to weigh a million pounds, kicking off a pair of stiff heels and freeing my toes, taking off a now-too-tight-after-a-big-late-lunch belt and rubbing my food baby belly, and releasing my neck and wrists from all their jingle jangle (though I did totally load up on the necklaces here - but they're light!).

casual stripes  casual stripes

Most evenings if I'm "done" for the day, then my hair gets pulled back and I'm in a pair of loose shorts or pants and an old tee (my new-old fave has a graphic of Mickey and Minnie Mouse giving each other a big ole SMACK of a kiss and forming hand hearts) with flip flops.

If I've still got stuff to do that requires going out in the public or cas dinner plans, I likely will still change - hey, if I've got the clothes, then wear them, right - into typically-for-weekend garb. (Shoot, I've been known to change more than once even on the weekends - there is such a thing as different levels of casual, is what I keep telling the eye rollers). This outfit is a perfect example of my idea of still looking put-together, but in a so-much-comfier cas after-hours way.

Are you a quick-change artist when you get home? What are you most comfortable changing into?

casual stripes

casual stripes

Top: Lili's Closet via Anthropologie skirted striped (simpler, simpler pricey)
Jeans: Levi's 545 skinny straight (worn here - sim, sim)
Shoes: Keds spright (worn here - sim, sim, sim, ankle-strapped)
Necklaces: Emerson Fry gold (worn here), Anthropologie & Overstock (sim, sim, heart)
Bracelets: Asos, J.Crew (sim, sim, sim)
Bag: J.Crew canvas stripe tillary (worn here - sim, cas, -ish, solid luxe)

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Remember, ladies, there's still time to submit your outfits for the next Respect the Outfits reader feature. This time we're doing your fave transitional looks for fall - more details here.

24 September 2012

Taking One for the Blog

maritime stripes

This isn't going to surprise anyone with eyes, but 99.9% of the time, I take my own blog pics. I used to have a little Canon point-and-shoot that I used with the self-timer feature. I perched my camera on a little bar stool and raced around to take my outfit pics in a corner of my house that happened to get good morning light (that took a while to figure out though - check out my earlier outfit pics. Actually, don't). There was a lot of scurrying back and forth with the timer, and it was always 50/50 on what kind of pics I ended up with. Who said style blogging wasn't glamorous ...

I still take most of my own pics, but I've upgraded recently to a much nicer Panasonic Lumix that is a cross between a point-and-shoot and a DSLR. The camera has a flip-up screen so I can at least see if I'm in frame now before taking a pic, and a wireless remote that keeps me from having to run about all day. I am only really using the auto focus mode right now though, as I'm only proficient with about 2% of the camera's features, so ... yeah.

maritime stripes  maritime stripes

On rare lucky days, when our schedules (and outdoor lighting) align, BF takes my outfit pics. This has just started happening though, thus most outdoor pics involve me with some sort of grimace-smirk as I'm not yet used to dealing with someone else controlling the camera - who also happens to enjoy cracking jokes while I'm very busy trying to look chic, taller, self-important. Blog outfit pics do differ a bit from regular ole person pics though, so right now there's also a lot of directing from my end (yeah, really, I want a shot of my wrist).

Putting together an outfit post takes a lot of time though, and I already spend way too many minutes trying to put the ramble in my head into comprehensible words (not to mention the millenia I am sometimes in front of my closet for in the mornings trying to figure out what to wear), so you ladies who also take make the time go scout out great backgrounds for your outfit shots, I don't know how you do it all!

How do you take your blog pics? Do you take your own pics or have a photographer? When do you find the time to take your pics? How important do you think good blog pics are?

maritime stripes

maritime stripes

Dress: J.Crew maritime (worn here - sim, sim, short-sleeve, as top)
Shirt: J.Crew solid perfect (worn here - sim, in gingham)
Necklace: J.Crew bubble via Ebay (worn here - real deal, sim, via Ebay, via Etsy)
Bracelets: J.Crew & F21 (sim, sim, sim)
Clutch: H&M (worn here - sim, sim, sim, solid)
Shoes: Zara lined wedge (worn here - sim, sim, sim, bow)

21 September 2012

Big Lacy Collar & Next Reader Feature


lacy

It's that time of the year. Where the mornings and evenings are pleasantly shiver-inducing but around noon the sun is beating down relentlessly and everyone is in shirt sleeves. Where it is almost-not quite time to turn off the air conditioner. Where you are starting to have to choose between a soft serve cone or a pumpkin spice latte.

For me living in the south, it is not yet time to don the boots and jackets, but I am kind of loving the ability to break out some full-length clothes. Plus I've recently skinned my knee (I know, I'm like a 4th grader, seriously) so it's nice to be able to hide my legs for a while while still being able to bare arms - though obviously it's like the first time these jeans have seen the light of day in months, ah, wrinkles!

lacy  lacy

So of course, now it the perfect time for the next Respect the Outfits reader feature! I'd love to see how you ladies have been making the wardrobe progression from summer to fall! What are your favorite transitional pieces for cooler weather? What have been your go-tos for early autumn wear? Please share in the comments - or send an outfit pic for my next reader feature!

If you want to participate, it’s easy
  • E-mail me at respecttheshoes@live.com with your fave early fall outfit pic
  • Include your outfit details (and your blog addy if you like some link love)
  • Send your stuff to me by Friday, September 28 – post will go up the following week!
lacy

lacy

Top: Modcloth lace share (simpler, sim, black)
Jeans: J.Crew hip slung (worn here - sim)
Bracelets: Asos spike & stone (sim silver) & J.Crew (sim, pricey)
Earrings: c/o Too Much Soul (worn here)
Shoes: Zara cap-toe court (worn here - sim, round-toe, wedge, pricey, luxe)
Bag: Brahmin sadie (worn here - sim, sim, sim)

19 September 2012

Minding Myself

quincy plaid  quincy plaid

One of my recent online addictions has been reading the Emily Post blog (yes, that Emily Post, Miss Manners herself has a blog, in fact she’s been institutionalized). I enjoy reading about all the little nuances and rules of etiquette that I hadn’t known existed before - and I am astounded at how rude some people can be, how too-polite-to-the-point-of-being-a-doormat others are, and how overly-sensitive another bunch can be. Plus there are loads upon loads of rules of etiquette about weddings, gift-giving, introducing people – all these things that are proper to do … yet you don’t have to do any of them … except you do. Makes for some interesting if not mildly confusing reading.

quincy plaid  quincy plaid

My parents have been pretty good in teaching me general good manners and consideration for other people. But all the nuances of etiquette and how to act in certain situations? I’ve been learning it about the same way that I think most of you have learned it – through observation, trial and error, and plain common sense. I think I do alright, better than most, in fact, because I typically default to playing the "considerate card" if all else fails - what's going to happen, people think I'm too nice? I'm too nice, sometimes. 

But I’m certainly no white-gloved debutante. I still give some people heartburn because I live in the south and tend to barrel right into places and open my own doors or do it for others. I don’t know anything about writing the proper thank you letters versus just saying “hey, that was great, thanks." I know enough about table manners so I don't embarass myself, but I ain't having tea with the Queen anytime soon, y'know. I only know enough about social media manners to know not to type in ALL CAPS. ALL THE TIME. And don't drink and tweet.

It’s 2012. Basic good manners aside, how important do you think etiquette still is? Do you think we’ve become too casual in our daily interactions or is it good riddance to all that propriety and formality?

quincy plaid

quincy plaid

Top: J.Crew quincy (worn here - sim, sim, pricey)
Skirt: J.Crew no. 2 double-serge wool (worn here - factory version, sim, sim)
Necklace: Emerson Fry gold (worn here - sim, sim)
Bracelets: J.Crew, Old Navy, Target (sim, sim, sim, sim)
Belt: J.Crew metallic skinny (sim, sim)
Shoes: Guess kissani (worn here - sim, sim, luxe)

17 September 2012

Rockin' Whatevs

I know I shouldn't, but sometimes when I see people wearing things that don't quite work for their body type, my mind can't help but to think "oh, honey, no ..." and come on, I can't be alone here, can I?

 pink & green

One of the rules about style that I think has been ingrained in most of our heads since birth and passed down for generations is that we should dress to "accentuate the positive" (aka, cover up that stuff you don't want people looking at). So for me, I play up my legs with skirts and dresses, try to lengthen myself with heels, fake a waist with belting and cover up my lack of boobage and football player-size shoulders and upper arms. And admittedly, this rules works like a charm for me.

But what does that say about women who choose to wear pieces that they like but may not necessarily work for their body type? I had a really good gal pal in college who was pretty petite, built with a long slender torso, short stocky legs and a generous booty. She was well aware of her figure, and what she loved to wear more than anything in the world were ankle-length print dresses that hugged all her curves with sensible flats for comfort. She was never dressed inappropriately, but in one simple outfit she managed to throw out the cardinal rule of dressing I abide by - and she did it with confidence.

 pink & green   pink & green

I am probably more of a traditionalist when it comes to dressing. I try to wear what is most flattering for my body shape, and in turn, it makes me look better and feel better about myself. But part of dressing to "accentuate the positive" parts of my body means that at the same time I am pretty much camouflaging the other areas I don't like so much.

So in a way I am in awe of those gals who may be a size 16+ but love that body-con style and wear it with pride. Or the petite 4'11" girls who live for wide cropped pants with flats. Granted, sure, some of them may just plain not know what looks good on them and their low-waist acid-washed super-flare jeans with flip flips are a silent cry for a fashion intervention. But some, some seem to be completely comfortable what what they shaped like and choose what to wear based simply on what they like.

I don't think one is exclusive of the other, but what do you think is more important - how you look in something or how you feel in something? What do you think about the people who love rockin' styles that don't necessarily fit their bodies?

 pink & green

pink & green

Sweater: J.Crew jackie pullover (sim, cashmere)
Skirt: J.Crew pleated crepe (sim colorblock, pricey, as dress)
Necklace: J.Crew tessellate (worn here - sim)
Bracelets: Asos spike & stone (sim silver), Target (sim)
Clutch: Rebecca Minkoff (worn here - sim, flap, wallet)
Shoes: Kenneth Cole Reaction swim n fool (worn here - sim, sim, luxe)

14 September 2012

Parts of Me ... are in Shorts

As ironic as this sounds, sometimes blogging affords me more freedom than talking or dealing with something in everyday life. I figure that "I'm safe" considering this community is like myself in many ways and use blogging as a brief escape from daily life, and thus, are supportive. That and most people I know actually don't know I have a blog and the few who do don't really ever read it anyways. 'Cause why read my blog when I am already right there jabbering in-your-face?

yellow & navy  yellow & navy

However, I also am not naive and know that all it would take is a few quick clicks of the mouse for someone to "find" me on the Internet. And that someone could be anyone - a loved one, a co-worker, a distant relative or acquaintance, some random creepy person. And they could react to it in any number of unexpected ways.

So, as "open" as I do feel like I can be on the Internet, I am also cautious well, as cautious as you can be when you're full-facing it on the Internet too. Though I'm not really talking about being cautious for security's sake (because we're all modern realistic people here and already know we shouldn't be spewing home addresses or naming the companies we work for at the same time we're lambasting them for all the see. We all already know this, right).

But I'm talking about cautious in how much of us we share.

yellow & navy  yellow & navy

I obviously strive to keep things light here in personal style blogdom, so aside from my peerlessly assembled ensembles [snort], you lucky ladies also get to deal with the randomness that comes spewing out of my brain. Sometimes it's funny, sometimes it's lame, sometimes it's just plain weird. But hopefully you go away with a sense of who I am.

However I choose to keep my blog life and real life separate, so other than in generalities, I don't talk about my loved ones, my job, the things I do in my daily life. I figure that is the easiest no harm-no foul move for me. Plus that way, my blog world stays light and fun - a nice place to escape to.

How do you determine how much of yourself to share over the Internet? How did you decide what's harmless shareable fun vs for-private-consumption-only?

yellow & navy

Sweater: J.Crew factory charley (worn here - sim, sim, brighter)
Shorts: F21 belted zig zag (worn here - sim, sim, red, pricey)
Necklace: J.Crew bubble via Ebay (worn here - real deal, sim, options via Ebay, Etsy)
Bracelets: J.Crew & ON (sim, sim, sim)
Shoes: Adrienne Vittadini yancy (worn here - sim, sim, strappier, luxe)
Bag: Brahmin sadie (worn here - sim, sim, studded)

12 September 2012

Sometimes Insomniac

Sometime between the hours of 11:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. my big noggin usually drifts itself off to the land of nod. It doesn't take a whole usually to get me snoozing either. A few minutes of quiet conversation (sometimes even mid-con), some snuggles with the pup, or a bit of TV or Kindle-ing and I am out like a light. Never fails.

Now staying asleep - staying asleep is hard for me. A typical night for me involves me waking up for pretty much no good reason at least two-three times. And when I've got a big upcoming project or trip or something I am really looking forward to - forgetaboutit. I am up at 2:30 a.m. and pretty much in dreary wide awakeness until the sun starts peeping its way over the horizon. But I am still actively trying to go back to sleep, so I refrain from really getting up and about. So .... suffice it to say, I can typically get a whole lot of good thinking in during these bouts of insomnia.

watercolor

An example of some recent insomniac mental meanderings?

My dog takes up a lot of room on the bed.

I'm thirsty and out of water by my bed. But the kitchen is all the way downstairs ...

Sorry, Shaun T, your Insanity workout holds no sway over me, but the NuWave Digital Oven sounds freakin' fantastic!

Did I pay that Visa bill?
 
Julie & Julia may have replaced The Devil Wears Prada as my new can-watch-it-all-day-long-without-getting-bored movie.

It's been cool enough lately that we can sleep with the window open and no A/C on - very awesome.

watercolor  watercolor

I need to keep my Kindle charger closer to my bed.

Yep, still scared of the dark.

Despite being wide awake, I am still too lazy to go to the bathroom.

I can't believe we paid $15 for a jar of honey and a half dozen peaches at the farmer's market this weekend.

My dog is a deep sleeper - and she kicks me in her sleep.

Yuck, eye crusties already.

What was that sound? Is that the house settling or is someone in my kitchen? Should I raise the alarm or go check it out myself? ... Better just wait for the possible perp to come up the stairs first. Unless it's not human ... 

What kind of sleeper are you? What can give you a case of insomnia? What do you do about it and what usually is going through your head?

watercolor  watercolor

Dress: Banana Republic (worn here - sim, sim, long sleeve, luxe)
Belt: Deena & Ozzy by UO (worn here - sim, sim)
Necklace: Personal Jewelry via Etsy (worn here - sim, sim)
Bracelets: F21, J.Crew, Target (sim, sim, sim)
Shoes: Guess kissani (worn here - sim, sim, luxe)

10 September 2012

Eat to Love & a Giveaway Winner

Hey ladies. I hope you've all had a great weekend!

I certainly had a nice time that involved the usual over-indulging of meals upon meals and treats with dessert on top, all from the convenience of my couch, dining table or pretty much anything else that allows me to eat while sitting on my ass. So I am starting this Monday off on a new another "get healthy" kick. Start getting active again and eat healthier (and less of it!)

I don't know where the willpower I had in my youth went. In high school, I went through several years where I was a good 30+ pounds overweight but just sucked it all in as part of my well-this-is-high-school experience. I ate everything and it did get to the point where I was pre-eating (having a meal before your normal meal). Half-way through, I made up my mind that what I was doing just wasn't working, so I worked out - i.e., walked in place in front of the TV - and ate less. Just like that. Made up my mind and stuck to it. The weight just dropped off and stayed off through college and beyond, even though I stopped watching what I ate back in high school.

colorblock stripes

colorblock stripes  colorblock stripes

Top: J.Crew colorblock stripe (sim as dress)
Jeans: J.Crew vintage destroyed matchstick - note to self, flats with rolled jeans, eh ... (worn here - sim, sim, pricey)
Shoes: Sam Edelman trina (worn here - sim, sim)
Necklace: Overstock (sim, sim)
Bag: Longchamp (worn here - sim, sim, plain)

+++

But now I obviously don't have the metabolism of a 16 year-old and have a fairly sedentary job when I am not traveling - so what's a girl to do? The hardest part for me is getting started. I have no willpower! Where did I all go? I totally live by the "I'll start tomorrow" mentality when it comes to food because I never want to miss out on that great [insert food name here]. And I can't ascribe to the Bethanny Frankel mentality of "eat what you want, but no more than three bites" because I certainly can't stop at just three bites of anything - and who wants to throw away perfectly good food?

I know I am not overweight by any means, but my life seems to be a constant struggle with wanting to continue fitting into the clothes I already have (in the size I have them) and just wanting to eat everything in sight.

So I'd love some advice, ladies. How do you maintain your lovely figures? What do you do to start yourself in a new level of eating or activity, and how to you stay motivated?

colorblock stripes  colorblock stripes

 colorblock stripes

Shorts: Old Navy (sim, sim)
Shoes: Jack Rogers via Anthropologie whipstitched akebia (worn here - sim, sim)
Necklace: Emerson Fry gold (sim zodiac)
Bracelets: J.Crew factory cabochan & F21 (sim, sim, sim)
Bag: Pour La Victoire roma (worn here - sim, sim, sim)

 ♥     ♥     ♥    

And on a non food-related note, thanks to you all of you who entered in my Shopbop giveaway for a $100 gift card. It's time to announce the winner! So out of 201 qualified entries (originall had 195 comments, deleted 4 dupes or corrections, then added 10 that should have been separated entries), the winning entry drawn by random.org, is -


Which means that the winner of the gift card from Shopbop is -


Congrats! You'll be contacted directly by the generous folks at Shopbop with instructs on how to redeem your prize. Thanks again, to all you lovely gals who participated.
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