Sunday, October 28, 2012

Help! Winter coat shopping

For the last few winters, I've been on the hunt for a new winter coat. Living in Seattle, it gets pretty wet and cold so I really need a new one to rotate in with my trusty Gap jacket that I've had since 2005. Since I'm super cheap, I cringe at the thought of paying full price for one, but then get sad every year when they're all sold out of my size and desired color by the time they hit the clearance racks.

This year, I'm determined to buy a nice coat. Not one from the clearance racks at Old Navy or Target, but a nice coat from J.Crew or an equally not-in-my-budget store. Since the coats I've been looking at are in the $200-$300 range, I've asked my parents if they will buy me one as a combined birthday and Christmas present this year, and my mom graciously said yes.

Now the question is, what should I pick? I want something that is warm (duh), classic (so I can wear for years and years), and a neutral color (to match most outfits). A hood would be a nice, because I hate wearing hats, but not a necessity.

1. J.Crew Double-Cloth Slim Trench ($350 at J.Crew)
2. Calvin Klein Melton wool coat ($165 at Piperlime)
3. Madewell Fairbanks parka ($268 at Madewell)
4. Tahari belted stand-collar coat ($219 at Macy's)
5. Spiewak McElroy Parka ($229 at Piperlime)
6. DKNY Military double-breasted coat ($239 at Macy's)

I kind of want them all, but since I can only pick one, I just can't make up my mind. Which do you like best? Or do you have any recommendations you'd like to share, as if I need more choices? Thanks! :)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Balance

Top: Target
Cardigan: Talbots
Skirt: BR Factory Store
Boots: Frye

I decided to wear this lightweight and summery ikat print top the other day, despite the dropping fall temperatures. In my mind, I wanted to pair it with my mustard yellow cardigan to make it feel more "autumn-y", but at the last minute decided to swap it out with this minty blue cardigan... mostly because I had just worn the mustard cardigan two days prior.

I had originally worn dark grey tights that morning, but after one look in the bathroom mirror, I realized that the outfit felt very imbalanced. The top was so springy and light, and the bottom so dark and heavy. After an almost impossible task of removing my tights in the tiny bathroom stall (gross, don't want to touch the ground with my bare feet), I felt better about my outfit because I balanced out the light top with bare legs.

The challenge I didn't anticipate was walking around in boots sans socks or tights. It's squeaky, uncomfortable, and kind of nasty. I do not recommend trying it out.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Wallpaper

Top: Forever 21
Skirt: c/o Karen Kane
Belt: Target
Shoes: Steve Madden

(Hello, awkward hands!)

I was recently sent this gorgeous wallpaper print skirt by Karen Kane and I absolutely LOVE IT. The fabric is so soft and stretchy, and feels like I'm wearing pajamas, and the wallpaper print is just so pretty.

I was actually introduced to the Karen Kane brand last year when I entered a giveaway for a $200 styling session AND WON. A Karen Kane merchandiser flew up from the Bay area and we chatted over coffee about the company before browsing their selection at Macy's. I was surprised to learn that the Karen Kane brand is still a family-owned business, with Karen herself overseeing all the designs. Not only that, but a large percentage of their clothes is manufactured here in the states, which is awesome.

During that shopping trip, I picked out a skirt, a striped tank top, and a little black dress (see the skirt + tank here), and over the past year, they've all become some of my favorite clothing items. Really, I'm not exaggerating!

Karen Kane has a large selection of casual and dressy offerings, available on their online boutique or in department stores nationwide. I hope I'm not sounding like an infomercial, but seriously, they have amazing customer service, great clothes, and are made in the USA. I hope you can check them out! :)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Maxi


Everything: Target

I was never that big of a fan of maxi skirts, especially living in Seattle where half the year is rainy and maxi skirts that drag around in the mud? No thanks. But I changed my mind when I was pregnant and pants were the last thing I wanted to wear. I found this size XL maxi skirt in the 75% off clearance racks for only $4, and the length was just right, but the waist was a little loose. It was the softest and most comfortable thing in the world and I decided that I'd alter it after having the baby because I had no idea what size I'd be by then, and just wore it as it was while pregnant.

Since it was too big, I had to hold it up with a Bella band, and one day as I got up from my desk at work to use the restroom for the 200th time, my butt felt surprisingly breezy. I quickly realized to my horror that the waistband had totally slipped down and my entire bottom was exposed. OMG. I looked around and thankfully no one saw... well, I think no one saw.

Needless to say, I altered it to fit better after that.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Dots

Striped tee: Banana Factory store
Cardigan: Halogen
Skirt: Target dress (via Goodwill) altered into skirt
Boots: Frye Melissa button

Sometimes I get a bit jealous of people who have fancy cameras with remotes, or people with  husbands/boyfriends that are willing to take pictures for them, or people who have better self-photo-taking skills than me, because it really sucks to take a bunch of pictures, get home and realize that they are ALL BLURRY. But since this isn't an photography blog, and I'm just here to show you my outfit, they'll do.

It took me long enough, but I finally chopped off the top of this dress and turned it into a skirt. Could not be happier, because the days of wearing strapless dresses are pretty much gone. Skirts are way more practical, especially polka dot ones.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Peplum again

Top: The Limited
Skirt: Forever 21
Shoes: Talbots

Attempt #2 wearing my peplum top. Even though it seems like I just wore the top four posts ago, in reality the two days were about a month apart. I slimmed the sides down some more and removed the back zipper (stretchy shirts do not need zippers, they just create weird back bulges), and now I like it a lot better. BUT, I would have liked the outfit a bit more if I had worn a necklace. I left the house with a brown skinny belt and felt that a necklace in addition to a belt would be too much. People do NOT dress up at my office, so I wanted to make the outfit as casual as possible with minimal accessories. When I got to work, I decided I hated the belt, and regretted not wearing a necklace. Too bad so sad.

Ok, and a disclaimer, these pictures were from a few weeks ago when it was still warm. It's cold now. Back in the day, I used to be able to post up my outfit pictures the day after I wore it, or even the day of, but now it takes me at least a week to get them onto my computer, and then another week or two to edit the pictures and write up a post. It doesn't take me that much time, it's just that I'd be lucky to turn on my laptop at home even once a week.

Just curious, for those of you that post outfit pictures, how soon are you able to get your pictures up? I already know you're going to make me feel bad.