Monday, December 31, 2012

2012

As the 2012 is closing behind us, I thought of doing a post with my favorite 2012 outfits, but I realized that most of my choices would be from the last few months. Not because I started dressing better, but simply because I stepped out from the bathroom and the fitting rooms and the pictures got better (thank you A!) in consequence . Instead, as I scrolled back through my blog, I picked up my best purchases from this year and some tried and true favorites from the years past, in no particular order.

2012 purchases

  • Madewell Academy blazer

  • Anthropologie jeans
 
  • Gap boyfriend cords
  • Scout chinos in white
 
  • Stretch denim jacket 

  • MacAlister Boots 

  • Chambray polka dot shirt

  • Porcelain Paisley skirt
 
  • Liberty print shirt in d'anjo

  • Club Monaco Reagan top

Old faves:

  • Banana Republic trench 
  • Majesty peacoat

  • Valentina shoes 

  • Nottingham boots & Kate Spade purse

  • Brora cashmere 
  • Perfect shirts in linen and Liberty prints

  • Solid pencil skirts in superfine cotton and double serge wool 
 
  • Gallerista skirt

  • Talbots striped dress

  • DVF Dress


No surprises here, I have purchased things similar to what I have been wearing for years, mostly preppy, classic styles that I like to 'casualize' and some more striking prints that I tend to fall in love with. My color palette is also limited, consisting of neutrals with many blues and some reds. I like pencil skirts and jeans but I have worn more fuller skirts and capri pants this year. More than half of my favorites are still from J.Crew but I have been buying less and less from them, so I am expecting this to change.

It has been great to have this blog. It was so much fun to share with you and get your feedback. I want to thank you once again for reading and I hope you will stay for 2013!

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What were your favorite purchases from 2012?  
Please share, it would be no fun without you!!!


Friday, December 28, 2012

Knitted skirts

Some time ago I was inspired by beautiful knits from Chloe.


Love this, like the lovely FFM would say. So chic and understated....
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This too...

But, like everything from Chloe, way out of my reach in terms of money.  However, I do have some sweater skirts.  They are not based on Chloe designs, but I treat them as a loose, on-the-budget  interpretation.

As you can maybe guess, they belong to 'my mother made this' series.


The pictures are from couple of weeks ago, I just never got around to post them. It was warm that day but in the end I decided to add some brown tights before I left for the office. It made the skirt more winter and office appropriate. It was after I walked my daughter to school, so she was not around to take pictures after I changed. I thought of snapping good old bathroom picture but things got crazy that day and I completely forgot.


You cannot see it in the pictures but the skirt has some flecks of blue in the wool so the combination looks more coordinated irl. The sweater is from Hanna Andersson, I bought it several years ago and I love the color. It is 100% cotton so maybe not as warm but very comfortable. My daughter used to have a matching one, but of course she outgrew it and I didn't (thank God!).
 

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Another sweater skirt I own is more of an a-line. This is a better shape if you are concerned about getting out of shape. Chloe skirts are cashmere but my mother convinced me that cashmere will look lumpy, especially in pencil skirt and we picked more dense and stiff wool. It is not as soft, but it holds its shape beautifully.


This skirt goes with everything. It  has similar shape to Sterling skirt and I like the slight flare, it is a bit flirty and fun.

Here, I went for colorblock effect and I think it works. This outfit was a hit among the ladies in my office. Thank you Mom!



This is also from couple of weeks ago. Right now I will go for a run, trying to get in back in shape to wear a sweater skirt after the Holidays, lol. One thing about them is they are not very forgiving and the lumps are coming back with vengeance :(

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That's all folks!

Do you own any sweater skirts?

Have you 'recovered' from the Holiday madness? 

Please share, it would be no fun without you!!!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Orange rhymes with pink

I hope you all had wonderful time, enjoying the Holidays with your family and friends. Thank you so much  for all the Christmas wishes, they warmed up my heart!

I ate enormous amount of food and drank quite a lot of wine, so I am now in recovery mode. I am technically off from work, but since I support end-of-the-year activities, I am still 'on call' and watching my emails. I will also spend New Years Eve working until midnight. This is not the most fun way to greet the New Year but hey, since everything in life can be commented upon using a quote from the Godfather movie "I said to myself, this is the business we've chosen..."

My gifts this year did not include any J.Crew and I am happy with that. I am also not into after-Christmas sales, just like I don't do Black Friday. I think I am definitely coming off the crewlade and shopping for clothes in general. I have plenty in my closet and I hope that in 2013 I will be mostly recycling what I already own. 


The outfit above is from couple of weeks ago, I just never got around to post it. In fact, I have several of those, so I will be using them this week. Since I am staying home, I am sitting by my Christmas tree, wearing (red) pajamas and a hoodie, having no reason or inclination to dress up.

This skirt looks like last year's Bright Flame, but it is an earlier version (2008?) and the color was called Persimmon. Persimmon is very similar to Bright Flame, Modern Red or Poppy, but the wool is thicker and the skirt has a fully fashioned waistband, which creates more flattering fit, at least on me.



 

I needed some cheering up in the rainy weather, so I decided to double up on brights and wear the skirt with the predominately pink Liberty print perfect shirt.

It is funny how sometimes, when you add more, you actually lessen the effect. Worn with something neutral or contrasting, the skirt color might have blinded your eyes, but when paired with something bright, it gets neutralized or maybe just more intentional, therefore less shocking orange.


My shoes and purse also have orange tones creating almost monochromatic effect again. I liked this outfit and it definitely put me in a cheerful mood.


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That's all folks!

Are you 'recovering' after Holidays? Watching the after-Christams sales?

Do you do bright on bright? Do you think it works here?

Please share, It would be no fun without you!!!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Celebrate!

I will be off for a few days, dedicating this time to my family and friends. Tonight, my dear friend Anna is hosting a big, elaborate, twelve course, Polish style Christmas Eve dinner called Wigilia. It is the most important evening in the whole year for us and everybody is waiting for it with joyful anticipation. The dress code is formal (yes, men in suits) and many of the dishes are only eaten on this day. There is no meat but variety of fish grilled, baked and in gelatin, poppy seeds in different forms, mushroom pierogies, red beet soup and kutia (sweet grain pudding). Aside from plenty of yummy food, there will be wine and laughter, telling stories by the fire and games for the kids. It is always a magical evening and it never fails to make me feel enveloped in traditions and wrapped in kindness and generosity of people close to my heart.

my daughter and memory of the last year's magic
May most of your wishes come true! 
Not all, so we still have some dreams to guide us on our journey into the future.  

Happy Holidays!!!

Where are you celebrating this year?

Friday, December 21, 2012

Monochromatic

I love monochromatic and tonal combinations. Come to think of it, just this week you have seen me in all black and gray (twice) and all brown. I usually don;t wear much green, but it seems like when I do, I just go green head to toe.


It is the kind of green that I like the best, with blue/teal undertones. I think monochromatic makes every color seem like neutral. Wearing one solid color helps to elongate your frame and draws the attention to the face and the person. I think it is better if the color are not exactly the same but have similar saturation level and the same undertones.


Of course you have to use your judgment how literally you can take monochromatic. I think green tights would have been too much but I like the green-on-green necklace.


I am wearing Brora cashmere turtleneck, J.Crew double serge wool pencil skirt in Viridian Green, Jeffrey Campbell shoes, Barbour Utility Jacket, Hue Tights and necklace bought on my trip to Jerusalem.

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This is another outfit that is based on the same principle, this time in pink and purple or, in J.Crew lingo 'Bright Dahlia'.


Again, this is another Brora sweater with J.Crew double serge pencil skirt and neutralized with saddle brown. You have to excuse my hair, but in this picture I am on my way to get it done, so I did not bother.


I have worn this outfit before (see HERE). The only new thing is the tights that I just got at J.Crew. KnitYarns, this is for you (we have run into each other the day I bought them). I love the color and how they match my boots and they are actually much closer in color irl.

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That's all folks!

Do you like monochromatic?

Please share, it would be no fun without you!!!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Sweater dresses


There is something snuggly and cozy about sweater dresses. They are warm, comfortable, easy to throw on with boots and be ready. But in reality, sweater dresses may also be unflattering, unforgiving, adding bulk everywhere and easily turning into shapeless sacks.

I am a big fan in theory but irl, not so much.


In general, I avoid sweater dressed for reasons mentioned above but sometimes I could not resist. This was the case  with J.Crew cashmere Fiori dress from 2009.  I loved the silver gray shown in the stock picture but since I already owned a gray sweater dress (see below), I decided to go with black.


I was not disappointed when I received it, it was exactly what I was looking for.


It has just the right length and it is not cut too low. The slightly a-line skirt does not get out of shape by the end of the day.  The rosette is subtle and eliminates a need for a necklace but makes the dress more elegant. However, I have worn it with boots to the office without feeling overdressed.  Miraculously, it does not pill.

 

I took a smaller of my sizes (S) and the dress was still roomy at first, but after I washed it couple of times, it shrunk a little and become more fitted but not too small. Btw, I hate dry cleaning and I wash all my cashmere with regular detergent on gentle cycle and air dry. It shrinks a little but other than that, I did not have any problems. I actually think it pills less after washing. You just have to be careful, so you don't throw it in the dryer with the rest of the load. I learned that the hard way. However, putting it in the dryer for 5 minutes to fluff works well.

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I am wearing the dress with my Nottingham boots and Boulevard coat in sandstone. I love this coat and I hope J.Crew will come back with the classic Boulevard silhouette next year. I don't like the cut of the one they did this year, although some of the colors are beautiful.

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My other sweater dress is even older (2007?) and I bought it from Boden. I used to buy much more from them in those years.


This is 100% thick, ribbed merino wool with not a single pill in sight. It is not itchy and merino can bother me. I got it in size 10 but it is still roomy in hips. The length is good but the neck is rather exposed, which is a slight problem in the winter when I want to be covered up. What I like about it (besides the color and 100% merino) is that it reads quite casual.  I am not DaniBP (I wish) but I can wear this dress around the house and feel comfortable.  


Also wearing Ryder boots and Tillary purse (review HERE).

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That's all folks!


Do you like/wear sweater dresses?
Do you own J.Crew Fiori dress?

Do you wash your cashmere and merino?


Please share, it would be no fun without you!!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Leather And Cord

Do you like chocolate and caramel? I do. Preferably together. Just writing this makes me drool...


I think it is the combination of colors and textures that makes me love this outfit.


The jacket is one of the cheapest items in my closet. I found it years ago in Kohls clearance bin, it was $5. And I think I have only been to Kohls about 3 times total. Maybe I should go more often?

Anyway, it is made of slightly stretchy cord which makes it comfortable, while being formfitting.  I also love it with my full, camel colored velvet skirt.  


The leather skirt is from Talbots, couple of years ago. Again, I probably bought 5 things total from them but they are all favorites (and maybe that's why). As soon as this skirt showed up on their website and fell in love with it. I never wanted a leather skirt but I loved the color. It wasn't cheap but I bought it with the first 30% off coupon I could get and I never regretted. Just the color of it makes me salivate.


The jacket has the Liberty-like print and I love the blue flowers on brown background. It looks great paired with seafoam and I am actually wearing a tank in this color underneath so I could open the jacket if I wanted. It looks good open as well.


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That's all folks!
What is the favorite thing you own that was also very inexpensive?

Do you Target or Kohls?

Do you wear leather skirts?

Please share, it would be no fun without you!!!