Sunday, February 27, 2011
Friday, February 25, 2011
I really like Leifsdottir! It started when I saw their Majestic Cypress Toile Dress, drooled over it (I have a strange weakness for toile print for some reason), and then sighed at the $300+ price tag. I did eventually pick it up on sale, though I’m still not sure how to wear it.
Ever since then, I’ve kept my eye on their website, since they have much more than Anthro picks up. They have some of the ugliest $300 clothes I’ve ever seen (Poni Cardigan, Python Jersey Maxi Dress, anyone?), but they’ve got a lot of awesome stuff, too.
I’d been seeing stuff I liked well enough, but even at sale prices, I didn’t love them enough to pick them up. First cut on tops and skirts at Leifsdottir usually still puts them at $100, and dresses are even more.
Well, imagine my excitement when I randomly checked the site (ok, maybe to giggle at that python dress) and noticed that a bunch of older stuff got 2nd cuts, putting skirts in the $50 range! And even better – they had plenty of stuff in my size! I had actually been eyeing the Paso Doble Dress and Folding Fan Dress for awhile, and that’s what I assumed I’d purchase since they were both under $100. (Upscale department stores have carried these dresses, too) But when it came down to purchase time, I wasn’t sure how practical they were, and I didn’t want more expensive, useless dresses hanging in my closet.
So instead, I got skirts. Two skirts for a little more than a dress would cost! They’re definitely different from what I normally wear. For one thing, these skirts do not look good unless I’m wearing them 1) at my waist and 2) with a shirt tucked in. I can’t even remember the last time I went out wearing an outfit that fit either criteria. I, uh, don’t have much of a waist so I tend to wear things that skim that area. Well, I threw together some outfits quickly, and I’ll probably spend some time mulling over what else I can pair with the skirts before I make my final decision.
Monday, February 21, 2011
With my discovery of Anthro in the past year, and my subsequent purchase of many many dresses, I have recently realized that I need nice shoes to go with my dresses too. So, here's one to start things off with. This is a stunner! Here's the real life shots:
Ignore ugly feet, please. And yay, ignore the photographer who took two pictures of the same shoe and came out with two different shadings! The first picture shows the blue more closely, and the second picture shoes off the peach shade better. I was undecided at first, primarily because of the heel height. It's 3.5 inches and I usually am more comfortable at 3 inches and lower. These weren't bad to walk in - a little wobbly - but I attribute that to the fact that I'm not not used to the heel height. It also does feel like all your weight is shoved towards your toes, but it's nicely padded. They are TTS - I am normally an 8.5 in unsocked shoes and this fit me perfectly in 8.5. I am leaning towards keeping these as they fit in quite well with my wardrobe, although I anticipate they'll hurt for a bit when I break them in. (I think all shoes, with the exception of sneakers, hurt when I break them in.)
Monday, February 14, 2011
See what I mean?
This actually doesn't it look like it fits too badly, but I remember this being being loose and a bit big on me. I took an xs. Deletta has been running big for me lately, and I find myself being sized out of most, if not all, of their things lately. It was very comfortable, although I was (and am still) skeptical of the off center neckline. I kept feeling like it was going to drop too low and give people an inadvertent show.
Sunday, February 13, 2011
I did have a different post in mind - reviews of shoes I have recently bought - except Anthro decided to delay the last part of my post in that they sent me a pair of size 7 Lace Lover Booties. I am an 8.5. :( So, shoe review post coming later when my booties finally arrive from the Chicago store.
What's on my wishlist?
I always focused on flats before, because I had convinced myself I couldn't wear heels. They're wobbly. They'll give me a sprained ankle. I don't want to break the heel. However, I finally broke my self imposed heel ban, because the perfect, beautiful, golden standard shoe had finally appeared in my life - and it had a heel on it. So I finally managed to acquire a pair of the Budding T-straps, and angels started to sing. I felt stable! I felt comfortable! And best of all - there is a rubber sole on this shoe. Seriously. Win. So that opened up a whole new avenue of shoes for me. Well, anything under 3 inches, with a thicker heel. No stiletto heels for this girl. I am still convinced I will twist my ankle and break the heel with something as skinny as that.
So. Heels. 3 inches and under. Brown, black, or any fun color. Preferably a t-strap or mary jane style. (While photographing shoes for the upcoming shoe review post, I have noticed that I don't really have very pretty feet. I think I need something to break up the expanse of ugly foot, such as some well placed straps or flowers or such.) Something cute enough to pair with dresses for a nice night out, or casual enough to wear to work or with jeans.
This is Poetic License's Apple Pie Mary Jane pump. I've been eyeing it in both black and this light blue. I do remember trying on once an Irregular Choice heel, which I believe is from the same parent company as Poetic License, and I don't remember it being very comfy, but this is pretty cute. Except Nina remarked that it reminded her of Minnie Mouse and now I have a hard time getting that image out of my head. I'm also not quite sure this fits in with a dressier outfit.
Naya Chalice Mary Jane Pump. This is promising. Except I really have enough light colored/neutral shoes right now in flats, and I really need to find darker shoes to pair with my darker dresses. They have this in black, but I don't think I can see the light flowery detail well enough on it.
Seychelles Pot of Gold T-strap. I actually bought this already, and am still waffling on this. More details to come in the upcoming shoe review post.
I know, it's not a new shoe. It's Anthro's Bouquet of Roses heels from 2009. You know, I had my finger about to buy a very reasonably priced auction for these shoes last year. And then I talked myself out of it, saying that I really would much rather prefer the Budding T-straps over these Bouquet of Roses heels, and I really should save money. So ... now I find myself in dire wants for these shoes, and kicking myself SO badly for not going for it last year. If you want to sell a size 8, 8.5, or 9 in these shoes, let me know. ;) Otherwise, I am impatiently awaiting the 2011 version of these shoes. (I still kind of like the 2010 version, the Rensselaer T-straps, but I'm waffling because of that big buckle on it. No buckles. Or little tiny buckles, please. But hey, if you want to sell a size 9 or 10 in these shoes, let me know too!)
I have no idea what I really want. I have a vague impression in my mind, but it's just a feeling of a soft, silky, long flowing skirt. Not maxi length. And not above the knee length. Something just below the knee. Something that twirls nicely and floats, not the structured pencil skirts out right now. I guess I'll know it when I see it.
I tried on the Engla trench a few weeks ago. I didn't take a picture of it because the weird ruffles around my neck reminded me strongly of a frilled lizard. But it was very very well made, and I need something nice like that in my life. I currently have a rip-off not-authentic-at-all Burberry hooded trench. It's very cute. It's also shoddily made. The Engla trench was lightweight and well lined, and I had the impression I could dash out into a pouring rainstorm and come out dry, warm, and completely unscatched. My fake Burberry is likely to rip apart in three seconds. I really need to combine the two .... which, er, would turn it into a well made, lightweight, well lined Burberry trench ... which actually means an authentic Burberry trench. Haha. But since I lack the 1.5k needed for such a jacket, that will have to pass for now.
CASUAL SUMMER DRESS
Currently my gold standard for this is last year's State Fair Dress. Something fun and easy to wear out anywhere and not worry about being overly dressed up. Except that dress was way too big on me even in a size 0. I have a Southward Stop shirtdress which also fits in this category, but that's a bit too structured for what I have in mind. Something soft and flowy. (Hey, that sounds like the skirt I have described! Wow, I'm not repeating myself at all.)
Too bad I think Anthro's March catalog will be swimsuit heavy, but I'm eagerly awaiting their late spring and summer stuff. I need them to fill up these categories in my closet. And guess what? It's supposed to be over freezing tomorrow! I think it's possibly time for me to break out my Tria Sweater skirt. I know the sweater part of that seems to hint that this should be worn when it's BELOW freezing ... but here in Chicago we've been in the teens, the single digits, and below zero. I am not wearing tights in that weather. So above freezing skirt, here we come!
A very kind marathon runner gave me a Nike+ SportBand for my birthday to encourage me with my running progress. Ever since my 5k events last year, I’ve maintained the ability to jog 3 miles, but I haven’t pushed myself further. In fact, before today, I believe the longest runs I had done were the two 5k events. Even though I’m not actively training towards something now, I knew it was time to take it up a notch.
I do not run in Nike shoes, which is what the sensors that go with the Sportband are designed for. In order to use the sensor without a Nike+ enabled shoe, you have to find another way to attach the sensor to your shoe, preferably in a flat-laying position (NOT how the picture shows it). There are many pouches available, like this one or this one. I ended up getting the the Grantwood pouch because it was inexpensive and had good reviews. Unfortunately, it looks like it won’t make it to me for another few days, and in the meantime, I was eager to try out the Sportband.
There are a bunch of tutorials on how to attach your Nike+ sensor to your shoe online. Going for the easiest solution possible, I tried the “Quick Tape Method,” pictured above. While it did get the sensor to lay pretty flat, it did not end up working out well. Not only does tape make really annoying noises when you move, it also doesn’t stay on the shoe well. I got about half a block before the tape fell off.
For today’s run, I tried a lace-in approach similar to the one described here, and it held perfectly. I went for my first 4 mile run, which took me into Bridle Trails State Park, a wooded equestrian park close to my normal running route. It’s fun to see horses, and the trees made me feel far away from the city. It’s not the best place to run during the winter because the rain makes the trails muddy, but once summer comes, I’m sure I’ll be spending more time in there.
It’s really easy to upload running data to the Nike site, which also provides you with cool visualizations of your running habits, social features, and challenges to keep you motivated. I was a little frustrated at first by the speed and a few bugs on the site, but I will admit that the designers did a great job making it look cool. If you’re hooked on Farmville, there’s Nike+ Active, where you use “fuel points” from your activities to conquer the world. You don’t even need the Sportband to use these features if you have a compatible iPod or iPhone and the Nike+ sensor.
As you can see from my screenshot, the run data isn’t accurate. Since the technology doesn’t use GPS (and since I’m not using it in the intended way), there’s potential for inaccuracy. Supposedly once it’s calibrated against a real run, the accuracy improves. We’ll see how it goes on the next run!
Saturday, February 12, 2011
A lot of Anthro's offerings right now have been running large, so there's not much clothes-wise that I'm interested in. But their accessories and home items have been catching my eye. When I saw the Pom Pom Hairpins, I knew I had to get them in a few colors. They're pretty and perfect for everyday wear.
Outfit of the Day by jadelin featuring draped dresses
Friday outfit by jadelin featuring pewter shoes
Saturday, February 5, 2011
I’ve seen Kendi’s 30 for 30 Remix mentioned a lot in the blog-o-sphere lately, and making a month of outfits from 30 items seems like fun. Except I’m not very fashionable in my everyday attire, and even on a normal month, I might not cycle through 30 items. Instead, I signed up for SIOL.
That’s right, Six Items or Less. Six items. One month. Accessories, outerwear, underwear, exercise clothes, and loungewear don’t count towards the six. You’re allowed to have exact duplicates for laundry purposes – I have a back up pair of jeans, but I haven’t had to use it. And notable differences from the Remix challenge are that shoes don’t count towards the item count, and I am allowed to shop during this month, which I have done. :)
Why in the world would someone want to do this? The site asks you to choose your primary reason for wanting to participate when you sign up. The choices: anti-consumerism, personal uniform, curiosity, and creativity. I’m definitely in the curiosity camp. I wondered: how hard will this be for me? Will anyone even notice?
Basically, the answer is no. The only people who see me regularly enough to notice are software engineers, almost all male. I still have two workdays left in this challenge, and afterwards, I’ll post this blog article more publically to see if people actually did notice and were too afraid to tell me. But I’m thinking not. The moral of the story is that people (men, at least) don’t notice when you wear the same thing. But they notice when you wear something different.
The only difference people noticed between my two sets of outfits pictured above was the dress shirt I threw in as one of my six items, just in case I needed to dress up during the one month. Two people noticed something different: “Something I should know about?” and “Is it laundry day? You normally wear T-shirts.” Hah.
It’s been a less interesting (almost) month than I expected. Basically, I’m tired of wearing maroon shirts and am eager to get back to my Threadless/Woot rotation. I still like the idea of wardrobe experiments, but I think the next one I do will need to be one that pushes me further out of my comfort zone. No T-shirt or jeans month? Hmmm…
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Analysis: Heels need to still be down more, but they've improved tenfold. Now .... time to work on tightening up the lower leg, getting it more stable, and to stop being so far forward in the saddle, which is leading up to me over-jumping. But progress! I see progress!!