Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Dot Ditty

This will be short and sweet.

Though I'd prefer the polka-dot popover to be more opaque
(I have a thin black wool thermal top under) and a full button up
(popovers are a nuisance to put on and take off), I still love the shirt.
Note the dots are a light tan/beige/khaki color that
I think more sophisticated than white.
The fabric is a cool and comfortable 57% cotton 43% silk blend,
machine washable in cold water.

The dots are also a light tan/beige/khaki color, though with a slight pink cast.
Just like Musings on the Mountain, my first venture into Madewell was
the polka-dot film noir pump. These are the kind of shoes for which I break my no-higher-than-three-inch-heel rule. Thank goodness they're leather and leather lined, thus became more and more comfortable as the day went on. They are danged cute and well worth the bit of suffering to break them in.

The minnie pant in bi-stretch wool is a classic in my wardrobe.
I am once again wearing the regular length even if I'm petite height.
Though the waist of the smallest size is about two inches too big,
I'm willing to put up with that. They can be depended upon for a stylish and not-too-casual look, while rarely needing wrinkle removal.
That (no wrinkle smoothing needed) makes me sing a happy little tune.

Friday, May 25, 2012

All American Apples

For some reason, this outfit struck a few people's fancy and I received several compliments on it. I felt down home with a chambray shirt, denim minnies and the Tippi sweater in orchard print. Love the sweet print of tiny apples that look like polka dots. And everything rorange calls for the Mona patent pumps in poppy. Here's another pic:
You might recognize it as an IRL from this PV set. Per the set, worn with the Gondola stripe coat.
And all buttoned up:
Not that I'd likely wear it that way.
I think not; it makes me want to salute.
And now I know what it is about this coat!
I look like a giant flag in it.
Appropriate for Memorial Day coming up.
But still ... I will leave the coat open.

Who'd think it would be chilly and grey in SoCal right now?!
As in chilly enough for this coat?
I hope it's nice where you are,
and y'all have a good Memorial Day weekend!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Hola Gondola

A printed stripe makes an unexpected cameo in this cheery spin-off of the classic peacoat and hello, no one will miss you if you wear it.
It's for you, my dear friends in blogland
why I'm wearing the Gondola stripe coat.
And doing the IRL tryout of the store image captured by jcrewismyfavstore.
The café capri in foulard colors don't seem to photograph well with the coat but here's a close-up look at them together:
In case you're wondering, I'm 5'2" wearing size 00.
Here's a shot with the coat worn buttoned:
And here I'm showing you just how wrinkled my shirt is:
The description continues with (my commentary in parentheses):
We started with a luxe wool crepe (it's most similar to J.Crew's wool crepe suiting for weight and texture) sourced from a Japanese mill, then printed over it in our exclusive nautical stripe—a rare technique that requires special craftsmanship to pull off (so the stripes are printed, not woven, not sure what that gets you except it's another point for its distinction?).

With cropped sleeves (you can see they are cropped even on my
petite height) and a classic nautical feel (yep, navy blue, red and white stripes), it's the perfect piece to pull you out of a wardrobe rut (it's obviously not a run-of-the-mill coat). Standing collar (what?! it is not). Flap pockets.
Functional buttons at cuffs. (Single vent in the back.)
Lined (fabric and lining composition below).
Hits at midthigh (not on petites). Part of J.Crew Collection
(see white, not black, Collection label pictured below,
along with the chain for hanging the coat). Import. Dry clean.
I'm not sure why I'm not in love with it. Maybe it's because I prefer single-breasted coats. Maybe it's because it doesn't have the tie-silk inside pocket, grosgrain ribbon lining waistband and unexpected fun print lining of yore.
It does have some nice buttons:
Or maybe I need to see it with more outfits ...
so come back to see these this week.

Does anyone else wonder why this coat is named Gondola stripe?
I could not find a clear connection. The traditional Venetian rowing boat used to be many colors but due to a law meant to restrain luxury or extravagance, they are now painted black. Pictures of them are often accented with bright blue and the red of the gondolier's kerchief, hatband and sash. Maybe the stripes are reminiscent of the boats lined up when docked. Or maybe it's a nod to the original "venetian blinds" -- the louvered shutters for closing windows of the cabins often on gondolas until the early 20th century.

Or maybe it's just a random name.
Whatever. It caused me to tell you something you didn't know before,
most likely. And maybe that will be the answer to some
million-dollar question someday.

Sunday, May 20, 2012


Sometimes there's not much difference between XS and XXS.
And sometimes if the sweater is made long and slouchy,
going up a size makes it a ... tunic!

I didn't mean to. It's what was left since I waited until
they had dropped to the lowest price and my size was gone.
I got the next size up, liking the idea of stripes made giant and
done in an unusual, rather sophisticated color combination.

I'm petite height but wearing the regular length Minnie pant in bi-stretch wool.
I was able to get my preferred size though I waited until multiple cuts
brought them down to the price of lunch.

The Corso Como 'Del Quilted' Pump were once a featured item
at the top of the page of the wonderful Gigi's Gone Shopping.
 With spotty sizes left, I ordered the single pair that's 1/2 up from my normal size while crossing fingers they'd work as that size
had at times. And two days later, got the 
sorry-we're-out-of-stock email.

Good thing.

Because my size came up a few weeks later
from which I learned the 1/2 size bigger would not have worked.

Sometimes, it's just meant to be. Don't you think?

Items for Polyvore Sets

Cecelia Cami
Strong Seamed Denim Pant

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Shoes and Bags Clearance at Brooks Brothers

Thanks to xoxo at Will Work 4 Shoes, I was alerted to
the quality of Brooks Brothers some time ago.
I just came across their Weekend Online Clearance Event
with selected HANDBAGS and SHOES at 70% off.
This quilted lambskin beauty, for example, is $104.40 for now.
And this calfskin pump (with leather lining and sole) is $59.40 as another example of the pricing in the 70% off section.

And not final sale.
Happy shopping?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Would You ?

Sorry if anybody's retina burned.
I should have warned you to wear shades for this post.

The lovely Tweed and Toile received a few barbs
when she wore orange and red together to work.
So what about orange and hot pink?
Would you wear this combination?
Or should the question be would you wear a large question mark?
Completely sequined no less.

As for the the café capri in ultra eyelet, I love, love, love them.

Eyelet is pretty and feminine without being lacey dressy.
And the perfect fabric for keeping fresh and cool.
It's in one of my most favorite colors.
The cut is comfortably slender.
The length is good with heels or flats.

A graphic tee or floral cami or chambray shirt or linen sweater
and maybe with a cardi or blazer or denim jacket
could make it appropriate for most any occasion.

The only thing slightly annoying and worrisome ...
my pinky has an inadvertent tendency to poke through
the openings of the cutout pattern.

I hope I'm not going fast should something latch on as I'm going by.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Foulard Foolery

Though these are not nearly the craziest pants I own, I was recently accused of wearing wild pants when I wore the café capri in foulard. Maybe it's because I outed them with the Blythe blouse in silk pebble dot and the tricolor Penelope mary janes.

Husby hated the outfit (well ... maybe hate is too strong a sentiment, but he didn't like it). I pouted but insisted on wearing as is while muttering "you just don't get it" and went off to work where a male colleague asked "who dressed you today?"

Ah well.

The capri pants are a favorite and came to me via charge-send sale priced plus 30% off from a B&M in Connecticut thanks to a tip from MB on the JCA post. I can understand why they received a lot of blog love.

The fabric is 98% cotton with 2% spandex in a weight heavy enough to stay crisp looking. The material has a sensual sateen finish that's a nice surprise to the touch. The pants seem to give a longer, slimmer silhouette than the other capris I have from JC.

I wore them again today. This time, with the Banana Republic soft-wash denim shirt (to continue making my way through the denim/chambray shirt reviews). I'm wearing the XXS petite and as you can see, it's good for those looking for a more fitted look. The denim is a dark wash (darker than it appears in this photo shot on a bright, sunny day) with only the slightest fading along the edges and no distressing (yay!). It is100% cotton. Soft. I like it.

So what do you think about my foray into pattern mixing? The foulard with the pebble dot felt very ethnic print to me.

It was indeed a venture outside of my usual area. And I'm not sure I'll enter that territory again anytime soon.

It's OK if you hate it too don't like it. ;)

Monday, May 7, 2012

Mixing Apples and Orange

I've been wearing Crewcuts tees, sweaters and ballet flats for years (there are some advantages to being small). They often fit better (the ballet flats are perfect for my small but very wide feet) and the bonus is the much lower cost.

Crewcuts pants, however, scared me. I imagined them not making it past my knees and who wants to have that experience?! But when I saw Extra Petite having so much success with not even the largest size (she wore the size 12), I decided to give the girls' café capri in apple bobbing a go, albeit I'm wearing size 14 here.

The print is happy and fun and comes across as polka dots. The background is a super pale tan. The fabric is a very sturdy 100% cotton, good for no show-through but does not give one iota. As expected, the waist and hips are cut straighter than for women but tightening the internal adjustable elastic band (a feature for growing kids) made the gap around the waist disappear. And as my dad would say, whala!

Trying to prove that a chambray or denim shirt is the universal equalizer for any skirt or pants, I'm wearing the western denim shirt. It too is 100% cotton. The size 00 is not as fitted as I'd like but it's shorter than most shirts of this type and I like the western shirt style details.

Those are the Mona patent pumps in poppy. The poppy color is as Slastena said, "do not expect any red -- these babies are orange" in her wonderful review. I don't have much to add except I found them to run a little small and to differ from the JC online description of "incredibly comfortable." As WFF might say to the copywriter, incredibly means so implausible as to elicit disbelief. I've broken them in, so they are tolerable. Incredibly comfortable is stretching it ... a lot (ha, pun intended).

Since my blog photographer is more agreeable to taking a few more shots during the weekend, here's bonus coverage:
Say hey, with a white shirt -- the other universal equalizer.
And with a Crewcuts tee, complete with silly sequined symbol.

More to come with this tee.
I know ... you can hardly wait. ;)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

On the Ropes

I couldn't wait anymore. So even with the windy condition, cool temperature and a threat of rain, I wore the painted rope skirt. As shopwithm pointed out in her review, the skirt is really well done and could have easily been deemed Collection.

The lovely fabric with good weight and a lot of body is 53% wool and 47% silk (I have a weakness for natural fiber blends). But more than the fabric and nice construction (it's fully lined, the stripes match up nicely), I think it reads Collection because of the quirky stripes (or rope pattern) that look hand drawn. The waistband is backed with a grosgrain ribbon to hold its shape and though I'm not likely to use them, it has pockets (no, there's nothing wrong with the pockets, but why is it I want pockets when I don't often use them? That's a philosophical question ...).  

It's pleated front and back and as suspected, will wrinkle a bit from sitting. Though the pleats kept their shape after a day's wearing, the skirt will need a steam or light ironing before the next time. The center back length of the size 00 is 21.75" and on my 5'2" height, the length is right at my knees.

If you read my Texas Tuxedo post, you'd recognize the Jean Shop dark denim shirt (with the brand's distinctive orange selvedge). I wanted to try it untucked, thinking the structure of the shirt would hold down any excessive fullness of the skirt. I thought it worked reasonably well, the wind had picked up some when the photo was taken.

You'd think in May (even if only a couple days in), I wouldn't be needing tights or thermal underwear, especially in SoCal. But I did. And I wore them.

There you have it, my fashion tip: thermal underwear.