Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Los Angeleno OOTD

Almost as quickly as we got to LA, it seems we are leaving.  We had a wonderful time in LA watching my college roommate get married in an AMAZING ceremony, reuniting with friends, and sightseeing.  On our list was the Griffith Observatory, the Grammy Museum, the Hollywood Walk of Fame/Graumann Theater, and some of the area casinos for poker (We visited Commerce and Hustler.  Amazingly, I preferred Hustler, which was---dare I say it?---classier than Commerce).

Naturally, I had to visit at least one area Anthro (thanks to Gina for your great suggestions---I serendipitously found the Santa Monica location).  I'll post my sale haul after stopping by the Las Vegas Anthro in a few days (also perhaps the J.Crew outlet and the Kate Spade outlet...).  Is it just me, or have Anthro's sales been quite resistible lately?

One of the more Hollywood-y activities on our calendar was a trip to Sony Studios to watch a taping of Rules of Engagement.  I am very behind on network TV since I went without television throughout law school (as in, I had a TV but it didn't receive any channels), and I'd never seen an episode of this show before.  Still, I was excited to see David Spade and Patrick Warburton, both of whom I think are very talented.

Image from tvblanket

Neither man disappointed and had us cracking up into the microphones that were recording our laughter.  I was also very impressed with Oliver Hudson (Kate Hudson's brother) who had great timing and knew how to contort his face to make it less look-at-me-I'm-attractive and more look-at-me-I'm-doing-something-hilarious.

As an added bonus, Wendi McLendon-Covey of Bridesmaids fame has a role in the series.  She was stellar!  Many of you don't know that I performed in both improv and sketch comedy in college (and my sketch comedy group was all women) so Bridesmaids had been particularly inspirational to me as a great example of women defying stereotypes in comedy.  It was a treat to watch Wendi perform; she didn't have much space to shine in Bridesmaids because of the fantastic performances of the other women in the cast who had bigger roles.  It was a pleasure to watch her do her thing on this show.

The former performer in me most enjoyed watching the cast make very small adjustments in their performances and line delivery as the scenes were repeated once or twice.  Teeny tiny changes in facial expression or tone made a huge impact on the overall flow of the scene.

Anyway, I snapped some outfit shots while standing in line in the studio parking lot.

This prompted some snarky comments from the college-aged boys in front of me in line, who were on vacation with their parents and strike me as the type who are experimenting with standup comedy.  After some good-natured ribbing about the scenic backdrop of my photos, I finally explained that I was taking pictures for my blog.  College-aged boy #1 mentioned that he found blogging to be boring, and had to start one for class but didn't like it.  I pulled out a bit of snark (deserved, I think?) and told him sweetly that he struck me as the type who wouldn't like blogging.  Well, he had a tumblr, he said.  I responded, "Oh, so you're just ADD."

Sigh.  This town.
In this Outfit:
J. Crew Factory Silk Pocket Tank (4) (here)
J.Crew Jackie Cardigan in Wild Mushroom (M) (here and here)
Anthropologie Runny Yoke Skirt (6)
Anthropologie Pacific Shimmer Earrings
Urban Outfitters Globe Watch Pendant
Anthropologie Looping Lanes Belt (L)
Leather Purse from Florence Market
Tie Bracelet from Pull my Daisy boutique in Silverlake, CA (PS: I'm totally gonna try to make some of these at home!)
Reaction by Kenneth Cole shoes

Monday, August 29, 2011

Sale Haul, European Edition

There was a time---a wonderful, naive time---when I thought I would abstain from shopping while in Europe.  For the first week or so, all I bought for myself was this cute wine stopper in Capri:

I figured this wine stopper would be the extent of my personal shopping.

I know, I know.  Who do I think I am?

After two weeks of traveling, I found myself in Florence---home to a fabulous outdoor market filled with cheap leather goods, jewelry, and more.

Florence Scarves:

(The back of the scarf above.)

This leopard thing is a scarf, but it had so much fabric that it worked as a maxi.  I wouldn't wear this as a skirt in a non-suitcase scenario, but I was SO sick of my other two skirts that I was willing to play a little loose with my garments, even if it made me look a bit preggo.

Florence Jewelry:

Sterling silver with moonstone.

Sterling silver bracelet.  The friendship bracelets were given to me by the jewelry salesmen from whom I bought a bunch of pieces.

More friendship bracelets.  Yeah, I bought a lot of jewelry from this guy.

Both of these next two necklaces are completely bendable.  I like them because they can be twisted into tons of different shapes and forms!

The flowers in my hair came from Marie Antoinette's hamlet at Versailles.

More (plus some Anthro) behind the cut)...

Friday, August 26, 2011

Eating my way through Europe

While I was, of course, looking forward to experiencing amazing and cultural sights on my recent Europe trip, I was also particularly looking forward to sampling a variety of Italian and French foods!  I did my best to stick with local specialties where possible as a way of trying a variety of foods.  
Pasta was a staple everywhere in Italy.  I had particularly delicious "spaghetti alla greca" at a little family-owned place in southern Rome.  The restaurant was located in a small alley and lit by little white Christmas lights.  It was my first meal in Italy and my first dinner alone on my trip.  Frankly though, I didn't feel alone for long---the couple next to me noticed my Rick Steves guidebook (which led me to the restaurant) and struck up a conversation about places to see in Rome and Sienna.  Then, as I finished, the 90-year old Uncle who owned the restaurant came to sit with me.  He was sharply dressed in searsucker shorts and suspenders and couldn't speak a word of English.  I tried to talk to him, but he kept saying "Mangia, mangia!" (eat, eat!)  When I was done, he asked his nephew for dessert---sliced peaches with sprinkled sugar.  He showed me that he wanted to share with me by spearing the slices with his fork and waved them at me until I ate them.  It was fantastic.

In Rome and the Naples province (Naples/Sorrento) I was all about the pizza.  My favorite coffee drink in Italy was an americano with a bit of milk.

In Capri, I saw a bunch of sardines swimming in the sea after I disembarked from my boat cruise around the island.  They looked delicious.  Fresh sardines at lunch that day (along with a Napoli pizza, of course) seemed like a natural choice.  Later that day, I went on a strenuous hour-long uphill hike to the best viewpoint on the island.  I relaxed at the top and cracked open a fresh fig.

The next day, I took a long and winding bus ride down the Amalfi coast.  I'd planned to use the bus all day to get between three cities, but I felt so queasy after the first town that I took the boat the rest of the day.  In the meantime, I needed a watermelon granita and a soaking-wet-with-rum baba to settle my stomach.
After walking through Naples for a few hours, I visited one of the oldest pizzerias in the city and had one of the best pizzas I've ever had in my life!  Thin, doughy crust and delicious toppings---mozzarella, sausage, and mushrooms!

In Florence, I ordered the famous Bistecca Fiorentina (Florentine steak), a delicious, juicy ribeye that was one of the most well-cooked pieces of meat I've ever eaten.  Unfortunately, I could only order the steak in grams, and the minimum order was 650 grams.  I had no idea how many ounces that was, and the steak was sooooo good that I ate a huge amount of it.  I later did the conversion and I think I probably ate a pound of steak that night!

In Sienna, I indulged in sausage and Tuscan white beans.  In Cinque Terre, home of focaccia and pesto, I had---what else?---focaccia covered with pesto (not pictured, unfortunately).

Let's not forget the gelato!  Oohhh, the gelato.  I averaged about 1.66 gelatos a day for my time in Italy.  I was on a mission to find my favorite flavors---probably pistacchio, stracciatella, pine nut (where available), and nutella when I'm in a special mood.  There was nothing worse than getting a sub-par gelato; I threw a few cups out when I realized I didn't like the flavor.  On one particularly memorable occasion, I bought a mediocre gelato near Piazza Navoni in Rome, but a block later meandered by a gelato place that looked MUCH better.  My friends from the hostel and I walked in just to look, only to offend the guy behind the gelato counter.  He told us that his gelato was much better than what we had---which we could see just by looking at it---and then he proceeded to ask all three of us which flavors were in our cups.  As we told him, he scooped out samples of HIS version all six flavors.  We agonized with each bite, because his flavors really were much better.  Lesson learned---don't settle for average gelato in Italy!  There's probably something delicious right around the corner.

Travel habits are hard to break---I found myself indulging once again in my daily ice cream on my first full day back in the country!

I'd saved most of my pastry and bread consumption for Paris.  I began with a sampler of delicious Herme macaroons.  I enjoyed croissants, filled beignets, croque madames, and quiche.  I ate foie gras, creme brulee, and duck.  I picnicked on baguettes, pain de fromage, dried sausage, and rotisserie chicken.

The best part about three weeks of this culinary wandering?  I only gained a pound!  I credit lots of walking, watchtower-climbing, and most of all to leaving food behind when I was satisfied.  Italy was littered with plates of half-eaten pasta and abandoned gelato flavors.  I ate truly excellent food and didn't settle for less (or more) than I wanted.

Ahh, la vita e bella!  

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Use it or Lose it Photos!

Don't forget to send in a photo for my Use it or Lose it reader outfit feature!

As a reminder, I want photos of you showing off an outfit that includes a piece you have neglected.  You can send me your photos until Sunday night.

Your emails will entertain me as I sit in in the Chicago airport facing an hour and a half delay and contemplating the wisdom of eating a hot dog before a four-hour flight to L.A.!  The east coast hurricane seems to be rerouting planes across the country.

Anyone in the airport wanna have a meet-up?  Is there an Anthro in easy cab distance from here?  (kidding.  Although I could be persuaded to risk missing my flight for a slice of Chicago deep dish.)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Eurotrip Top Sights

(Please check out the modified version of Alice's high-flying guest post from Monday.  The pictures did not upload properly the first time, but I was unable to fix it until today!  Thanks again for your great post, Alice!)

I'm back!  (For one day, before I leave again for a week and a half trip to LA and Vegas...but hey, I'm not complaining...)

Last night, I came back from an AMAZING three-week jaunt through Europe (half of which was spent traveling solo, and the other half was spent traveling with my adventurous BF).

I love the weird look I'm getting from the guy in the gray shirt on the right of the frame.

Here was my three-week itinerary:

August 2--4th:  Rome
August 4th--8th:  Sorrento (with day trips to Capri, Amalfi, Positano, Pompeii)
August 8th:  Naples (a few hours)
August 8th--12th:  Florence (with day trips to Chianti and Sienna)
August 12th:  Pisa (a few hours)
August 12--14th:  Cinque Terre (stayed in Vernazza)
August 14th--17th:  Venice
August 17th--22:  Paris
August 22:  Return to Rome
August 23:  Fly home from Rome

I kept the exact itinerary a little bit open, booking hotels and hostels a few days in advance.  This allowed me to adjust my plans based on the good or bad feedback I got from fellow travelers I met along the way.  Everything worked out swimmingly!  I relied heavily on Rick Steves' travel guides for Italy and France while putting everything together, and he was heaven-sent.

I had an absolutely mind-blowing time and I am just bursting with things I want to tell you about my trip.  I'm going to try to distill the information a bit and share highlights and pieces of the trip with you, rather than present a full play-by-play recap as I did for my Birthright Israel experience.

For now, I'll just share with you my list of top sightseeing highlights (in chronological order):

Climbing the dome at St. Peter's Basilica

One of my favorite things about the beautiful Italian Duomos is that the artwork on the walls, all of which look like stunning paintings, are actually incredibly intricate mosaics.  For a fee, you can climb the dome of St. Peter's Basilica and actually circle the interior of one of the huge domes of the church.  This brings you nose-to-tile with one of the mosaics that had looked like a painting from so far below.

From below.


View from the top.

Capri's Blue Grotto
The island of Capri is not only a vacation destination for the jet-set elite, but is also somewhat of an overpriced tourist trap (at least according to my travel guide).  However, one of my favorite sights on this entire trip was Capri's famous Blue Grotto.  The Blue Grotto is a natural wonder, once used as private swimming pool for Roman emperors.

The reason this cave is so special is that the walls of the cave don't extend all the way down to the bottom of the sea, which creates an incredible effect when the sunlight reflects off the water and the bottom of the sand.  The inside of this dark cave is an absolutely magnificent, other-worldly glowing blue:

The opening to the cave is so tiny that you can only enter it by small rowboat (what I did) or swimming in (technically illegal, but locals do it after the boats stop running at 6pm---which I would have done if there was a boat back to Sorrento after 6pm).

The cave opening.

The Erotic Section of the Naples Archaeological Museum

I almost skipped Naples altogether.  I spent four nights in Sorrento, which is quite close to Naples, and I kept running into girls who'd planned to stay in Naples overnight and were scared away by the sketch factor of the city.  Naples is a bit more run-down than its more picturesque Amalfi Coast neighbors (Sorrento, Positano, Capri) and the petty crime rate is notoriously higher.  I was resolved to make a quick train transfer at the Naples station from Sorrento and just hightail it immediately to Florence.

Then I went to Pompeii.  I kept seeing signs in Pompeii indicating that the original relics from the lost city were kept in the Naples Archaeological Museum (relics that were freakishly well-preserved, PS).  After reading my Rick Steves chapter on Naples more closely, I learned that this same archaeological museum has an erotic art section filled with ancient porn!  How could I skip this?!  I made plans to spent a few hours in Naples walking the city, seeing the museum, and capping things off with some of the best pizza I've ever had.

The erotic section did not disappoint:

The entrance to the section (secret!)

(and now I must use a cut, because these are NSFW, in a priceless archeological way...)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

OOTD: Easy Breezy Floral Kneesy

I almost had heart palpitations when I first tried on Eva Franco's En Plein Air dress (here).  The pattern was gorgeous, the cut comfortable and classic, and that coral belt was almost too much to resist.

The tragedy of the dress, though, was its $260 pricetag.  I knew I couldn't justify the piece until it got a second cut to around $70 or $80.  I lusted from afar and patiently resisted when it hit sale.  It sold out quickly and, although it did get a second cut to $70, I didn't see it in stores or make any heroic efforts to track it down.

Things have a way of working out, though.  A month ago, Rue La La had an Eva Franco sample sale, and I managed to nab this dress for only $80!  It arrived before I left for Europe and I was pleased to see that the dress was exactly as lovely as I remembered it.  Even more---and maybe this is in my imagination---but it seems as though it's an inch or two shorter than the Anthro version.  Could it be?

Regardless, I love the knee-sweeping length on the Eva Franco version and the ease with which this dress can be worn.  The size 8 may be a half size too big on me in this dress (it was exactly right in the Anthro version), but it's comfortable and looks beautiful, so I'm done asking questions!

En this Outfit (hehe):
Eva Franco "Violet" Bloomtown Belted Dress (8) (via Rue La La)
Anthropologie Pirouette Flats (9)
J.Crew Factory Crystalized Elastic Bracelet in Sea Mist (here)
Anthropologie Necklace
Anthropologie Bright Bulb Posts
Fossil Watch
Coach Sabrina Satchel in Cinnamon

PS:  I'm touching back down in the states today after my three-week long Eurotrip!  It will be nice to be back to my full closet...and to check out the Anthro sale room, too :-D  Signs around Paris advertised an "En Plein Air" outdoor movie series that made me long to wear this dress again.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Guest Post: How I Spent my Summer Vacation, by Alice

It's time for another Guest Post!  This one comes from Alice over at A Whimsical Wonderland.  There, you can find her writing about a veritably panoply of interests, including scrapbooking, homeschooling, developing her personal style, the newest book she's reading, and anything else that may catch her eye.  Read on for Alice's fun tale about her summer vacation!

Hello!  My name is Alice, and today I am excited to share my Adventure to AirVenture in Oshkosh.

Here’s the background. My husband Jonas LOVES to fly and he has a two-seat airplane called a Pipistrel Virus. He recently became the Canadian Distributor for Pipistrel and was invited to attend and display his plane at the Oshkosh air show, EAA AirVenture, by the American Pipistrel Distributor.

The adventure begins like this.
Jonas: “Do you want to come to Oshkosh with me next week?”
Me: “What’s Oshkosh? Ooh! Is it related to Oshkosh B’Gosh clothing?”
Jonas: “Oshkosh is the home of the largest air show in the world. It is a week long with an air show everyday.”
Me: “Oh. I’ve never heard of that. Do they make the clothes there?”
Jonas: “ Probably. Do you want to go?”
Me: “Shopping! Yeah I’ll come!”
Jonas: “There is not enough room in the plane for shopping.”
Me: “I can’t shop?”
Jonas: “No. Do you want to come?”
Me: “Okay, it sounds interesting. Where are we staying?”
Jonas: “Don’t worry there are some houses to stay in.”

I'd love to report that we started our adventure with blue skies, but I’m here to share a TRUE story. The skies were grey and overcast, and in some areas there was rain. This was not the way to start a great adventure! We had to divert from our “planned” first stop. Then we had to wait around for a few hours for the weather to clear. In flying there is an expression, “If you have time, fly!” I’m beginning to understand exactly what that means! Eventually we made it to Lethbridge, Alberta, and the following day we attended Alberta’s International Air Show. What a fantastic event!

On Sunday, July 24, 2011, we left Lethbridge at 8 am. After stopping in Williston, North Dakota for border crossing and a Texas BBQ lunch, our next stop was Eau Claire, Wisconsin for fuel before heading into Oshkosh. The “rules of going to Oshkosh” very clearly state to make sure you have plenty of fuel before arriving! You might have to hold in a pattern for awhile before you have a chance to land. We landed at the Oshkosh airport at 7:20 p.m. We had a total flight time of 7 hours and 45 minutes from Lethbridge. Here’s the best part! We used 46 gallons of fuel with a total cost of only $230!

I’d never seen so many airplanes in my life! The sign on the control tower said, “The World’s Busiest Control Tower”. Up to 10,000 aircraft fly in, many people camp under the wing of their airplane. We drove by the RV camping area. Field, after field, after field, of RV’s and tents. They went on for miles! AirVenture has over half a million visitors.

I was relieved to find out that there really was a house for us to stay in. Most members from the Pipistrel team stayed in three houses on the same street in a lovely residential neighbourhood. Our family moved into their basement and we had the main living space. At first I thought it was strange to be living in their master bedroom, while they slept in the basement, but they were so gracious and friendly it soon felt like home. The two girls loved hearing aboot Canadian things, eh?

On the first day I mostly stayed near the Pipistrel display booth and talked to visitors that were interested in the aircraft. The planes and gliders are sleek and fuel efficient. People are very interested when they see them and I fielded a LOT of questions. I know many of the basic answers to the questions people ask about the planes. What kind of engine is in it? How fast is it? How far can you go on a tank of fuel? What is the wingspan? How much can you carry? I answered the same questions over and over. Anything technical I sent over to my husband. I was amused at how people thought they wouldn’t be able to fit in the airplane, and once they tried it, they were surprised at how spacious it was.

I also helped Jonas by chatting with the wife-whose-eyes-glaze-over-after-5-minutes-of-airplane-talk. That way Jonas was free to chat with the airplane-obsessed husband. I see this as a win-win situation. I get to talk about something other than airplanes, while creating more time for the guys to do their thing! Occasionally the women were as into flying as their husbands. Oh no! Does this happen over time? Or were they always interesting in flying?! I did make one important discovery on the first day, I found the flushing toilets. No port-a-potty’s for this girl!

Day 2
On the second day I proclaimed that it was, “My day off!” I decided that I could not hang out at the booth, answering airplane questions for another day. I went to the museum. I listened to a speaker talk about the Concorde jets. I was surprised that it was so interesting! After exploring the museum I had lunch with a woman who is also married to an airplane enthusiast. I finally found someone I could ask what EAA stood for without feeling like a fool. Experimental Aircraft Association. Oh. That makes sense!

Day 3 A rainy day at Oshkosh.
It was rainy today. Very rainy. Near flooding rainy. Not a great day for camping in a tent! Thank goodness for the lovely home we were staying in! Today I was invited to go and listen to Chuck Yeager speak. My response was, “Who’s Chuck Yeager?” The woman that invited me to come with her looked at me like I had just sprouted antennae! Chuck Yeager was the first pilot to fly supersonic. Cool! Yes, I’d like to go hear him speak. Thankfully the afternoon dried up because today our “house families” had organized a BBQ for us. How sweet was that?!!

Day 4
Today was my warbird tour day. Several times I was informed that I should be sure to check out the warbirds. (war-era aircraft) I finally hopped on the tram that took me down to the warbirds. It turns out that to a not-obsessed-with-airplanes person like me a warbird looks just like another airplane! So the warbirds tour really didn’t take very long! I did find a great place to get a really delicious hamburger, priorities!

Day 5
I decided to check out the Honda Jet and the new Boeing Dreamliner 787. I was not willing to stand in the MASSIVE line up to go inside of it. Later I heard it was a disappointing tour. They didn’t have it all prettied-up inside yet. So there really wasn't much to look at. The heat and humidity was really getting to me! I mostly stayed near the booth and I even had a nap. By the end of the day I couldn’t wait to leave and go back to our lovely air-conditioned house.

Nearly every day that we have been here we have had breakfast at iHOP and dinner at the Golden Corral buffet. If you have ever had an iHOP omelet (I heard they use 12 eggs!) or experienced the gluttonous insanity of the Golden Corral, well, it is definitely an experience! I ordered my omelet with egg whites only and I didn’t even eat half of it, and never mind the pancakes that come with it! At the Golden Corral I filled half of my plate with salad, found a few other delicious choices and did NOT go back for seconds! I did have some dessert, but even with the profusion of choices I managed to keep things in control! We found that with our varied group of people; Canadians, Australians, Slovenians and Americans, we all found something that we could enjoy.

Day 6
It was ridiculously hot! I was melting like the Wicked Witch of the West. We missed out on breakfast at iHop today. That was very disappointing. Jonas actually took time to have lunch with me today at the advertisers pavilion. He has been a die-hard at the booth, talking airplanes from morning until night, not even stopping for food! I had another nap. This heat is horrible! How do people live here? We could see a storm coming, but we didn't expect the severity of the wind. The wind wreaked havoc on the nearby garbage and littered our site with trash. We hurried to take down the flags and tents. We even took the tails off of the planes so they would stay on the ground better. Fortunately all people and aircraft in our area survived without incident.

Day 7
The last day of Oshkosh was swelteringly hot. I was so uncomfortable all day. It was a huge relief when the day neared to an end and we could pack up for our departure the next day. I treated myself and bought an Oshkosh AirVenture T-shirt. It was half price as it is dated 2011. That brought my total shopping purchases to: 3 T-shirts, (I bought one for Joe and Ryan earlier) an airplane-shaped cookie cutter, and a pound of Osh-blend coffee. There was a bus available to take me to the Outlet mall, but I knew that was a temptation that would be IMPOSSIBLE to resist!

Day 8 Return from Oshkosh.
We left the house at 6 am and went directly to the airport. We loaded up our bags... I didn't exactly travel lightly, although I tried to. Once we were loaded we pushed the plane to the taxiway. Soon we were in the air headed for home. We stopped in Bemidji, Minnesota for fuel and food. After Bemidji we were heading to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan for Customs and border crossing. We had a horrible headwind that made us go very slowly, while still burning up all of our fuel, so we diverted to Regina.

As we were landing in Regina there was a MAJOR problem. We had a flat tire! The plane skidded on the wheel pant tearing a big hole in it. Then we were stuck out on the runway at the Regina International Airport. Some big passenger jets were waiting for us to get out of the way but we required assistance. While we were getting things sorted out we let the tower know that the runway needed to be checked for the broken piece of our plane. It was found and we were dragged to a side taxi-way for repairs. Luckily Jonas had a spare tire tube and a mini air compressor so he fixed us right up. Then he taxied over to the Customs area and I rode with the airport assistance. After sorting out Customs, and getting more fuel we were cleared to leave.

Our next stop was Edmonton, Alberta. We just didn't have enough fuel to get home. (So close, but so far!) This headwind was so frustrating! Upon landing in Edmonton we discovered that our tire was flat AGAIN! We didn’t have another tube. So we had to stay in Edmonton for the night.

Day 9 HOME!
Hooray! We were able to find a tire tube and after a quick repair we made the final leg of our journey home! Oshkosh AirVenture really was an amazing adventure! Everything was extreme; from the temperatures, to the massive size of AirVenture, to the kindness of the people. It was so good get home, but I can’t wait to go again next year! Maybe next year I'll manage to pack light and I'll extend my adventure to the Outlet Mall!

Have a whimsically wonderful day!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Use it or Lose it: Wrapping Up

Well, it's officially the end of the first Use it or Lose it Challenge, featuring summer skirts!  Here was my initial selection of skirts to reintegrate into my wardrobe:

Use It Or Lose It

And here's how I did.

The Used:

The Unused:

Use It Or Lose It Unused
I feel as though I flat ran out of time on the Adrienne Vittadini scalloped skirt, the Leifsdottir Picados Skirt, and the Anthropologie Color-Dipped Mini.  Of course, part of the reason I ran out of time is that none of these pieces seem to inspire spectacular sartorial creativity.  Regardless, I'd like to give myself some extra time after my traveling to try to wear these pieces before I toss them in the "lose it" pile.

Use it or Lose it?

1.   J.Crew Horizon Stripe Mini: Use it. Tentatively. It's SO short, but I might get more use out of it in the winter with tights, or in the remaining months of summer and autumn with flats. As my friend Sara pointed out, the heels I wore with this skirt are a little bit "HELLO I'M WEARING A MINISKIRT."

2.  Adrienne Vittadini Scalloped Skirt: Reprieve until further notice.

3.  Leifsdottir Picados Skirt: Reprieve until further notice, with the added slanty-eye given due to its mini length.

4.  Anthropologie Fantastic Field Skirt:  Enthusiastic keep.  Even if I just framed it an put it on my wall, it would probably be worth keeping.  However, I was happy to see it play well with a differently patterned shirt.  I'd say the skirt has---how shall I say it?---earned its stripes.

5.  Forever 21 Pleated Dotted Swiss Skirt: Use it. The skirt performed admirably. I just need to figure out how to wear light bottoms.

6.  Gap Pleated Bow Skirt: You tell me. Can you style this better than I can? If not, it may have to go.

7.  Anthro Color-Dipped Mini:  Temporary reprieve.

8.  Anthro Ackee Pencil Skirt:  Use it.  Perhaps more for irrational emotional reasons than for practical purposes.  This skirt's place in my closet may be revisited.

...Well, it appears I have a problem with the "lose it" portion of this challenge!  Perhaps that's because the pieces I didn't feel excited about wearing were the pieces I would have ended up wanting to lose anyway.  I guess we'll see what happens during this temporary "reprieve" for the three unused pieces!

Now it's your turn.  Send me a photo of an outfit including something you haven't worn in a long time!  I'll run them all in a reader outfits feature so we can admire each other's crafty reinventioneering.  Include a link to your blog, if any.

Send me your outfit by Sunday, August 28th.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Use it or Lose it OOTD: Anthropologie Ackee Pencil Skirt

Today is the last day of the Use it or Lose it Challenge!  I'm finishing things off today with an OOTD, and I'll post a summary tomorrow of my progress on the challenge.

Ahhh, the Ackee Pencil skirt.  Where did you and I go wrong?  Why did it take us so long to forgive each other and move on to a decent-looking outfit?

It was love at first sight when I reviewed you (here) and I bought you immediately when you finally went on sale (here).  And then I tried to wear you on Memorial Day weekend:

Yeah, that's right.  I changed before I went out, but I did seriously attempt this outfit.  There are some things I just don't let you see, folks.

I was scarred.  So were you, I think.  We needed some time apart after this incident.  You sat in my closet for the next two months while we existed at a standstill; unable to forgive each other and unable to move on.  I decided that I needed to be the one to make the first step towards reconciliation---largely because you are an item of clothing and lack a will of your own.

So, I attempted to learn from my prior mistake by refusing to play into the patriotic nature of the skirt (not having a national patriotic holiday nearby helped).  I chose a contrasting top and neutral shoes that wouldn't fight with my torso.  I think this works, though.

Use it or Lose it?  Ultimately, this skirt is much less versatile than I thought, but it's too pretty for me to bear letting go of yet.  If I continue to have difficulty styling it (i.e., more second pictures than first pictures) I may have to reassess my stance on this piece.
In this Outfit:
J.Crew Silk Pocket Tank (4, but size down one from your normal size.  A 2 is better for me in this shirt)
Anthropologie Ackee Pencil Skirt (6)
Anthropologie Coalescing Necklace
Anthropologie Button-Down Heels by Miss L. Fire (40) (scored at Buffalo Exchange in Philly)
Gold/Pearl Hoops via Ideeli
Fossil Watch

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Sale Haul -- Pre-Eurotrip

You didn't think I'd let you go this long without a Sale Haul post, did you?  There isn't an ocean big enough to keep me from sharing my most recent shopping trips with you:

Sale Haul -- Pre-Europe

You've seen some of these pieces in OOTDs already, but here they are collected in one place in the interest of transparency for no good reason at all.  Actually, they're not even in one place, since a few of the purchased items have not been stalked/added to Polyvore yet.  Ah well.  I guess we're all roughing it a bit for this sale haul, huh?  Well, not me...I'm in Paris right now as you read this so I'm not roughing anything,

Nyah nyah,

I.  Pre-Bar Exam Buys

A.  Rue La La Arrivals

I posted about these pieces already (purchased from Rue La La, posted here), but they arrived early and I had a chance to try them on before leaving for Europe:

Eva Franco "Violet" Bloomtown Belted Dress

Eva Franco "Violet" Dakota Dot Belted Dress

Squee!  Love them!  They are about a half size too big on me, but they don't look too big in the photos and they are super-comfortable, so I'm going to keep them.  My favorite part about these dresses is that the drape so easily over the form; they're just a joy to wear because they flatter and elongate my body.

More, including a few un-polyvored items, behind the cut.

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