WIW 5/29 & 30: 90's printed dress & skirt (against the fashion grain)

Responding to Angie's thread here about what you like that isn't "in style" (http://youlookfab.com/welookfa.....t-the-norm), I said that I am still wearing my bias cut printed skirts and dresses that I bought in the 90's. I had tons of these from Ann Taylor and Banana Republic--they were my wardrobe staples. I have purged quite a lot of them but a few of my favorites remain in my closet. Yesterday I wore this jungle print dress with a keyhole neckline--I love how the skirt swishes and ruffles around my knees when I walk. And it's a midi length which is current again! And Angie requested that I put one of my 90's skirts into action so here it is. I used to get lots of compliments when I wore this skirt--not sure if it still passes muster? I used to wear it with dark brown sweaters but this time I've lightened it up with a cream blouse. Even the bag and shoes are all from the 90's! Can I call these "vintage" even if they've stayed in my closet and I've been wearing them the whole time? LOL!

What say you--modern 90's retro or horribly outdated? :)

1-2. Jessica Howard jungle print dress (I think it was from Macy's)
Easy Spirit nude pumps (I would have worn the brown Clarks but I couldn't find them yesterday)
Jack Georges brown leather briefcase
H&M faux wood bangle

3-4. Anne Fontaine cream short sleeve dotty/ruffly blouse
Banana Republic tan and cream floral printed skirt
Clark brown twist strap pumps
Jack Georges briefcase
H&M bronze and orange bangle


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Difficulty with honing my MOTG style

I feel like I'm developing my work wardrobe and style persona and finally am getting the hang of it. But I don't quite feel the same way about my MOTG style yet. I am having trouble finding outfits that aren't too dressy (like I've repurposed my work blouses), that don't stand out TOO much from the norm (when everyone else is wearing gear and T shirts) but also aren't so blah and boring (like my pre-YLF casual style with fleece and clogs/Mocs). I want to have my casual style reflect my style persona, but I don't want to look like I'm trying too hard to look like a fashionista, or dressing too juvenile. My heels (and even my wedge sandals) are not appropriate for taking the kids to the park, but my Cons seem to skew too young esp. when I pair them with graphic T's and jeans. I've been relying on my Jason Wu for Target items but I'm getting a bit tired of them and they're starting to wear/fade. I have so many new clothes since YLF but a lot of them are rather dressy.

Here are some of my recent MOTG looks. #1 & #2 are too loud and bright to fit in with my environment. #3 and #4 are a bit too dressy and are work type outfits repurposed into MOTG. #5 and #6 are the right level for MOTG but I wear this polka dot shirt and red cardigan, and red and blue stripe shirt allll the time and I'm starting to get sick of them!

What should I do? How do I find that MOTG sweet spot between drab and dressy, that is both comfy and casually chic? I'll have a look at Angie's MOTG formulas again, but I just am feeling a bit like I don't quite have my MOTG style persona down. Demure bombshell UWP doesn't exactly translate to MOTG! Any suggestions for anyone's WIW's to follow? I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed and lost!


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WIW 5/24,27,28: Stopping traffic with Halogen pencil skirts

Hee hee! Just having fun with the title. I just acquired a green Halogen pencil skirt on sale, and realized that my collection of Halogen pencil skirts now resembles a traffic light: red, yellow and green! And so I wore all of them this week, in that order.

1-3. Red. Paired with Tahari black leather jacket, Classiques Entier ruched teal and black ruffled tank, and Fossil red diamond satchel. I wore it with leopard ballet flats in #3 to work, but realized that I should have worn it with my B Makowsky Heist red-trimmed leopard heels instead. So I retook the outfit pic, and DD joined in wearing my turquoise pumps!

4-6. Yellow. I can't remember if I've done this combo before, but I wore it with the White House Black Market ink blue jacket, Classiques Entier multi-color striped pussy bow tank, Dooney & Bourke yellow satchel, and Clarks brown pumps. With my shades on, I felt like a glamorous '70's airline stewardess! (Waving at Claire!)

7-10. Green. I couldn't resist after seeing MaryK rock this skirt and when it became available in my size (esp with the sale price), I pounced! Wore it with the Anthro Lemon Liftoff yellow owl pussy bow blouse, yellow D&B satchel and turquoise KS pumps. The cat was curiously eyeing the new shoes. I copied the Anthro catalog picture, swapping out green skirt for green pants and turquoise pumps for turquoise loafers. I even got DD to take a pic of me on a chair copying the pose. I'm waiting to see MaryK's version as she mentioned she was going to try this combo too!

As for the shoes, they are OK but not great comfort wise. They don't kill my feet, but they're not as comfortable as my lower heel Clarks and Easy Spirit work pumps (not cushy or padded). Also they didn't slip, but felt as if they were almost about to, so I think I may need some heel grips (the size down was too tight in the toe box, though). I'll still wear them because they're really pretty and will go with a lot of my outfits, but I'm swearing off buying any more heels unless they're under 2 inches and/or known comfort brands. My pre-YLF work pumps are all more comfortable than my post-YLF beautiful statement heels!


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WIW 5/27: The hated floral pants come out to play (with floral shoes)!

Here are the H&M floral pants again. DH HATES them with a passion--he can't help but make a comment every time I wear them! This time he said, "Those pants are so loud!" and he also said I looked like I was trying to act like I was 13. What say you--are these pants too juvenile for me? I admit I didn't feel 100% fab in this outfit--something felt off, but I wasn't sure if it was just because of the negative reaction from DH or because there was something wrong with the outfit. The Tshirt looked funny over my apple tummy untucked, so I tucked it but maybe it still looks bad. Also these pants are slightly too big--I sized up to size 8 because I was worried they'd be too tight, but they stretched out and now they're baggy. At least they were only $15--they're already less than $4 CPW! Although given how painful it is for DH to see them, I'm not sure it would be wise to get it down to $1, LOL!

Oh, and here are some new floral sneakers--very timely given Angie's post on floral shoes! They're Kate Spades, in my favorite Florence Broadhurst black and white Japanese floral pattern, with a coral colored stripe around the side. They're made by Tretorn and are on sale at Nordstrom. They were only available in pink online, so I bought it at the Kate Spade store instead. And the KS store didn't have my size so they found a store in LA that had it and sent it to me free of charge and agreed to pricematch the Nordstrom sale price! I'm pretty persistent about tracking things down! I think these will be a good addition to my red and yellow Converse for MOTG. Do you think it's too crazy to wear them with the floral pants? I had fun with the sneakers but I realize it adds to the loudness and I knew this outfit would offend DH's fashion sensibility!

We went to a carnival for a local school organization fundraiser. I was impressed at the size of the carnival. The kids had lots of fun on the rides!

Gap denim jacket
H&M teal T shirt
H&M floral pants (rolled up to capri length)
Kate Spade Tretorn Trey Japanese floral sneakers
Dooney & Bourke yellow satchel
Turquoise glass bead necklace


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WIW 5/26: Agate dress for work and play

Friday I wore the turquoise Michael Michael Kors printed dress again (didn't take a pic since I've already posted a WIW recently). The very next day I wore my MMK agate dress. I decided to keep it even though it is similar to the other one. I asked DH what he thought of the dress and he said he liked it. He did not like the other MMK print dress because he doesn't like bold geometric prints and he thinks the V neck and clasp make it look like a bathrobe. But he said, "I can tell you would like that dress--it's very much your style". He also guessed within $1 how much the dress was and how much the sale price was (he could do very well on a fashion Price is Right!), although he thought the agate dress looked more expensive than the printed dress (they were originally the same price but the agate dress was on sale). So I kept the agate dress since he liked it better. And yes, I wore it back to back with the other one so I think they can coexist in my wardrobe!

I wore the agate dress yesterday to work, with a caramel leather jacket and nude heels. And then when I came home from work I swapped it out with a white denim jacket and Dansko sandals to take the kids to a birthday party. It would have been perfect, but the party was in a park in the city and I forgot how foggy and windy and cold it gets in the summer in SF. So I froze my buns off! But the kids had fun getting their face painted! (I'm wearing an Ergo carrier in the pic with them). DD asked for a cat, and DS asked for a heart. So sweet!


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WIW 5/21-22: Missoni and Bee blouses--YLF paper doll group project

Here are two work outfits that were created by the lovely ladies of YLF. I solicited outfit requests/suggestions in this thread:

And I tried out some of the recommendations for casual looks here:

And another suggestion for work here:

I got a lot of requests for the Missoni for Target blouses and the EmersonMade Bee blouse, so I tried to combine all of the suggestions for each blouse into a single outfit. It's interesting that each suggested outfit was different and yet I could see the style of the person who recommended it in the outfit suggestion--I could totally see them wearing that combination. I think it was a lot of fun to synthesize all the various recommendations into a new outfit, that still feels very me! A successful YLF group project!

PS I am trying out a new spot for self-timer pics. What do you think, is this any better than my usual mirror pics? I feel like the lighting is a bit off. And i had to crop and color correct the pics, so it's a little more work than the mirror pics. Which looks better, #5 (bathroom w/ self timer) or #6 (closet mirror)?

1-4. Rita suggested pairing Dotty with the Missoni blouse. Velvetychocolate recommended white jeans, but I went with ivory instead to match Dotty. Aren't the fishbow pumps and Dotty a match made in heaven? So are Dotty and the Kate Spade trench (the black buttons echo the polka dots on the bag). And which topper do you prefer: Tulle raspberry blazer or Kate Spade Topliner trench?

Missoni for Target floral blouse
AG ivory skinny jeans
All Black Fishbow pumps
Marc by Marc Jacobs Dotty snake bag
Tulle raspberry blazer
Kate Spade Topliner trench

5-8. MaryK (who is my bee blouse twin) suggested pairing the bee blouse with the yellow rose Anthro skirt (which Manidipa also wanted to see). Zap suggested pairing the blouse with the cognac jacket. I added turquoise earrings to echo the turquoise clutch Zap had also suggested, but of course I had to break out my new yellow bag instead! Diana and Zap also suggested wearing the ankle boots. And Diana also suggested a belt, so I went with her favorite leaf belt. I really like the combination of bees, flowers and leaves in this outfit...what a fun theme! Hope the pussy bow blouse, midi skirt and ankle bootie combination doesn't look too dowdy on me...I think I can still get away with the 70's librarian look if it's intentional, right? :)

EmersonMade bees and crowns pussybow blouse
Anthro yellow and blue floral midi skirt
Lafayette 148 cognac leather jacket (I just love wearing leather jackets as blazers! It was getting a bit warm to wear this but I did anyways)
Anthro leaf belt
Mia Nanette brown ankle boots
Dooney & Bourke yellow satchel
Turquoise drop earrings


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WIW 5/19-20--Science weekend: Cal Academy & Solar Eclipse

This weekend was a very "scientific" weekend!

Yesterday we watched the solar eclipse (did anyone else see it)? DH made a pinhole camera out of a cardboard box (4-5) so we could see the eclipse (you are not supposed to look directly at the sun). We walked up to a lookout area near our house and there were lots of people from the neighborhood there also watching the eclipse. Someone let us borrow their welding mask to be able to look directly at the sun (1-3). One of our neighbors had some cool goggles (6). DH took a cool picture of the eclipse, with the moon covering most of the sun so the sun looks like a moon (7). He used a telephoto lens (you can see the camera setup in 5). I wore the polka dot blouse (which kind of reminded me of little suns), red cascading cardigan, Gap Always Skinny jeans and red Converse.

Saturday we went to Cal Academy (8-13). I wore my White House Black Market navy and white floral peasant blouse, Paige Hidden Hills white bootcut jeans, Tulle navy peacoat, Ugg wedge sandals, and my favorite Kate Spade orange slice bag, because they feed orange slices to the butterflies. I remember taking DD there when she was 8 months old and just starting to sign (before she could talk, we taught her sign language and she started signing at 7 months). We were at the top of the biodome looking down and she started signing "orange" excitedly. I looked down and way at the bottom was a plate of sliced oranges for the butterflies. I remember that because it was one of the first times when I was impressed by what a smart cookie she is (and by how good her vision is--she still notices every small detail even now--she takes after her radiologist dad)! She still loves oranges--she kept wanting to carry my orange slice bag!


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Handbag inventory: how many purses do you own?

Mary asked me in another thread how many handbags I own and whether I switch them out every day. Yes, I do in fact try to coordinate my handbag to my outfit...it's part of the fun! I wasn't sure how many I had so I decided to inventory them. I decided to only count bags I've bought since joining YLF since most of my pre-YLF bags are quite old and worn and I don't use them much. I have 15 post-YLF bags, and 2 pre-YLF bags that are still in regular rotation (red Fossil tote and brown Jack Georges briefcase). I tend to use large satchels or totes so I can carry everything I need, sometimes including my laptop and work papers.

The rest of my pre-YLF bags are mostly tiny handbags that aren't very practical now that I have kids and work. Including one Coach purse that is very worn (the corners are frayed/split and I don't think it's fixable. And some Paul Frank and Gama Go purses that I think are probably too childish to go with my current style now. I'm including a few pics of some of them, but they don't get used very often.

I'm pretty happy with my lineup--I've got nearly all the colors of the rainbow, plus neutrals. The only bags I would potentially add are a black evening clutch and a green satchel, to complete the rainbow. But otherwise I feel like I have a fab handbag to go with pretty much any outfit I wear!

How many handbags do you own? I'm curious to see if I'm on the high or low side. Pics appreciated if possible (either individual or group shots of your whole collection). Especially if you can show me how you organize your handbags in your closet! Right now I have all the satchels (except the clutches/small bags which are on a shelf) stuffed under my skirts/jackets on the closet floor, and that is not ideal. Which handbag is the most used and which is your favorite?

1. Red snakeskin structured bag (White House Black Market)
2. Fossil red diamond satchel
3. Red ruffle evening clutch (Nordstrom)
4. Fossil red North-South Executive tote (old, from Macy's)
5. Kate Spade orange slice straw bag
6. Dooney & Bourke yellow satchel
7. Kate Spade turquoise clutch
8. Guess purple and orange handbag (TJ Maxx)
9. Fossil floral satchel
10. Jack Georges brown briefcase (old, from Macy's)
11. Marc by Marc Jacobs dotty snake crossbody purse (Nordstrom)
12. Kate Spade Japanese floral Melinda satchel
13. Jason Wu for Target straw handbag
14. Jason Wu for Target Milu cat tote
15. Kate Spade grey croc tote
16. Fossil black chevron tote
17. Ralph Lauren black doctor's satchel (TJ Maxx)

Old purses:
18. Paul Frank Parisian handbag (I have more, not pictured)
19. Green mini satchel (unknown brand)
20. Ann Taylor Loft green flat handbag (too small, but matches jacket--gift from mom)
21. Grey evening bag (think it was a gift with an Estee Lauder makeup set)
22. Black sequin evening bag (worn, needs replacing & too small)
23. Coach black handbag (worn beyond repair)

I think my most used bag is the Fossil floral satchel and my favorite is the Kate Spade orange slice purse. The most expensive one was the Dooney & Bourke (the Kate Spade purses were all bought on sale). Which one of these do you like best?


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Refining my style rubric: May outfit retrospective and new list

Coming back to try to refine my style rubric. (FYI the term originated in Shannon's thread as suggested by Rae: http://youlookfab.com/welookfa.....va-va-voom)
I first posted about my rubric a month ago here:

Initially I came up with:
"Primary rubric
1. Ladylike--this is such a given in all my outfits that I wonder if it's even necessary?
2. Structure--fitted, waist definition
3. Pattern (I noticed that pretty much all of my outfits include a print of some kind, and often several!)
4. Luxe--polished, textured
5. Flair--at least one statement piece per outfit, classic piece with a twist, or secret or whimsical detail (this is my favorite part of the rubric!) :)

Secondary rubric (not all outfits will have all of these but usually will have at least one or two)
1. Color
2. Retro-inspired
3. Matchy matchy
5. UWP--tough elements mixed with ladylike"

But that gets a little too complicated to remember for day to day dressing! So here's my new attempt at my style rubric (I eliminated primary and secondary and am simplifying to just one short list):

Color or contrast
Matchy Matchy

I think these are the terms that work the most like a checklist for me to help me get dressed. Ladylike is out because, well, everything I wear is ladylike! So that doesn't help me narrow it down. I do like to wear luxe looking clothes, but not for the sake of being fancy or rich, and it's a bit hard to define, so it doesn't feel quite like the right term.

I love bright color so I thought that was a key addition to the rubric. But I do also like high contrast black and white outfits, so I made it an either/or (or sometimes both, like black/white/red). Plus I can also use contrast to mean juxtaposition (like tough and ladylike). I added Matchy Matchy, because I'm finding that I really like to have some sort of repetition in my outfit. I want everything to tie in together--for example, choosing a bag with teal accents in a handbag to match the teal in a bracelet. Or snakeskin bag and snakeskin pants plus dotty shirt and dotty bag. And sometimes I go all out with ultra matchy outfits, like three different chevron stripes (skirt, bag, shoes) or the Japanese floral pattern in dress, bag and coat lining. Pattern is a definite, because I rarely feel myself in an all solid outfit. And I would include textures and pattern mixing into that aspect of the rubric. I changed Structured to Fitted, because I really love fitted clothes and waist definition. Plus Fitted and Flair sounds like a pun on Fit and Flare so it's fun to say out loud! And Flair remains unchanged, because it's where I put all the fun things that make dressing exciting!

BTW, is it a little OCD that I arranged the terms in descending length order? It just looks better that way! LOL!

Here's the lineup of outfits from the last couple weeks. How did I do with my new style rubric--do my outfits reflect that list? Fun to see all my outfits together in kind of a mini-retrospective! :) I think today especially, I tried to make sure that my outfit followed the rubric. I certainly felt like my outfit today very much reflects my style. Did I succeed?


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WIW 5/18: Turquoise mod print faux wrap dress and yellow doctor's bag

Here are two new pieces I loved so much that I didn't even bother to do a keep or return! Both of these came about when I bought pieces that weren't 100% right and decided to keep looking--I'm glad I did because I feel like they're perfect for me!

Initially I found a DVF wrap dress that was on my bucket list (http://youlookfab.com/welookfa.....ucket-list) but it ended up not fitting quite right and was going to be a lot of Fuss Factor (to use Claire's term) to prevent indecent exposure. So back it went. Diana suggested I try a faux wrap style instead. And I was looking for Rae's MMK agate dress (http://youlookfab.com/welookfa.....etle-print) but they didn't have my size, and the DVF faux wrap dress was too voluminous up top (the eBay seller agreed to take it back minus shipping and 10% restocking fee, thankfully!) So I searched for a Michael Michael Kors faux wrap dress and found one in exactly the same tile blue color, but with a fun mod print:
I like the bolder print, prefer V neck over the cowl neck, and it's my size! It fits like a dream, the faux wrap is perfect for my apple tummy, and it's so comfy--I felt like I was wearing pajamas all day. The most fuss-free dress ever!

DH did not like the yellow Fossil satchel--he said it was too slouchy, too blingy and too casual looking. I also decided to return the black Fossil in favor of the more structured Ralph Lauren doctor bag from TJ Maxx.
So I kept looking and found this Dooney & Burke Dillen side pocket satchel in sunflower yellow:
It's perfect--structured, classic, streamlined, rich looking, soft leather, in my perfect shade of mustard yellow. I had seen a yellow Kate Spade Melinda satchel on yesterday's sample sale (http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_gdfL.....purse2.jpg), but I didn't like the ostrich dots (it made it look like the bag had chicken pox), and it didn't have a shoulder strap. So I went with this one and am super happy with it! By the way, DH guessed the price of this DB satchel within 10 dollars (dang, he's good!) but thought the Fossil was $40 cheaper than it was, if that means anything. I'm just glad he told me to get this DB one (it's his Mother's Day gift to me)--as much of a Fossil fan as I am, I like this one much better than the Fossil. I think it will be much more work appropriate, but still fun for casual outfits.

Both of these were full price, but it's not worth getting the sale item if you're not 100% happy with it, right? I think these two are just perfect for me and totally fit my style--I'll get a lot of use out of them!

And then I was in matchy matchy heaven pairing the dress with this Emilio Pucci scarf that MaryK and I found when we went to Loehmann's last fall. It matches the dress almost exactly! I'm not much of a scarf person, but I thought it would be fun to wear it as a headband, and leave the ends long. I felt like I was channeling a 60's mod girl or 70's groovy girl (is this look more 60's or 70's? I can't tell!).

What do you think? Comments and suggestions appreciated!


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