Tuesday, April 25, 2017

In or Out

If you've ever watched Project Runway, you're probably familiar with its cutting -- albeit realistic -- tagline: "One day you're in, the next day you're out."

Even the most experienced designers can fall from grace, and with new collections coming out seasonally, many designers can have longer periods of drought.

I noted a recent such spell with Nanette Lepore. Now I'm noting it again with Trina Turk. I haven't bought a new Trina Turk dress in quite a while; the prints, colors and overall designs just didn't appeal to me.

But -- today -- here I am in one of the designer's sheath dresses. Although it's extremely eye-catching, and the bold purples and pinks make me long for summer, the print wasn't totally in line with my style. But the price was right on Amazon: I paid just $44 for a dress that was going for $328 retail.

Outfit Details:

Dress: Trina Turk Bewitching Leopard-Print Sheath Dress

You can still find the dress on Amazon in select sizes, as well as at Saks and Neiman Marcus.

Shoes: Manolo Blahnik BB Patent Leather Pumps in Raspberry

Would I have purchased the dress if it had been more expensive? Probably not. It's a little big on me, a little long on my short frame, and is really just a basic sheath dress. But for $44? OK, I'll bite.

Monday, April 24, 2017

A Cut Above

I've been loving having long hair, but my ends were so fried that I needed a good cut to get them healthy again; thus, I had almost two inches cut off this past weekend. You can't really tell, but my hair feels so much lighter, and the ends are so new they are flipping out on me!

The weird weather isn't helping, though. (High humidity and my hair aren't a good combination.) It's not only chilly for April, but it's been raining all day. And not the real kind of rain, either, but that weird misty/ drizzly rain that doesn't even feel like real raindrops. Sheesh!

I was actually glad the temperature dropped a little, since it gave me a chance to wear this flattering sweater dress from BCBGeneration. It's great for showing off your curves and is really comfortable, too -- a perfect choice for this sluggish Monday. At least it's a short week for me; I'll be traveling on Friday to Chicago to finally meet my new nephew, Max! I'm so excited.

I wish I would have worn the dress sooner, but I bought it back in February and then promptly forgot about it. Although it's listed at full price right now on Amazon, I spent only $27 on it. I love my good deals!

In addition to Amazon, you can also find the dress at Lord & Taylor.

Sandals: Manolo Blahnik Chaos Metallic Mesh Ankle Strap Sandals

I love how the silver tone in the shoes plays up the lace detail in the bodice.

Speaking of silver, I actually won a "silver medal" for my age group in yesterday's Lauren's Run 5K, even though I was probably running more slowly than I've ever gone in this race. (I've been having some knee and calf issues lately, so I didn't want to push myself too hard.)

I look forward to the event every year now, because I'm not only helping to support a wonderful cause (curing childhood cancer), but I get to spend some quality time with my parents.

Lauren's Run 5K 2017: My dad and I had just finished our runs.
Although we don't agree on a lot of things (mainly politics and religion), I love my mom and dad so much, and I'm happy we can still do so many things together. I am so thankful to have them in my life!

Thursday, April 20, 2017


I'm in love with the print on today's dress: the beautiful brushstrokes plus the red and gray color combination just make my heart sing. Any time I see red and gray together, especially on a dress, I just immediately have to add that item of clothing to my closet. I've even gotten in the habit of buying shirts in this color combo for Chapin. (Believe me: he loves it.)

Outfit Details

Dress: Milly Rectangular Brushstroke Print Coco Dress in Flame

You can still buy the dress on Amazon in the red/gray or a blue/gray pattern, or the skirt version on the official Milly website. You can also rent the dress!

Wearing the print today, I realized that it reminded me of something: the painting of the three hearts that Samantha gave Richard in season four of Sex and the City. Can you tell I've watched this series a lot? I've probably seen every episode at least 20 times.

Choosing Your Size

I'll just say it: Milly sizing can be weird. In general, these dresses are not designed with women who have curves in mind. I've bought several Milly dresses over the years and usually have to size up, going for a size 6 instead of my usual size 4. In this case, I probably would have been safe in a size 4, since the dress is a little big on me. But... since it's a shift dress -- it's not supposed to be too tight -- it works.

Sandals: Jimmy Choo Lang Sandals in Flame

I really debated which shoes to wear, but finally opted for these flame-colored Jimmy Choo sandals. They are a perfect match for the red/orange color in the dress. Gray or black sandals or pumps would also have worked just as well, but I adore these Jimmy Choos, and they are surprisingly comfortable. I know I say that all the time about my heels, but with Jimmy Choo, I mean it. This brand just fits my feet well, calluses and all. (I have so many calluses from running.)

Speaking of running, I'll be participating in another 5K this weekend: Lauren's Run to help raise money for CURE childhood cancer. It's a great cause, and 2017 marks my fourth year running in the race. It's something I look forward to doing with my parents as well. The forecast is predicting rain, though. Argh!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Waist Defining

I love tweed and I love bows, so when I saw Ginger Zee wearing this dress on Good Morning America last month. I immediately went to one of my favorite sites, ShopYourTV.com, to find out who designed it. It turns out, it's a CeCe by Cynthia Steffe dress!

My mom loved the dress, too, and it was her suggestion to add a belt. The brand tends to run a little large, so while the size four fit me up top, it was definitely too roomy at the waist. Instead of returning it, I added this Kate Spade bow belt to complete the look. I actually really like the way the belt helps break up the tweed print. Go Mom!

The photos below show Ginger Zee in the dress (sans belt). Do you like the dress better with or without the belt?

Dress: CeCe Chloe Tweed Bow Tie Dress

The dress is still available at several retailers:
Also check out this similar style.

Sandals: BCBGMaxAzria Gale Caged Heel Sandals

On another note, is anyone watching 13 Reasons Why on Netflix? I finished episode two today, and am eager to watch the next one. I only allow myself to watch good shows like this one while working out; sometimes, when I'm tired, I need that extra motivation to get to the gym. It really helps -- I promise!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Three Floor Fashion

Lace, ruffles, a tiny cap sleeve, and even a Peter Pan collar... This dress from Three Floor was made for me!

Dress: Three Floor Juniper Dress in Navy and Lilac

I am new to the Three Floor brand, but I was instantly drawn to the structured yet feminine designs. Not too many U.S. retailers carry the brand yet, but I hope they will start very soon. I felt so good putting this dress on today; it's just beautiful in person, and the navy and lilac compliment each other so well. I love all the little details, and you won't see anything else like it out there.

I was not sure about sizing, so I ordered a size 6 to be on the safe side, but honesty, the dress is a little big on me. I think the size 4 would have been perfect. Oh well -- at least now I know that the sizing for this brand runs true to size. You just never know with British brands.

You can find the dress on the following sites:

Hopefully everyone had a fun Easter weekend. I re-posted my Halloween photo on Facebook, and so many people enjoyed seeing my little Peeps. My boys sure do look cute in their costumes.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

New Brand Obsession: Parker

I love finding new brands, and I only recently discovered the Parker brand. Founded in NYC, Parker is designed with one girl in mind: the city girl. This girl is sexy, stylish, fierce and confident all rolled into one. She is fearless and smart, and isn't afraid of anyone or anything.

I like to think that girl is me (although it's taken me a long time to get here).

Dress: Parker Nerissa Lace Dress

You can find Parker in major department stores like Bloomingdales, Saks, Nordstrom and others, or shop online at Amazon or the brand's website. Some designs, especially the rompers, skew younger, but I like the mix of feminine and sexy that I see in a lot of the dresses. I have my eye on a few tops as well.

If you're curious about sizing, the brand definitely runs true to size. I'm wearing a size small for reference, and the top fits me perfectly.

This particular dress has a drop waist, which I have come to embrace more and more. I think since it's also fitted at the waist, the overall silhouette can work on a variety of body types. If you're self-conscious about your stomach sticking out, just add Spanx.

The lace is see-through at the top and along the hemline, so you will need to wear a strapless bra if you buy this dress. The colors are really beautiful in person, too.

Sandals: SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker (no longer available)

Monday, April 10, 2017

The Return of Nanette Lepore

It's been awhile since I've worn Nanette Lepore, traditionally one of my favorite designers. It may be a question, if you'll excuse the marketing language, of the brand shying away from its "core competencies," namely: producing American-made dresses with a chic and feminine slant. The brand has recently been exploring different avenues, including activewear and a lower priced NANETTE Nanette Lepore line, that seem to be stealing attention, and every line has suffered.

I've noticed a return to the brand's roots over the past few months, and I scooped up this sheath dress as soon as it went on sale. Although it's a little big on me and should hit me higher up (just above the knee would be perfect), I opted not to have it altered. Maybe next time I will just wear higher heels. I'm wearing a size four, so definitely size down, since the dress seems to run large.

Dress: Nanette Lepore Floral Metallic Sheath Dress

Buy the dress now on Neiman Marcus (while you can). I've been noticing that lately NM's pricing has been stellar, and things that are sold out one day are back in stock the next. I've added a few pages of dresses I like to my Internet browser's Favorites list, and have scored some beautiful dresses for cheap prices that way. Even if the dress is sold out, don't be discouraged; just check back the next day. That's a Neiman Marcus shopping tip from me to you. ;)

Sandals: Kate Spade New York Isa Metallic Sandals

These sandals are comfortable and versatile, and available in a myriad of colors. They were my go-to travel sandals last summer during my trips to Charleston and Chicago, because they go with everything. Find these exact sandals at Lord & Taylor, or shop Amazon to see other options. (They are super cute in black and white stripes.)

I had a fun and relaxing weekend, and hope you did, too. Here are a few highlights:

Pugs, Pugs, Pugs:

With the weekend weather in the low 70s, it was the perfect time to attend a monthly pug meet-up group. Although we used to go to the one at Piedmont Park pretty regularly with George and Izzie, after Izzie passed away, our trips were few and far between, and soon became non-existent when George started having trouble with his legs. We took Norman to the Marietta pug meet-up group soon after George passed away, but I spent most of our time there crying, so we didn't go back... until this weekend. We thought it was a great opportunity to let the boys get some energy out, socialize and enjoy the good weather.

Here are a few photos:

Group photo

Wally looking forlorn

A girl pug named Zelda chasing Norman


  • The Americans: Chapin and I have finally caught up to "real time" and have to actually wait to watch the next episode. This season has been extremely interesting so far -- did the U.S. really plot to destroy Russian wheat crops during the Cold War? -- and I'm excited to see where the story takes viewers next. As a strongly nationalistic American, I spend a lot of my time hating the main characters, but also being completely fascinated by them.
  • Big Little Lies: I read the book, by Australian author Liane Moriarty, several years ago, and enjoyed watching to see how a very talented group of actresses, including Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon and Laura Dern, brought the characters to life. There were several differences between the book and the mini-series, but the end result was still the same. Even Chapin was riveted.


My parents had us over (along with my sister, Laura, and her family) for an early Easter celebration on Sunday. I made Carrot Patch Brownies for the occasion, although mine were pretty sad looking (but still tasty) compared to the recipe photos. Oh well... at least I tried!


We've had perfect running weather in Atlanta lately, and I had a great time (under an 8 minute-mile) during my run on Saturday afternoon. I didn't even notice much pollen; I guess the recent hard rains we had last week washed everything away.

Have a great week!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

70s Throwback with DVF

In honor of Throwback Thursday (#TBT), I decided to wear this long-sleeved DVF dress today. The Chevron print and mix of bright colors -- especially that shade of orange/brown -- really take me back to the 1970s. A colleague of mine actually said it looked like I'd stepped off the set of That 70s Show, so I guess I'm not the only one thinking of disco balls and bell-bottoms.

Dress: Diane von Furstenberg Chrissie Chevron Print 70s Shirt Dress

Shoes: Prada Bow Tie Platform Sandals

I'm not a huge fan of fashion from the 1970s, but today's dress, which seems straight out of that era, is an exception. I think maybe I've been inspired by FX's The Americans, which takes place in the early 1980s. Chapin and I have recently been binging seasons 3 and 4, which are incredibly well-written and compelling, and seeing the fashion from that time is an added bonus. (I also spotted a box of Banana Frosted Flakes on a recent episode. Who knew that was ever a thing?)

I like how the dress has a 70s print but definitive modern vibe, with the fitted waist and long sleeves that I've been seeing on a lot of dresses lately.

According to one of my favorite websites, WornonTV.net, the dress was recently seen on Abigail Deveraux on Days of Our Lives. I used to sporadically watch this soap in the early 1990s, and apparently Abigail is the daughter of Jack and Jennifer. They were my favorite couple on the show.

Diane von Furstenberg is primarily known for designing the wrap dress, which she wore on the cover of Newsweek in 1976. I have one DVF wrap dress, but I don't wear it very often. It's form fitting and really better suited for women who don't have curves. (It can actually help create them.)

Diane von Furstenberg - Newsweek - March 22, 1976

I've been pleasantly surprised by recent DVF designs, though. I haven't worn the brand in years, and suddenly I want everything I see. Fashion works that way, I guess!

As you can see from this second photo of the dress, it is WINDY today in Atlanta. After a slew of storms hit yesterday, one after the other, today we woke up to lower than average temperatures and high winds. The wind succeeded in knocking another tree down, so I'm going home to a house without power (the whole neighborhood is out). Hopefully it will be back on before the sun sets; I don't want to spend another 20 hours without power.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Fancy Free

I think today's dress may be a little fancy for just a typical day at the office, but I was running late and didn't have time to change. And honestly... this dress makes me feel pretty. Do you ever put something on and feel just wonderful? That's how this dress makes me feel. I think my good mood and confidence level spilled over into my actions, too, because I had a really great morning at work, talking to both current and potential clients.

Clothes do matter!

Dress: Alice + Olivia Patrice V-Neck Lace Dress

You can still find the dress at Bleu Clothing and Neiman Marcus. The dress is very smartly designed, with a v-neck and fitted waist, great for a woman with curves. I like how the light pink (blush) and black lace intertwine, too, and how some of the lace actually spills over the hem. It's really beautiful, in typical Alice + Olivia fashion. If you've never checked out the brand, I encourage you to do so. I've been a fan for many, many years, and even wore the brand for my grad school graduation back in 2008.

Shoes: Prada Leather Cutout Ankle Booties

I chose these booties to help dress down the look; strappy sandals just would have been too much for the office. I also love combining the hard look of a bootie with the soft look of a feminine lace dress.

I know it's been over a week since my last post, but I've been having camera issues. After Chapin knocked over our tripod, breaking it, we had to order a new one. When that finally arrived, I took one picture using it (my last post), but then was in a hurry bringing it back inside, and it fell over, taking the camera with it. The flash spent several days at a local repair shop, but is back in working order now (thank goodness).