Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Jean Believer

Head-to-toe denim looks have been fashionable for the past several years, but I've never had the courage to pair a jean jacket with blue jeans. This denim dress from Alexia Admor, however, gives me the denim-on-denim look without much fuss.

What's hot: The high neck and sheath silhouette make the dress very work appropriate, but there's a hint of sexiness with the high side slit. (I just wish I did not have such a terrible farmer's tan from running outside. The tops of my thighs are so white!) I also love the little cap sleeves, which are great for showing off the arms.

What's not: The dress is fairly inexpensive, so it's not lined, and since it's denim, it easily wrinkles. Beware panty lines!

You can still find the dress at several online retailers, including:

I'm wearing a size small for reference.

Sandals: Stuart Weitzman Strutting Platform Sandals (no longer available)

Friday, May 26, 2017

My First Romper

Wow, I'm not wearing a dress today... but I am wearing the closest thing: a romper.

A romper is just a fancy way of referring to a one-piece jumpsuit with shorts. I wouldn't normally wear shorts to the office, but since it's the Friday before a long weekend -- and since this outfit is fairly presentable should a client suddenly stop in to see me -- I figured it was worth the risk.

Romper: Alice and Olivia Kara Tuxedo Blouse Romper

You can still find this romper at a few retailers, including Revolve Clothing, Saks Off 5th and YOOX, but it's generally sold out. Here is another Alice and Olivia romper available at Saks that is also super cute.

Booties: Prada  Leather Cutout Ankle Booties (no longer available)

I would have loved to wear this outfit with a pair of over the knee boots, but I figured that would turn the outfit too "schoolgirl chic" for my liking. I could totally see someone wearing this romper with knee socks and loafers, though.

If I look a little tired today, it's because I had a busy week and my sleep was rudely interrupted last night around 2:30 a.m. Alexa flashed on and we heard a thump coming from above, and thought the power may have gone out... but it hadn't. We heard another thump, too, but nothing was amiss in the house, and the alarm was silent. Maybe it was a bat or owl hitting the roof. Maybe it was some kind of creature in the attic. It could have been a ghost! Whatever it was, I hope it doesn't happen again.

I actually wasn't in the office yesterday, because I had jury duty. I've been called several times over the last 15 years, but I've never been chosen for a jury. Yesterday, all the jurors were dismissed because the cases all ended up settling. I think it would be very interesting to be on a jury, but there's always the fear of getting chosen for long, drawn out cases that go on for weeks or even months. I can't imagine that. I still think of those poor O.J. Simpson jurors and what they had to endure.

At least the time in the jury waiting room gave me a chance to start a new book: Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on the Decision Not to Have Kids. I like reading about different perspectives to the "no kids" decision, from both a male and female point of view, since sometimes it feels like people judge me for not wanting to have a baby. What am I saying? People do judge me. I guess I like knowing I'm not alone.

I'll probably read more essays over the weekend, since I will have three days off to relax and enjoy the unofficial start of summer. Memorial Day weekend is also a great time for shopping. There are so many sales going on, I don't know where to start!

Happy shopping!

Monday, May 22, 2017

The Cold Shoulder Fashion Trend

I definitely prefer classic dresses over trendy pieces, mostly because I don't want to ever wear something that looks outdated. Remember the bubble skirt trend from a few years back? Will I ever wear those dresses again? Probably not. Fortunately, I only had one or two.

Today's dress is a good example of the  trend you have probably been seeing everywhere lately: the "cold shoulder." It simply means your shoulders show when other parts of your arm are covered. It's been popular for over a year, but I don't know how much longer it's going to last. Even so, I fell it love with the delicate blue and white lace print of this cold shoulder dress by French Connection. It was also a birthday present, and -- after all -- aren't gifts the things you want that you won't buy for yourself?

Outfit Details

Dress: French Connection Antonia Cold Shoulder Floral Lace Dress

My parents bought me the dress during our shopping trip to Belk, but it's sold out online. You can definitely still try to find it at the store level, though -- and it was on clearance!

Here are some other retailers to try if you like the dress:

Asos also has a long-sleeve version.

Sandals: Coach Monica Scalloped Ankle Strap Sandals (sold out -- but try eBay)

My parents also treated me to these Coach sandals, and honestly, I wear them all the time. They are white, so they go with everything, and the heel is low enough that I don't have to totter everywhere I walk. I never had Coach shoes before I found these versatile sandals, and I plan to get some additional pairs. Belk is no longer carrying the brand, but Macy's has a lot of good options. I love shoes that are fashionable, well made, and not too expensive.

The humidity is out of control today in Atlanta, so please excuse my hair. It was not raining when this photo was taken this morning, but it's been pouring since noon. That's summer in Atlanta for you. Wait, is it even summer yet? Yikes.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Vamp It Up

A few years after I became a mom -- a fur-mom, but still a mom! -- I changed my eating habits. I started limiting my meat intake to just fish and fowl, and cut out all four-legged creatures. So, I want to start out this post by saying: I'm not wearing real leather. I'm wearing a faux leather dress by the always fashionable Alice + Olivia line.

This dress is a true collaboration between hard and soft, since the faux leather is made to look like delicate lace. I wanted to play up the hard side of the outfit by going with dramatic makeup -- smoky eyes and dark pink lips -- and studded shoes.

These Valentino pumps also 'toe' the line between hard and soft; there are studs all around the edges, but the Mary Jane style is uniquely young and feminine.

Outfit Details

Dress: Alice and Olivia Penni Cap Sleeve Faux Leather Sheath Dress

Shoes: Valentino Soul Rockstud Mary Jane Pumps

These are my first Valentinos, and I am in love! Aren't they fabulous? I can't help thinking of that episode of Sex and the City, where Carrie finds Mary Jane Manolo Blahnik pumps, a supposed "urban shoe myth", I'm just as excited wearing these Valentino Mary Janes.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Lacy Sheath

Lace is one of those classic fabrics that never seems to go out of style. I know I have quite a bit of lace in my closet, but nothing like this sheath dress from Erin Fetherston.

First, though lace automatically seems to make any dress a little fancier, the sheath design works in a more professional setting as well. You can pair it with booties for that hard/soft contrast, or sandals for an overall summertime look (as I did here). I brought out my Schutz rose gold sandals to play up the notes of cream and gold in the lace design.

The lace is really quite beautiful; it's fringed at the edges, and very delicate. I like how it dominates the bust, but is more sparsely used on the bottom for a slimming effect. 

Outfit Details

Where to Buy: Amazon
Where to Rent: Rent the Runway

Shoes: Schutz Adeline Strappy Metallic Sandals in Rose Gold (no longer available)

I'm wearing my new birthday earrings from Chapin, too!

Work is crazy busy right now, so I am feeling increasingly stressed and working long days at the office. I love to have fashion as my creative outlet when I need a break from spreadsheets, marketing analyses and client emails. Oh, and a glass of wine after work doesn't hurt, either. I'll be breaking open some red tonight.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Weekend Celebrating 39

Since my birthday fell on a Tuesday this year, I decided to celebrate with my family the following weekend. Saturday, Chapin and I had dinner out at one of our favorite restaurants, Better Half. The restaurant isn't too far from where we live, and the food is genuinely unique and delicious, with dishes that combine ingredients you'd never think go together. For example, I had a scallops appetizer with a mango sherbet! The restaurant is also one of the more accommodating restaurants when it comes to gluten sensitivities or Celiac disease. The chefs do everything they can to make any dish gluten-free just for me.

Here is what we tried Saturday night:

For me:
  • Appetizer: scallop crudo, marinated cucumber, blood orange, whipped coconut
  • Entree: sauteed striped bass, oyster mushroom, split pea falafel mushroom veloute, wild mint
For Chapin:
  • Appetizer: grilled lamb mortadella, asher blue, pepper lavosh, pistachio puree, castelvetrano olive
  • Entree: silk handkerchief pasta, wild mushrooms, tomato marmalade, porcini cream

Sunday, my mom and I celebrated Mother's Day and my birthday together with homemade Italian food and gluten-free cupcakes. My parents are watching my sister's dog, Jake, so we brought Norman and Wally over to play with him. I think the three of them had a lot of fun together!

Here are a few photos from our Sunday afternoon in Alpharetta:

Dad with Jake (and Norman)

From left to right: Jake, Mom, Norman, me and Wally

I picked out today's dress on a recent shopping excursion at Belk with my parents. (The dress is a birthday gift, one of four dresses I received from my family this year.) You can't buy it at Belk.com anymore, but you can try looking for the dress (on the clearance rack) in select Belk stores. The Phipps store has a great selection of sale items throughout the year.

Outfit Details

Dress: BCBGMaxAzria Chelsey Triangle Print Dress

The dress is made of a thin polyester-spandex hybrid, so it's great for warmer months. (It's going to be in the high 80s today in Atlanta.) I would say the dress looks more expensive in photos, but the print is beautiful in person, with a variety of colors exploding in each triangle shape.

You can still buy the dress at just a few online retailers, including AmazonBloomingdale's and Lord & Taylor.

If you like the print, it also comes in a wrap dress version that you can buy at Amazon.

Shoes: Manolo Blahnik BB 105 Metallic-Striped Leather Pumps

Friday, May 12, 2017

Working Hard, Dressing the Part

I actually wore today's dress yesterday (Thursday), but I have been so busy that I just didn't have time to write my post. So here it is -- a day late.

Outfit Details:

Dress. Black Halo Amelie Sheath Dress in Jade

You can still find the dress -- in a broad spectrum of colors -- on sites like Amazon, BlackHalo.com and Saks Fifth Avenue. I love this Jade color, but there are some other really beautiful options available, too, including red, navy, a light powder blue and violet.

The dress is conservative enough for work, yet still shows a little cleavage, and the lines are very flattering and slimming (though I am wearing my Spanx). The detail on the sleeves also elevates it from just an ordinary sheath dress into something truly fabulous.

As with many Black Halo dresses, the Amelie sheath dress seems made for any occasion; it's perfect for the office, going out to dinner or even a black tie event.

Amy Santiago (played by actress Melissa Fumero) actually wore the dress to Rosa's (almost) wedding this season on Brooklyn Nine Nine, one of my favorite network comedies. (I will be so disappointed if Fox cancels the series. It's so funny!)

Amy in Black Halo on Brooklyn Nine Nine

Earrings: Uncommon James Dance All Night Ear Jacket

You may notice that my earrings are a little more bling-fantastic than usual. They were actually a birthday gift from my sister-in-law, Stacey. (We have the same exact birthday!) I don't have anything like these earrings, so it was such a nice surprise.

Uncommon James is the new brand from celebrity/ former reality TV star Kristin Cavallari. There are only about 15 pieces in the debut collection, but they are all very fashion forward and unique. I just hope that I don't confuse this line with Draper James, the fashion line from actress Reese Witherspoon. James is a very popular name lately with the celebrity set.

Bag: Aldo Cheling Top Handle Handbag

Aldo bags are super cute and are so much cheaper than brands like Kate Spade. Sure, the quality is not as high, but when you change out purses as much as I do, you really don't need to spend hundreds of dollars on every new purse. This purse cost me $40 and it is just so pretty!

You can buy the bag on Amazon or on the Aldo website.

Shoes: Jimmy Choo Tallow Sandals in Nude

It's finally Friday, so I am looking forward to a weekend of sleeping in and some belated birthday celebrations, including dinner out with Chapin on Saturday and lunch with my parents on Sunday. I can't wait to give my mom her Mother's Day gift, which is a joint gift from me and my sisters. I'll let you know next week if she liked it.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Last Year of My 30s

As of today, I'm 39 and entering the last year of my 30s. I definitely don't feel 39. I've spent the last few days looking through old photo albums, at all the great memories I've acquired over the years, and all I can think is... where did the time go?! 

I'm reminded of a line from The Muppets Take Manhattan, one of my favorite childhood movies. In the last scene, as Kermit and Piggy get married, some of the wedding guests get a chance to sing. The old ladies, all sitting in a row, lament, "Years go passing day by day." It's so true. The years just fly by, and all you can do is hug your loved ones and spend as much time with them as possible. After all, that's what really matters.

Birthday Outfit Details

Since today is my birthday, I wanted to wear something truly beautiful. I am absolutely in love with this Alice + Olivia dress, so I have been saving it to wear on a special occasion. I guess today will do! I love every detail, from the cap sleeves to the floral embroidery. It's a fashion masterpiece.

Dress: Alice + Olivia Ellen Embroidered Dress (no longer available)

Zooey Deschanel wore the dress last season on New Girl, though she paired her dress with a black belt.

I decided not to do that here, since the dress already has good definition at the waist, and I really wanted to bring attention to my shoes.

I'm in love with these Sophia Webster shoes, too. One shoe says Boss, while the other shoe says Lady. They are perfect for me -- so fierce -- and the perfect accessory on my birthday.

Shoes: Sophia Webster Boss Lady Pointy Toe Pumps

You can still buy the pumps -- in pink -- at Saks Fifth Avenue. Warning: This brand runs very small (by a full size), so size up.

It's appropriate I'm wearing these Boss Lady pumps today, since I'm currently watching Girlboss on Netflix. Inspired by Sophia Amoruso's book of the same name, Girlboss explores the tattered beginnings of the Nasty Gal brand. Although the company recently filed for bankruptcy protection, Sophia's story, at least as told by Netflix, is still a very interesting one.

I'm working today and the rest of this week, so I don't plan to really celebrate turning 39 until the weekend. Chapin did make waking up today extra special, though; he surprised me with a pair of beautiful ruby and diamond earrings that I'm wearing in these photos.

Happy Birthday to me!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Mourning 38

Happy Monday! The weekend flew by, mainly because I was so busy.

We kicked off the weekend Friday night by seeing Guardians of the Galaxy 2 at Phipps Plaza with our friend, Elizabeth. Chapin and I both loved the first movie, so going to see the second movie on opening night was a no-brainer. Norman and Wally spent the day at doggie daycare, so we were free to have an evening out. I love science-fiction films, with some rare exceptions -- gruesome movies like Alien are never going to be on my must-watch list -- and I love a movie even more when it references the 80s. The first Guardians of the Galaxy had a good plot, with characters I cared about, references I enjoyed (Kevin Bacon!), and a kick-ass soundtrack of 70s feel-good hits. The second has much of the same, and is perfect summer movie fare (even though it's not technically summer yet). There's even not one, but two references to Pac-Man. Ha!

It also doesn't hurt that the movie stars Chris Pratt, who I think looks like a (more ripped) version of my husband. Chapin recently mentioned that he wanted to start lifting weights more regularly. Hmmm...

Saturday was a day filled with birthday fun, first to celebrate my nephew, Cole, and second to celebrate our good friend, Rahul. Cole has the best birthday ever -- Star Wars Day, May Fourth -- and I can't wait until he and Reid are old enough that we can go to the movies together. I definitely want to be the cool aunt and take them on fun outings.

Yesterday, Sunday, I met my parents at Phipps (again) to shop for a birthday gift. Yes, I have a birthday coming up.

Since I turned 35, I haven't really felt like celebrating my birthday. Another year older, another wrinkle on my face. Tomorrow, I'll be 39, which means I am starting the last year of my 30s. How did I get so old?!

Since I'm a little sad on my last day as a 38-year-old, I wanted to wear something fun and uplifting. Enter Karen Millen.

Outfit Details:

Dress: Karen Millen Floral Print V-Neck Dress (no longer available)

The dress was also seen on Jane (Gina Rodriguez) last year on Jane the Virgin! My sister, Gail, got me into this show, and I'm so glad she did. It's very addictive, and I highly recommend it if you like soapy dramas.

Shoes: Jimmy Choo Luna 100 Glitter Peep-Toe Pumps (no longer available)

Can you see that the pumps are actually glitter pumps? I've had these shoes for months, but haven't worn them yet. I guess I was waiting for the perfect day. Wearing them today, with this dress, was a nice little Monday pick-me-up. And they go with this dress so perfectly, don't you think?

These shoes are sold out online, but check out this similar style in a multi-color glitter pattern, or the wedge version in this exact blue color.

The next time you see a post from me, I'll be 39. Ugh!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Better In Person

When a dress has intricate details, like today's Parker dress, those details often don't show up in pictures. Just looking at this #outfitoftheday photo, you may think it's just a flat, one-dimensional, black and white dress. 

But it's not.

It's so not.

The dress is truly impressive in person. It has silver threads woven throughout the fabric, so it sparkles in any kind of light. The lace detail isn't part of the fabric; it's sewn on to give it an extra dimension. The fabric is a thicker cotton, making it seem more expensive.

I really debated buying this dress, because the pictures online didn't show these little details. And when you have as many dresses as I do, it's those details that count. I truly #loveparker and encourage you to seek out the brand online or in stores.

Dress: Parker Floral Lace-Trim Garnet Dress

Available at Revolve Clothing and Amazon.

Shoes: Jimmy Choo Claudet 100 Lamé Sandals

Here's a link to another post where I tout the Parker brand. Remember that you can shop Parker online at the following retailers:

Monday, May 1, 2017

Chicago Buried Treasure

If I look a little tired today, it's because I spent the weekend traveling to and from Chicago to spend some quality time with my sisters and meet my new little nephew, Max. It was a whirlwind weekend, complete with sister bonding time, baby cuddles and a lot of rain. Stay tuned for details.

Today's dress is actually one I found while shopping with my sisters in Chicago. The Saks Off 5th we visited in the city has a much better selection than any Saks Off 5th I've visited in Atlanta. Of course, the sales tax is also 10% there! Sheesh! I made sure to do my research while in the store, and I couldn't find the dress in my size anywhere online. Thus, here it is as the newest addition to my closet. (The dress was marked down 75% from its original price of $440. You really can't beat that.)

Today's Outfit Details:

Dress: Alice + Olivia Brea Lace & Geo-Print Chiffon Dress

The top is very Victorian, with the high neck and lace detail. I like the contract of the slightly stuffy top with the vibrant and fun chiffon pattern that decorates the rest of the dress. It's a super comfortable dress to wear, too!

Shoes: Prada Leather Cutout Ankle Booties (no longer available)