Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A European Vacation!

So I'll be on a small hiatus for a couple of weeks while my husband and I take our vacation this year.  We're heading to Italy and Munich and I'll be back in the swing of things by the first week in October.

While our flight is tomorrow, we have yet to start packing and will have to squeeze that in somewhere.  In accompaniment to my earlier post on packing for a weekend vacation, I'd like to do a full post on packing for a long vacation.  Particularly with international travel there are a few things I think are absolutely essential:

1.  Language Dictionary - It's nice to be able to understand and speak several key phrases in the country you're traveling to if English is not their first language.  The local residents will really appreciate your effort!


2.  Passport - Definitely check the expiration date on this one at least a month before you go! You can rush deliver one in about 2 weeks time but remember to give yourself plenty of time to get it.  Always double check ladies, if you've changed your name when you got married, make sure your ticket name and passport name are the same!

3.  An international plug adapter -- Don't forget, if you're bringing electronics, appliances, devices that need to be plugged in, double check the country you're going to and see if you need one of these.  You would be surprised at how many different plug outlets there are around the world. 

4. An  iPad, Kindle, and/or other device for reading/watching videos during a long flight.


5.  Common sense and a small carrying case you can hide in addition to your purse.  Don't travel with all your money in one place! Watch out for people (sometimes gypsies in a few countries) who pray on tourists and always keep a hand on your purse and make sure it has a zipper closure.  I've noticed people have carrying devices that are small and they can wear under their clothes to hide money and identification.  Definitely you do not want to lose your passport!

And while I'm gone, here are few topics for upcoming posts on my mind: my European vacation style, Italian fashion up close, Oktoberfest, why I don't like wearing pants on a rainy day, dressing for back to school when you're already a post-grad with a good job but taking additional courses (clearly that'll be whittled down a bit), and I still have to follow up with a fabulous August wedding I was a bridesmaid in as well as the outfit I ultimately wore for my date night on my birthday.  Discuss!

Finally, since I haven't really done the traveling in Europe thing before, (I've been through London for a few days and I've been to Berlin for a summer abroad program) I always imagined myself having a bit of the Clark Griswold approach to Europe, a-la National Lampoon's European Vacation.

See you in a couple of weeks!

Friday, September 14, 2012


So in case you missed my prior discussions on peplum here, here, here and here, this is a treat for anyone who is falling for this trend.  Peplum is not going anywhere this fall so if you like it just a little bit or a lot, there is a peplum look out there for you!  The current peplum looks that are out today really accentuate a woman's waist-to-hip curve and are quite flattering.  As you can see, there are peplum tops, blazers, dresses and skirts in all types of fabrics, prints and cuts.   

I recently bought a black and white peplum top, actually it's the black and white version of the coral Motel (brand name) top below, and I really love it!  This reviewer says it's a do!

If you want to try this trend out just a little bit, look for a peplum top or blazer, which is a nice way to incorporate a little bit of peplum into your look. Or go all the way and get a peplum dress or skirt, which is where the peplum really stands out!  There is a peplum look out there for anyone wanting to give this a go!


Dorothy Perkins belted dress

AX Paris floral print dress
$27 -

Peplum top

Motel low cut top
$45 -

Victoria s Secret victoria secret

Miss Selfridge black jacket

Dorothy Perkins peplum jacket

Dorothy Perkins peplum jacket

Burberry skirt

Lace pencil skirt

Oasis floral skirt
$72 -

Peplum skirt

Dorothy Perkins black skirt

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Reader Request: What to Wear Under that Suit?

A friend and one of my three loyal readers posed a question to me last week when she had to wear a suit into the office.

Do you have any ideas for good shells to wear under a suit?

With our office being business casual except for a few higher positions, there are a few occasions where people wear suits.  One is when you're interviewing.  Another is when you're receiving some reward or honor.  And a third, more common use is when a person holds hearings (yes we're lawyers and judges here... an all too common profession in DC), which is what my friend had been doing when she asked me about shells to wear under a suit.  Being that her laundry basket was full, finding something to wear under that suit was more difficult that day.  In light of her question though, I got to working on a Polyvore collage that incorporates a variety of options to wear under a suit, from button down blouses to sleeveless shells.  Can you believe all the effort to dress for something that only shows a triangle of fabric under that suit jacket?  More importantly though, is that when you take the jacket off (which I like to do when I'm just sitting at my desk or walking around outside) you still want to look professional.  Depending on your office, the type of shell you wear may make a difference.  While I believe a sleeveless shell is OK at our office, I always try to opt for a cap sleeve or longer just in case I still need to remain more professional when I take the jacket off.  Even with sleeveless tops and dresses, I always advise one to carry a blazer or cardigan or something to cover the shoulders if necessary.  You just never know!

Anyhoo, that being said, let's move onto to fun part!  Below are some great shells I found in varying price points and which range from being available at H&M, Ann Taylor and Banana Republic to some online only options from  Modcloth, Dorothy Perkins (stores are only in the U.K.) and Karen Millen.  Even if you can't buy the exact same thing online, know there are a variety of options in stores right near you.  As you can see below, peplum tops are huge and making it into mainstream stores like Ann Taylor and I'm still loving them all the same  Clearly that $600 Vivian Westwood top is an "only in my dreams" kind of thing, but I thought I'd include it anyway because the shape and style is great and there are similar, though not exactly alike, styles out there. Also, needless to say, that Karen Millen floral top appears to be sheer so a camisole which covers your bra straps underneath anything sheer is always a must!

I hope this helps serve as a guide to the ever elusive women's work wardrobe!

What to Wear Under that Suit?

Banana Republic draped top

Banana republic shirt

Banana Republic sleeveless tank top

Kaliko jersey top
$46 -

Hoss Intropia summer shirt
$80 -

Ann Taylor floral top

People Tree polka dot shirt
$22 -

A Wear polka dot shirt
$48 -

H M woven shirt
$24 -

Karen Millen floral blouse

Vivienne Westwood silk top
$600 -

Cap sleeve blouse
$29 -

Coach navy blue shirt

Friday, September 7, 2012

Fitness Gear Cravings

In the past 9 years I've really gotten into fitness, not just for my health but also as just a fun activity.  Some days are definitely more fun than other though.  I started off running on the indoor track in school and worked my way up to running on treadmills, fitness classes, ballet, yoga and running outdoors.  I realized one very important thing in all this: Exercise make me happier!

It's not the easiest thing to exercise when you're tired or feeling down but it definitely feels great afterwards! And I get less of those "down in the doldrums" feelings when things aren't going my way or on those "wake upon the wrong side of the bed" mornings.

One thing hasn't changed much though, that's my exercise wardrobe.  Since I get all sweaty and gross in my fitness gear, the only thing I replace regularly are my running shoes when they get worn out.  But the socks, pants, shorts, bras and tops get washed and worn and washed and worn until they get serious holes in the crotch or something else serious that causes me to think "OK, it's time to throw this one out!"  Most of my current fitness gear I had gotten from Target years ago.  They have great prices and a good variety.  Since then I've picked up some things when they've gone on sale.  I usually stick with black a lot and have a handful of colorful tops.  At least I know it'll all coordinate, but when I see what other people wear to the gym it gets me thinking I could dress a bit cuter.  While my singular goal is to get exercise, I think looking cute in your workout gear can be very motivating.

Here's what I wore only a few weeks back.

I case you can't make out the whole outfit, that's a gray tee and black shorts from Target.  A white hoodie and running shoes. The tee was actually a regular wardrobe stable and made it's way into my fitness wardrobe after many uses. 

And I always do my hair the same way in a high ponytail.  I find that's the best way to keep it out of my face and out of the way!

Here's a close up of my running shoes.  They're ASICS Gel Blur 33.  Since I'm a neutral runner (meaning I am not an over or under pronator) I need a neutral shoe with some cushioning.

I've also held on to two pairs of my old running shoes in case I need them for any reason.  You know, maybe take them to the office for when I have to walk a long distance.  It happens more often than you think! With the earthquake last summer that swept through the area, the DC Metro system was even more of a mess trying to get home so I walked in a comfortable pair of flat sandals all the way home.  Even though I live and work in DC, it still took about 2 hours!  There was a lot of uphill walking in the last hour.  So I made a note to myself: keep a pair of old sneakers at work!

Below are my other favorite running shoe brand, Brooks.  These are the Brooks Glycerin 9.

And these are my other former pair of ASICS.  The Gel Nimbus 12. They're great cushioned shoes for neutral runners!

And in case you were wondering, my white hoodie is, in fact, from Aeropostale!  I've had this one since college (it was only $5! score!) and used to wear it all the time to class but since it's gotten older and more worn, its found a second life in my gym wardrobe.  I mainly use it to cover up my sweaty stinky shirt after a hard workout!  This, and a bottle of body spray save me from offending too many people on the Metro ride home!

While I still have plenty of workout clothes, in a perfect world I'd pick an amazing, great-fitting fitness wardrobe.  Check out my picks below!  It's nothing fancy but includes a pair of fitted capris, which I love!  How about those sweatpants?  Pretty cute!  Those would be good to wear to a yoga class or over gym shorts when it's cooler outside.  I also like a lot of bright pink when it comes to workout gear, hence, the fuchsia top.  And those short shorts would be perfect for hot yoga workouts!

Are you inspired to workout or change up your normal routine and update your fitness gear yet?  I might be looking for a new piece to add to my collection.  

Fitness Gear Cravings

Under Armour capri pants


Under armour

Victoria's Secret sport socks

Abercrombie fitch


Asics buckle shoes

Water Bottle