Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Spring It On

While I'm still waiting for spring to show itself around these parts, I thought I'd have some fun with some end of the season wintry looks.  I usually feel pretty drab, style-wise, with my look every day when I dress for the cold weather, which consists of a mid-thigh length puffy coat with furry hood, a scarf and my fuzzy, fleece North Face beanie.  These are usually paired with riding boots for walking to the Metro and from the Metro to work and I change into a pair of flats which I keep in the office.  Flats are the only things that make my feet comfortable these days because of the whole pregnancy thing!  Underneath my cold-weather attire, I do still change it up, from a dress, cardigan and tights to pants and a blouse but, boy am I tired of the same commuter look!  I'm still too chicken to put on a wool coat since I never know how cold it will truly feel until I venture outside (wind factor included) so I stay cautiously warm.  You know, just in case that icy wind decides to make its way toward my face!

That doesn't mean I don't want to try and look cute, chic and stylish in the colder temperatures too.  Maybe one day when the days start inching a few degrees north, I'll try to incorporate my wool coats back into the mix before they're retired until the next winter.  Till then, I do have a lot of great inspiration from others on how to look super fabulous in cooler temps!  Check out the Duchess below, who I'm very loosely following in maternity style now that we're both expecting.  Thank goodness there's someone to look up to because I don't know what I'm doing!  Her recent looks include hiding the bump behind really cute and fitted, but not tight, coats and pairing a hat/fascinator and cute pumps with her coat.  It's all about the coat really.  I've also noticed that cute swing coats are definitely stylish but are also good to hide growing bellies (whether that's your thing or not!) and they just look so darn cute.   Check out the cute "waiting for winter to end" look I put together on Polyvore below, so cleverly title "Spring it On" (if I do say so myself)!  The title is an homage to the phrase "bring it on" of course inspired by the movie with the same name too!  There were some great cheers in there. 

I also threw in a pillbox hat just for fun (although I've had no reason to dress up that much for anything -- hence the beanie! they're so warm and practical!) and a really cute pair of neutral pumps with a neon toe.  A little neon here and there goes a long way and adds much needed color and pizazz to the black and white outfit without being too loud.    The coat is a statement itself.  Obviously these shoes are ridiculously expensive, even if you had the money since they're very trendy and might not get worn as often as a basic nude or black, so I'd suggest checking out Bakers, Aldo, Steve Madden or your local department stores for a similarly bright pump.

Do I think I'd ever have an opportunity to dress up this much?  Maybe one day.  One can always dream of being titled and American Duchess/Marquess of something (the District of Columbia? a zip code?), somehow (no idea!), and having plenty of occasions to make appearances right? Of course titles and grants of that sort aren't favored around these parts, and for good reason,  but perhaps just a nickname of that sort would do... And maybe a tiara for special occasions!

Spring It On

Helene berman
$275 -

Charlotte Olympia oxford shoes
$875 -

$120 -

Friday, March 22, 2013

Confession: I Love Stretchy Pants!

Well, I never knew when I got this fortune cookie fortune a while back how right it would actually be!  I found out my husband and I were expecting earlier this year and could not be more thrilled.  Among some of the changes coming was a change in my wardrobe.

The first thing I noticed was that, even before you start showing, your pants become really, really uncomfortable.  At least when sitting, I noticed I had to unbutton those things while I sat to be comfortable!  Unfortunately, when I was savoring some Doritos during my lunch hour, and prior to my telling everyone we're expecting, a friend walked in on me with my pants undone, finishing up my chips!  As embarrassing as that was, it got worse when I had to get up and head to a meeting with her and noticed my pants were still unbuttoned and unzipped!  Yikes!  Luckily my shirt was just long enough to cover it and I was able to zip/button them up while I sat in the meeting.  Sheesh!   So, even though I had popped out yet, I knew pants were going to be a problem.  Two solutions I found were to get a bella band -- which holds up your pants while they're unbuttoned, thus helping you make the most of your wardrobe, and caving in and buying some maternity pants.  Luckily, there are soooo many cute options and I got some comfortable black skinny ankle pants from Old Navy!  Who knew how many cute maternity options there were out there?  And here comes my confession, I never thought I'd say this, but I LOVE THESE PANTS!  The waistband is stretchy but it's all stylish beneath that.  These are the ones I ended up buying.

So, in an effort to save money on having to buy a whole new wardrobe, I've also been stretching (literally) my current wardrobe.  One way is to use the bella band with my regular pants and another is to continue to wear my jersey dresses and tights.  Dresses can go a long way in pregnancy if they're a bit stretchy.  Also, I've noticed a lot of our favorite stores for basics, like GAP, Old Navy, etc., also carry maternity clothes, so you don't have to spend a lot in specialty maternity stores (A Pea in the Pod or Mimi, or Motherhood).  These every day stores also carry the cutest trends for less in maternity! Score!

Another thing to consider is that you'll want to find some stuff that you can wear when you're still trying go get back to your post-baby bod.  So I've put off finding any maternity tops just yet and have invested in some tops that are cut a bit bigger and on sale from Anthropologie.  Check out the Amira Henley (bought it!), the Sunburst Latitudes top (bought it!), the Hestia and Sweetheart Peplum tops (want them!), the Sequined Placket Henley (bought it!) and the rest of the cute tops on sale (want them!).   These are clothes that I know I will wear after baby's here too -- but maybe less often to avoid spit up, poop and pee!

Here are some of my favorite places that sell maternity wear.  You can walk into some of these stores but there are a lot of cute online shops as well.  If you shop online you'll love some of these options also!
  1. Old Navy
  2. GAP
  3. Asos online
  4. Isabella Oliver
  5. Top Shop
  6. Nordstrom online
These 6 are only my top favorite places to browse so far (I haven't bought much yet), but I've also seen cute things at, A Pea in the Pod and Motherhood Maternity.  Boy does Isabella Oliver know how to make a maternity dress! I think I could even wear some of those post-baby! 

Also, in the spirit of keeping things budget friendly, I love the idea of buying things from non maternity stores that you can grow into and also use afterwards like the tops from Anthropologie above and some dresses I've seen at Ann Taylor!  When they're made of spandex, polyester and/or jersey, you know they'll grow with you.  Also check out versatile wrap dresses which you can grown and shrink with!  There are quite a few Ann Taylor dresses I'd look forward to growing into.

And of course, here's my maternity muse:

photo courtesy of

Always chic, always polished, always poised.  I love this lady's style!  It's much nicer to see someone dress well for their figure and mix affordable fashion with her higher end looks.  As much as I like some of the other pregnant celebs out there, I sure don't want to dress like them.

See what I mean? Too loose, too tight, too low cut, and too much! These outfits just have a lot going on when a pregnant woman already has a lot going on!

So here's where I am now:  

At almost 4 months in (next week) I've found a few favorite wardrobe pieces to keep stylish while remaining comfy!

Here's a second photo to showcase the actual bump, since I think the top up there does a great job hiding it!

So here's what's going on with my outfit. I got the top on sale from Anthropologie, which isn't actually maternity but works for maternity and also for post-baby. It's stretchy and comfy. The pants are pink corduroys from GAP and those gold loafers are also from GAP. Can I just say, those loafers are some of the most comfortable shoes I've ever worn, even in comparison to other flats! With expecting comes a lot of body changes and I'd heard of my feet swelling but I didn't know that shoes could just irritate me, swelling or not. With my feet hating most of my cutest heels and flats these days I needed something stylish, cute and comfy to wear for a while. I got these in my normal shoe size (didn't have to size up) and they work wonders! Another tip I picked up from reading endless reviews on maternity pants is to go one size up from your normal size when ordering. While even maternity pants in my own size fit really nicely and are stretchy and a bit loose, going one size up allowed me to wear these now and later on for a long time. I definitely notice they're loose enough that I have to pull them up occasionally throughout the day which I think is a great sign this tip works!

Any other helpful maternity clothing tips out there? I could use as much advice as I can get!

Beachy Keen

In honor of the first day of spring this past week--although it still feels like the middle of winter today--I put together a fabulous beach ready look for anyone going on spring break or to the beach this spring.

Actually, I'm dying for my favorite season, summer to come around again.  It's an old friend I miss every year when temperatures insist on staying put in the 30s and 40s.  So I hope this chic summery/spring-break outfit also brings you some be achy cheer!

Can I just say how much I love this one piece bathing suit?  It's not completely revealing (and I'm usually a two-piece gal myself) and has great coverage for anyone who wants it, but shows enough skin to be completely and breathtakingly sultry!  And who doesn't want to be a little bit sultry on the beach?  I also love mixing the stripes on the hat and flip flops with the cheetah print.  Since they're all in black, white and neutral tones they totally work!  Throwing in a pop of coral to punch the color up on the royal blue bathing suit is another great way to polish up your beach look.  Of course, this is more of a lounging in the shad type look but if you're going to play, swim and worship in the sun, don't forget to take off the accessories!

Looking forward to many warm months ahead!

Beachy Keen

John Lewis animal print swimwear
$33 -

Roxy flip flops

Collar jewelry

Helene Berman oversized hat
$140 -

Roberto Cavalli leopard print sunglasses
$365 -

Monday, March 18, 2013

Happy St. Patrick's Day! (One Day Late)!

In honor of St. Patty's Day, here's a gorgeous emerald green gown feast for your eyes!  I just love the long gold necklace and black and white clutch that compliment this look so well!  If I only had somewhere to wear this! *Sigh*

Hope you all had a happy and safe St. Patrick's Day weekend!  I know I saw plenty of shamrockers dressed in their finest green gear heading toward downtown DC for the parade this weekend. Even one person in full leprechaun duds, including the red beard, for the occasion!  However you do it, hope you had a blast :)

Making an Emerald Green Statement

Dolce & Gabbana high heels
$715 -

Kelly wearstler

Betsey johnson

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Revolved Around Accessories

While I try to remain optimistic that spring will eventually arrive, I find myself starting to put together more and more springy/summery looks on Polyvore.  With temperatures going back to digging their stubborn heels into the 30's and after a weekend full of warm spring-like activity, I just can't take the cold anymore.  I find myself looking at my long grey puffy coat, scarf, beanie and riding boots as a uniform these days to battle the cold and windy weather, because it's still to cold for me to try to trade in my boots for flats, my puffy coat for a cuter wool coat or to ditch my tights all together yet!  Calgon take me away!

So with that mindset, I really built the collage below around this great collar necklace.  This stands out so much, adding a basic dress underneath is all you'd really need.  I did jazz it up with a black blazer (Alexander McQueen optional, but since I love the shape of the blazer I went with it).  Any old black blazer would do though.  I got a great one in navy from Zara last year and rocked the heck out of it!

Back to the outfit, though.  I pulled some cute fuchsia studs out to pick up on the pink in the necklace and add a bit of color, threw in a black and white fedora, revisited the fuchsia with the ballet flats, and threw in hints of mint with the bag and sunglasses.  How chic are those mint colored sunglasses! I can totally see some super cute, fashionable and put together girl just rocking this outfit to the nines, from brunch to a date to visiting a museum.  This outfit speaks volumes.

If you had to add one piece into your own wardrobe from the ones below, which would it be?  Are you more bold in your fashion choices and would go for the necklace?  Do you dress in basics and add in pops of color here and there and are drawn to the shoes?  Are you into dainty accessories and have a muted style and the earrings are calling your name as being a perfect pop to any outfit?  Do you like to keep up with trends and are loving the sunglasses.  Does the hat speak to your inner hipster?  Would you like to upgrade your style with something new and trendy but still classic and clean and the purse is the perfect pick? Do you gravitate toward clean basics with great lines and just must have the blazer? Or do you love the flirty and girly dress which is so versatile and can be jazzed up for a night out or dressed down for a daytime affair?  This is a hard one for me because I really love all the pieces (I know I owned a very similar hat years ago from H&M and never got around to wearing it) but am drawn to the blazer, purse or shoes the most!  I can see any of those three being staples in my wardrobe.  I do like to use a lot of color in my shoe choices and love basics but also like to jazz them up with something hip and new!

What does it for you?

Revolved Around Accessories

Polka dot dress
$74 -

Alexander mcqueen
$2,125 -

Topshop patent shoes

Mint handbag

Stud earrings

FE NY vintage eyewear


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Spring Fashion Round Up!

It's that time of year again!  Now that it's March (and snowing today in DC) we know spring is coming close.  It begins with the cherry blossoms and warmer temperatures and soon enough, the trees become leafy green, the sun stays out later and your mood improves drastically.  After living in a winter coat, hat, gloves and scarf for months now, won't it be nice to change the wardrobe up a bit?

Starting off my year, I got a fabulous fortune in my fortune cookie which told me it was going to be a great year for my closet:  

Isn't that something?  Looks like I'll have some new clothes this spring!  And it has the double smiley faces.  That must be a good sign. 

Anyhoo, the spring trends I've seen coming down the pipeline are all about black and white, color-blocking, stripes, pastels, gladiator sandals and jazzed up athletic shoes.  Here are some trends I photographed from the TV on my iPhone while watching the Today show about a month ago.  You know me! Classy all the way!

First up, stripes and color blocking in mostly black and white. 

Today Show's Bobby Thomas showed Kathy Lee and Hoda the upcoming trends on real models like the black and white color blocked dress below.

Pardon the blur on the bottom. I had a hard time getting a full length shot of that one!

There's even stripes and color blocking combinations out there like the dress showcased above!  This is a great way use use one versatile piece that covers 2 trends.  Below are some adorable pastels.  I love the blue sweater but am really dying for that lilac dress!

Down below are some of the shoe and bag trends including gladiator sandals (gladi-hater for those who just can't stand them!), jazzy sneaks and beaded bags.  Seriously though, after owning many pairs of gladiator style shoes, I still cannot possibly make them work so I'd given up on this style for me.  Besides, whenever my husband gave me a look when I wore them and said "Uh, you look like a gladiator" I'm not sure that's the reaction I wanted although that was the style of the shoe!

These flower sneaks (sneakers) are by Chanel.  I never thought I'd see the day Chanel did the sneaker!

I do love a great beaded bag!

There you have some upcoming trends this year.  If you only update your wardrobe with one new piece, anything in these styles will keep your wardrobe looking so fresh and so clean, clean!  Any favorite standouts so far?  I'd also keep an eye out for colorful (i.e. bright colors) skinnys and jeggings for the spring.  GAP has a wonderful selection to choose from!  Are there any other trends you'll be excited to see?  Let me know in the comments section below! 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Jennifer Lawrence Oscar Love

Of course, I'm a bit late with the Oscars post but better late than never!

So, usually I've posted favorites and have a ton of people I cannot decide between but this year it was a no brainer for me.  Jennifer Lawrence swept away the competition!  Why?  I can't say for sure what other people thought of this dress but I just loved that it was huge and dramatic with a beautiful soft blush color and it fit her so beautifully.  Even the accessories were totally spot on!  The drop earrings were just the right amount of sparkle and the necklace worn with the long side going down her back was subtle but dramatic enough.  It was very classy and well done. I can also see a lot of ladies watching the Oscars and thinking, this style dress could look good on me.  And some red carpet dresses which do that are hard to find.  I wouldn't be surprised if we didn't see a lot of wedding gowns with dropped waists and dramatic ballgowns coming out soon.  Actually the silhouette reminds me of my own wedding dress which was fitted past the hips but flared out into ruffles rather than a ballgown.  Very simple and clean though.  I just LOVED it!

Anyhoo, this awards season left me a bit underwhelmed which surprised me.  There were some total hits and a lot of "eh" or "meh" moments seeing all the stars.  I mean just a tweak here or there for some of the stars and it would make a huge difference!  Like Jennifer Anniston!  I really liked her dress but her hair was.. Well...  It was her usual totally casual hair, just like she has on any other day.  But I would have loved to see her have a deconstructed low chingion.  Maybe something like this:

Photo courtesy of
You go L.C.!  This would have complimented that lovely red dress so much better than this don't you think?  
Photo courtesy of

And then there was Jessica Chastain who looked amazing all award show season but really looked glamorous at the Oscars.  I love how her hair compliments the gold in her dress.  She was a total stunner.

Photo courtesy of
With Jennifer Garner, I loved the fit and color of the dress, but couldn't get over the peacock back.  I'm bringing this dress up just because I actually saw on E! News that there was a Vera Wang for David's Bridal dress that was discussed as a substitute if you liked Jennifer Garner's dress.  I actually loved the substitute way more than the original. Check out the original:

Photo courtesy of

You can catch the Vera Wang substitute here.  Isn't it super cute for a bridesmaid dress?  I might have to get it for some formal event if I ever needed one!

Finally, here's my girl J.Law. below looking stunning as always.  She really stood out this season and made the most of it.  Below you will also find a collage I put together on Polyvore based on her look. While there aren't a lot of dresses out there with this exact shape yet, I definitely see this coming soon to a bridal store near you!

Photo courtesy of

And the collage below! Enjoy!

Jennifer Lawrence Oscar Love

Zac Posen gowns dress

Zac Posen silk evening gown

By Terry terry

$12 -

Chopard teardrop earrings