Spring Cleaning...in February

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The last few weeks, and this entire winter, have been brutal in the northeast. I love opening up windows and getting fresh air in my apartment, but the last few months have been all about cranking up the heat and watching movies under piles of blankets. So when I woke up yesterday to sunny skies and 50+ degree temps, I opened the windows, cleaned and tackled items on my to-do list (thanks to a quick trip to Ikea). 

1. Hang something above my desk. I love this Norman Parkinson print of a mod hitchhiker from 1960. I love it even more that Ikea had a new 1960's matted fashion photography selection for $15. It looks great in its new spot.

2. Hang my hats. These hats have been in a box in my closet since May. Even when I want to wear them, I don't because I don't feel like digging them out of my closet. Mission accomplished! 

3. Spice up my kitchen window with plants. I actually have a green thumb, but living in the city hasn't exactly given me the opportunity to do much in the way of gardening in recent years. I love these two succulents that I found at Ikea for $2.99! 

4. Warm up my living room with a blanket. Everything in my living room is black or white, and I use pops of color to compliment the space. I love it - it's easy, clean and clutter free. This winter has driven me crazy, because I didn't have a blanket in my living room. When I wanted to get warm, I had to drag blankets out from my bedroom. Not a big deal, but it bugged me. This black and white striped blanket from Ikea works perfectly in my space. 

A perfect weekend to air out the apartment and start the week reorganized and feeling refreshed! Hope wherever you are the weather was as perfect as it was here! 

Johnny Weir is My Spirit Animal

Friday, February 21, 2014

When the medal count in Sochi is discussed, the glaring omission of a gold in commentating is clear. Johnny Weir has won the games. My genuine appreciation for all things Johnny extends beyond his ability to provide figure skating analysis that anybody can understand (with some serious wit to boot). Dude brought it and owned everybody when it comes to fashion. Let me break it down as to what he is doing better than most fashionistas:

- exceptional use of leather, fur and sequins
- vintage, vintage and more vintage
- the ability to whip up a gorgeous hairdo with limited length (and then rock a crown!)
- wedges for days
- he rocks a Birkin better than its namesake
- statement necklaces and overall flawless use of accessories

I mean, need I go on? Naturally, this all meant I had to recreate a Johnny look for the office and decided on recreating his vintage hot pink Chanel blazer look. Here is how I wore it:

Blazer: H&M, last season ($15)
Blouse: Gap, old 
Vegan leather jeans: H&M, this season ($34)
Heels: Talbots D'Orsay (because Johnny can deliver on accents, too), past season
Necklace: Stella and Dot Estate Bib Necklace, sold out (available on eBay)

For real, y'all should be following Johnny on Instagram. Seriously inspirational stuff. 

Forever 21 Skinnies

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Pants are my nemesis. I am short and pear shaped, but only weigh 100 pounds. Fortunately, I like skirts and dresses, because let me tell you, pants are just not manufactured for my body type. Work pants are the most difficult to find, but jeans are the absolute worst. I could shop for an entire day and come up empty handed.That being said, imagine my surprise when I discovered how well Forever 21's skinny jeans fit me. Let me discuss why they're so awesome:

-the length is 29 inches. Perfect! No hemming needed! 
-they come in every color of the rainbow
-they last forever (no pun intended)
-the fit is amazing
-the price for their jeans begins at $7.80
-they are like the sisterhood of the traveling pants in that they fit everybody I know...and trust me, I make sure everybody knows about them! 

Yesterday, traffic was pretty bad after work, so I swung by the mall while other people sat in a jam. I picked up a spare pair (for $7.80) and had to share my tip. Forever 21 - my go to for denim!
Proof they look good with various shoes:
l. to r., Sperry boat shoes, Nine West pumps and Lucky Brand ankle boots. 
Shirt: Old Navy, past season

Matchy, Matchy Stripes

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

I had a big meeting today and a long holiday weekend (thanks, presidents) to obsess over my big meeting ensemble. I had the perfect look planned. I even ironed it. Then, it happened. It being more snow. About four inches of new accumulation on top of the nonsense that is the melting and freezing and remelting and refreezing slushy slop that has basically made me give up trying to look stylish on a daily basis. 

Instantly, my awesome ironed and well planned outfit was out the window. Even though I'm tired of rehashing my winter wardrobe, I was determined to come up with something fun and professional that I hadn't worn before. I started with a Gap skirt that I bought in January for just under $7 and built my look around it - super happy with the result! Cute, warm (key), professional and I didn't have to buy anything new! Here's how I wore it: 

Skirt: black and royal stripe, Gap, $6.97 (super sale, this season)
Blouse: white with navy blue ribbon accent, J. Crew Factory, $19 (clearance - reduced from $79, this season)
Jacket: wool, Old Navy, super sale, old (perfectly matches the stripes in my skirt)
Heels: Talbots, old 

P.S. The meeting went well! Also, I wore snow boots to work and changed into the heels. Never sacrifice your good shoes! 

Valentine's Day Options

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Valentine's Day doesn't really bother me. Some people seem to have really strong opinions about either loving or hating the day. To me, any day that involves candy and/or chocolate is a-okay with me (no matter my relationship status). Because Valentine's Day is on a work day this year, I decided to come up with a few options for the office, as well as a casual option. 

I bought these Gap pants last weekend for $9 (reduced from $54). I had been searching for them for weeks in my size and was so excited to finally find them. Although I like options one and two, I think the third option will be the one I go with. 

Top: Old Navy chambray, $15 (last season)
Sweater: Gap, $12 (last season)
Pants: Gap, $9 (this season)
Jewelry: Faux pearls, Wal Mart

Top: Old Navy
Sweater: Forever 21 (generic J. Crew Tippi Heart Me), $15 (last season)
Pants: Gap
Jewelry: Wal Mart

Three (work outfit I chose):
Jacket: Gap, $32 (this season)
Top: Old Navy
Pants: Gap
Jewelry: Wal Mart

Top: Old Navy
Sweater: J. Crew Tippi Heart Me, $6 (thrifted)
Jeans: Gap, boyfriend, $19 (past season)
Shoes: Loft, $23 (last season)
Jewelry: Wal Mart

Also, I discovered a camera timer app. Clearly, I haven't perfected using it, but this certainly opens up some options for me. Peace out, selfies. Kind of. These are still selfies. 

Black Cape from SammyDress

Saturday, February 1, 2014

For months I have been looking for vintage black capes on Etsy and eBay. I am really short, so I was having a tough time deciding on a cape as so many looked like they would be too long for me. Then, I saw this cape on eBay:

Image: Sammy Dress

The item was available from multiple sellers and varied in price. And so the search continued until one day when curiosity got the better of me and I clicked on an ad for Sammy Dress, an online retailer based overseas that is sort of like a virtual Forever 21, but cheaper (and with a lot more inventory). I was ecstatic when I spotted the cape for $2 and some change, and with the $10 off coupon offered through the ad (no longer valid), shipping was going to be (more or less) free. Sammy Dress even featured customer reviews with photos, which were hugely helpful in making my decision! For the price, I had next to nothing to lose and ordered the cape. 

And then I waited. The cape arrived just shy of a month after it shipped (which was the day after purchase), a reasonable time frame having shipped things internationally plenty of times through eBay. The item arrived in the tiniest vacuum packed bag imaginable, but while it was wrinkled at first, the cape flattened out nicely on its own (and quickly, too). Initially, I wasn't sure about the cape. A button popped off when I tried it on, but the material is nice, it is warm and hits at a great length. I love the slits for the arms, too.

For $2, I took out the sewing kit, fixed the missing button and reinforced the others. Voila! Transformed into a great little cape that I love!

Sammy Dress sells a lot of clothes, but their jackets really seem to be the item that makes the site a great find. I would definitely recommend ordering from them, just be prepared to pay for rush shipping if you need your purchase in a timely manner. Overall, another great resource in my thrifting shopping arsenal!