Posted in Style

Tired, Tried and True

Today’s ensemble brought to you by polyvore and the letters T I R E D.

I planted a hedgerow and an 8′ peach tree last night, then stayed awake far too late for the hour I needed to be up this morning. 

Everyone needs a go-to look for days when you just don’t have the energy for effort.  This is mine.  Black trousers with a slight flare and a good, tight crease (Target, $39), a black cami (I have several of these, today’s is Gilligan O’Malley from Target, about $20), and a charcoal/black/hunter green deep v-neck (today it is the charcoal v-neck from Old Navy, $15).  Worn with charcoal low-heeled maryjanes ($14 at Ross), black pearl earrings (a gift from my fantastic Mother-in-law) and a t-bar necklace with pendant ($9 at Charming Charlie’s–I supplied the picture in the pendant.)  It’s an outfit that is borderline casual, so it is important that your fabrics are good.  Good fabric makes all the difference in the world.

That reminds me of a girl I used to work with, back in college.  Carrieanne was driven, goal-oriented, Miller Lite Girl, who took me under her wing because she thought I was too conservative (in those skirts?!) and that I had much more potential for hotness.  She was going to work me out and get me a harder body so I could be a Miller Lite Girl, too. 

We’ve covered that my skin is the color of Elmer’s glue.  Well, Carrieanne had this beautiful tan to go with her perfect, thick, waist-length hair, which she wore in the  ideal ponytail for all exercise.  When she worked out, her cheeks would darken into roses and she just looked breathless and pulchritudinous.  When I work out, my skin splotches into hivey looking patches of vicious red, so I resemble those orange and white godlfish you see in coy ponds.

There we would be, Carrieanne in her sports bra and tiny spandex shorts, looking like an ad for the Abmaster, glowing with good health and fitness, and me in my Cure concert t-shirt, gym shorts and sweat frizzled hair, nearly falling down laughing at the men who would sometimes walk into things trying to watch her do bends.  It was good for my health, but so, so hard on my ego.

Actually, it was good for my ego.  Working out with Carrieanne forced me to confront my own petty jealousies, and come to the conclusion that it is better to look like a hag who has gorgeous friends, than be a hag with no friends.  I like looking at pretty people, so why begrudge all the stares Carrieanne got?  Heck, I liked staring at her.  She was just that pretty.

She was a sweetheart.  Anyway, Carrieanne was the one who introduced me to the difference between work-cute and date-cute.  She would find a dress she liked and buy it in two sizes.  She would wear the size 4 to work.   That one fit her prettily.  She would wear the size 2 on dates.  That one hugged every curve.

I liked her so much!  I hope she’s doing well.

Posted in Style

For Kly: Easy to Wear Professional

I hate to call this the Look for Less, but it really is.  You can use this link to find all the details on the clothing shown below.  With these two different jersey dresses (or reasonable facsimiles), and four different tops, you have a decent professional wardrobe.  Adding in a pair of neutral colored trousers and a couple of neutral blouses would take you into 3 weeks worth of different ensembles.

With the exception of the shoes, which I chose for Kly’s consideration to showcase attractive, comfortable shoes that would work well for moving across campus at the speed of coed, and with the exception of the accessories chosen to resemble items I have, I own all of the pieces in this collection.

Both dresses are from the Norma Kamali for WalMart line, and are a slinky jersey fabric.  Think Chico’s Travelers collection.  The dresses fit beautifully, have very nice drape, and don’t wrinkle.  Bonus!  I paid $20 for each of them, but if you follow the link above, I think you can get to the website and find them on clearance sale.  If they aren’t available, just look for similar items.  You can’t beat a good dress.

Alone these dresses are lovely, and you can do a lot to accessorize with just jewelry.  Obviously, you couldn’t wear the strapless to work without a jacket, but it makes an interesting and modest neckline under something else.  Got a date after work?  Take off the jacket, et voila.  Add colored or patterened tights, and you have a whole new look to carry these dresses through winter.

Top left is a coral blazer from Old Navy.  This is a boxy fit that reminds me of the 80s.  I felt like a Seventeen Magazine cover from 1987 the entire time I wore it–that was a very good thing!  $29 to relive my youth.  Priceless.  Clockwise, the white shirt is from the WalMart Just My Size collection.  I have this in turquoise, and got it for $6.  Fits beautifully, and the ruching is very flattering.  It’s very Candice Bergin from Boston Legal–looks crisp and professional, but is very comfy.  The leopard jacket pictured is an exact copy of the Grace Collective brand I bought at Ross for $14.99.  I do think animal prints should be used sparingly, but I couldn’t resist this jacket.  The black and white striped shirt is from the Norma Kamali collection and costs $10.

Ladies, you can wear horizontal stripes.  Here is the trick:  Just don’t wear them from the hips down.  Thick horizontal stripes on a fitted shirt or sweater can actually slim you, by creating the illusion of a waist if you don’t have much of one.  Skinny stripes work best on slimmer figures.  Avoid Hamburgler tights unless you are under 21 and frequent Hot Topic.