Tuesday, May 25, 2010

In My Closet - Crazy Leopard Print

I was recently claiming that I don't have much leopard print in my closet, but truth be told, I don't really have much "natural" leopard print. Actually, make that none at all. That's ok because I love the pieces I do have. Take the colors in this Alberto Makali dress for example...

I'm drawn to the combo of turquoise, navy and lavender of it. Wild, but since the fabric is a wrinkled cotton, it comes across much softer. It's the length of the dress that didn't work so well for me...

Not so good, right? When I tried it on, my first thought was "Little House on the Prairie" gone crazy! But I love the top half, it's perfect for hot nights out in Texas and it's form fitting enough through the waist to give me a bit of curve, and I'll take any help I can get in that direction!
Yup, out with my beloved sewing machine.

I know it seems like I alter everything and that's all I post but I promise that's really not the case with my closet. I am on the short side (and currently on the broke side,) and I just really like to update what I have, to make it more unique and more me. Very little of what I own is in it's original purchased state.

Anyway, back to the dress. I thought this would be a simple hemming of the dress and it's under skirt but I was so wrong! I wanted to keep the navy lace at the bottom of the dress so I had to very carefully remove it first. Then, because of the wrinkles, it was difficult to cut a straight, even edge! Being a delicate cotton, to do an actual hem would weigh it down in a weird way so I had to do a very tight, compact stitch at the bottom to keep the fabric from unraveling. This was a first for me and a little nerve wracking! Reattaching the lace was quite time consuming, once again due to the wrinkle of the fabric. So something I thought would take an hour or so MAX, took me an entire afternoon! But the outcome is exactly as I envisioned it...

Much more fun, much more me. I'm planning on using a little safari style jacket over it for a day look. And I have a large chunk left that I intend to make into a scarf.

Maybe it's my love of DIY, or maybe I'm just not an off the rack kind of girl, (it would be so much easier if I was,) but I also love knowing I have a one of a kind.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Test Drive in My Closet-Cropped Pants

Typically, I go with a longer leg on most of the pants I wear because this creates the illusion of lengthier limbs, which I desperately need. But I've been wanting something new and thanks to J. Crew, I've recently become obsessed with cropped pants.

(Photo from
I am especially drawn to the Minnie cropped pant in a stretch twill...(preppy, don't you think?)

But could a person of my abbreviated stature pull off a cropped pair? Well, since I'm not yet convinced, I'm not willing to invest $79.50 on something I'm so dubious of. Time for an experiment! I pulled out an old pair of black Esprit boot cut pants that I hadn't worn in at least 4 years and alterations ensued.

After narrowing the ankle, I shortened it to the same 24" inseam as a J Crew petite and in comparison to the Minnie, it looks as though I could have gone at least an inch or 2 shorter. (Sigh.) BUT, I'm not entirely unhappy with how they look. Dressier than the legging, but not as corporate as a pant, cute with flats and heels, I guess I'm sort of into it.

Thoughts? Should I make the investment? Or is this as bad as a capri?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Preppy Mafia Award

Over the weekend I received The Preppy Mafia Award from the brilliant Misery of the "Leftovers From Illumination" blog, (all the way from the second most Catholic country in Europe.) I love her blog, she's an amazing writer, with all the sarcasm and wit one could need and I get most of my worldly news from her. So onto the questionnaire...

1. Who is your style icon?
I'm not sure who to pick, I have so many current faves, but the person who
got me looking at clothing as more than just body coverage was my sister J1. I remember she had the best denim trench-like coat that I coveted as a preteen.
2. Which is your favourite socialite book?
I like biographies but I haven't read any of the socialites' books. My own drama is enough!
3. Favourite party theme?
Anything that I can dress up for...prom, Oscars, Halloween.
4. Go to Halloween costume.
Easy...a zombie. I love zombie movies, and it's weird to say this but I really admire the costume designers, special effects people and makeup artists that combine their talents for these gruesome tales.
5. Extravagance you cannot live without?
Toss up on this's either my computer, for obvious reasons or make up, again for obvious reasons.
6. Living person you admire?
Mom...anyone who can raise 4 girls by herself and still have her sanity wins hands down!
7. Greatest fears?
Ants and spiders...I'm crazy allergic to them.
8. Traits you deplore in yourself?
I'm a junk food junky! I love sweets of most kinds...which means I have to go to the gym and my dentist bills are outrageous! I just can't resist them!
9. Which talent would you most love to have?
Perhaps acting...I always play out scenes of life in my head and how they'd be on the big screen, or in a book. Or be able to write with my left hand...
10. Greatest achievement?
Quitting smoking...I just passed the 5 year mark. Although that being said, probably my most stupid act was to start in the first place...
So I'm passing this onto Erin, The Queen of Hearts, Pearl, and The Fashion Fool and anyone else who'd like to participate...I'm always curious to see how others answer the questions!

Thanks again Misery!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Random #2

Thoughts to share...

1) I finally have a twitter account, but I'm still learning how to use it. More on that later.

2) Walgreen's has a sale on the Sinful Nail Polishes, 2/$3...I don't think it's for all the colors (I could be wrong about this) and the sale probably ends on Saturday or Sunday. My sister J4 was kind enough to pick up these lovely spring shades for me...

Sorry, it's a phone shot so the quality isn't that good.
Clockwise from the top: Boom Boom, a bright pink; Purple Diamond, a sheer lavender with sparkle; and my new favorite, Tapping Nails, orange with a gold undertone. Gorgeous! I looked for the sale on line, but I didn't find it, so it may be an in store sale only.

3) If you're into art, here's a site with a twist
The artist, Cecilia Illes-Hostetler, has synesthesia, which is the ability to braid together different sensories. When she sees a name or a group of numbers, she also sees them as colors and is able to put it into paintings. That's sort of a simplified version, but check out the site, it's fascinating!

4) These shoes...

A little more cute than what I normally pick, and the heel, while not really a true kitten, is much lower (about 2 inches vs. 4 and up,) than I normally wear. I purchased them about 4 years ago for work and the in the same week, they instituted a closed toe shoe policy. Go figure. Anyway, they've been hanging out in my closet and often get pulled to the donate pile but never seem to make it to Goodwill. I've worn them maybe 5 times in total, they get compliments and they're relatively comfortable. I know a lower heel is in this summer, so my question to you...should I keep them or send them off?


Monday, May 3, 2010

Compromise For My Closet

I haven't worn a pair of white shoes for years. In fact, I just donated a pair of white low mules (work shoes,) that I think I wore exactly once. And truth be told, I find white shoes a bit hard to work with. Any pair of lace up white shoes and I automatically think "nurse." Flats = little girl. Heels, well, I'm not getting married. But, for some strange reason, white heels are a top priority on my list of summer must haves.

Anyway, I've been hunting around for a pair of white heels but since it isn't Memorial Day yet, they've been rather hard to find, even on line. The majority of what I've come across are your typical satin, wedding "dyeables." Ugly. (Unless, as I said before, you're getting married. I'm not.)

I was getting ready to give up the search for another month when I came across these...

They are absolutely nothing like I had envisioned yet they sort of became the perfect compromise. A black and white color combo is something I can easily work into my closet. I like the shape, the half heel/half wedge along with a platform are actually quite comfy and highlighting the heel in gold gives a weird architectural feel to them.

Top view...

Maybe they're just over the top and weird. It doesn't matter. I like them anyway.