July 31, 2010

Streets Ahead Bow Belt

I don't usually linger for long in the accessories section at Saks. It is populated by fancy bags, small leather goods, sunglasses, scarves, and other things I tend to buy either significantly reduced or secondhand. But as I was waiting for my friend so we could head to happy hour, I spotted the cutest bow belt from Streets Ahead. It was made of very supple black leather with trim that looked like zipper teeth. And it was on major sale. I tried on a size medium over my outfit that day and was smitten. And I so happened to need a black leather fashion belt since my Forever 21 standbys were too larger and my Linea Pelle studded double buckle belt is a bit masculine to match with everything.

In other news I tried on the above purple plaid See by Chloé dress last year in DC at Cusp. You can read my initial post on that here. And I don't recall it being quite this sheer (notice my tag in the sideview!) and I don't remember thinking it would require a slip but this obviously does. Yoox had it for a very low price so I decided to order a couple of things to try on at home. I will update with those purchases (one of which might be a special occasion dress if I decide to keep it) in my next update.

After I searched a bit, I couldn't find the Streets Ahead bow belt but I found many others in a range of prices here:


July 30, 2010

Wedding Shoes, a Sneak Dress Peek, and Store Review Followup

Sorry for the silence yesterday. On the way to my dress fitting at Anne Gregory For the Bride, I ran into some car trouble. Afterwards I decided to trek to my parents' house so I could take my car to their trusted mechanic and found myself sans bathing suit, pajamas, laptop, glasses, phone charger, and everything else. But I had a blast during my impromptu visit home and am back with a working car!

While at Anne Gregory I was able to finalize my shoe choice with the help of the commenters on this post, my mom, my sister, and Gregory who, despite some mixed reviews here and regardless of my (relatively) inexpensive closeout dress purchase, was supportive and warm throughout my appointment. And we decided together that the Louboutin's were the most glamorous and comfortable option to wear with my gown. I love the purple Caparros too and might wear them to my rehearsal dinner (since I might have picked out a different outfit for that too) but the Stuart Weitzmans are going back. They're gorgeous and fancy but too high for me to realistically wear and too expensive for me to justify as a new purchase.

I also learned my long line Le Mystére Bridal Bustier was a little bulky for my dress. I brought it along with my shoe options to test with my dress during the fitting appointment and am now glad I kept the tags attached. I might take the advice of the Saks Pittsburgh bra magician (aka the intimates sales associate who knows bra sizes even when women are wearing winter coats!) and wear a regular bra with shapewear. It isn't glamorous but it seems most practical and supportive. I am going to try a downtown Pittsburgh store the seamstress recommended called Smart Form Inc.

I know wedding chatter has increased here but that is mostly related to how I've been consuming lately. My consumption has been dominated by wedding business and it is hard to shop for other things when my budget is tied up in this particular looming occasion. BTW, I know from the photo the gown looks a little over the top. I promise it is tasteful in person when you see all of it. Have a great weekend, everyone!

July 28, 2010

Saks 70% Off Rack Fitting Room Reviews

Nanette Lepore's oddly named Parrotfish dress (buy it here, here, or here) was mistakenly on the 70% off rack, and of course it ended up being the hit of the fitting room. I am wearing a size 8 and I would say this dress runs on the smaller side of true to size. A series of hook and eyes and a bonus keyhole  make the heavily decorated bodice structured and formidable. The shape/silhouette was very similar to the Paris Cafe Sheath (blogged here) and I've noticed Nanette Lepore often does the same basic dress with detail changes across collections so sizing would translate easily from that to this, in my opinion. I passed because it was still too pricey but the quality and intricate details were outstanding.
Nanette Lepore's Summer Love dress in lavender (buy it in pink here or black here) was much trickier in terms of fit. The body-conscious shape meant for me that the hips would be too snug if the bust fit. I tried on a too-small 8 (pictured above) that could have possibly been saved with shapewear but I refuse to buy pieces that need shapewear because that requirement is enough to leave something languishing on a hanger rather than being worn many times over. It had thick shoulderpads that gave the poof sleeves structure. It was fully lined and included pockets.
This simple silk jersey dress from Tibi had a print that wow'd me and was on super sale. I am wearing a medium so I would say this runs a little large, especially in the waist. I needed a belt to correct for the lack of structure, causing the dress to hang off my widest parts without fitting or emphasizing my narrowest.
This leaf-print bubble hem skirt by Marc by Marc Jacobs was very inexpensive (buy it for cheap here). The size 10 was true to MBMJ sizing and a little big on me. But to compensate for the short length, I sized up. I passed even though the price was low because of the short length.
Lastly, this drapey cardigan from Alice + Olivia was soft and comfortable in a size medium. But it felt like a robe and looked pretty messy on me. I passed even at 70% off.

I'll be back tomorrow with a roundup of the few foundation pieces I did buy on megasale and my first wedding dress fitting OOTD. Thanks for reading! 

July 27, 2010

Forever 21 Dress as a Top

I lamented the shorter length of this Forever 21 dress the other day when I first wore it. I tried to remedy the problem (all too common with skirts/dresses from F21) by layering a slip underneath. And that was fine. But I wanted to try it another way to visit a friend downtown for happy hour. We met up in Saks to check out the 70% off sales. So I decided to style it as a top. I think it works particularly well with this high waisted skirt by Lauren Moffatt from Anthropologie. I paired it with a vintage necklace, some teal suede Chloé flats, and a Longchamp Le Pliage tote.
You can see the details better here. I liked how the skirt highlighted the mustard yellow accents of the top. The Saks sales associate was also wearing Forever 21 (unless this is a very literal knock off of something else). Tomorrow if I have time before my first wedding dress fitting, I'll post a few fitting room reviews from the 70% off rack.

July 26, 2010

Mad for Feminine "New" Look Plaid!

Wore Anthropologie's Reed Shirtdress in red plaid yesterday in anticipation of Mad Men season 4 episode 1. Sure it is a little 1950s and not at all new look in length, but the weather was just cool enough to pull off after a spate of 90+degree heat and unfathomable humidity.
I threw my hair up in a messy French twist (that unfortunately didn't last through my dog walk because I forgot about the necessity of hair spray) and put on my exaggerated cat eye frames. Went to a friend's house to watch the premier with many other friends. Chris made a pitcher (yes, an entire pitcher) of gimlets that went quickly. Afterwards we had those who walked home from the party over for nightcaps. The men had Cuban cigars in the back yard. It felt very appropriate but I didn't get to bed 'til almost 3am.

It was a fantastic episode and sartorially speaking I was most thrilled by Joanie's violet blue, body-conscious ruffle bib sheath. Disappointed by Betty's desperate wardrobe attempts to dress age appropriately in adaptation to her role as new wife of Henry Francis. Honorable mention goes to Peggy's excellent bubble bob hairdo! Did anyone else dress for the occasion?

July 25, 2010

Dressed to Register

I wore this silk See by Chloé dress to do some wedding errand running with Chris. In truth, we were registering for wedding/shower gifts to assist our relatives. A nagging inner Emily Post wishes this practice was less standard wedding fare. And I do I have a few friends who have forgone the (relatively) traditional registry entirely in favor of a few more modern approaches. 

These ran the gamut from 'donations to a charity in the name of,' to 'honeymoon activities websites,' to even more directly suggestive 'wedding paypal' accounts. But my parents claimed that family members would have been dissatisfied with any of those. My parents argued for practicality over risking quite a few miffed familial guests. It is standard fare in the wedding decorum of my family to give material gifts for a shower and monetary gifts for a wedding. Breeching such decorum, and forgoing the department store registry could have been interpreted as asking for money. Somehow suggesting the specific gifts we would like sits easier. Of those of you who had wedding celebrations, what did you do?

July 22, 2010

Choosing Wedding Shoes: Advice Would Be Nice!

I am a little confused and since I will have my first dress fitting on Wednesday of this coming week, I need to decide soon. I have some great options and this is in theory a good thing. But sometimes options can makes decisions more difficult. How do you choose pieces for a big event where you know you will remember what you wore? I talked about this before a bit but projecting that kind of anticipation onto a wedding day has me a little intimidated.
This first pair is technically something old. I have had them for almost a year now. They are not very high (3 inches maybe?). It would be practical to wear something I already own but a slingback could dig into my heels causing eventual discomfort. Plus the color reads pretty yellowy with flash and I worry that I should maybe try to dye them to be a little more neutral. I don't have a shoe dye person so I would need to find someone on the fly to do this.
The second pair would be new. I can still return them to Endless. They just arrived yesterday and are a little high even with a platform.  I like that they are a neutral formal color and they have a full back. I would probably wear them again if I kept them but they are the most expensive of my options so returning might be smart.
These are pretty comfortable but still a slingback. My bridal attendants are wearing a purple color similar to this (well I didn't actually dictate what anyone wear except that they wear something purple so who knows the hues that will result but this is the color my sister is wearing). They're pretty enough but new so less financially practical than something old. Still reasonably priced on sale. I would be able wear them again to weddings and what not.
My dress is long so the likelihood of people seeing my shoes for a longer stretch of time than a moment is not that great. Unless I pick up my dress a few times for steps or something. Do I go for comfort? Wear something old? Something new? Go glam, practicality/comfort be damned? Do I bring two pairs in case of emergency (and if so should that be flats instead of heels? Do I return the new stuff because weddings are financially impractical enough on their own?

This is certainly not a "problem" or a "dilemma" so much as a minor moment of privileged confusion but I would love some input.

July 21, 2010

Forever 21 Find and Pittsburgh Tailor Tip

I bought this dress yesterday from Forever 21 while out and about with my mom and sister. We were shopping for an outfit for my mom to wear to the wedding and made a pit stop in Forever 21 where my sis wanted to hopefully find something for the shower. Although she didn't have any shower luck, she found some wedding shoes at Marshalls. I grabbed this cheap little number from F21 because I loved the touches of color (mustard yellow, steel gray, seafoam, and muted teal) and the simple shape.
Dress from Forever 21
Hanky Panky slip underneath
Jimmy Choo Morse flats in purple
Balenciaga City
Vintage necklace
I wore it today to visit my tailor Geno in Oakland. He's excellent and I am having a few frocks taken in or shortened. He altered Chris's wedding suit and countless other pieces of his and his mom's (who told me to go there). He's a consummate pro and very personable! I hope to have some of my dresses back before he leaves to visit his brother in Italy. We'll see. But if any of you Pittsburghers are in need of a great tailor, The New Oakland Tailor on Meyran is the tops.

July 20, 2010

Rainforest Evening: Anthropologie OOTN

I wore Moulinette Souers' Rainforest Morning Shirtdress to dinner with friends the other day and snapped these photos after I got home. I knew it was humid but didn't realize I was about to dine in a place with an amazing patio. When given the option and weather permitting, I will always choose to eat outdoors! By the end of the night I was glistening a bit (as you can see above), but very sated. I paired it with my Anthropologie pop-back Infinity Belt and gray Burberry Jeweled flats. I carried a vintage satchel by Coach. Chris was mocking me and my indulgent self-photography in the center side view, hence my bemused look.

July 19, 2010

Nanette Lepore for a Wedding Afterpicnic in a Barn

I wore Nanette Lepore's aptly named "You'll Be Mine" dress on Saturday to celebrate the after-nuptials of some friends. The groom's grandparents reside on a beautiful farm in Evans City, north of Pittsburgh and famous because of Night of the Living Dead (which supplied some of the film's location).
You can see the back of the barn here.
I carried this Marc by Marc Jacobs Owl bag that I forgot I even had. It was a Beacon's Closet find from a New York visit a while back. I tucked it into a mismatched dustbag where it lived until I was cleaning this week. Anyway, the wedding after-picnic included a set by the wonderful Harlan Twins. Although we didn't camp, we had such a nice time and my heart was warmed by the happy and joyous looks the bride and groom kept exchanging. I even teared up a little, relating to their excitement and the fruition of so much anticipation. I've found it to be increasingly difficult to contain the emotional overwhelm I've always felt at weddings as my own wedding nears.

BTW, Roxy of Effortless Anthropologie is hosting an incredible "Lazy Giveaway" for a $250 Anthropologie Gift Card! Be sure to enter by going here.

July 17, 2010

The Return of Goldilocks and the Fit Dilemma

Sometimes semi-monogamous dressing gets me in trouble. My loyalty to a particular shape blinds my ability to evaluate which size to choose. This crepe See by Chloe dress has the exact lines and cut of the Trail Print dress I blogged earlier this week. And because the solid color version was unlined, I ordered a size up thinking it would be a good thing. Not so. This more generously cut dress makes me look lumpy and drab. Back to Yoox it goes!

Over on Shop JessPGH a cute button front skirt by Trovata is up along with a rundown of the items still available! Make me an offer!!

July 16, 2010

Anthropologie Wishlist

Currently coveting all of the above. I hope I can try on a few things this week. I am overwhelmed by hectic writing and planning schedules. Someone recently said to me that finishing a dissertation while planning a wedding is masochistic and they were not incorrect. I didn't plan it this way but to borrow from reality television clichés, it is what it is. 


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