November 30, 2010

Tibi Chantilly Dress Review

Oh how I loved this Tibi Chantilly dress when I first saw it on Shopbop! I waited patiently for a sale and eventually it was marked 70% off during's Thanksgiving promotion. I hoped it would be true to size for Tibi but noticed the narrow hips so I ordered one size up. This was a mistake. I should have grabbed a dress that was two sizes up because the hips run very narrow. But the top kind of runs on the bigger side of true. The dilemma meant that despite the great price, I've already returned it without bothering to locate an exchange. The dress is lined and a cotton silk blend which is substantially stiffer than my 100% silk Tibi's. Although I adore the print, I am just not built for this kind of shape. The shot of the back is especially lumpy. Oh well!

November 29, 2010

Less is More OOTD

See by Chloé Peter Pan Collar Dress (similar here, here, and cool top version here)
Tibi Ruffle Coat (similar here and here)
Nine West Mary Jane Pumps (similar here and here)

Although I am plagued by an addiction to prints, now and then I err on the simpler side of things. On a chilly day, I wore my thick wool peter pan collar baby dress from See by Chloé and opted to pair it with plain burgundy tights, wine colored pumps, and my gray Tibi coat. Although it was a very simply outfit, I was happy with the look. I carried an army green leather bag even though I wouldn't typically pair a shade from the red family with a shade from the green family. These more muted versions looked cool together, rather than Christmas-y. 

November 28, 2010

Window Shopping for the Holidays

Tibi Ruffle Coat (similar here)
Chie Mihara Lumi Flats (similar here)
Marc by Marc Jacobs Softy Max in Camo

A good friend of mine, Rachel recently moved back to Pittsburgh to get her PhD. This is very exciting because she is usually game for the sillier things, like heading down town to browse the holiday window displays at Macy's and what not. We did this about a week ago and snapped some photos in the process.

The theme this year was a commercially linked one to celebrate a book (and maybe soon-to-be movie?) re-release of Yes, Virginia: There Is a Santa Claus. But the windows themselves were cut paper dioramas that were angled interestingly (and sometimes with disorienting results). I always like to check out the holiday windows but haven't had a partner in crime with which to do it for some time. 

Unfortunately, for Pittsburghers Macys is probably the last remaining downtown department store to really take seriously holiday decor. While Saks includes a few tasteful holiday themed touches, their windows are usually designed with an intent to move product, rather than focus on the festive. 

(photo from the Diocese of Pittsburgh website)

But there are plenty of sites to see otherwise! Market Square and the ice skating rink at PPG Place come to mind. Then there is the huge Creche (nativity scene) at the USX Steel Tower. Supposedly this is the only creche in the world that is an authorized (to scale) replica of the one in Vatican City during the Christmas season.

And I always enjoy seeing the tree (even from afar in a parking garage) at the City County Building. I automatically begin humming Silver Bells in my head every time I spot it. Do other city dwellers seek out the holiday decorations at their favorite downtown spots?

November 27, 2010

Giving Thanks

This year I feel particularly grateful for so much. Here is a list that is by no means comprehensive:

*The health and wellness of my immediate family. I feel so fortunate for that and my heart aches with empathy for those facing serious illnesses and health challenges within theirs. 
*Chris, to whom I wrote a love letter earlier this week and with whom I hope to be, ad infinitum.

*Related, my loved ones. All those family members and friends who physically and/or spiritually enveloped Chris and me as we declared our commitment to each other in marriage just a few weeks ago.
*Speck the dog who brings joy to my life every day with her little face.

*The wheels of social progression. I personally believe that I stand on the shoulders of feminist women who came before me in the fight against sexism. There's still work to do but I am grateful for the incredible amount of headway made in the last 100 years.
*The cocktail of luck, timing, and labor that yielded a job despite all odds (literally).
*Perspective and how it humbles and challenges me to be a better, more thoughtful person.
*The technological developments that make distance less daunting for families and couples. My parents marveled over how exciting it was to Skype with Chris who was in St. Barths this week for Thanksgiving. And it reminded me of how fortunate we are to have economic and technological access to such an invention.
*The ability to give back. Whether it is through donations of time, labor, and/or finances, it serves an important reminder to keep a reasonable perspective, particularly when it comes to one's own privileges. Rather than buying something superfluous for myself, I can take those funds and put them into charities or other giving opportunities. This week my university is collecting toys and clothing from the wishlists of local children who participate in the Head Start program. I chose one boy and one girl, both four years old, and had such fun shopping for them.  Here are some of the gifts:

*The reminder that so many are less fortunate due to the extreme privilege disparities (economic and otherwise) that exist in the United States and all over the globe. And the desire to work to change or ameliorate those disparities in ways both small and large.

Happy (belated) Thanksgiving!

November 23, 2010

Lappula Dress Review

I tried this Anthropologie dress (called Lappula) on the other day because I liked the vibrant print. But the fit was definitely not my thing. I grabbed an 8 which fit large up top but fit ok on the bottom. I think I could have sized down to a 6 but didn't care to try. The length hit me in a place that made the whole thing feel really frumpy. I'm sure this can be accessorized to look really cute but I wasn't wowed when I got this into the dressing room. Although I love the colors in this dress, I am going to pass on this one entirely.

November 22, 2010

See by Chloé Mandala Dress

My wardrobe has an excess of printed dresses. There is no reason why a reasonable thoughtful person would need so many superfluous things. So I am going to blame the lonesome blues on my decision to nab this Mandala Print See by Chloé dress on a much nicer sale than its listed price. After it sank in that Chris would be researching for a few months in a place very inconvenient for me to visit on the weekend (unlike when I was researching in DC, for example) I allowed the emotional, irrational aspects of consumer ideology to take over. That speaks to the lure of the consumer fix as well as the weakness of my own character when I was feeling mopey. I had no intention to keep this dress. Above I was *just* trying it on (you can see the wrinkles from its transit in a box) but later that day I decided to wear it to dinner at Salt and to a party. So in doing so I have apparently decided to keep it. Although I used the balance in my Paypal account to pay for it, and it felt like I wasn't spending anything technically, still. This is self-indulgent. And so near to the holiday season! I already decided what I will do to balance it out in the universe. I really intended to be frugal this season when it came to myself. I will blog about that how thankful I am to also be able to consume less self-indulgently in a few days.

November 21, 2010

Anna Sui Peter Pan Dress For Day?

A few weeks ago, I found this classic Anna Sui dress on ebay for a steal. I already owned it, but in a smaller size (bought from ebay a while back). I ended up grabbing the bigger size anyway.  The smaller size was just too short to wear comfortably/with modesty. This one is a generously proportioned size 8, and a great deal longer than the 4. When it arrived I immediately began wearing it. And I decided it was the perfect piece to implement in a Halloween costume. This year I was Wednesday Addams. But after having worn it as a costume, it has become difficult for me to view it as anything else. What do you think? Is it too absurd for day?

BTW, I am selling the smaller, shorter version on my shop blog, where you can see just how short the smaller size was on me. Check it out here.

November 20, 2010

Marc by Marc Jacobs Gilded Sunflower Dress (from Gossip Girl)

This week I noticed Blair was wearing yet another MBMJ look. This time she was in the Gilded Sunflower dress. I didn't post my review before because I wasn't crazy about how this one looked on me at all. But I figured if interest grew (as it often does once something is on GG) I could offer my review.

The dress is really beautiful in person. The brocade of the fabric and the details of the dress are what you would expect from MBMJ quality. It is visually a very stunning piece and I grabbed an 8 off the rack because that was as large a size they had. I knew it would likely be snug in the hips and it was. The waist and above were true to size. I had no trouble zipping it up. But I think I would have had issues trying to sit down and be comfortable. I would have had to pair this with spanx or size up to make the 8 work. So I would argue to size up if you had curvier hips like I do. It would make a great party dress but it could also be toned down with a cardigan and flats for a pretty work look.

November 19, 2010

Old Favorite: DVF Nadine

I wore this old favorite to campus last week but forgot my camera. And I liked the photo on the left because Speck decided it was playtime! She definitely misses Chris and she isn't the only one! Anyway, this dress is an old favorite of mine because it is so simple and comfortable. Although prevailing rules of fashion would argue against my sporting a drop waist shape, I think it looks cute and the rose shower print is graphic and interesting. Chelsea Clinton has this dress and wore it when she was campaigning for her mom so I now think of it as my Chelsea dress. I paired it with a cashmere boyfriend cardigan and Chloe lock flats.

November 18, 2010

Anthropologie Review plus quick OOTD

The Charente Skirt by Floreat is very lovely on the hanger. The lace overlay creates an interesting disruption to the stripes underneath. The ornate, embroidered waistband was a special detail that added value and uniqueness to the piece. I grabbed an 8 and the fit was exactly true to size. I had comfortable room but everything fit appropriately too. I think this one is a bit long for me but that is good news for tall gals! It could very easily be dressed up for a party or worn in a more casual setting.

I wore the Nanette Lepore Cafe Sheath with a See by Chloe cardigan, Chie Mihara Lumi flats, and my Tibi ruffle coat. I carried an older season Marc by Marc Jacobs Softy Max Tote in Camouflage green pebbled leather. I'm really happy with how this bag has held up over the years. I bought it as a self bday present back in 2008 and carried it quite a bit since then. You can see it on the stool or featured more prominently here, here, and here.

November 17, 2010

Anthropologie Dress Reviews: Watercolor Folds and First Whisperings

Yesterday, because of the newest round of price cuts at Anthropologie I decided to see if the Brief Meeting Blazer still enticed me. My plan was foiled as it was sold out in my size. But while there I tried on a few dresses and wanted to share.

Long drawn to the muted hues but graphic print of this Sunner number called the First Whisperings dress, I grabbed the only one in my store. It was a size smaller than what I would have typically grabbed but the loose style seemed forgiving. This is a small. The fit is a bit snug around the bust but not insurmountably so. And the shape is otherwise right up my alley. Perhaps it isn't the sexiest silhouette but it is one I often wear because it is comfortable and comforting. The fabric is very lovely in person. The dress is unlined and simple. The sizing is on the larger side of things because of its billowy shape. I find it to be a bit expensive for what you get so this one is going on the wishlist!

The next dress I tried was from Tibi, one of my favorites brands. The style, called the Watercolor Folds Dress wasn't something I would typically wear, particularly because of the short length. The length is only exacerbated by the bubble hem. And the draping, while potentially dreamy on some looked pretty bulky and messy on me. I am wearing an 8 which is my typical Tibi size in dresses. It fit comfortably in the waist, hips, and bust but the length bordered on scandalous. It was marked down in my store (Pittsburgh's Bakery Square) to $178ish (I think) and they had sizes 4-8 if you are trying to track one down. I'm sorry I don't have the item number for this one handy. 

When I have a bit more time I'll add a skirt and dress review. Things are hectic today though. Thanks for reading!

November 16, 2010

Playing with the Queen of Hearts

I wore this second cut sale buy, the Pinochle skirt with a cardigan from Macys and some Giuseppe Zanotti studded captoe flats to teach my classes last Friday. I was glad this came in a petite length because hemming a patterned style where the most interesting parts of the fabric are at the bottom of the skirt would be a significant tailoring challenge. The petite sizing is smaller in the waist though. I wish I had sized up to the size 10p but it was sold out. The 8p fits albeit in a slightly constricted way. I wouldn't wear this one on Thanksgiving. :)

Still I adore the playing card print and am glad I snagged this for $20.

November 15, 2010

Guest Blogging Over at Shoe Love!!

Today I wrote a guest entry on the blog of my favorite shoe fetishist, dear friend of 10 years, and talented hair stylist, Erin of Shoe Love! Be sure to check it out!! And while you're at it, browse around the blog and take in her enviable shoe collection. Thank you for the opportunity to review my shoes, Erin! xo

Wearing Anthro PJs to Sunday Brunch

I already posted about wearing the Distant Chirping bird print chemise as a dress, but this time I made it fall appropriate. I went to brunch with a friend and paired it with a many seasons old Anthropologie cardigan, tights, and Chloe flats. I bought these funny twisty bobby pins to try to put my hair up without a thousand pins and it was barely successful. Oh well!

November 12, 2010

Holiday Party Attire Inspiration Board

I don't know if I will be able to attend any holiday parties this year as I will be out of the country during the prime period for them, but I still find myself staring longingly at festive frocks. Here are a few of my favorites.


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