August 30, 2011

Lusting for fall booties

Just as I didn't really need anything for back-to-school, I don't really need anything for fall. In my closet, cardigans, cords, and lightweight topcoats are plentiful. I already stocked up on my favorite tights during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale (btw, yay for Nordstrom's free shipping both ways!). The only thing I am missing is a pair of cool black leather booties. I am obsessed with these. Rachel Comey, why are you so expensive?! Blogger shout outs to Sarah of Motion and Heart and Gretchen of Gretchen's Closet for introducing me such beautiful footwear on their own blogs.

Also, there's still time to enter my Shabby Apple dress giveaway!

August 29, 2011

Weekend Dress Haul

Old Navy dress

In addition to the lion's share of heirloom tomatoes and other produce I bought from Farmers at the Firehouse, this weekend I grabbed an Old Navy dress I've wanted for a while. One of my fellow posters who blogs at overcaffeinated wrote about it originally.  It was always sold out in my size online and the fit reviews were mixed so I was glad to track one down in store. With the friends and family coupon from last weekend, it ended up costing around $25, which I think is a decent deal. For people interested in the chambray or navy version of this simple shirt dress, I've included my review below.

Although most of the clothing at Old Navy runs large, this dress runs true to size. I tried both an 8 and a 10, and bought the 10. It is especially snug across the bust and the 10 offered additional space plus a bit more length. It's kind of short, it is unlined, the buttons are a bit difficult to undo, and the fabric is thicker/stiffer than a nicer quality chambray. It doesn't have a side zip so the button functionality is important, in my opinion. But the skirt's pleats are really flattering, it has pockets, and the sleeves can button to be above elbow or 3/4 length. It is offered in navy and chambray. I view it as a more casual, slightly shorter, less poofy, and much cheaper version of the popular Reed Shirtdress from Anthropologie (see my review and posts of that here).

If you want to track one down, you can call Old Navy customer service and see if your local store is stocked. The item number (at least for chambray) is 889438. I don't know the item number for navy. If you do want to buy one in store, be sure to run a search for any current Old Navy coupons before your visit. I didn't even have to print anything out. I just showed the friends and family coupon on my phone and the sales person used her store coupon for application. Hope this helps!

Also, be sure to enter my Shabby Apple giveaway, if you've not already done so!

August 27, 2011

Quick outfit from a quick shopping excursion

Kate Spade rosette top layered with NY and Co. Shirt
Anthro skirt
Chloé flats (barely visible)
Vintage bag
Starfish bracelet

Last night I stopped by Old Navy in search of one specific chambray shirt dress that I've admired on the website (but can never catch in stock, in my size). This is what I wore. It's funny how the sartorial blogosphere hive-minds* so many of its members into sporting the same trends (arm parties, for example). I was originally wearing a sleeveless top with the Amhara skirt but wanted a layer to wear in air conditioning. I grabbed a casual button front shirt and randomly tied a knot in the front (as I did so often in the early 90s). It was my low stakes experiment for the evening and I have to admit that I hated it. I don't care for how it looks on me personally (it looks so sloppy... other bloggers really pull it off somehow) but even worse, I felt like I was adjusting it constantly. Suffice it to say that this is a trend I will be skipping from this day forward.

On a more serious note, I hope that those of you on the East Coast and in the path of extreme weather stay safe and dry this weekend!

*I'm not sure if using "hive mind" as a verb makes sense anywhere except my own brain.

August 25, 2011

Win an adorable dress in your size from Shabby Apple!

Mariposa Grove dress

I've posted before about my own luck when it comes to blogger giveaways. So whenever the opportunity arises to pay forward that good fortune, I jump at it. Thanks to the fine folks at Shabby Apple, you have the chance to win the above, adorable multi-season dress. If you aren't familiar with the boutique, Shabby Apple carries casual and occasion clothing with unique feminine details, drawing inspiration from vintage styles.

What drew me to this particular dress, called Mariposa Grove, was that the shape could flatter many figures and different body types. It is available in other colors (Cider and Trevi Fountain) but the kelly green hue of Mariposa Grove was my personal favorite. The style has longevity and versatility in that you could wear it to dinner or to the office, depending on how you accessorized. The bright green shade can be toned down with a solid blazer or punched up with a printed cardigan. I love the pretty details that embellish the top of this dress.

You must be located in the US.
You must be a subscriber of Consume or Consumed.

To enter, please leave a comment indicating your contact info (blog link, email, or twitter handle, etc.) and how you subscribe to Consume or Consumed (i.e. bloglovin, rss, or google reader/friend connect).

To gain extra entries (one possible entry per action), leave additional comments stating that you've:

Blogged the giveaway (with a link to the post)
Like Shabby Apple on Facebook
Like Consume or Consumed on Facebook
Tweeted the giveaway @jesspgh (with a link to the tweet)

The contest will close at 11:59pm EST on Thursday, September 1, 2011.

The winner will be chosen one week from today via drawing on to receive the Mariposa Grove dress which will ship directly from Shabby Apple. I will contact and announce the winner on Friday morning.

If you can't wait that long, Shabby Apple has offered an exclusive 10% off discount to readers of Consume or Consumed. Use coupon code consumeorconsumed10off (available and active until September 24th, 2011) at checkout. Have fun exploring the adorable women's dresses, little girl's dresses, and maternity dresses available on Shabby Apple's website!

Little Girls Dresses from Shabby Apple

August 24, 2011

Scenes from the Delaware Shore

Not long ago my parents planned the first family vacation we've had in years. And we had a great time. Here are some photos from the trip.

Playing skeeball in a Rehoboth boardwalk arcade


That same arcade had a few rules, one of which was no pizza.* I decided to express my disapproval.

The Funland amusement park had a silly haunted house (and the arcade had a photobooth) which resulted in these silly photos.

A few from the beach in Dewey (where dogs are permitted before 9:30 and after 5:30!):

We all had a blast creating such fond memories of our time spent. I hope we get to go again! Thanks for reading.  

*I realize that the rule was actually no food or drink but the circle slash through the painted slice of pizza was just too funny. 

August 23, 2011

End of summer jewelry buy

Rosa from Love at First Shop posted on Fashionism about these interesting starfish bracelets for sale at a website called Shop Suey. I was unfamiliar with the site. And the gold color I preferred was on backorder. Still I decided to make a request for one of each. Both the gold and silver arrived yesterday and I think they're pretty cool!

Rosa is wearing hers in today's outfit post. Because I just got mine I only managed to snap an iphone photo of how they look when layered together. Now I have to decide if I can I get away with wearing these after labor day.

August 22, 2011

Casual Coral OOTD

Kate Spade top and make up bag/clutch
Anthro skirt
BP sandals
Vintage necklace

I bought this rosette top from the Kate Spade outlet in Rehoboth and wore it this week. It was marked 75% off which made it a great bargain. I like it because the embellished front reminds me of the Bold Boutonnière dress. Even many years later, it is hard for me to look at a rosette-adorned bodice without thinking of one of my favorite outfits ever shown on Sex and the City.

Carrie wore it when she flew to Paris and the combo of stripes and textures floored me.

My top and the Bold Boutonnière dresses aren't exact mirrors of the fancy and dramatic pleating of Carrie's designer duds. But I still think this detail is 're fun in every iteration.

Congrats to Cecilia, the winner of the Anjolee giveaway!

To be transparent about the administration of this contest, I want to clarify some things. Before generating random draw, I checked entries to confirm eligibility. I also added appropriate comments to apply additional entries (for liking Anjolee or Consume or Consumed on Facebook and for tweeting) to those contestants that didn't already do so. I then closed the comments (of which there were 156) and entered the numbers into which generated the following:

Displaying the "oldest comments first" I counted from the beginning to comment number 21, which is commenter/reader Cecilia.

Congratulations to Cecilia! I have emailed her, cc'ing the representative with Anjolee who will administer the delivery of her prize. Yay!

I want to thank Anjolee for hosting this exciting and generous giveaway!!

Thank you also to the wonderful readers who participated in the contest. Don't fret if you didn't win this one. I will be announcing another exciting giveaway this week so be sure to stay tuned.

August 19, 2011

My tight dress in real life

Excuse the classy throne pictured behind me. haha

I snapped this shot after eating four courses of food and drinks. And thank goodness that dress was stretchy. But I felt good. It was really fun to wear something unlike my tried and true. And I was glad to get use from something that I have owned and not worn for years. Thank you for your input.

August 18, 2011

On wearing tight dresses

(in black or pink)
(Disregard my bedhead and lack of make up. I snapped these like Cher from Clueless to get an idea of how I'd look. 
When I feel insecure it's as though mirrors can't be trusted).

As the overwhelming majority of my outfits indicate, I tend to avoid clingy silhouettes on my lower half. I'd rather put on a tent dress that creates a potato-esque shape than wear something that hugs me all over. But tonight I am going with some friends to a place I wouldn't normally go. And both the scene and the dress code indicate that I would fit with the crowd if I wore something tight. Although my body image is usually sound, I'm also human. And on occasion (on a bad self esteem day) the mere thought of wearing something tight on my lower half gives me a pang of panic. My body insecurities stem mostly from the span of my hips and thighs, both of which are functional (making my irrationality feel even more silly when I confront it and think it through). In fact the realization that every bathing suit I'd buy would still expose those parts led me to start wearing bikinis (despite inhabiting what most would deem a decidedly un-bikini body). Realizing my own irrationality makes me interested in wearing this dress. Of course, it's possible that I will cave and wear a girlie, comfortingly full skirt. Still the opportunity to break out of my comfort zone is tempting.

I  bought this dress a few years ago when I was feeling relatively body confident. Although my shape hasn't changed that much in the interim, I never wore it out of my house. It's so silly to hang on to something because you like the idea of it more so than how it looks on you. But I can't get rid of this dress. I altered its length to my body. And I *want* to feel like it is something I can wear, regardless of the number on the scale or the size on the tag. I believe in health at any size. And I know if I saw another woman wearing it, I would think "hot dress!" It is just that I have never been the kind of gal who wears hot dresses. Plus wearing it would be in defiance of "the rules" for dressing a body my size. Rules with which I strongly disagree. Rules that make women of all sizes feel inadequate. I want to be the sort of person who is comfortable defying rules that make women feel irrationally bad about their able and healthy bodies. But can the mere act of wearing a dress (that, lets face it, conforms to sexy and even sexist standards) even accomplish such a thing? I know I am over thinking. But that is my way...

Are there shapes and silhouettes to which you gravitate or favor in your dressing? If given an occasion to try something new with little risk (beyond the confrontation of your own admittedly irrational hangups), would you take it? And can the act of wearing a tight dress on a non-model frame do anything more than conform to/confirm ideals that are sexist anyway?

August 17, 2011

Eight years

Although we just got married last October, an anniversary that matters so much to me is today. Eight years ago on this date, Chris made his move (after I choreographed a series of maneuvers that made it clear that such a move would be well-received). Following a heated game of RISK and the consumption of some Dutch courage, the ambiguity of our previous courtship melted away. Today we're celebrating with some baseball, some wine, and a pizza. No frills necessary. My mom took this photo of us on the beach in Delaware last week.

Some Kate Spade Dress Reviews

Although I don't live very far away from a Kate Spade retail store, I never get to try on all the dresses that tempt me. My store just doesn't carry a lot of clothing. And I don't frequent the fancy suburban mall that houses this store unless I have an explicit reason (for example, if I need to buy a registry gift before attending a friend's wedding). It's difficult to find good deals on this brand and with such sky high prices (even on sale), my budget doesn't leave a lot of room for ebay error.

I've come to rely on blogger fit reviews (from Anjali or Carol, for example) to inform my online sale purchases. And because I am grateful for the info they've shared (and because I've received a few emails with questions about fit for this brand), I decided it could be helpful to share my own. Recently I visited a KS outlet that had tons of clothing (discounted an additional 50% from the lowest price). I also snagged a few dresses for good prices on the Bloomingdales website.

This Candy Shop Jeanette dress was the centerpiece of the Spring 2011 advertising campaign.

Candy Shop Jeanette (sold out online)
See the Jeanette in other colorways here and here.

Although it was pretty bright, I thought the colors were fun and imagined wearing it to summery events or (because of the rainbow palette) during GLBT pride week. I ordered a 10 because that was the last size remaining (knowing that the two KS shirtdresses I own, named Calista and Violetta are both 8s). The Jeanette runs similarly to the Calista and the Violetta. An 8 would have been a good fit. The 10 was too large in the shoulders and torso. It was also a bit too long. I could have altered it but I didn't envision wearing something this bright frequently enough to make it worth the extra cash. The silk is of a very high quality. The buttons are shiny and gold. The dress is fully lined with pockets, a side zip, and a pink patent belt. It is currently available in the outlet stores for around what I paid on sale at Bloomingdales. I am not sure if the outlets will ship but the Rehoboth Tanger had every size except 8 as of last week. Oh well!

Other Jillian styles: floral, black, and striped.

This Jillian dress is released regularly in different colors and prints. I ordered a 10 again (because that was what was available) and found it to be too large in the bodice, waist, and length. There were no Jillians in the outlet I visited. But the dress has a back zip, front pleating that is pocket-like, a full lining, and a pretty bow detail at the waist.

Kate Spade Calista and Violetta

Above are the Calista and the Violetta in size 8. The Calista has shorter sleeves, buttons all the way down the front (eliminating the need for a side zip), and includes carefully pleated ruffles that trim the button placket. It is unlined and made of a thicker silk jersey (almost like a DVF) that offers a bit of stretch. It comes with a matching fabric belt. The Violetta is a thinner but substantive silk fabric with a side zip, puffed sleeves, side pockets, a ruffled placket, and buttons to the waist. It should come with a patent belt.

 Kate Spade Nellie and Natalia

In my experience, the Nellie is very similar to the Violetta in terms of fit except the sleeve holes are a bit smaller/more snug. For both of these styles the button placket features a ruffle (slightly more exaggerated with the Nellie) and stops at the waist. They also both have pockets, side zips, and should come with belts. They are both unlined silk. The Natalia is another dress released regularly in various prints. My polka dot version is fully lined. I am wearing a size 8 but the hips are narrower than the shirt dress styles and narrower than the Jillian. The bust has plenty of room. There are pockets, a side zip, and a belt.

Overall, the sizing for this brand is generous and similar to many Anthro lines or Marc by Marc Jacobs. Like anthro or mbmj, a straighter cut skirt or dress requires me to size up due to my hips. I hope this helps you find good deals on a cute brand that can be annoyingly expensive!


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