Thursday, April 10, 2014

Reviews: Lots!

I made a trip to the Anthropologie sales room to see what's on offer today.

First, I tried on this silk top by HD in Paris.  It's also available in grey and white.  The material is really staticky and clingy, so it took some fiddling in order to make sure that the shirt was sitting correctly.  The colour is beautiful and I like the sweet little ruffles, but I wasn't impressed by the top's boxy shape.

Top: Tiered Midi Top
Next, I tried on the Laced Lantern Top, also available in black.  The body of the shirt is made of a comfy, sweatshirt-type material while the sleeves are a lighter, almost lacy fabric.  There is some poofiness going on in the sleeves where the seams are, as you can see.  Again, I find this top too boxy and shapeless.  This seems to be a common complaint of mine.  
Next up: the Laced Frost Dress in navy (also available in white).  It appears to be out of stock on the website but there were several different sizes in Calgary.  It is a heavier cotton (just the tiniest bit scratchy), with lace sleeves and an exposed zipper.  The paneling and seams on the dress are very flattering.  I thought this dress had a mod feel to it and actually wish it had been a bit shorter.  It's a beautiful dress and fits true to size, but it wasn't calling my name.
The Camo Pencil Skirt is a study in contrasts.  It's made of a black stretchy material, with a panel of shiny camo in the front and the back.  The waistband is a ribbed knit, and the skirt hits just below the knees on me.  At first, I didn't even realize the pattern was camo because it's so pretty and shiny.  The skirt fits true to size, and with its higher waist, I think it would pair nicely with crop tops.  The knit waistband and darker colours make me think of winter though, and as pretty as this skirt is, I don't think I can get over my aversion to camo.  

Skirt: Camo Pencil Skirt
There is a lot of fabric in the next dress, the Terrace Sheath.  It has a lacy crocheted netting with a pretty fuschia and green lining, and feels quite heavy and thick.  I feel like the lace is a bit too long and might have looked better if it was shorter than the lining.  Also, don't let its name fool you.  It's not a sheath, as the poofiness at my waist and hips will attest.  This dress just feels very voluminous.  

Dress: Terrace Sheath
I was surprised to see the Edisto Column Dress in the sale room as I find that the different incarnations of the column dress tend to sell at full price in my local store.  The material is very stretchy and the placement of the stripes is very strategic which makes the dress comfortable and flattering.  I tried this on in an XS and found it fits TTS.  If you like column dresses, this one gets my stamp of approval.  I didn't pick it up because it's too similar to the column dress I already own.

Dress: Edisto Column Dress
The next dress is business in the front, party in the back.  Remember how Bridget Jones' mum is always going on about having your colours done? My mom actually did this and concluded that we're both Winters.  I'm not sure what colour this is, apart from it being some variant of green, but it's definitely not a Winter colour.  I was surprised that it seemed to look ok with my skin tone.  The material is thick and lined with a hint of stretch, but it's still going to show every bump and curve.  The back is pretty and worth going to the website to check out.  I tried snapping a photo over my shoulder but couldn't get a good one.      

Dress: Crystal Structure Sheath

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Jeweled collars

Statement necklaces are kind of out of my comfort zone although I've seen lots of fashion bloggers rocking them.  I'd say my style tends to be pretty simple and unadorned, although lately I've been beginning to suspect that too often, I'm confusing simple with boring.

I think Anthropologie's Jewelscape Tee is a good way to ease myself into the statement necklace trend.  It's an older top, but seems to pop back fairly frequently.    

Top: Anthropologie, Jewelscape Tee (similar)
Vest: Central Park West, old (similar)
Jeans: American Eagle, old (similar)
Belt: Banana Republic, (currently on sale!)
Shoes: Nine West (similar)
In case you're wondering, Oscar is staring ahead with laser precision focus at... the dog treat on the counter.

Are there any trends you're intrigued by but hesitant to try?

Friday, March 28, 2014

A look back

Jenni over at Gnome Lover has a post up today for her fifteenth wedding anniversary.  Congratulations, Jenni!

In the comments, one of the bloggers mused that it would be fun to put up wedding photos.

So, here's mine.

We'll be celebrating our sixth wedding anniversary in September.   Planning an outdoor wedding in the Rockies is a risk at any time of the year, but we were really lucky.  It was hot and sunny on the day of the wedding... and then it rained/possibly snowed the next day.  

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A few sale reviews

The sale room at Anthropologie in Calgary is looking a bit bare, but I was still able to find a few things that I was interested in trying on.  There are still quite a few Flounced Ponte Pencil skirts and Ruched Pencil Skirts at that particular store (see review here).

I don't remember seeing the Laced strata dress in the store on previous visits, but it had caught my eye on the website so I was glad to find it. The black panels in the dress are a thick and stretchy knit, while the contrasting panels are a nude coloured lace with lining underneath.  The overall effect is very pretty and feminine. The dress looks and feels expensive. Unfortunately, I think I know why there are so many of these hanging in the sale room. The skirt is way too poofy for my liking! Instead of draping gently, the skirt juts out abruptly from the hip. I think this might be something that could be fixed with pressing, but I wasn't willing to take the chance. If you decide to give this one a go, I find I usually have to size up in Eva Franco dresses and this one was no exception.

Dress: Laced Strata Dress
The only other thing I tried on today was the Shimmered Hourglass Sheath. It's made of sparkly, shiny tweed with black jersey panels on the side which is very flattering. My skin is pretty sensitive, so the fabric felt a little bit scratchy. I also think the material is a little bit too thick to wear in the summer. The sleeves are just cap sleeves and the armholes are on the low side, so this is not a dress that makes it easy/feasible to raise your arms. This is something that I'd consider for work but oddly enough, my job requires me to raise my arms fairly often so I gave this one a pass.

Dress: Shimmered Hourglass Sheath

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Breaking the rules

I've broken three of my rules with this outfit.

#1 I try to avoid buying multiples.  I figure there's only so much room in my closet (and my wallet).  I tried the Flounced Ponte Pencil Skirt in black a few weeks ago and loved it so much that when it went on sale, I ended up buying it in both black and red.  I have no regrets.

#2 I also try to avoid wearing one brand from head to toe.  I just feel like it might be a bit boring or predictable to do this.  The Dotlace Pullover is so versatile though that it seemed like a natural choice for this skirt.

#3 I have a thing against red matched with black.  Actually, I think that red is a tricky colour to match without looking like a holiday.  White makes me think of Valentine's Day or Canada Day, green is too Christmassy, blue reminds me of Independence Day... you get the picture.  I tried to break up the red and black palette with grey shoes here.

Sweater: Anthropologie, Dotlace Pullover
Skirt: Anthropologie, Flounced Ponte Pencil Skirt
Tights: Target
Shoes: Nine West
I realized that I haven't posted any photos of Oscar lately.  He's still a puppy, and it's hard for him to stay still for a long time (for him, I think that's anything more than 2 seconds).  So this is the best that I could do.

Do you have any style rules? Do you ever break them?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A few reviews

This post is mostly about sales items. Jenni had a really good post a few days ago about building your wardrobe with Anthropologie popbacks. Unfortunately, because of the shipping and duty charges when ordering online from Canada, I don't often get to take advantage of popbacks.  Instead, I end up buying most of my clothes from the sale section.  I also don't have the mental fortitude to resist a full price item that I really like... so I usually just go straight to the sale room and avoid looking at the full price clothing.

First up, the Batiste cowlneck.  This is available in several colours, and it's a slim fitting knit top with a ruffled, lacy embellishment on the left shoulder.  The fabric is thin and casual but the ruffle dresses this shirt up a bit.  It fits true to size and is very comfortable.  At $29.95, I took this top home with me.

I was happy to find the Ruched pencil skirt in the sale room.  The smallest size that they had was a 2 which was a tiny bit big for me.  On the plus side, it sits a bit lower on my hips so the length is more work appropriate.  The fabric is light enough that it could be worn in the summer and the skirt has a nice lining.  The ruching details make this skirt very flattering.  It's on sale for $49.95

I'm not sure if I would actually pair these two items together in real life.  What do you think?

Shirt: Batiste cowlneck
Skirt: Ruched pencil skirt
Boots: Frye Paige tall riding boots in black
A close-up photo of the ruffle detail.  I'm usually not a very frou frou person and I shy away from large ruffles.  This one lies relatively flat and is not overwhelming.

Shirt: Batiste cowlneck
Winter is hopefully on its way out (ok, who am I kidding.  Winter in Calgary lasts through May most years...) but I decided to try on the Waffled cowlneck.  It was super soft and cozy, with a cowl neck that is not too small, not too big but just right.  The weave of the knit is thick enough that I didn't feel like I needed another layer underneath for coverage.  I think this is a classic, versatile piece that could be worn for years to come.

I also tried on the Flounced ponte pencil skirt.  I reviewed the black version in another post here.  The red version fits exactly the same, TTS.  The red colour is rich and pure... no orangey undertones.  This skirt is insanely flattering.  It sucks everything in and creates shape in a really good way.  I bought both colours, which is something I almost never do.

Shirt: Waffled cowlneck
Skirt: Flounced ponte pencil skirt
You can see a cardigan and a dress hanging in the background.  The dress turned out to have a broken zipper and is quite old, and I thought the cardigan was pretty unremarkable.  I didn't end up taking photos of either.

Have you made any sale purchases recently?

Monday, March 3, 2014

Black dots and leopard spots

One of the reasons why I read style blogs is to become inspired.  Animal prints have been a big trend for a few years now, but I've never bought anything leopard spotted or zebra striped.  It may have something to do with my mom telling me years ago not to wear brown (a rule which I break regularly now).  Recently, though, I've caught myself eyeing a pair of leopard pumps.  And, I actually bought this skirt.

Leopard spots... in green and black.  No brown here...

I love the buttons on the back of this sweater
Are there any trends that you've been inspired to try by reading other blogs?

Outfit details:
Sweater: Anthropologie Dot Lace Pullover (also in burgundy)
Skirt: Banana Republic (similar)
Tights: Target
Shoes: Nine West wedges (similar)
Necklace: Anthropologie, old