Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Baby shower wear

I did wear shoes.  :)  I wore black ballet flats - my usual ones.  

I went to a small baby shower this weekend - 5 women, including the hostess and mom-to-be, as well as the dad-to-be.  Most of the women at this shower are shorter than me and wear flats.  I feel odd if I'm too tall, so flats were the obvious choice.  But I did feel quite comfy and casual in the flats, so I might even choose them around taller people some time.  

I have a tendency to overdress, and I avoided it this time.  This dress with flats and tights worked perfectly for a small winter baby shower.  I like the print on this dress, but I don't get too many chances to wear it since it's just a bit too short for work, but a bit too conservative for a date night - my two main dress-wearing opportunities.  

And... it's actually a maternity dress!  Isn't that crazy?  It has *no* extra room for a tummy.  It just perfectly stretched over my 4-month-pregnant tummy for a rehearsal dinner a couple of years ago, and then my tummy out-grew it.  So I knew I had to keep it for post-baby wear.  I only managed to wear it once while pregnant!

(Dress: Pea in the pod, Tights: Target)

Simple but Sexy?

Let's face it - sometimes we just want to look good.  And honestly - the most fashionable clothes are not necessarily the most flattering. This is my version of dressing for my husband: A nicely fitted pair of jeans, that are not skinnies, a fitted t-shirt (a bit low-cut), and super simple/minimal jewelry.  And flats.  This is what my husband finds most attractive, as far as I can tell. 

This attempt was largely inspired by 2 things: 1. A blog post on Megan Fox's "Flaunt It" style and 2. Seeing a woman at the park who was totally working Megan Fox's "Flaunt It" style, without Megan Fox's body.  So I decided to give it a try.  I was feeling inspired when I happened to make my trip to Zara and found these jeans and this t. 
The jeans are super-amazing because they are pretty much like skinnies until the very bottom, when they have a little boot-cut.  This makes them *so* much more flattering, but they still feel current.  They also don't fall down without a belt, like most jeans do on me.  Not having to wear a belt means less extra bulk added to my hips.  The fabric is thin and cheap, but it's soft and stretchy and it's dark enough that it doesn't show the lumps that cheaper fabrics often show. 
The t is also thin, but had the perfect low cut for me.  And again - the dark color is forgiving enough that the thin fabric is okay.

I felt pretty good in it.  The super-thin fly-away cardi was helpful in the evening when it got a bit chilly.  I'm not quite sure how to do the warm topper and still "Flaunt It" though...

(Jeans and t-shirt: Zara (size 4 jeans, size M t-shirt - seriously *not* vanity sizing :)), Earrings: j-crew factory, Cardigan: Express (xs - normal vanity sizing), Shoes: Salvatore Ferragamo.  Other than the shoes, these items are all in stores now, and on super sale, so if you're looking for any of this type of stuff, check those stores out!!)

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Brown and pink

I love this color combination for work.  The morning I wore this, one of the daycare dads showed up for drop off in the exact same color combo!  I love wearing stuff that's sort of feminized men's wear for work.  (I didn't take a pic of them, but I'm wearing chunky brown oxfords with this outfit too.)

(Suit: jcrew, shirt: Ann Taylor, belt: Ralph Lauren)

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Introduction to Zara

When I was picking the kids up from daycare one day, I saw another mom wearing an adorable blazer.  I asked her where she got it, and before I knew it I was trying on her blazer, at daycare.  Our toddlers thought we were crazy, but we were having fun.  :)

It turned out her blazer was from Zara.  I checked their website and they were sold out of that blazer, but I found a few other items which looked promising.  One worked and two did not, but that meant I visited the store to return, and I ended up finding a couple more items which worked. 

Zara is super popular among fashion folk (high/lo dressing, fashion bloggers, etc.) so it was cool to finally check it out.

My overall take on Zara:
  • It has really great fashion-forward pieces at very reasonable prices.  There is a ton of variety.  It's a great place to go for accent pieces to add variety or update your wardrobe.  
  • Quality is reasonable but a bit mixed (my new leather jacket is super soft, but the zipper is hard to work, and the t-shirt I bought is a bit thin but looks good). 
  • The sizing is *not* vanity sizing, which can feel odd in this day and age.  I was mostly a Medium or size 4 or 6 there.  Yup.  (If you have a hard time finding clothes small enough for you - go to Zara!)
  • You have to go to the store and try a bunch of stuff on.  They cut their clothing differently than I'm used to - the shoulders feel more narrow in the front, but not in the back.  It's an odd cut.  On me, it works for blazers and t-s, but not for more structured tops like button-downs - the shoulders were too tight and pulled oddly.  But I have broad shoulders for my size.  If you tend to find that shoulders are too broad for you when tops fit you correctly through the body, give Zara a try. 
This outfit also includes a new belt from my old reliable Ralph Lauren.  I just love the quality of their belts. And I love their spring and fall sales.

(Top: super old Ann Taylor top, belt: Lauren Ralph Lauren, jacket: Zara, pants: reiss, shoes: bakers)

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Birthday party wear

I haven't been very good about taking pictures of my weekend casual outfits lately, but I managed in Sunday.  This is what I wore to a 4 year old's bounce house birthday party.  My little toddler girl was in red leggings with a red and white striped top.  I couldn't help myself.  :)

I have a lot of high quality shoes.  These are not among them.  But they are cute!  :) 

(Shorts: Calvin Klein, top: White House black market, shoes: Walmart! Btw, the white watch I've been wearing lately is seiko.  I'll take a pic of it sometime.  It feels grown up but still current.)

Saturday, February 14, 2015


This is that same black suit, but with the pants that Nordstrom had tapered for me.  The leg does look slimmer, so I think the fact that the suit is a size (or two) too big doesn't show as much.  I love purple for work.

(Shirt: jcrew, suit: Nordstrom, belt: banana republic, shoes: macys, necklace: one of those boxed sets from kohls -- I also just realized that I bought every item in this outfit on sale.  I do enjoy a (perceived) discount.  :) )

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Silk scarf

One of my favorite websites, Lollipuff, did a blog post on Hermes silk scarf knotting cards recently.  It inspired me to bring out one of my silk scarves and wear it to work.  I got 2 compliments on my outfit, and 1 "Are you a flight attendant?"  After I said no, she added a compliment.  I'm going to take it as a success, but be warned - you face an "Are you a flight attendant?" risk if you go with a neck scarf in CA.  :)

(Shirt and suit: J-crew factory, Belt: Banana Republic, Shoes: Macy's, Scarf: Courtesy of my mother in law.  Will add brand later - can't remember right now.)

Online oops, or a fun new suit?

I've wanted a blazer with elbow patches ever since I became a professor.  So when this one went on sale on the jcrew factory website, it was an easy decision to buy it.  And if I was getting the blazer, I might as well buy the matching pants too.  

When they first arrived, I was pretty disappointed though.  The wool was thicker, rougher, and stiffer than I had expected based on the other two jcrew factory blazers I had bought.  The pants were lined, but super-warm lined cropped pants didn't make any sense to me.  So for two weeks I planned to return the suit.  When I finally went to pack it up I realized the blazer was final sale.  Oops.  So I went ahead and kept it, and figured out how I wanted to style it.

Success!  It was actually really comfortable.  I felt stylish but professional.  And I got compliments from a few very stylish women.  So: my new fashion-forward suit/online-shopping oops.

(Bonus: I always had trouble figuring out good outfits for this blouse, even though I totally love the zippers.  Now I have a perfect outfit for it!)

(Blouse: New York and company, shoes: Anne Klein, suit: jcrew factory.  The shoes are great quality and were a good price.  Shoes this pointy are never super comfy, but these are not bad.)