Subscribe via email

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Friday, October 29, 2010

Flats I saw on a What Not To Wear episode... are now mine!

I didn't intend to get so behind in here.  I've taken up swimming for fitness this past week, so I've had to just throw on jeans and shirts I don't care that much about and race to pick up my kids afterward.  I'm working on getting my swim exercise in earlier so I can have more time to put on nicer clothes.

Here's what I wore a week ago Friday.

KUT From The Kloth Skinny Jeans in Indigo Wisdom Wash -
Caslon long-sleeve scoop tee in Chartreuse - Nordstrom
Caslon cardigan sweater in black - Nordstrom
*Bettye Muller 'Cruise' patent leather peep-toe flat in black - Ebay
Nadri 'Black Diamond' stud earrings -
Style & Co. metallic leaf pendant necklace - Macy's 

*Another little story:  These flats I saw on a What Not To Wear episode from 2008.  They were in lime green.  I was in love with the acrylic oval ring details.  I don't remember how I found out the name of these shoes, I think I just searched a few online shoe store sites and I recognized them from the episode. They were WAY too expensive, so I thought to wait awhile and try looking for them later when they come down in price.  I completely forgot about these shoes until I saw the rerun of that WNTW this summer.  I remembered the name of the shoe immediately and checked Ebay.  Found them.  At a FRACTION of the price.  I didn't want the lime green which is not available anyway.  Black is what I needed.  I dig the silver detail on the heel and the silver lining on the insoles, too.  I am so in love with these flats.  This is my second WNTW piece I've chased.  :/

Don't forget to watch the season premiere of What Not To Wear tonight on TLC!  Okay, off to the pool now!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Denim Skirt w/ Ombre Scarf - Friday

I skipped a few days of posting my outfits since it was raining so much I pretty much wore the quilted jacket, jeans, and rain boots with a different tee each of the last three rainy days.

Here is yesterday's outfit.

I finally remembered to have my son get somewhat closer to show the earrings.

Halogen Denim Pencil Skirt -
Three Dots 3/4 sleeve tee in Heather Gray -  I won't buy this brand tee again.  They are too expensive and they come up too short above my hip.  I prefer the longer tees instead.  This one exposes my belly sometimes.  (or my Spanx!  GASP!)
Black Opaque tights - Nordstrom brand
BP. Nordstrom ombre scarf in black/gray
Caslon cardigan - Nordstrom - This sweater came with a tie at the waist, but one of the belt loops broke and I've been too lazy to fix it.  I wear this thing all the tine, it's getting quite ratty and old, but I still love it.  I've had it for 2 years.
Cole Haan 'Air Lyric' with NIKE Air technology flat boots in black
kate spade super large stud earrings in teal green - Bloomingdale's (purchased with  gift card)
two-tone silver cuff bracelet - Macy's brand
Perlina snakeskin handbag in teal - Nordstrom

Super Rainy Day Tuesday

Last Tuesday's outfit.  The day of lightning, thunder, and very heavy rain.  I couldn't get outside until later in the day, and this photo isn't so great due to bad lighting.  I love my new quilted jacket.  The hood and lining are removable for when it's not so cold but you need a little something.  I bought it at the Anniversary Sale last July, but I'm afraid it's a little tight now.  I need to watch what I'm eating and do more exercise so this jacket fits better.  Or maybe I should try Style Underdog's merlot diet.  Speaking of Style Underdog, we bumped into each other today at the grocery store!  It was so cool to see her in person.  I must admit I was a bit star-struck when I met her.  We all know she is a Style Nation star.

 I wish my 5 year old photographer would have moved in a little closer.   Oh well.  This umbrella is so old.  I bought it at The Broadway back in 1991 when cobalt blue was all the rage.  I had a matching rain slicker that was the coolest rain slicker ever.  I used it til it wore out.  This umbrella is on it's last leg.  I'm waiting on a clear one with polka-dots to arrive in the mail.  It can't get here fast enough.

The back cinches in as tight as you'd like.  I wish I had a close-up of the rain boots.  These photos must be re-done another day.

Laundry by Shelli Segal Diamond Quilt Topper in black -
Levi's 545 Skinny Leg in French Press Wash -
Sperry Top Sider Rain Boots in white -
19 year old cobalt blue umbrella - The Broadway

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Inspired by an Oprah makeover episode - Monday's outfit

I had this post already posted earlier, but I realized I skipped Sunday's outfit.  I didn't want my posts to be out of order, so I saved this one, took it down, and wrote another one for Monday's outfit.

In 2008 Oprah had an amazing makeover show.  Four suburban Chicago stay-at-home moms were featured on the show and they were made over by stylist Lloyd Boston.  They were the frumpiest ladies I've ever seen.  Sweatpants and light-wash jeans galore.  The first mom they made over had the most amazing outfit, and it was definitely one I could do.  Here she is before:

And here she is made over.   Sadly, this photo does not show the amazingly beautiful animal print sling-back flats she was wearing.  Shame on The Oprah Winfrey Show's photographer for cutting off her feet!

At this moment I was in somewhat of a frumpy stage.  It was this moment I swore I'd give up the frump too, right along with these ladies.  It was this moment I was truly inspired.  The next day I went to Oprah's website and found info on this episode so I could find the exact pieces from this particular makeover.  Each piece was from JC Penney.  I already had a good pair of boot-cut jeans so I did not need to look for those.  The red trench was sold out online, so I went to see if I could find it at the store.  No luck.  I found it in black and in sand, but neither of those would work since it was the red that I was so in love with.  I saw the animal print sling-backs and white leather handbag, but I didn't like the quality of either. At that point I figured it wouldn't be too difficult to find these pieces on my own but different brands.  And so I did, and this red trench is my most cherished piece in my wardrobe.

Here is my version.  Back in 2008 I did have a white handbag to wear with this, but it wasn't a good choice.  It wasn't real leather and the zipper was difficult to deal with.  I recently gave it to a friend.  I have not yet replaced it.  For now wearing a black one works better anyway for the fall/winter.

I keep forgetting to have my photographer zero in on my earrings.  Here is the stock photo:

Kenneth Cole REACTION trench in Cardinal Red - and later Ebay*
White Caslon ribbed long-sleeve tee -
KUT From The Kloth boot-cut jeans in Future Wash -
MICHAEL Michael Kors 'Seaport' peep-toe flats in Calf Hair -
Cole Haan 'Villiage Small' black leather handbag - Nordstrom
Jet Charm Earrings -

*A little side story about the cherished red trench:  When I first bought it from back in 2008, I made a huge mistake and bought a size too small.  I was focusing too much on sleeve-length and not overall shoulder fit.  I was foolish in my decision to go a size down.  I wore it for about a year and half and it never was comfortable, so I sold it on Ebay.  In all honesty, I shed tears.  By the time I realized I couldn't live without this trench, it was impossible to find the correct size in this coat.  I looked everywhere for something like it, I was okay with it not being the exact coat, but I couldn't find anything nearly as good.  Everything seemed to be cropped.  Or double-breasted.  Or with a hood.  Or the shade of red was wrong.  I searched high and low.  I searched Ebay for 6 months hoping to find this exact coat in the size I really needed.  FINALLY it became available on Ebay, and I snagged it earlier this year.  It was quite a joyous WIN.  Now it fits fabulously!

Chambray Shirtdress - Sunday's outfit

Last season I spent so much time looking for a shirtdress.  It took forever to find one.  I bought two and was set to decide on one of them, but I ended up returning them both because I accidentally found this one when I wasn't even looking.  I swear that's how it almost always happens for me.  When I have a purpose to find something I never have luck.  When I'm not looking for something specifically I always come across the most amazing finds.  I wanted something basic and straightforward but with a feminine touch.  The first two shirtdresses I bought were these:

Tahari By Arthur S. Levine Linen Belted Shirtdress in Ivory:
I didn't go with this one because the linen creased SO MUCH.  Also, I felt this one would limit me to spring/summer only.  It is so pretty, though.

The second dress I bought was this one:
Calvin Klein Stretch Belted Shirtdress in Black
This one was SO stiff and uncomfortable.  I couldn't bend easily.  Plus, no matter how much I liked how it looked on the model and the hanger, with all the buttons I swear I looked like a police officer.  It went back as well.

Then I found this little gem.  I absolutely love charcoal gray, I love the collar and buttons, and I definitely love the hem and feminine bow tie emphasis at the waist.  I can wear this color all year round.  With flats in the spring/summer, with tights and boots in fall/winter.

I probably could have done a better job tying the bow at the waist.  I noticed after the pics were taken.

These boots are leather in the front and nylon in the back.  The strap on the back gives them definition.

Again I forgot to have my photographer get a close-up of my bracelet.  I took this one myself later.  Not so flattering, but I had to share.  I love this bracelet. 

Jessica Simpson Chambray Shirtdress in Blue/White Ink (that's what the tag says, it looks like charcoal to me!) - Nordstrom
Opaque tights black - Nordstrom brand
Cole Haan 'Air Lyric' flat boot in black with NIKE AIR technology -
Perlina snakeskin handbag in teal - Nordstrom
kate spade 'Keswick Caning' bracelet ink gold/black/cream  *gift from kate spade new york creative director
stud earrings - 'Black Diamond':  Nadri - (I find I am repeatedly wearing these!)

*Story behind the kate spade bracelet (I always seem to have a story behind a purchase, don't I?):  I was desperately searching for the matching necklace and the best price was at  The website showed a photograph of the necklace in THIS COLOR, but they sent me a different color.  Customer Service did nothing for me.  They said it was the vendor's fault for providing the wrong photos for the bloomies website.  They never carried that color and never would.  I wrote a letter to the higher ups at Bloomingdale's and to kate spade new york explaining my not-so-great experience in trying to buy the necklace.  Bloomies sent me a $50 gift card, and the creative director of kate spade new york sent me the necklace and matching bracelet complimentary along with an apology note.  Of course, I will never wear them together.  It's funny, I saw the creative director of kate spade on Project Runway last season.  I was like, wow, she sent me the jewelry!  It was probably her assistant who wrote me the note and sent the jewelry... oh well.

Raspberry Handbag POP of color - last Saturday's outfit

This button-down shirt is a favorite of mine since the contrasting fabric cotton panels give the shirt a fitted look.  I have a habit of copying other people's outfits.  This one I definitely copied.  I saw a girl in the mall wearing this shirt, wide leg trouser jeans, and Tory Burch snakeskin Reva flats.  I couldn't find the snakeskin Revas but that's fine, I wanted the silver ones instead, and by that point I was ready to turn in my Nordy Notes to buy something special and get those TB's.  Unfortunately, one day I was carrying my youngest out from the car, and I misjudged the distance between my foot and the concrete step.  I completely scratched one of the medallions.  I called TB customer service and told them what happened, and they generously sent me a new medallion.  I have not had it replaced yet on my shoe.  I'm scared to death that the shoe repair won't do it right or will ruin the shoe.  So it's still sitting in in envelope.  You can see the awful scratches on the right medallion.

There is a silly little back story about the raspberry handbag.   This exact bag was featured on a What Not To Wear episode back in 2008.  The participant's name was Sunny, and she wore angel wings as part of her regular wardrobe.  Stacy & Clinton made her up very well, and she was carrying this bag during one of the reveal segments.  I never tried to hunt down an item featured on this show before, so I thought I'd give it a try by checking out the ending credits and googled each one listed.  The very last one was JC Penney, and I found it on  By that point the bag was reduced to I think $19.99 from $48.  And I used a coupon to get an additional 20% off.  NICE!

Oh!  I found a video clip of Sunny's episode featuring my raspberry handbag!

 wide leg trouser jeans:  KUT From The Kloth 'Delight Wash'- Nordstrom Rack
button-down shirt:  James Perse Contrast Panel Roll-Sleeve in Deep - Nordstrom
raspberry patent handbag:  Bisou Bisou -
silver flats:  Tory Burch 'Reva' - Nordstrom (purchased with a gift card)
stud earrings - 'Black Diamond':  Nadri -
metallic leaf pendant necklace:  Style & Co. (Macy's brand)
two-toned silver cuff bracelet:  Macy's

Monday, October 18, 2010

Last Friday's Outfit

Again Friday I could not get ready in time for my husband to take the photos before he left.  I was meeting a friend at her house after I took the kids to school, so I had my friend take the photos at her house.

This is somewhat a new look for me - the denim jacket.  I am loving it.   It's a dark wash with no rips.  I love to pair this jacket with skirts, dresses, and cords. 

Again, the top of my pants can be seen through my top.  I don't like this, and I'm not sure how to fix this.  I think I pulled my top down too far.   I guess I must wear the jacket.  Anyway, I am really loving embellished tees these days.  The embellishment really adds some fun sparkle an umph to an outfit.  I like that the embellishment pretty much takes the place of a necklace.  I have trouble making necklaces work.

dark wash denim jacket:  Lauren Jeans Co.  -
peach elbow-sleeve cotton tee with embellishment:  Caslon (Nordstrom Brand)
espresso boot-cut cords mid-rise:  KUT From The Kloth -
copper croc patent peep-toe pumps w/ Nike Air:  Cole Haan 'Carma Air OT' - Cole Haan Outlet (clearance price - MAJOR score on these! I live for these pumps.  Serious comfort.  I have 4 pair.  And I just learned that Cole Haan has discontinued the Air Carma.  I think I'm going to cry over this.  I had a feeling this was going to happen soon.)
black leather handbag:  Cole Haan 'Villiage Small' - Nordstrom (scored on sale and used gift card- WOOT!)
stud earrings - 'Black Diamond':  Nadri -

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Last Thursday's outfit

 Edited to Change to Thursday's outfit, not Friday's

The photos in this post were taken by my 5 year old last Thursday.  I couldn't get it together in enough time for my husband to take the photos, so I'm working on training my kids to do it.   I think I like our front yard better for the background than our backyard, which was where my first set of photos were taken.  My previous post the photos were taken probably two weeks ago.  I was unsure those photos were post worthy due to the fact that the laundry baskets could be seen through the window.

This first photo is slightly slanted, and I made my son take a ton more that were straight up and down, but I actually like the tilt.  It sort of looks artistic in a way, doesn't it?

I don't really like how the top of my jeans can be seen under the tank when I'm not wearing the jacket.  It looks sort of sloppy.  I guess I need to always wear the jacket with this tank or perhaps try another pair of jeans.

espresso brown short-sleeve fine whale corduroy blazer:  Halogen (Nordstrom brand)
lace-trimmed empire waist tank:  Paige Premium - Loehmann's
 wide leg trouser jeans:  KUT From The Kloth 'Delight Wash'- Nordstrom Rack
calf hair print peep-toe flats:  MICHAEL Michael Kors 'Seaport'-
kate spade 'Keswick Caning' collection drop earrings navy/gold - Nordstrom (received 25% off for attending kate spade jewelry launch party and used a gift card)
textured silver cuff bracelet with gold circles:  Macy's brand
khaki crinkled leather handbag:  Nordstrom brand

Friday, October 15, 2010

An Introduction

What Not To Wear is my favorite reality "how-to" show, and this blog is going to keep me inspired to use Clinton & Stacy's rules daily, no matter what.  No matter if I'm taking my kids to the park, going to the grocery store, going to a party.  I will get dressed without being frumpy.  I pretty much had back-to-back pregnancies, and I found myself dressing very frumpy.  Just after my boys were born I discovered TLC's What Not To Wear, and I found that most of the participants on the show were frumpy stay-at-home moms.  I realized I was wearing baggy light-wash jeans, sneakers, over-sized tees just like those moms being made over on the show.  I was HORRIFIED and swore to never dress frumpy again.  I have learned a tremendous amount from this show.  One of my main style goals is to dress my age, but still look youthful, fun, and polished.  I am in my 40s, I want to be Frump Free, and I refuse to dress like a 20 year old.

The purpose of this blog is for me to learn different ways I can make as many outfits as possible utilizing every piece in my wardrobe someway or another.

What is my style?  I don't really know.  Whatever Clinton Kelly & Stacy London's rules say.  I love dresses, skirts, pumps.  I prefer dangly earrings over necklaces.  I love Emma Pillsbury's style.  She's on Glee if you didn't already know.

My Favorite Store:  Nordstrom is the best (and worst) thing that has ever happened to me.  I love the brands, the quality of the products, the service.  I am very good about watching things I want go down in price, so I don't spend a lot on the brand names I love.

My Favorite Clothing Brands:  KUT From the Kloth Denim, Halogen & Caslon (Nordstrom House Brands), MICHAEL Michael Kors, I-N-C International Concepts (Macy's House Brand), Muse dresses.

My Favorite Shoe Brand:  Cole Haan.  Hands-down the most awesome quality shoes.  I have horrible vericose veins in my right foot and it swells up pretty badly when I wear cheap heels.  So I can't wear cheap heels any longer.  I have to invest in Cole Haan Air Carma Open Toe Pumps with NIKE Air technology because I can wear them for HOURS at a time with ZERO pain.   The BEST pump out there comes with a high price, but thankfully I know how to find them on sale!

On to the photos..... it's going to be a little while before I can find a good spot outside our house that photographs well.  Try to ignore the laundry baskets peeking through the slider door.  :/

My husband made me laugh here.

black jersey empire waist tee:  Studio M - Macy's
dark wash denim jacket:  Lauren Jeans Co.  -
printed tiered skirt:  I-N-C - Macy's
khaki crinkled leather handbag:  Nordstrom brand
silver lace leaf earrings:  Argento Vivo -
silver bracelets:  Secret Santa gift last year
red patent peep-toe flats with bow:  VANELi "Ashlin" -
tortoise shell sunglasses:  Ray-Ban Small Wayfarer - Nordstrom