Thursday, May 28, 2009

I love purple

Cardigan: Old Navy
Cami: Gap
Jeans: Z. Cavaricci
Shoes: SM New York

While I have finally figured out that my camera has a timer, I am still working on getting clear pictures inside. Bah!

I do, in fact, love purple very much. I tried to not wear too much purple at once, but I also love matching. I don't think this is 'too matchy-matchy' though.

I bought this necklace as a strand of beads during a random excursion to the Baltimore Gem and Jewelry Expo a few years ago. I strung it on actual necklace wire and slapped a clasp on it. Because I don't actually know how to make jewelry, it is not the nicest looking in the back, so I just prefer to wear it when my hair is down :)
Here is the detail on my wacky jeans. I don't care if they aren't cool- I just love these silly pants!
These shoes are another pair from my binge. They aren't the highest caliber product, but they are pretty trendy (to me) so I don't mind them perhaps not lasting forever. Besides, not every shoe needs to be so pricey you fear for its safety with every step. I am constantly worried about ruining the few expensive things I own, so I'm happy to not buy them.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Best outfit picture ever

Hoodie: Eddie Bauer
Tank: Gap

Taken outside with the rocking Ben & Jerry's bus at their factory in Burlington, VT. My husband hates the hoodie on me because it tends to bunch up around my stomach. At least it used to. I think it looks pretty cute these days! I should really get an up close pic of the pants- they're a little wacky with tons of pockets and zippers and strings going on. Definitely the most interactive pair of pants I own.

The new slip on sneaks proved to be quite comfy! Only problem: after wearing them with no socks in some seriously hot weather, I think they need a bath.

I hope my dog likes my sweater

Cardigan & T: Old Navy
Shoes: Zigi New York

Because she is the only living breathing creature who will see me today. Except for you internets! This cardigan is one of the new ones I picked up at Old Navy recently. I love it- it's swingy and different than the usual button up v-neck ones I usually am drawn too. These red wedges are also new and a little much for working at home but I don't care. I love them and have been itching to wear them! I randomly bought them from I wasn't looking for them but the perfect red shoes just happened to appear before me in my size and at a reasonable price, so who was I to say no?

I feel a little silly wearing heels when I am home by myself, but I love heels and if I wait until I have a 'reason' I'll never get to wear all the lovely things I own! So perhaps I'll start dressing up for the dog.

Here they are again, in all their fabulous leg-sexifying glory.

I mentioned before I wear a lot of silver jewelry. This is a necklace I love but haven't been wearing recently- it's got a snake chain that likes to bite my hair when it is down. It's so lovely and pointy and is now one of the few reminders I have of the long defunct Hecht's.

Necklace: Hecht's, gift from grand parents in law!

This is basically the only other ring I wear. It turns out it is really hard to take a picture with your non dominant hand.
Ring: Tiffany & Co

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Back from vacation!

I'm back! I spent the long weekend (plus some extra days at the end of last week) in Burlington, VT visiting my brother in law (he goes to school there, making me feel old and out of touch) and enjoying all the mapley goodness VT has to offer. It was lots of fun and my wardrobe did not fail me! My goal was to bring items that were casual but would distinguish me as *not* a student but instead as someone with a job and regular grooming schedule. I also needed items that could work for touristing during the hot daytime and transition to dinner out in cooler VT nights. My daily uniform wound up being graphic Ts and cardigans with either a fun necklace or bracelet- my new favorite combo! I was quite pleased with how versatile my clothing was, but I also realized just how repetitive it is. Two new cardigans compliments of Old Navy and a plethora of new shoes as of late should help shake things up! Basically I'm replacing my old crappy free t-shirts with nicer graphic T's and my beloved sweatshirts with cute light weight cardigans to prove to the world I do in fact have female anatomy.

This is going to be a busy week for me- lots of laundry, cleaning house for my upcoming parental visit, and oh yeah, the hubs and I are both slammed with work. Hopefully I'll be able to get some decent posts up anyway!

In the meantime, I leave you all with a look at what all the most fashionable trees were wearing this spring in Baltimore:

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Sneaker upgrade!

Sneakers: Simple

I am a woman of extremes. I like flips flops and grungy gym shoes, or fancy 4" heels. I never really invested in nice-casual things because they wouldn't cut it in my office. Making it out of the house looking decent, even for a really casual day, is one of the things I knew I needed to put the most work towards. These cute little sneakers are a step towards that goal. I got these to replace my flips flops or gym shoes and am very excited about them! I am headed to a Reds game after work today for their inaugural wear. Heck, I'm even wearing them around the house during work!

Look how happy my feet are! These shoes are super comfortable and will be ideal when the hubs and I are wandering around VT over the long weekend. On a side note, I have not owned Simple brand sneaks since I was in High School. High School!

Orangey-coral nail polish- fun!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Well don't you look familiar!

This is what I wore out Saturday night to grab dinner and see the new X-Men movie. I did manage to straighten my necklace out before leaving the house :) The shirt fits much better than it looks- I'm doing my model lean here. Yes, that is the same gray cardigan I wore on Friday- I told you I love it!

cardigan: H&M; shirt: NY&Co;
cami: Banana Republic;
cords: Gap; shoes: Me Too;
bag: Nine West

I am very happy with the way this turned out- all new combinations! I also tried out Kasmira's Lazy Girl's Updo. This is after playing catch outside for a few minutes- it held up great all night! I did reposition some bobby pins after taking the pic to make them less visible. Considering this was my first attempt and I have no current method for inspecting the back of my hair, I think it came out great!

I grabbed this Nine West clutch recently at Macy's- thank you sale gods for smiling upon me during my random visit!

These shoes were quite comfy- and shiny! Sorry the pic stinks. My husband was a good sport about taking pics for me, but when I asked him to take a pictures of my shoes, he gave me a sideways look so I didn't want to get too picky about his choice of angles.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Toasty warm neck

Shorts: Lee; Graphic T: Old Navy;
Cardigan: H&M; Scarf: World Market;
Flip flops: J Crew (that makes them classy)

Yessir! My neck is all sorts of toasty warm today! The forecast calls for very warm weather, but I'm always cold in my office. Solution? A scarf! I do, after all, own some. I love this cardigan! I wish I had purchase more. Expect to see more of it- I love it over a simple tank with a fun necklace as well.

Since I will eventually venture outside into the blazing hot sun we are promised, I can easily lose some of those top layers to be more temperature appropriate.

Now, since it's Friday and Friday's are supposed to be fun, I wills hare with you the fab dish washing gloves my mother got me. Don't you want a pair of your own???? The pleats actually
are a great addition- they allow you to simply cover your sleeves up instead of trying to smoosh them up and get them to stay there, which mine never do.

Good work mom!

P.S. My hair looks funky because it is pulled back in a ponytail and is still sopping wet. It will look less freaky when it eventually dries. I see no point in blow drying may hair unless I am immediately going out somewhere nice.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Emergency dental outfit

So I had a pleasant surprise the other night with some filling un-filling itself form my mouth. That meant a very unscheduled trip tot he dentist *early* Thursday morning. It was a nasty stormy morning, so I needed to turn to something that would not only keep me warm but would also be comforting. Voila! I love this shirt ad blazer together and have worn them many, many times. I just love how relaxed and pink it is. I also feel a little cooler when I wear this combo- I like how the shirt sticks out at the collar and hem. It's one of those combos I feel I can always fall back on.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

First thrift visit

No outfit pic today. Last night I went shopping in a thrift store for the first time. Seriously. I had been in thrift stores before, but have never actually gone shopping for myself. While I did not take anything home with me, I did see a few things I would have, had they been in my size/better condition!

I went to The Snooty Fox, which is a local Cincy chain. It's located right near my WW meeting, so I will try to check it out on a regular basis. I understand the best way to get thrifty deals is to go frequently, so hopefully one day I'll be able to share equally fabulous finds of my own that so many others have shared!

If you live in/around the Cincinnati area, where do you like to go thrifting? Am I allowed to use the lingo even though I have yet to purchase anything? Feels a bit premature....

Since photo-less posts are boring, I'll discuss nail polish. I also just happen to have right here a photo of my favorite colors! This year I made a conscious effort to get some seasonal shades: OPI's Sand in My Suit & Conga-Line Coral. I like both color-wise, but have come to the realization I don't like the metallic shades as much as the regular finish. So I have also purchased a non-metallic coral and hope to use it soon!

OPI Sweet Heart; OPI Pink-ing of You;
OPI Sand in my Suit;OPI Conga-Line Coral;
OPI On Collins Ave.; OPI Grand Canyon Sunset;
OPI Chick Flick Cherry;
Cover Girl Fabulous Fuchsia

I generally will only use the first 3 shades on my fingers as the best disguise the inevitable chipping. Lately though, my latest hobby, gardening, is killing my nails so I am just trying to get them back into reasonable condition. Toes are currently the last shade- hot pink!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Skinny jeans for weigh in day!

As previously mentioned, I got a pleasant surprise when rummaging through my closet this weekend- lots of my older clothes fit! These skinny jeans are one such item. I've always really liked the look of them on other people, but wasn't really sure how to swing it myself and up until very recently, didn't fit into the one pair I already own! When I bought these jeans originally, the trend was limited to wearing them tucked into boots in the fall/winter. I'm very happy with how these look with flats though! If I hadn't hobbled myself last night with a rather unpleasant blister, I would be tempted to try these with heels. That will have to wait for another time though.

Jeans: Old Navy; Shirt: NY & Co

Here it is with yet another little jacket of mine. I love jackets!

Jacket: Old Navy

I did technically style my hair today, but you really can't see it. It didn't come out that well anyway. I think I need remedial hair styling classes.

Tonight is my Weight Watchers weigh in night- wearing skinny jeans sets the right mood I think!

Monday, May 11, 2009

The good, the bad, the unfortunately pleated

On Sunday, while my husband took over my home office for some more glorious unpaid overtime, I used the time to play in my closet. I did a little reorganizing but mostly just tried stuff on to test out new combinations and see how things were fitting these days.

The good: A lot fits! While I still have 10 lbs to be at my all time low wedding weight, I'm ahead of schedule fit wise due to having more muscle at this weight than previously. So hooray for me!!!

The bad: Really, it's time to let go of some things. A lot of things. Why? Well, I have a lot of things I just don't particularly like. I bought them because they were work appropriate, and well you just can't show up at the office naked. It's not that I'll miss those things, but I still haven't adjusted to not needing an arsenal of business casual attire. What if I need to go to meetings every day for 3 weeks strait???? Oh yeah, at most I'll have 5 days in a real office in a row, one of which is casual Friday. And I will know far in advance. Like months in advance. So it's time to say goodbye. So long, money that was already spent long ago!

The hardest part through, is realizing I need to let go of things that while they still 'fit' and I like them on a hanger, really, they have no place on my body. These are the unfortunately pleated items. Skirts that make my hips look and extra 3 feet wide. Not to mention the skirts that probably 5 or so inches too short. Or the one random skirt that is both oddly sun bleached and at least 7 inches too long. Why do I own a skirt that long?

So I started the day with 10 skirts remaining in my closet. I now have 3 I am keeping. Well, I have a few hanging up that I just can't part with yet, but really, once I start buying ones that look infinitely better than them, I'll let them go. Inside, I'm hoping when my hips are a bit smaller they'll be able to handle the excessive pleating. I got a lot of compliments on some of those skirts!


So much of my closet has got to go! I haven't even gotten to the questionable shirts yet.... At least I think I've gotten rid of most of the stuff purchased in college. College, which I graduated from 7 years ago.

Oh yeah, I also have a lot of holes in my closet! Man, I need to go buy some shirts or I'll be forced to make questionable pairing decisions!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Stove buying clothes

This was my outfit on Saturday. It was a very fun day- we saw some homes from the Cincinnati Cavalcade of Homes, had dinner with friends, and bought ourselves a new range!

Sweater: Eddie Bauer; Skirt: ???
Shoes: Chinese Laundry;
Purse: Anne Taylor Loft

Please pardon my wet hair and squinty expression
! I was really happy with this outfit- I felt fun and pretty all day wearing it! Usually, I would just wear a white shirt with this skirt, maybe with a tan sweater or jean jacket thrown on top. I definitely like wearing it with a bolder color instead and will turn to this combo again!

I was stoked to get these shoes on sale at Macy's- originally $70 marked down the $30. Not the greatest deal of the decade by any means, but it brought the cost down enough that I didn't feel bad buying another pair of shoes I would only wear int he warm weather. This is my second pair of cork wedges and I find them both extremely comfortable and excellent choices for dressing up a daytime outfit. Comfortable, except for the the rubbing one finds in brand new shoes. I wore them for a few hours of being on my feet and today am sporting flip flops while my one blister heals up.

My husband hates this bag- he says it's too 80s. I say he's a boy and doesn't know what he's talking about!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Goin' to the Yacht Club

Happy Friday! Tonight is Girl's Night Out at the fabulous Ludlow-Bromley Yacht Club, the classiest joint on the Ohio River. And by 'the classiest joint' I really mean it is a total dive bar with nothing on tap and no walls. I love it! This is my first time wearing this cute jacket from the Gap. I purchased this a few weeks ago when I was back in DC for work, and it is actually looser now than when I purchased it. Score one for Jess!

Jacket: Gap; Graphic T: Old Navy
Shoes: Me Too; Clutch: Steve Madden (very dark green, not black)
Bracelet: Claire's???

I have a few of these graphic tees from Old Navy- they were purchased during my first bout of "I really need to stop looking like I accidentally wandered off campus ". Honestly though, other than wearing them solo with shorts, I never knew what to do with them. After wandering the annals of I said 'hey, why *not* wear them under a little jacket???'. So there you go.

This is actually doubly impressive (to me) because when I purchased the jacket I was wearing my perfect white button down, and it of course looked great together, because everything looks great with my perfect white button down, but I was worried I wouldn't know how the wear the jacket with anything else! My not-so-secret problem is that I am not very good at wearing items with a wide array of other items. I'll make an initial paring, but then get stuck how to branch out. I'm working hard on changing that and it's a lot of fun. Who knew. :)

Everyone needs bronze flats. Seriously.

Telecommuter note: I took the bracelet off to work. Wrist jewelry and lap tops don't work together very nicely in my world. Also, if these shoes weren't as mind blowingly comfortable as they are, I would also ditch those for work in favor of slippers.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Dressing up for the plumber?

This morning I had a plumber stop by to give me an estimate on some work, so I used that as an excuse to look a little nicer than normal. Plus, today is one of those rare weekdays where I'm not heading strait to the gym after work and will instead be spending the night relaxing at home with the hubs. I figured he might also appreciate my efforts seeing as most nights he sees me in post workout comfy clothes.
Jeans: Old Navy; Cami: Gap;
Blouse: Banana Republic; Cardigan: J Crew

Necklace was a gift from my mom- handcrafted by her in a bead shop while on vacation.

Love these new flats from Rocket Dog, despite their strong desire to chomp on the back of my ankles.

*Note: I get a lot of mileage out of these jeans, for two reasons. One, I don't have a lot of bottoms to begin with and these are much beloved. I've never owned a wide array of bottoms, but this is true now more than ever. Short version: I lost a bunch of weight (yay!), got rid of most of my clothing, then gained the weight back a while later (boo!). Now I've lost half that weight again and am waiting to buy a ton of clothing until I'm done. Then I will shop till I literally drop. Seriously. I may even take a vacation day and go on a Tuesday so I have the mall somewhat to myself. The second reason I am often in jeans, is my home office happens to be in the coldest part of the house. Brrr! Heck, I even had to run the heat yesterday. It was below 70 degrees! The price one pays to get the room with the best view...

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The daily uniform and paradigm shift

In general, I don't see the point of dressing up too much if I'm just going to be home working during the day then heading strait to the gym afterward, but I should at the very least upgrade to a less homeless looking style. Below is a picture of me from today wearing the slightly upgraded version of my daily work uniform.

I'm sporting a less gigantic t-shirt (I even had to pay for this one), a fleece and jeans, and of course the greatest footwear known to man, my Minnetonka slippers.

While this is fine for a day in the home office and passable for running errands on a busy day, this no longer cuts it other times.

What I've realized since starting to think about how to look better, is that it's not just a matter of changing what I wear, but really its about changing how I view clothes. A paradigm shift, if you will. When I was cubicle worker bee, the work week was my main focus- things had to fit he business casual dress code and weekends were my time off from having to think about clothing. Now though, weekends and evenings out are my time to really express myself with my clothing.

Lastly, I wanted to talk about my hair, because it's a rather dominant feature on me. Over the years I have had a wide variety of styles, lengths and colors. I seem to have settled on long wavy layers with highlights over the past few years. When I lived in MD I had a hair dresser I loved who gave me a nearly perfect haircut every time. All I had to do was tousle the waves back in after combing it when wet and it looked perfect every time. Since moving out here though, it's taken me some time to find a new hair dresser. This most recent cut though, I think finally nailed it. The highlights are darker than usual (I have a weakness for platinum blond), and the layers are much shorter on top and longer on bottom, but it works. I think the length in back is a bit of a surprise also. To me, getting a haircut I like finally was a big move towards me looking decent on a regular basis. Hair is just another accessory, so make the most of it!

And just because I found it hysterical, here is a picture of my dog looking quite confused as I invade her space to take some pics (she naps on the couch near the mirror).

What the heck?

Well hello there internets. Let me introduce myself. My name is Jess. I live in the 'burbs, I'm married with dog, and work from home. My life changed quite a bit just over a year ago- my husband and I picked up and moved from the dense suburbs of Washington D.C. to the slow moving Kentucky suburbs outside of Cincinnati. Possibly the biggest change (for me) was leaving the world of daily commuting to the cubicle farm for working full time from home. That's right- no more meetings, no more dress code, no more need to even bother showering (yes I do shower daily).

Ar first, it seemed like a clothing dream come true. I wear jeans every day! I wear slippers! No more worrying about dry cleaning! No more blisters from heels! But then, the magic wore off and I realized I had gone from a mediocre version of city-preppy style to full on poor-college-student style. I had a daily uniform of jeans and the same college sweatshirt topping off assorted free college t-shirts. If all you're doing is sitting at home working on your computer, really what does it matter? The problem is that the line between handing out at home and being an active member of society were blurred, and all of a sudden that same sweatshirt started to become part of my DNA. Heck, I never even unpacked my shoes when the hubs and I moved into our new house- the sat in a heap in the back of my closet for a good 6 months.

Obviously, something had to change. Operation: Look Like an Adult was born. This is my attempt to adjust to my new lifestyle and find a way to present myself as the competent, interesting 29 year old woman I have become. It's slow going and is certainly a process. That whole its-a-journey-not-a-destination thing rings true for sure. But it's bound to be fun and hopefully at least a little fabulous.