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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Four on Thursday

Even though I haven't done much (the total opposite of last week), this week has felt long and busy.  I'm looking forward to Halloween weekend and some relaxation.

Apparently, I'm very into berry right now.

1 //  I love everything about this dress.  It's subdued, yet sexy.  That berry color is perfect.  The longer length is gorgeous.  And the back, well, a certain Justin Timberlake song comes to mind.

2//  Hat season is upon us.  While I love the look of a floppy wool hat, beanies are an easier grab-and-go choice for me.  Plus, they give you a casual edge.  

3 //  A DvF wrap dress is a classic and for good reason.  It's flattering, can be worn any season, and is forgiving if you start to put on some winter weight.  This color isn't something I'd typically be drawn to, but when it's a classic for such a great price, I'm willing to forgo my usual neutrals.

4 //  This coat is stunning.  From the color to the collar, it's exactly what I've been looking for in a coat this fall.  This is also the most inexpensive I've seen it offered (it's on sale at Nordstrom here), so I may be scooping this up shortly.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Recent Purchases - Review

Recently, I shared some pieces that I had grabbed during a ridiculous sale at Ann Taylor.  Here's how everything worked out.  Spoiler: It wasn't pretty.

Recent Purchases

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5

[1]  Seriously disappointing.  This sweater was terrible.  I ordered my normal size (a small) and was absolutely swimming in extra material.  The fabric was thin and the side slits caused the sweater to fall on my body incredibly awkwardly.  The turtleneck was also much higher than as shown on the model and oddly bulky when compared to the rest of the sweater.  Result: Returned.

[2] Well, this dress didn't make it to me.  A day after I had placed my order, I received an email from Ann Taylor telling me that this item was no longer available.  This is actually the second time that this has happened to me with Ann Taylor and I was disappointed to say the least.  This dress was the item I was most looking forward to. Result: Never received.

[3]  Oh, I had such high hopes for this dress.  I mean, look at that picture.  It's simple and chic and falls perfectly.  And then there's real life.  Again, a small was HUGE on me. (Side note: This is not a humble-brag situation.  I generally wear a small and sometimes size up to a medium.  Having a size small be enormous on me does not flatter me into thinking my body is smaller, it makes me think a company is vanity sizing).  So, giant dress, awkwardly large sleeves (my arms could have fit in 3 times), and totally unflattering.  It looked like a navy potato sack.  Result: Returned.

[4]  I've been lusting after vests of all kind lately and hoped that this open sweater version would be everything I wanted.  While it wasn't terrible, it wasn't a good enough piece for me to keep.  The material was fairly thick and draped well, but the faux-leather pockets were cheap-looking.  While I went back and forth on this one for awhile, I ultimately decided that it didn't work with enough of my wardrobe.  Result: Returned.

[5]  Finally, something good!  Seriously, this was becoming such a bummer of a post.  This knit poncho a) fit; b) was a quality knit; c) flattered.  All of the above!  I'm really into the cape sleeves that have zippers at both the top and bottom, allowing you to choose the coverage.  I'm excited to wear this pretty much everywhere. (PS. I'm not the only one who loved this poncho as it's currently sold out.)  Result: Kept.  

Do you like this type of post?  Is it helpful to you?  Let me know!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

That's a Wrap

Dress: Tildon (sold out, similar); Blazer: Elie Tahari via Marshalls (similar); Booties: Born via TJ Maxx (similar); Bag: Danielle Nicole via MyHabit (similar); Shades: Ray Ban

I snagged this dress during Nordstrom's annual sale back in August and it has been torture to wait for the weather to cool down enough to wear it.  

Luckily, last week proved the perfect opportunity both in weather and events, as I was able to spend an evening with the Silk Road Society at the Sackler Gallery.  Food, wine, and an amazing talk on a contemporary art installation made for an awesome night out.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Proper Topper

Blazer: H&M (love this one): Sweater: via TJ Maxx (similar); Jeans: Wit & Wisdom; Boots: Nine West (similar); Bag: Danielle Nicole via MyHabit (sold out, similar); Necklace: H&M (old); Shades: Ray Ban

Things I love right now (or, more accurately, a silly list due to writer's block):

A great blazer.

Comfortable heels.

Starting a new book.

Long baths.

A clean apartment.


Warm, sunny fall days.

Friday, October 24, 2014

For Your (Weekend) Consideration

Happy Friday!  

I Wanna Dance With Somebody is my jam.  This cover is also pretty damn good.

$1 for "artisanal ice" in your cocktail?  DC, we're better than this.

An interesting read on Keene, NH vs. Ferguson, MO.

America, stop trying to make Ebola happen.  It's not going to happen.

Looking for a laugh?  May I suggest this Boston-themed Dark Knight parody?

Little girls saying "fuck".

A new study finds a link between head trauma and domestic violence.  Things just keep getting better for the NFL, don't they?

Heart-breaking stories of conversations that African-American mothers have with their sons.

Thanks to Fox News for reminding me that my one concern in life should be finding a husband who can then tell me how to vote correctly.

New Englanders are crazy and I love that my mom still does this.

Awesome tips on how to create a great home bar and be the perfect host.

Jeff Goldblum forever.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Four on Thursday

Wow, I have been all over the place this week.  Whether it's a workout or a party, I've been there.  And tonight is no exception.  

When did I get so popular?

Friday night will likely be spent at home on the couch with take-out and wine.  And I cannot wait.

In the meantime, here are some stunners in my favorite shades for fall.

1 //  You can do no wrong in a little black dress.  I actually have a similarly cut dress in a marled grey that I am obsessed with and plan to wear all fall and winter long.  The long-sleeves make this great for cooler weather and the asymmetric wrap skirt is a gorgeous detail.

2 //  Burgundy, eggplant, aubergine, cranberry, oxblood etc.  Whatever we're calling it, it's one of my favorite shades for fall.  A dress with a flattering shape like this is a goldmine.  I'd toss on a blazer for work and add a statement necklace for after-work cocktails.

3 //  Hunter green might be my very favorite color to wear in the fall.  For whatever reason, it's never as popular as it should be.  Give me a cable knit turtleneck and I may never take it off.

4 //  And my old standby, navy.  This dress is wonderful.  It has such a unique shape.  I actually imagine layering this over tights and a long-sleeved shirt.  As you may have gathered, I'm a sucker for a high neck.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Currently Reading

1 // 2 // 3 // 4

Caught Stealing - Hank is a bartender in New York City and a (mostly) high-functioning alcoholic.  When his neighbor asks him to watch his cat while he goes out of town, things very quickly get very out of control.  With a cast of misfit gangsters, Russian mobsters, and dirty cops all after him, Hank has to adapt to his new lifestyle of being on the run.  This novel is fast-paced, well-written, and tells an incredible story.  I couldn't put this one down.

The Luminaries - Want to feel unaccomplished?  Read a Man Booker prize-winner written by a 26 year old.  The Luminaries is epic.  It's a huge, sprawling novel with a dozens of characters and points of view, all taking place in one small New Zealand town during the gold rush.  I'd share a plot summary, but there's really too much.  It's a rich, deep story based on a death, an attempted suicide (seemingly), and the discovery of a hidden bonanza.  There is identity theft and murder, espionage and a love story.  I really loved the book, but I was amazed that a) it was written by someone so young; and b) that it was written so recently.  It reminded me of a much older style of writing and story-telling.  I need to seek out more of Eleanor Catton's work immediately.

A Drink Before the War - Talk about ultra-violence.  Patrick is born and raised in Southie and has since become a private investigator, partnering up with his childhood best friend Angie.  When a state senator brings them what appears to be a simple case, they take it.  It quickly becomes a much more complicated situation.  Lehane is smart, clever, witty, and perfectly captures the corruption that spreads from the top down.  But damn, there was so much blood.  Brutal, but brilliant.

Mr. Mercedes - Early in the morning, before the sun has even risen, a crowd of people in line for a job fair are run down by a monster of a car.  Almost a dozen die and many more are injured.  The driver is unknown.  Recently retired cop Bill Hodges has this blemish on his record - that he let the Mercedes killer get away.  Deep into the monotony of his retirement (daytime tv, microwave dinners, etc), Hodges begins getting a feel for putting his gun in his mouth.  That is, until he receives a letter from someone claiming to be the Mercedes killer.  What follows is an intense cat and mouse game.  Interestingly, King chooses to give us both the perspectives of Hodge and of the killer himself.  The killer's identity is never a mystery to us, the readers.  To watch these two circling each other was an intense, deeply satisfying story.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Light Layers

Striped Shirt: J. Crew (similar); Chambray: LL Bean (similar); Denim: Guido & Mary via MyHabit (similar); Boots: Nine West (similar); Bag: Phillip Lim for Target

I don't shop much.

That sounds weird coming from someone who styles outfits and takes pictures of them for the internet, but it's true.  Looking at these pictures, the most recent thing in them is the bag, which I got as a Christmas gift last year.  Both shirts have been in my arsenal for a few years, the jeans are a year or two old.  

Then there are the boots.  I bought those babies back in the summer of 2006.  My mom and I had driven down to the Wrentham outlets to do some shopping for my semester abroad in Ireland, which meant I needed a raincoat.  We stopped in Nine West, which just so happened to be having a buy one-get one sale.  These riding boots came in brown and black and clearly, I bought them both.  Best purchase ever.  They've traipsed around Europe on three separate trips, gotten me through winters in Vermont, Massachusetts, and DC, and still look damn good.

They are currently in Maine right now getting a zipper replacement, after which they'll be good for another eight years or so.

Monday, October 20, 2014

First of Fall

Sweater: Zara (similar); Jeans: Guido & Mary via MyHabit (similar); Boots: Nine West (similar); Bag: Phillip Lim for Target; Shades: Ray Ban

This weekend finally felt like fall.  I wore jackets and sweaters and shivered on my walk home Saturday night.  I pulled out my boots and started planning outfits around them.  DT and I crossed streets just to stay in the sunny part of the sidewalk.  We sat on a friend's deck until the sun went down and someone pulled out a space heater.

As much as I'm not looking forward to the truly cold weather, this weekend felt good.

Friday, October 17, 2014

For Your (Weekend) Consideration

I'm doing the big closet switch-over this weekend.  I've got a duffel bag full of boots sitting in the middle of my bedroom and that ish needs to be put away neatly so that I can see and then wear all of it.  It's time for the sandals and wedges to be put away, never to be seen again (until it cracks 60 degrees in April).  And there are some serious holes to be filled in my wardrobe.  How do I not have brown Chelsea boots?  Or comfortable black pumps?  Or plain nude flats?  Luckily, I've got some giftcards burning a hole in my pocket.

The newest season of Top Chef, set in Boston this time around, just started and the kitchen was actually in my hometown.

What I would've done to be able to eat like this as a second grader.

David Chang rallies for excellent bad beer.

Use Snapchat?  You're not as safe as you think.

Glenn Close is amazing (and grew up in a cult!).

For fashion girls everywhere, drunk J. Crew is everything you didn't know you needed.