Tracy Reese and a Wedding Gift

Monday, July 27, 2015

Tracy Reese dresses have quickly become my go-to for special events. They're so fun and unique, and I can always find a great deal on eBay. When my friend Cori set her wedding date, I immediately began searching for a Tracy Reese dress. I was so excited to find this $450 linen and mesh dress (new with tags) for a song (let's just say it was reduced to $34 on Anthropologie's clearance racks). 

I absolutely love the embellished neckline. As always, the dress is well made and fit beautifully. Was it risky wearing mesh and chains to church? Yes, but completely worth it.  

Next up, I took an even bigger risk and made my friend's wedding gift. I wanted to do something special, something me, but also something that reflected them as well. That's a tall order. Always up for a challenge, I settled on customizing a globe. If you've trolled any of my posts, you know I'm obsessed with maps and gloves. I thought this was a neat idea as my friend's fiancé (now husband) is originally from Japan. I wanted to buy a black globe to customize since I figured it would easily show light paint. After losing several eBay auctions, I finally won a great 1972 vintage globe. Next up, I bought some art supplies and went to work. 

Practicing freehand made me realize how computers have ruined my handwriting. 

As I had never done this before, it didn't exactly go as planned (the painter's tape ended up ripping some of the map, which led to some improvisation), but I was so happy with the final product! 

Wishing Cori and Hidi all the happiness in the world (get it, get it) as they start their  adventure together! 

Milly for Kohl's

Friday, May 22, 2015

Apparently, I have a collab problem. As I type this, my last post Lilly for Target, I am dreaming of the Balmain blazers that will be gracing H&M's racks just in time to spruce up my work wardrobe! 

Admittedly, when Milly for Kohl's came out, I was not sold on it. This is largely because I'm not a huge fan of Kohl's (sorry, everybody). After seeing a few bloggers style the collection, I decided to go way out of my way and visit my nearest Kohl's. I was pleasantly surprised to find the collaboration full of high quality fabrics and adorable mix and match pieces. Also, everything was on sale! I am short, so a few items I purchased ended up needing tailoring. 

Excess strap, much? 

The crop top totally not cropped on the left and folded up once on the right. 

Today, I picked everything up at the tailors (found a great lady who does cheap alterations) and used Kohl's cash that I got when I purchased my original Milly's items to buy matching shorts for only $6!!  

The Milly for Kohl's collab completely surprised me. I definitely don't see myself becoming a Kohl's regular, but can see myself getting a lot of mileage out of these pieces. 

Surviving Lilly Pulitzer for Target

Sunday, April 19, 2015

I literally laughed when I heard that Lilly Pulitzer was collaborating with Target. Not because I'm a Lilly snob, but as a veteran design collaboration launch shopper, I knew that:
1. Target wasn't going to be ready for the amount of interest 
2. Online wasn't an option and the Target site was going to crash
3. Nothing was going to make typically polite ladies lose their minds like Lilly at Target prices 
4. Resale on eBay was going to be insane

Well, Lilly launched online last night and in stores this morning, and so far, those predictions are all on point. Fortunately, I exercised all of my shopping muscles and had a solid game plan.

1. Do not attend the Lilly event in Philly. Instead, I drove to my hometown and dealt with a line of only 30 or so people rather than 300.
2. Create a must have shopping list and only get those items. My must haves were the jumpsuits, the blue shift dress and one of the high waisted bikinis.
3. Research! Lilly had a pop up shop in Bryant Park prior to the launch that sold out and was covered thoroughly by bloggers. I had a pretty good read on fit going into this morning.

How it went: I arrived early and there were already about 15 cars in the parking lot. Nobody had formed a line outside yet. By the time I threw my car in park, a girl was walking towards the door. So I was second in line. Not too shabby! 

About ten minutes into the wait, Target store employees began taking photos of the 30 people in line (and if they thought that line was bad, I know people who were in lines of 300 people). Then an employee ran through Target collab's version of a flight attendant announcement. No running. No fighting. We will kick you out. It would be funny, but that's what happens at these things. At 8 a.m., doors opened and insanity ensued. There were only two racks of clothing. I grabbed xs and s options in three items (thank god they had the jumpsuits...almost no dresses and zero swimsuits) and beelined to the fitting room just as the racks emptied to nothing. More than one disappointed woman with empty hands audibly muttered, "what just happened?" 

My haul: 

There were definitely people at Target only there to buy for resale. Special shout out to the lady in the "Norry" tshirt and baseball hat talking on her phone about how dumb Lilly is while pushing this cart (if she didn't look like she could take me down with her pinky, I would have taken her photo):

And crazy resale is already in full effect: 
(in store for $44)

(in store for $40) 

I am thrilled with what I was able to get and was even able to chat with my friend's mom, who I hadn't seen since high school graduation. While there was probably better inventory at a bigger store, I feel good about my decision to small town PA the launch and hope nobody pays eBay prices to snag an item. Hope you all did well too!

Need to Know: Lotta from Stockholm

Saturday, March 21, 2015

I have an irrational obsession for shoes with wooden soles. I own six pairs of shoes with wooden soles (now seven). That seems like a lot, right? Regardless, I fell in love with Swedish Hasbeens years ago when they started popping up everywhere. I did not fall in love with their price tag. Even on sale, every style I like is over $100. On my budget, that is not happening. Then, an old friend from Richmond posted pictures of her new "they look just like Swedish Hasbeens, but are a fraction of the cost" shoes. Since I have no shame, I promptly asked where they came from and learned about Lotta from Stockholm. More importantly, I learned about the Sales-n-Seconds portion of their website. Within minutes of  this discovery, I had purchased red Mary Janes for a song and began dreaming of springtime outfits to pair them with. The fit is great and the leather is a gorgeous color of red (I'm very particular abouty reds). The shipping was fast to the United States, too. 

Can We Get Consistent Sizing? A Rant.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Earlier today, I got an email that jeans were buy one get one 50% off at Old Navy. Like many other thirtysomethings, I'm a former designer jean devotee, but as I've gotten older, the idea of spending $200 on a pair of jeans makes me cringe. So on my lunch break today, I drove to Old Navy, found some denim styles to try on and took a two and a four in a few styles to the fitting room. Nothing fit. I couldn't even zip the jeans! Now, I'm not the tiniest person I know, but I'm typically a two or a four. So when they didn't even come close to zipping, I wanted to know what size would. The ultimate answer? An eight. This is what they look like on: 

For reference, I am five feet tall and weight 105 pounds. I have chicken legs and thigh gap. And had to buy an eight. I shared the story with a friend and she said, "I wouldn't have bought them." But the jeans are cute. I honestly was fine buying whatever size fit (clearly, I took advantage of the BOGO sale), but as the ghostwriter of a bariatric surgery blog, it got me thinking. 

So many people have physically transformed their bodies through diet, exercise and/or surgery. Many people benchmark their progress by noting what size they started at in their journey and what size they now wear. If I had to go up to an eight, what about the woman who lost 100 pounds over the last year? She worked hard and is proud to be an eight (and rightfully so) and the sizing at Old Navy might put her in a 12 or 14. Crazy, right? Where is the consistency among sizing for women? There is a commercial out now where women of all shapes and sizes go into a store and try on jeans. Instead of there being a numbered size on a tag, the tag provides their wearer with a compliment. If only the real world worked that way, we would all feel a lot better about ourselves and comfortable buying whatever makes us look and feel good. Am I alone in this? Has anybody else had to buy a wildly different size when switching brands? 

Channeling Taylor Swift on a Boat

Sunday, February 22, 2015

A few months ago I cleaned out my closet. I got rid of several garbage bags full of clothing. If an item hadn't been worn in a year or more, it was out. With the exception of two swimsuits, my entire swimsuit collection went into the donation bin. I haven't been on a proper vacation in years, and when I tried my swimsuits on (maybe it's my super pale winter coloring), I felt silly. Tiny bikinis that worked for California vacations five years ago suddenly looked skimpy and made my late thirty something self rethink my approach to swimwear. Vintage swimwear is adorable and so flattering, but the line between trendy and matronly seemed like it could be fine. 

I started to look for vintage inspired swimsuits on ModCloth, Urban Outfitters and even Roxy's collaboration with my beloved Pendleton. They are way too expensive for my frugal budget - plus, how often would I be wearing a swimsuit? It was snowing outside when I was conducting my search, after all. Then, I remembered my brief obsession with a Catalina Swimwear one piece from Wal Mart last year. It was navy and had anchors all over it, but was also sold out and virtually impossible to track down - even on eBay. A quick search of Wal Mart's site led to a few retro style swimsuits that seriously channel tswizzle on a boat with Haim. I ordered two (a navy two piece with palm trees all over it and a black one piece with polka dots) thinking I would only keep one, but they both fit so well that I am keeping them both and might buy a third. The best part? They were only $32 each. LOVE. Can't wait to wear them this summer!

Vintage Pendleton Cape

Thursday, February 19, 2015

For years, I have been irrationally obsessed with all things Pendleton. The Portland Collection's Penobscot Poncho (mine at long last) is to blame. Within the last few years, their collaborations with brands like Dr. Martens, Crosley, Ariat and Nike have only increased Pendleton's accessibility and mega cool factor. I'm all in. 

As a resident of the northeast (about to experience a second subarctic blast in temps in one week), my recent unstated mission has become wearable warmth. Aren't all clothes wearable warmth? Excellent question! The answer is no. Most major retailers have significantly cheapened their materials (sorry, Gap! I used to love you, but your cheap acrylic sweaters are pilly and don't keep anybody warm). So, I ventured to trusty eBay to find some vintage Pendleton at an affordable price. I scored big with this vintage cape from the 1960's. Shockingly warm and so cute. It's just like wearing a blanket, which is pretty much exactly what I'll be going for on Friday morning when it is -18 outside. 

Stay warm out there, and if you're in a warm climate, please refrain from sharing those details. Jealousy doesn't look good on anybody.