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. 

What's In My Bag

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Surprisingly, I actually don't have a lot of purses and usually carry the same bag to work everyday. That being said, there are days when I want to take more (or less) with me. Today, I didn't feel like bringing a lot with me, so I took my Cambridge Satchel out for a spin. I have the 11-inch satchel from their classics collection. It's a gorgeous dark brown that can easily work with black as well. It goes with anything! To prevent thievery, it was embossed with my initials. It's perfect for an everyday bag, and my work necessities were a just fit. Here what I had to take: 


Missing from photo: my cellphone (used to take the picture)! Here's how I wore it:


I paired my bag with a Limited wool sweater dress that features a drop waist and pleated chiffon skirt, black tights and my reliable old Talbots heels. Also, a keen eye may notice I now have short hair. I always had short hair and then grew it out six years ago. Time for a change and I jumped on the textured bob bandwagon and love it! 



So, About My Globe Problem

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Everybody who knows me knows that I have a weird fascination with maps and globes. You may remember my posts about my vintage black globe and my vintage pull-down world map (just like your favorite teacher used to struggle with at the front of the room). I think it's safe to say that my fascination has officially moved into collector territory, which, let's face it, is hoarding. I am a globe hoarder. 

I have been searching for a vintage globe on a stand in excellent condition for ages.  The reasonable price is obvious in my case. This pretty much is an impossibility for this item. Still, I would periodically search. And then search some more. Until one evening in December I found an Etsy seller who had one listed for $35. Shipping was $13. I sent him a million questions, which he patiently answered. I thought he had forgotten to add a one in front of the $35, but no, he actually sold it for $35. Because sometimes saints have Etsy stores. Because of global warming (I'm punny) and horrendous weather issues, I wasn't able to retrieve the globe from my parent's house until this weekend. Completely worth the wait! The metal base has no marks. The wooden stand is knick free, and the globe is absolutely beautiful. 





I can't wait to get home and add it to my collection! P.S. I believe this dates to around 1990, because the globe still says  USSR, but shows that Germany has been unified.

Happy Holidays to Me

Sunday, January 4, 2015

This holiday marked a pretty big moment for me. I have been struggling the last few years getting back on my feet and any money gifted to me at the holidays has needed to go directly into my bank account to pay bills. Not very exciting! This year, I was actually able to treat myself with  some presents. Unlike what you would imagine, I had no plan for my money. I could have saved it, but I actually wanted to treat myself. Because I'm light on the material these days, I'm breaking this post up into a few parts. First up, my Kris Jenner "Omish" dress from Ann Taylor, since today is back to work day for me.

I spent New Year's Eve in New Jersey with my boyfriend's family. I had to drive several hours into Pennsylvania to pick up my dog at my parent's house, and made a pit stop at the Crossings Outlets in Tannersville to break up the trip. I never go in the Ann Taylor store, but they had the most perfect Kris Jenner "Omish" dress in the window. Black and fitted with a white collar and wrist detailing, I decided to see if they had my size. Miraculously, after a quick sweep only turned up only extra small petites, I finally found a small petite, which somehow fit (that's a rarity for me with petites). 


It's cute, right? So Kris. Anyway, it's perfect for work, and I've been trying very hard to increase my work wardrobe. Now, here is where things get brilliant. The original price on the dress was $129.99 and the sale price was marked $99.99. The entire sale section was an additional 60% off, so I paid exactly $40 for the dress! Major score and a great work staple. Definitely a new favorite that will make the first work day of 2015 brighter! 


How I wore it:
Black tights: Target, $8
Heels: Talbots, super clearance, $32 (old)
Faux pearls: Target, $8