Thursday, July 29, 2010

Reader Question: What Should I Buy for BlogHer?

The divine Samantha of Back To Me writes:

When I have no money I can find a bajillion outfits. Now that I'm DYING to spend it I find NOTHING. I've exhausted Target, LOFT, J Crew and Gap, all my go-tos.

I need help. I want an outfit. If I can wear it to work it's a bonus. A pair of dressy jeans that don't cost a bajillion dollars. A fun necklace or scarf or something. MAYBE cheapo fun shoes but comfy as this is for BlogHer and beyond.

Doesn't seem that hard. Any other places to look that I haven't tried that AREN'T a million dollars? Sigh. Extra credit if you actually put an outfit together FOR me and I'll love you forever.

I'm not fat by any means but I just went up a size and am so squishy and unhappy with my body which is making this even worse. So nothing skintight and whore-ish. Shocking, I know.

Kisses in advance, Sam

Well, I LOVE a challenge. First, it has to be said, Samantha is petite and adorable and completely fun and easy to shop for. I immediately thought of some places that she hadn't considered yet, namely Shop Ruche, Forever 21, and Land's End Canvas. I thought that a combination of items from these stores would give Samantha the versatile, hip, and affordable look she was yearning for, while still staying in her comfort zone.

I started by looking for a fun top that would highlight Samantha's nice shoulders and collarbone while skimming over her so-called problem areas. A one-shouldered top with expensive looking details will work with a light cardigan during the day, and with a fun necklace and skinny jeans at night. A breezy sheer black and white top also works for day and night, and the cozy knit dolman-sleeved top will be comfy on the plane or in the conference room.

I also picked a general color palette for her to work with. Things that can be mixed and matched, and accessories to tie it all together. The necklace, shoes, and belt are all straight up knock-offs of pricier items and they really pull the outfits together. The scarf is a bit more money, but the color is divine and it's perfect for chilly hotel conference rooms. I love that Sam can wear the brown dress on it's own, or she could belt it and wear it over skinny jeans. I'm pretty sure you could go out of town for two weeks with just these things in your suitcase, if you got creative.

Two pairs of jeans--one dark and straight or skinny legged, one trouser-style white pair. A mini dress straight out of Studio 54 that highlights great legs and will look glam without being hot. And some ruffly heels that match everything and work triple duty as the only heels she'll need on her trip round everything out.

I had the best time working with Samantha to come up with a mood board to inspire her BlogHer purchases. Stay tuned for a guest post from Samantha with pictures of what she ended up buying, and how she ended up wearing it!


Vacation, all I ever wanted.

Sorry! Sorry to be so slack and not update for days and days and daaaaaaaays. But I'm on vacation and have been wearing nothing anyone would want to take a photo of. But! I do have some photos to share from my shopping adventures with Marianne. We didn't do as much shopping as we wanted to, but we did hit up two different TJ Maxx stores in pursuit of almost nothing, as it turns out.

Here, we both tried on completely ill-fitting crap from the clearance rack:

And yet another weird combo from the clearance rack:

That giant skirt I'm wearing? Was a size 6. I think perhaps it was mislabeled because, uh, no.  Marianne tried on a really freaking cute Calvin Klein (?) dress that I think she should probably have bought:

It looks great on her! Dang, I really should have made her buy it. We both tried on the world's most unfortunate Max Studio dress:

Wow, could it be more unflattering? It looked really cute on the hanger too.

Okay, now a lesson for you all. If you are out shopping with a friend here are words you should never hear: "I want to find a romper for you to try on." A true friend would never say this MARIANNE.  I was all, "oh really? OH REALLY." And then I challenged her to find me a freaking romper to try on and OH MY GOD. The following photos are NSFW. Also, NSFC. Also, NSFA. You've been warned:

Holy God, that thing is so beyond too small. I am wedged into it. I think I might have used a shoehorn. I am uncertain how I got out because I blacked out at one point. Then. Oh, then. There was this:

Yes, that's right. It gives me weird headlight boobs and a polterwang. I don't EVEN KNOW why this was manufactured. I love that you can see Marianne laughing at me in the background. She is so not my friend. But I miss her anyway.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Adrien: Peeking into fall...

I'm not ready for fall yet, not really. I absolutely love summer, love not wearing tights, love not being cold all the time. But! There is something about the excitement of fall clothes and shoes (and boots and coats) that starts to build sometime I've grown tired of summer stuff, tired of the meh colorways and REALLY TIRED OF RUFFLES. Oh lord, please get the ruffles the hell away from me. Here's a peek at what's exciting me so far:

Jewel tones! And PURPLE. Yay for colors I wear and love! And animal print anything.  Ann Taylor seems to have a lot of animal print coming out this fall and so does Talbots. I'm so there. Rowr.  I need these flats in my life:
 My friend Nina wants this coat the most:

Vintage style! And patent leather!

Oh, I just can't wait.

Banana Republic 3/4-sleeve faux-wrap dress
Anthropologie Bouquet Toss Dress
Ann Taylor leopard flats
Talbot's leopard-print coat
Söfft 'Ferre' Mary Jane

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Adrien: On Vacation

Well, by the time you read this I'll be on my way to Knoxville! I wore this to work yesterday because I was sick of all my clothes and wanted to wear something fun. It's far from work appropriate, but hell, that's what cardigans are for, right? Anyway, here goes:

It was way to hot out to wear a cardigan.

Okay, you can stop now.

Seriously, I'm late. Stop clicking.

dress: LOFT
sandals: Ann Taylor
cardigan: Old Navy
key necklace: Twist Style
bag: Marc Jacobs

Stay tuned! Marianne and I will document our shoppy adventures soon...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Adrien: Black, white and red all over.

My favorite combination has to be black and white (or cream) and red. I just love a pop of red. Or a lot of red. Whatever, I'll take it. This outfit is all elements you've seen before but hopefully I've not done this exact combo:

Not groundbreaking, but definitively me.

top: Banana Republic
skirt: Ann Taylor
sandals: Franco Sarto
bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs
bangles: J. Crew
watch: La Mer

Marianne: Meeting Place Tank review

Like the rest of the known world, apparently, I bought anthropologie's Meeting Place Tank when it went on sale a few weeks back. And, of course, it was backordered. For a while there I didn't even think I would get it, I have not had the best luck with backordered items from anthropologie, but here it is!
And...I like it pretty okay. Mostly. I wish the little drapey/dangly bit was more like in the product shot, rather than a kind of tacked on looking piece.
It almost feels a little big on me, which is ridiculous because I am definitely a size medium, y'all. Looking at these pictures, though, makes me think I just need to fiddle with it some more. Pull down the right side and hitch up the dangly part a little. I don't know. And then there is the issue that I had no idea what to wear this with and went with white jeans out of desperation. What I'd really like is a denim pencil skirt. I think. Maybe.

So, not the most glowing review, even though I do actually like the top. I just don't LOVE it like I thought I would.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

What Hermes can do to a friendship.

M: I am not a watch person, but Garance Doré just posted about a watch that made me suck the air in between my teeth. Of course it's Hermès.

A: That watch makes me INSANE. It's so so so perfect that it makes me want to sell everything I own so I can have it to wear in my van down by the river.

M: God, I know. Maybe we can share one and live in a cardboard box and eat cat food.

A: I would totally eat cat food if it meant i could wear that watch. I could check the time to make sure we moved the van before the cops came to chase us off.

M: On day Lulu will write a book like The Glass Castle and go on Oprah to talk about how her mom went to live on the streets all for the love of a watch.

A: But it'll be worth it because it's a really, really nice watch. She'll be lucky if you leave it to her in your will after she writes about seeing your Hermes-clad hand digging in the garbage as she passes in a cab on her way to some fancy event.

M: That's your inheritance, you ungrateful little munchkin! Now, pass me the cat food.

A: Hey, at least we have The Watch. It's my turn to wear it, by the way.

M: Um, the schedule CLEARLY states that it's my turn.


M: FINE. But I get first dibs on the Fancy Feast.

A: Whitefish Feast or Beef 'n Liver Pate?

M: Seafood Surprise!

A: You always want the Seafood Surprise. Greedy.

M: I just have a delicate palate.

The End


 Hey! Before you go, be sure to check out our friend Emily's giveaway! She is giving away a $50 gift certificate to Who doesn't need cute stationary? Check it out here.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Adrien: Weekend shopping and vacation

The sales are crazy this time of year but I also find that everything is so picked over that it's almost not even worth bothering. I went by Loft this weekend (still offering 50% off sale stuff!) and the few things I really liked weren't available in my size and the rest was the color of meh. I did try on this skirt:

Which I ADORE in theory, but on me it just didn't work. The fit was off and the pattern too stark. Probably for the best, but boo.

Nordstrom, however, always tempts me with their anniversary sale which is all about special pricing for new fall items and sale prices on year-round items that rarely get discounted. I am not quite ready to think about fall clothes but I did stock up on a certain brand of underthings* that are stupid-expensive at retail, but totally worth buying at nearly half-price.

Other than that, I didn't buy a thing because I'm about to go on vacation! I don't know that we've mentioned it but I'm actually going to Knoxville later this week to visit Marianne and a group of our mutual friends. We're going to be pretty busy drinking cocktails, lounging poolside and visiting Dollywood, but I'm sure we'll find time for some shopping too. We'll definitely bring the camera with us so you can see just how stupid it gets when we're together.

(Yes, that would be me, ruining the photo again.)

So much to look forward to! I can't wait to see everyone.

*sorry, you'll just have to figure this one out on your own as I'm not going to discuss my underpinnings on the Internets. Except for slips, which I already did talk about. Whatever. You gotta have boundaries.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Marianne: That 70's Show

I've always really liked this skirt, even though the cut is straight out of the '70's. High waisted, full skirted, medium blue denim, hitting below the knee.
Comfortable, yes, but is it flattering? I always thought so but these pictures give me pause.
The sweater is ancient, at least 7 years old, but this is why I never get rid of anything. It's embellished and looks like I could have bought it at any number of places in the past year. Score!

sweater: Max Studio
t-shirt: Old Navy
skirt: Tulle
belt: LOFT
shoes: Sofft

Friday, July 16, 2010

Adrien: Addict, Part II.

Outfit with bag #2! It's a brick red Blake with brown suede lining. It weighs approximately 80 tons but it's beautiful and I don't regret sacrificing another bag to get it in my sweaty mitts.

I am wearing another sale-rack top from LOFT that I loved in the store but while chatting with the SA I mentioned my concern that the pale color would wash me out. She looked at me like I was crazy and said, "'re... tan." Oh! Right. Yes, it's NOT the middle of winter when I glow like one of those sightless cave fish. Okay! So I tried it on and she was right:

skirt: Semantiks
wedges: Franco Sarto
bag: Marc Jacobs

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Review: Skin & Bones

A while ago a mutual friend of ours posted on Facebook about this amazing oil she'd been using on her face and how glowy her skin looked. We were all, DUDE WHERE NOW NEED. Because who doesn't want glowy skin? The friend hooked me up with Heidi, the creator of Skin & Bones, and she was kind enough to send Marianne and I generous samples.

My review:

I wasn't sure what to expect but this stuff is great. And isn't the packaging fantastic:

Aside from looking really cool, the dark violet glass protects the ingredients:

Skin & Bones contains 100% pure jojoba oil and nine therapeutic grade essential oils including; Frankincense, Myrrh, Ylang Ylang, Grapefruit, Jasmine, Cedarwood, Lemon, Rosewood and Sandalwood.

I read that and was intrigued but also slightly worried I'd end up smelling like a hippie. Luckily, I could not have been more wrong. This stuff smells AMAZING and I don't say that lightly. I don't like the scent of (easily) 90% of skincare products. I'm picky. I'm the girl who used unscented lotion, unscented deodorant, unscented everything. I'm just sensitive to perfumes, I guess. But, Skin & Bones is not perfumey and it doesn't have a strong or cloying scent, just a lovely one. It's unisex, but warm and spicy with hints of jasmine (my favorite) and unlike perfume, the scent becomes subtle on the skin as the oil just melts in.

Right now my face is doing pretty well so I've been sticking with my regular regime, but I have used it a few times as a nighttime moisturizer with good results. Come fall and winter, this will be my regular nighttime moisturizer, no doubt. For now, I mostly use it on my heels, my elbows, my shoulders, anywhere I need a little moisturizing.

It melts into my skin and just gives me a nice glow without being sticky or greasy or weird. I'm addicted. (Like, uh, last week? I dropped my little sample bottle and made an freaked-out hissing noise like Gollum losing his Precious as it rolled away.)  Seriously, I love this stuff and will be ordering a regular sized bottle soon.

Marianne's take:

Upon opening the package from Skin and Bones I was immediately struck by nice little details. An embossed business card on heavy card stock and the attractive, scrolling label. I read more about the product and immediately started feeling antsy. It sounded...smelly. I am really not a big fan of smelly things. But hey, a free sample is a free sample, so I had to try it.

Let me tell you, folks, this stuff is smelly but it smells DIVINE. I want to wear it as a perfume! So far I have not tried it on my face (because of Wonderbar issues, MORE ON THAT LATER OH YES), but I've rubbed it on dry patches and it's very soothing. But mostly I love to spritz a bit on my collarbone/chest area, which adds a nice shine and smells delicious. Seriously, this is good smelling stuff. I also like rubbing it in to my cuticles. I don't use much moisturizer in the summer (it's so hot and humid here that I just feel slimy), but this sinks in quickly. It reminds me a little bit of Origin's Birthday Suit, the kind of thing you can rub on after a shower.

Come winter, I think I'll try this on my daughter Lulu as well. And once I get over the current issues I'm having with my skin (OH YES, MORE TO COME), I'd like to try it on my face as well. At the moment I'm just a little gun shy.

Overall, this is a delicious-smelling product! The small sample vial has lasted a pretty long time, so even though the full sized bottle is pricey at $40 for 3.4oz., it will last you for quite a while.

More info:

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Adrien: I'm an addict.

I have a handbag...problem. I am the first one to admit it, too. I am addicted and would rather have a nice bag than just about anything else. I'll wear cheap shoes and really cheap clothes but I do like a nice bag. Sadly, my income doesn't permit me to buy fancy new bags, so I spend a lot of time scouting bargains on eBay and Bonanzle. I also usually sell a bag to buy one, so it all evens out.

Recently I sold two and bought two, both of which were absolute steals. Today I'm carrying the stealiest of the two:

It's a Marc Jacobs Stella, one of the older versions with cloth lining.  I honestly think nothing beats Marc Jacobs soft calf leather.

More hazy outfit photos (it finally rained, making the outside world ultra-humid):

 belt detail!

obligatory goofy outtake
dress: Banana Republic
belt: NY & Co.
sandals: Ann Taylor

Monday, July 12, 2010

Marianne: Weekend "Style" and a review

Whew. Hello there folks! As Adrien mentioned, last week was kind of insane for me at work (read: 14 hour shoot days, outside in 100 degree weather, with the added bonus of a UTI), so I am sorry for my prolonged silence. But damn, that Adrien sure is a cutie pants, isn't she?

Over the weekend I had big plans to take some pictures of some new purchases from anthropologie, but instead there was a lot of this:
And this:

And lots and lots of this:
And a little of this:
14 hour work days mean you leave before your kid wakes up and get home after she's asleep. I missed her so, so much.

I was cleaning my room this weekend and realized I never posted a review of my gorgeous Couted Rouge heels from anthropologie. If you'll remember, I bought them with a gift card to replace my favorite red Mary Janes.
These are incredibly pretty shoes. And even better, they are lined with buttery soft leather. I wore them for 10+ hours the first day I got them and my feet didn't have so much as a red mark at the end of the day.
Normally I would not spend this much on shoes, but in this case it wasn't "real" money and I have to say they are worth every penny. Really gorgeous, classic shoes with enough of a twist to make them interesting. I love the little knot detail and the heel height is perfect.

I guess that's what they mean by "you get what you pay for"! I recommend these 100%.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Adrien: le Tour!

What I wore yesterday was inspired in part by the Tour de France which I watch every year. I think I would make a great podium girl, even though the outfits are generally terrible:


I don't generally look good in yellow, but I could certainly make an exception for certain situations:

Don't you think I look nice next to Cancellara? I do.

Anyway, here's my little Frenchy shout out to the Tour:

dress: Old Navy
sandals: Madeline
necklace: Forever 21
bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs