Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Adrien: Weeping.

I know, this whole no-shopping-in-September thing was my big stupid idea and it's a good one because, yes, it forces me to shop in my own closet and be more creative with what I already have. There's only one problem: I don't actually have a ton of clothes. Unlike Marianne, I don't have a lot of clothes older than 3 or 4 years, mainly  because I lost about 40 pounds nine years ago, and with it about four dress sizes. I consigned, eBayed and gave away all my "fat" clothes because I couldn't imagine ever being there again. I did gain back a few pounds, but I've been a pretty consistent size for the past five or six years.

Also, I am a big believer in consigning or selling anything in my closet that's not working for me. I almost never regret this and it's nice to have the extra money to roll back into my wardrobe for fresh new things. So, the gist of all this is that you're going to be seeing a lot of repeat outfits in the coming weeks, starting with today's blue dress which you've also seen here, here, and here. Sorry, dudes. I'm boring.

Hey, don't forget to check out our new little shoppy page: Looks Better On You!  We're adding new items all the time.

dress: Banana Republic
cardigan: J. Crew (similar)
sandals: Wal-mart (similar)
bag: Rebecca Minkoff MAM (similar)
belt: Talbots (similar)
necklace: Keen Designs

Monday, August 30, 2010

Challenge: Shopping-Free September

It's already been mentioned, but I've been feeling a little overwhelmed and overly acquisitive this summer. Possibly anthropologie's free shipping deals are what did me in, it was suddenly FAR too easy to justify purchases, especially with the great sales going on. But I've bought a few things that have languished in my closet, barely worn. This is really unlike me.

So what has happened? Well, this blog for one. It made it more fun to show off something new. But also, I was pregnant and had a baby in the past two years, and lost an additional 20 pounds after losing the baby weight. A lot of my clothes just don't fit any more (plus some of my favorite things were ruined in a flood).

But now fall is looming and I want a break. To clear my head and really take inventory of my wardrobe before making any rash purchases. To stop checking out sales and coveting things. Just for a little while.

So, i've been talking about this issue with Adrien, and she threw this little tidbit out there:

"Should we try to do a shopping ban for the month of September? Like, as a blog thing? Is that cruel?"

And, I ran with it:

"Ooh! We could! I was kind of planning to do that for myself anyway, but if we both do it it's a THEME. And it would lift in time for me to go to New York and maybe to be buying something." (this is the part where I need to tell you about my trip to New York. Soon)

Adrien responded:

"See? There you go. It would be a good blog theme for September! And would force us to "shop in our closets" and also push the new "looks better on you" section."

And I wrapped it up with:

"I think it's a great, idea, truly. It will help curb that early fall BUYBUYBUY impulse, will make us revisit things in our closets we've forgotten about, get rid of things we really don't wear, and set us up for the first wave of fall sales."

And that really is the point of this all, to rein in spending and bring our current wardrobes into focus. So here's the gauntlet: Adrien and Marianne are not shopping for the month of September. Bam.

So, what do you think? Want to join us? Think that we'll break? We love a good challenge.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Adrien: One last hurrah...

I went to the mall yesterday with my 30% F&F coupon, not because I needed anything but because you just never know.  I didn't go crazy, though, because the Gap wasn't doing much for me and Banana Republic doesn't have anything right now I desperately need. I did, however, pick up a couple of super marked-down necklaces, one of which I'm wearing here:

The top is one that I tried on at Ann Taylor a month or so ago but didn't want to pay $38 for it. Yesterday I found it on the sale rack for $7! Practically free and I love the color and crazy pattern:

top: Ann Taylor (similar)
pants: Banana Republic (similar)
necklace: Banana Republic (similar)
shoes: Frye Iris (similar)
bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs Hillier Hobo

Friday, August 27, 2010

Adrien: Useless Anthropologie Reviews.

I went to Anthropologie the other day to try on skinny cargo pants because Jinah kind of threw down the gauntlet. Sure, they look cute on her but I was confident they'd look like deep-fried ass on me and I wanted to prove it.

So I got there and couldn't find a damn single pair to try on. No J Brand, no Citizens, no Joes. It was like they knew I was coming and hid them all from me. I did find a pair by a brand I'd never heard of but they weren't quite skinny and yes, they looked like deep-fried ass on me:

The top I have on in the second photo is the Chiminu Kata Tank which was very pretty and also very huge, so I had to size down to a 2. Seriously, that's the 2. It's on sale right now for a great price, but it was not for me, so I passed.

Next I tried on the Echoing Dress (on sale but not on the website anymore. Effortless Anthropologie reviewed it here) and oh my baby Jesus, no. It's a disaster. It's true name is the Droopy Sack Dress because NO:

To recover from the trauma I tried on the Dreamy Drape Dress (sadly, not on sale) in the pattern version and wow, this is a beautiful thing:

It felt really good on and I might cave and buy it if it ever goes on sale. My only hesitation is that maybe it's too dressy for work. But, so comfy! So pretty!

Finally, I found a pair of black James Jean Twiggy jeggings denim leggings marked down to nothing, last pair, in my size. Oops? I needed them:

Worn here with the Unveiled Tank which is a fantastic shade of grey but too weirdly lumpy for me to really know what to do with it.

So yeah, I just bought the jeans because apparently I needed another pair of skinny jeans. So dumb. 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Marianne: Shopping my Closet

With the coming fall, I've been feeling a change in myself. I'm not sure if it's due to a sense of being overwhelmed by the nature of consumption fed by the many wonderful fashion blogs I read, or if it's just because I recently took a pay cut to stay home with my daughter one more day a week, and so my budget is on my mind.
But anyway, when I got dressed this morning, I looked, I mean really looked, at my closet. I've been coveting a dark denim pencil skirt, I wonder if that 7+ year old skirt fit? And lo, it did! Okay, it's a little tight, and a little short, but I'm going with it. Besides, it has a great super high waist, so even though it's tight, no muffin top! Score.
Then I turned my gaze to the messy pile of light sweaters on a shelf. With the shorter skirt I wanted to be more covered up on top, both for warmth (I work in a freezing office) and propriety. Again, I wondered if the 9(!) year old sweater I bought when I lived in New York would still fit and look decent. And again, it fit and made me thankful for investing in nice pieces.
I finished things off with current favorites and was off to work, in my new/old outfit.

sweater: Petit Bateau (similar here)
skirt: Powder Blu (similar here)
shoes: Miz Mooz Hazel
bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs (similar here)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Adrien: Leopard Girl.

Head to toe Banana Republic, I know. And not very exciting. But the shoes! I got my leopard flats and I loooove them. Even if they're currently destroying the tender skin on my heels. Eventually, they will break in and be comfortable, right? Right.

top: Banana Republic (similar)
pants: Banana Repubic crop pants (similar)
shoes: Banana Republic Samie flats
bag: Marc Jacobs Stella tote (similar)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Adrien: And so it begins.

My fall clothing rampage has begun with the purchase of a cheap animal print top from Target. I've mostly been trying to not auto-purchase every cute thing Target makes and instead save for better quality items, but this top I could not resist. It was fun and blouse-y and works with shorts, with skinny jeans and boots, and also as a tucked-in work blouse:

top: Target - Merona Women's Ladder Lace Top
skirt: Gunex
shoes: Chie Mihara
bag: Marc Jacobs Stella

Disclaimer: I have no idea what's wrong with my face today. Oy.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Adrien: Grown up and stuff.

I had to look like a grown-up yesterday for a work event, so I pulled out my favorite sheath dress and doctored it up with fun accessories. The only thing I can't seem to get right with this dress is a necklace. Tiny ones completely disappear, while a bold necklace competes with the pattern. I have no idea what the solution is, but here's what it all looked like:

Right after this picture was taken, it started to rain:

Then it started to REALLY rain:

dress: Banana Republic (similar)
shoes: Chie Mihara (similar)
belts: Lauren Ralph Lauren (similar)
cardigan: no idea. Target?
bag: Marc by Marc Hillier Hobo

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Adrien: Magic pants.

Before I start I should let you know that for me, shopping for pants is right up there with bra fittings, PAP smears, and cold-calling. In other words, its not something I enjoy.

So, with that in mind, last weekend I went on a mission (with friend Kate in tow) to find a pair of black Audrey Hepburn-esque cropped pants. I wanted something like my favorite navy cropped BR pants which are no longer online (and long gone from "my" store) but still available in summer-weight grey:

Pants & Shorts by Banana Republic at ShopStyle

The style is exactly what I was looking for. So. First I went to Gap to try on their new Premium Slim Crop pants.

Cropped Pants by Gap at ShopStyle

Erm, no. The first pair I tried on in size 6 were ass-flatteningly tight. I have NEVER IN MY LIFE. The fabric was also super-duper stretchy in that tight-now-but-will-give-you-ass-sag-by-noon kind of way. I tried on the 8 which fit better in the leg/booty area, but was much too big in the waist. Not feeling it, Gap.

Then I went to J. Crew to try their "magic" Minnie pants, which folks rave about. they're supposed to magically fit everyone perfectly. Well, everyone that isn't me I guess because OH MY GOD NO. I tried on the 4 and the 6. The 4s were obscene. The size 6 pair technically fit, but it was not doing anything for me. Not magical.

Casual Pants by J.Crew at ShopStyle

I pouted. And then I played with the light switch in the dressing room that offered "evening lighting" which was just their way of saying, THIS TURNS THE LIGHT OFF YOU STUPID IDIOT. I freaking hate J. Crew.

I fled, dragging poor long-suffering Kate over to Banana Republic (a different location than my usual store) and what did we find? And entire rack of my favorite cropped pants in black. On sale. Oh my heck! I bought a pair really fast before I could over-think it so now I have my pants.  Yay for that! I need a drink.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Adrien: It's cute though, right?

So, I have a ridiculously cute new bag and it's procurement is kind of a long story.

The seriously short version

Saks put this bag on sale for a ridiculously low price. Wait, No they didn't. Yes they did. It shipped. No it didn't. Oops, the price was a mistake and nobody seems to know what happened to my order. It's shipped. It's canceled. It's shipped. I'll find out and call you back. No I won't.

The crazy longer version

I'd ordered one for me and one for Marianne and our emails during the three week span of this process went something like this:

Me: We're getting the bags!

Marianne: Whee!

We're not getting the bags!


Me: I think we're getting the bags!

Marianne: YAY

Me: They shipped!


Me: Wait, they didn't ship!

Marianne: HOLD ME.

Overall, it was kind of a terrible experience. The price was apparently a mistake but my card got charged and the bags were supposed to have shipped, but didn't. Then the order was canceled but nobody could tell me that. I did six live chats. I finally called and found out that they weren't honoring the price and, while I was disappointed, I was not too surprised. What did surprise me is why after three weeks nobody else I dealt with had been able to tell me that. I never got any kind of cancellation notification.

But! Before you start gnashing your terrible teeth, there is a happy ending.  I'm delighted to tell you that Saks completely made this situation right again. I Twittered about my experience and was contacted by a senior manager. He made it all right in one awesomely fell swoop. He pulled all of my calls and chats, reviewed the situation, explained to me what had gone wrong and then re-placed the order for me. I am a happy camper and Saks has made me a customer for life. THAT, my friends, is good customer service.

And now, my new little buddy:

Thanks, Saks!

bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs Percy
dress: Old Navy

Monday, August 16, 2010

Marianne: All Grows Up.

I had a fancy meeting this morning and had to attempt to dress like a grown up. Conservative for me, which in my office is still probably a lot more casual than most. But still, closed toed shoes (in red, I mean come ON), a wrap dress, and a frigging brooch.

That's right. Brooch. I like the sparkles, okay? It poked and tickled me all day.
Add my favorite Grown-Up Bag, lined with divine burgundy suede like whoa, and Grown Up hair that I took down after seeing these pictures. It looked newscaster superdumb. Trust.

dress: Banana Republic (similar here)
shoes: anthropologie Coated Rouge (on sale in other colors here!)
frigging brooch: BCBG (similar here)
bag: Marc Jacobs Pocket Satchel (similar here)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Marianne: what I NEED for fall.

Notice that says NEED, not want. Due to some (good) changes in my life, I have less of a budget for fall clothes than ever. So I'm really trying to reign in the "wants" and focus hard on some things that are truly missing from my wardrobe.

For starters, I do not own a dressy pair of brown boots. Adrien and I have a lot in common but we differ in one area--she is the Boot Queen (bow down) and I have three pairs. One dressy black pair, my beloved Frye Lisa boots, some Boho vintage Justin camel boots, and a distressed medium brown pair of flat boots. And that's it. I really feel like a pair on par with my Lisa's, but in brown, would be put to good use. Of course, if I could go back in time and buy the Lisa's in brown, I would. Let's have a moment of silence for this style, which Frye apparently has no plans to reissue. Sniff.

Okay, my rules: I want a nice chocolate brown, nothing lighter. I walk a lot, so the heel can't really go over 3 inches. Not too pointy, not too round, and not too square in the toe. Not too spindly in the heel, but not too chunky either. They have to be real leather, and not too shiny. Oh, and under $200, but under $150 is even better. And you wonder why I have so much trouble finding boots that I like? I feel like this is just about the place where I start ranting about open toed boots and over the knee monstrosities, so instead here are a few I don't hate.
I think I'll just go back to praying the brown Frye Lisa's will show up on eBay. In a 7.5, please.

I also lack a pair of nice brown pumps. Or black pumps. My winter dressy/worky shoes are actually kind of pitiful. Maybe we should revisit this.

I went on a skirt strike a few years back and I'm just now starting to incorporate them back into my wardrobe. I've had some fun finding a couple of new summery skirts this season and I'd like a couple of pencil skirts for the fall and winter. I work in a casual office, so something in corduroy or even velvet might be nice. I also love this grey denim pencil skirt but at $178 I want to know what they are smoking. The bunchy sides of the Acting Out Skirt make my hips break out into a cold sweat, but curvy fashion bloggers like Roxy keep showing that it's flattering, so maybe worth a try?

Lastly, I'd love a nice sweater dress. I love the mixed media of the Curtain Call Dress, but there is an annoying voice in the back of my head telling me it wouldn't be flattering on me. I hate that voice. Luckily, I love the Kindred Spirit Sweaterdress just as much, if not more. Wouldn't this be great with my hypothetical brown boots? Am I too old to pull off a shorter sweater dress like the black turtleneck BCBG version, over leggings? Be honest. The gray BCBG one just looks very cozy and flattering, don't you think?
Now, there are a million other things I want, starting with a new winter coat, but again, I'm trying to behave myself. These are actual gaps in my wardrobe and I'd like to fill them with things that will last beyond this season.

Do you have any gaps in your fall wardrobe that you need to fill?