Thursday, January 31, 2013

Adrien: Oh, My Hairs.

As Marianne can attest, I am never, ever quite satisfied with my hair. It's just a thing, having short hair. Every cut is slightly different and sometimes I go through phases where I want to grow it out for absolutely no reason. (I'm currently in one of those phases right now.) One thing I never seem to learn is that products that work great when my hair is super short are going to be a sad disaster when it gets longer. Like, I am a pretty big fan of Bumble & bumble Styling Creme...until my hair starts grazing my jawline. Then it frustrates me and just seems to make my hair angry. It's bad, y'all.

So, right now I have a short, shaggy bob thing going on:

Super flattering, those camera phone pics.

I like it, but it's a struggle to have it do anything but just lay there all sad and flat. (This is the part where all the ladies with curly hair sigh with envy and all the ladies with fine, straight hair are like "YES, RIGHT? UGH.") Anyway! I thought I'd tell you about what products I've been using lately. What's working and what's not.

I go to an Aveda salon and I bought the Volumizing Tonic a while ago to try to bully some life into my hair:

It smells really nice and when my stylist uses it my hair is GIGANTIC but when I use it? Eh. It's fine. I think this has more to do with my lack of blow-drying skills than it does with the product itself. Or maybe I'm not using enough of it? I don't even know. I should experiment, I guess. But it smells good and it also seems to help detangle, since I don't generally use conditioner. One other thing I really like is John Masters Organics Sweet Orange Styling Gel:

Again, mostly because it smells really, really good. I'm picky about product scents and this one is so nice without being overwhelming. The gel itself does a fine job but I'm pretty sure the drugstore stuff I used to use would do just as well. But it's smells so nice! (Did I mention that?) So, I spray the Aveda tonic on my roots, run some gel through the rest of my hair and then blow-dry with a round brush. Then I straighten my bangs and the ends with a flat iron. I piece out the ends with a tiny bit of Aveda Defining Whip:

It's like a pomade but much, much lighter. I don't know that it does a whole lot, but it's nice for taming flyaways and static and doesn't weigh my hair down. (Really, if you're going to buy a non-wax pomade Bumble & bumble Sumotech is probably the way to go.) Finally, if I remember I spray the whole shebang with some really embarrassingly named hairspray. Whee. Usually this looks great for approximately half an hour and then the whole thing falls flat and sad. I don't even know why I bother sometimes.

When all this fails and I am desperate for a little volume I'll occasionally use the Oscar Blandi texture spray which I got in a Birchbox:

I spray it on my roots and it definitely works, but it leaves my hair feeling weird and stiff. I can't imagine using it every day, but it does work. One thing that absolutely does not work is Living Proof Thickening Mousse:

I had such high hopes but if I use a big blob it makes my hair kind of lank and stringy and if I use a little blob it makes my hair sort of lank and stringy. I DO NOT UNDERSTAND. What I do know is that, even though I bought the trial size, it's getting returned. I really liked some of the other products from this brand but this is not one of them.

So that's it! Do you have any secrets for fine hair volume? And, can anyone recommend an awesome round brush? Mine is some hard plastic jank I bought at Target and it seems to wish death upon my head.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Hipster Hate Rage.

A: Oxfords. We haz them.

source: The Sartorialist

M: Totally practical shoes for that weather. They seem smart.

A: I'm pretty sure one or both of those fools fell flat on their ass that day.

M: Pretty sure the deserved it. Hold on, it's pouring rain outside so Imma going to throw on some suede ballet flats.

A: Oh, that's fine! Perfectly appropriate footwear.

M: Warning, I'm about to turn into my mother. It's cold out! Button your coat for godssake.

A: Ugh, you are asking them to be so uncool when they SLIP AND FALL ON THEIR ASSES.

M: I'm sure the unbuttoned coat and slippery shoes look awesome while they tool around Antwerp or wherever on their hipster fixed gear bikes I HATE THEM.

A: Oh honey, it's okay, we all do.

M: So much rage. So much.

A: They are unmoved by your hipster rage.

M: Yeah, they really don't give a damn.

A: Or, they're just afraid to move.

M: More likely they are frozen solid.

A: Heh.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Trifecta: Coats

(This is the third in the series. If you missed them, part 1 is here, Marianne's part 1 is here,  part 2 is here.) 

So, lets talk about coats. Of the three things I picked for this series, coats are the least exciting, but probably the most important, especially if you live somewhere with Serious Weather. Marianne and I both live in places with fairly mild winters but I'm still wearing some kind of coat from October to April. That means that seven months out of the year I'm covering whatever I'm wearing with a coat and that's what most people are going to see. Therefore: important.

Avoid the single winter coat rut.

I used to be that girl. I had one winter coat I wore every. single. day. It was unexciting and probably didn't fit that well, but it did the job. So boring! So sad. Here's the thing, like a business suit, a coat is a bit of an investment and a fun scarf will help to change up the monotony. However, it really helps to have more than one. It will give you variety and will make the awful weather suck a little less, I promise. Aim for one long coat and one short coat (in black, brown, grey) and one in a fun color.

You need me.
You need a trench coat.

There is nothing more classic, more chic, more pulled-together, than a trench coat. I have two and I wear them almost year-round: as a rain coat, as a light jacket, dressed up, dressed down. A trench is totally versatile and will make you look sharp even if you're just wearing jeans and a t-shirt underneath. There are very classic versions, edgy versions, girly versions. I don't care which style you have, just have one.

Buy quality.

Coats are another one of those things worth spending money on. Well-made coats are warmer, will fit better, will last longer. I highly recommend Cole Haan for winter coats, and they're pretty easy to find on sale at places like Marshalls and online at Bluefly. Mackage is also a really great brand for a high-quality, warm coat with cool details.

I'm kind of cute, right?
Buy for the weather.

If you live somewhere ridiculously cold, go ahead and buy that puffy long down-filled coat and don't worry about what it looks like. I don't want you getting frostbite trying to look good. That said, you do have cute options.

You need a cute jacket. Or two.

Come spring and fall, I want a cute jacket that's going to be part of my outfit. This is where you can go a bit cheaper and have more fun with color and pattern. My favorite leather jacket came from Old Navy!

Cut the vent.

This is more of a PSA. That vent in the back of your coat that's sewn shut with a little cross of thread? Cut that, please. It's not decoration, it's to hold the vent shut until the coat is sold. Also, if you have a "100% Cashmere" label on your sleeve, you can go ahead and remove that too. Heh.

Okay, so here's my bare minimum coat wardrobe:

Long wool coat in a neutral color
Short wool coat in a neutral color
Tan trench coat
Casual puffer jacket
Casual field jacket

To expand it I'd add:

Wool coat in a fun color
Another trench coat in black or red
Long puffer coat
Leather jacket
An edgy mixed leather/wool coat

Finally, my two favorites! The first is (obviously) my tan Banana Republic trench coat:

I wear this so often the buttons are starting to pull loose! I also have one in black, but wear the tan version the most. If you're looking for one, I highly recommend Banana Republic for a decent quality, nicely fitting trench. (It's actually marked down right now! And there's a 35% off code!)

My other favorite is my J. Crew Downtown Field Jacket:

I actually paid full price for this because I wanted it so badly and it's been a workhorse for me. It's the perfect spring/fall layer, it's waterproof-ish, and it just looks exactly right every time. I'm so glad I bought it.

Okay, so let's talk coats. What's your stance?

Friday, January 25, 2013

Big Fans.

M: In honor of the Super Bowl next week, I present:

A: Super? Bowl?

M: It is a football competition.

A: Foot? Ball? Like...Beckham?

M: Sure.


M: Hush, hush. Shhhhh.

A: No...thank you?


A: I just, again, do not understand how you can call Daniel Craig "too beefy" in the face of these fine, BEEFY, gentlemen.

M: I am not going to defend my choices. Sniff.




M: I can't talk to you when you're like this.

A: You know who's pretty?

M: Don't say it.


M: Well okay, yes. Though he is awfully bundled up there, I will accept it.

A: Is this better?


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Marianne Has A Question, Y'all.





M: It's Jessica Alba's Golden Globes Lipstick. I found it online and I'm all advanced polymers AND long lasting color with no flakiness? SIGN ME UP.


A: Oooh, that is fancy! I am intrigued. I reviewed Hourglass tinted moisturizer this past summer and liked it, though it was sparkly.

M: Oh god, I forgot about your Twilight period.

A: We don't talk about that.

M: ANYWAY, I am currently back to using that Oriental Gold BB Cream and it's okay. It's really pale though. I feel like I need extra blush with it.

A: I keep meaning to pull that out again and give it another shot. 

M: I like it fine. The coverage is good without being heavy, and it makes me less shiny than my Bobbi Brown tinted balm. But the second the sun comes out again it will be too light.

A: LIKE A VAMPIRE. (sorry.)  

A: I ordered a couple of things from Sephora recently so I could get my birthday gift. It included a mini of this Benefit Watt's Up! luminizer. It's magical! So good. 

Good stuff.

M: For some reason I don't want to like Benefit (too cutesy, maybe), but they have such nice stuff. I need to get over it.

A: It always annoys me when I like a Benefit product. It's so gimmicky but I regularly use (and have re-purchased) Dandelion and Benetint so the stuff that's good is really quite good. 

M: I sing the praises of their Bella Bamba blush to the rafters but it pains me to actually say Bella Bamba out loud.

A: There is no reason you should have to say that out loud. 

M: It's embarrassing! But it's the prettiest color and lasts all day and ugh. Ugh! You win, Benefit!

A: I will tell you what I didn't like, the accompanying mascara, They're Real! They're a real mess, maybe.

M: Oh I think I tried that and did not like it one bit. I am still so obsessed with my current mascara that I've already purchased one to give you when you visit next.

A: Yay! I still love The Colossal that you recommended. Ooh, also, I got a sample of the Worst Mascara Ever. Blinc. Worst. Ever. Evvvvvvvvvvvvvver.

I am awful.

M: That tubey mascara shiz freaks me OUT. It feels like it's pulling my lashes out when I remove it. Hate.

A: It's awful! Wet and thin and makes my eyelashes all spiky and stuck together. And the removal is very disturbing, as you say.

M: People really seem to love it! I don't understand.

A: I was really surprised at how bad it was.

M: On a related topic, I got a sample of some Clinique eye makeup remover and I actually really like it. Most removers give me a weird rash. I'm so special.

A: You are a delicate snowflake. I got a great Lancome remover with my Sephora fancy sample bag. It works really well and smells like an old lady. Which is appropriate.

M: Yeah, that seems just about right.


M: Sorry!

A: Are not.

M: Listen, you set them up, I just knock them down.

A: Mmmhmm. 

M: Let's not fight.

A: Fine.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Marianne: Everly Grey Maternity Dress

Can I just start by saying that if you didn't read Adrien's Shoe Trifecta post? You need to go take care of that. I'll wait.

You back? Okay, now on to this outfit...

Oh lord. I took these photos at the end of a long work day, instead of in the morning as usual, and I really need to start touching up my makeup mid-day. At least I can assure you that in this case, I felt even more tired than I look here. I'm wearing an Everly Grey maternity dress and it is awfully cute, but too big on top. My solution? Belt it of course.
Listen, YOU try and tell Lulu she can't be in your photos. Try it.
I love the colors and neckline of this dress, even if it is kind of shiny. I got lots of compliments. You want to see it unbelted? Okay, fine.

It doesn't look too big in this picture, but trust me. Without the belt holding it in place the neckline shifted and showed my bra. It was not cute.

dress: Everly Grey (similar here and non-maternity similar here)
necklace: Diana Warner
belt: anthropologie (similar here and for a great price here)
tights: Assets Maternity (non maternity version here)
boots: Frye Melissa Button Boot (less expensive similar here)

Lulu's outfit:
dress: Old Navy (similar)
pants: Old Navy (similar)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Adrien: Color Blocked

Ooh, look at me doing the color blocking thing months and months after everyone else. Go me! This Ann Taylor skirt is kind of magical, though, with it's strategic optically slimming thing going and I love that the back panel is black because, yeah. It just makes sense that way. (That business does not need enhancing.) The sweater...well, we just won't talk about that. 

booty panel.
necklace: Ann Taylor (similar)

Monday, January 21, 2013

Trifecta: Shoes.

Some people are Shoe People the way I'm a Handbag Person. Don't get me wrong, I love shoes, but they aren't something I generally hoard. (Boots are a slightly different story.) Mostly because I am super picky and have sensitive feet. And expensive taste. Also, I'm hard on shoes, like, really hard. But, I still have a lot to say on the topic, so please read on:

Buy what you like, not what you wish you liked.

By this I mean, sure, I'd love to wear a hot pair of sky high stilettos but oh my God I would fall on my ass immediately. I remedy this by wearing heels that are chunkier and styles that stay on my foot. Something like this is a nice crossroads between style and function. Just because other dummies are teetering around on 6" platform heels does not mean you have to as well. Know your limits and don't buy something that you know is too high (or low or whatever) because even if you love the look, you won't end up wearing them.

I will break you.

Buy the pair that's exactly right.

If there is a pair of shoes that is YOUR HEART but are more expensive than what you'd normally spend, consider saving for them or stalking them for a sale. I have been wearing the same few pairs of Chie Mihara for several years because they are EXACTLY RIGHT. Trust your instincts. If you see something that looks exactly right in ever way(perfect color/style, fits your lifestyle, fits your wardrobe, fits your foot) make it happen. One pair of Perfect Shoes = four pairs of Just Okay shoes. Less is better if what you have is exactly right. And if you're lucky the Exactly Right pair won't be expensive.

The pair that got away. 
No size goggles.

So, you've found that pair of OMG PERFECT glitter patent t-straps and They are ON SALE! IN A HALF SIZE SMALLER THAN YOU WEAR! SHIT!  Don't do it. Don't do it. Don't do it. That kind of pain isn't worth it and they will not stretch out. I also hate when I try on a pair of shoes that are too big and the salesperson is all, "You can put inserts in!" Yeah, the last time I heard this was at Cole Haan and I'm sorry, if I'm going to spend that much on a pair of shoes or boots they better damn fit perfectly.

Boots are worth spending more on.

I can't say this enough. Cheap boots are just not the same. I really think it's worth it to save up for a better quality pair of boots that fit you well. And fit is important! If you can only buy one pair, really spend some time finding a pair that fits well, especially if you have large or very small calves. My calves are usually too small for a lot of popular brands but I've had luck with KORS Michael Kors, Camper and certain styles of Frye.

Sandals are not.

My favorite pair of sandals came from Walmart. The shame, it is deep. But, they were cute and eventually they self destructed but I sure got my $8 worth. I am hard on sandals and they're usually gross by the end of the summer anyway, so if they're not agony, go cheap.

Take care of your shit. 

I regularly take my shoes and boots to my trusted shoe guy to get re-heeled and polished up. It's the reason I've been wearing the same pair of Camper boots for four years. If you've taken my advice and bought decent quality shoes you really like, take care of them and they'll last a really long time.

How not to be a hoarder.

Now, I had a comment on the intro to this series asking how to adore shoes without owning a ton. I don't know if that is a question I can answer because if you're a shoe person, you'll find an empty niche that needs filling. However, if I had to get strict, this would be my bare minimum shoe wardrobe:

- basic black flats
- cute low heels
- Interesting high heels
- ankle boots
- tall black dress boots
- tall black or brown casual boots
- flat metallic/neutral sandals
- high heeled (or wedge) sandals in black or neutral color
- comfortable-but-stylish sneakers

That is my boring bare minimum. For fun add:

- animal print flats
- brightly colored heels 
- cognac boots
- clog boots (or some other interesting boot)
- brightly colored flat sandals
- brightly colored high heeled sandals
- metallic or funky high heeled sandals

(I'm leaving out things like gym sneakers and rain boots. You can figure that out for yourself.)

And, here are my personal two favorite pairs:

My Chie Mihara red mary janes. When I first spotted them online it was true love and I stalked and stalked and stalked them until they went on sale. They ended up being a Christmas gift from my mother that year, because she understands the joy in a pair of red shoes.

My other favorite is obviously my Camper boots. These were a blind eBay purchase and have just been a workhorse for me. They fit great, have a walk-able low heel, but are still dressy enough for work.

I hope this hasn't all been too obvious. Now, please tell me your shoe rules, assuming you have any.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Chop Chop!

source: The Sartorialist

A: This makes me want to chop my hair off again.

M: Ugh, so French, so cute.

A: That haircut would basically make me French, right? All gamine and shit?

M: Oh definitely.

A: I think you're just saying that so I'll shut up about my hair.

M: Not true! I mean, I always think your hair looks nice.

A: Aw, thanks. I should also say I like her outfit, pretty much. Except the shoes. I can't get on board with oxfords.

M: They are just not flattering. I can't make them work in my head. But she's real cute.

A: I just see BROWN TIE SHOES, which was a mandatory part of my high school uniform.

M: Ha! We had to wear SADDLE OXFORDS. Before they were remotely cool with the hipsters.

A: This reminds me of the time in middle school when my mother decided I had flat feet (I don't) and convinced me that saddle oxfords were cool. Soooo cool! (Guess what, 1985? NOT COOL AT ALL.)

M: Nope. Not cool. Never cool.

A: Never, ever, ever. Ever.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Marianne: Clare Vivier Messenger Bag

This is not a super exciting outfit. It's a lot of black, under the field jacket you've seen me wear one hundred times before, with a scarf thrown in for good measure.

Oh! But I am wearing my new Frye Veronica Short Boots, which I have been wearing almost nonstop and let me tell you, I am not really sure how I've made it so long without a pair of short moto boots. I kind of can't stop wearing them, they are so comfortable and stompy and just tough enough, but I can still wear them to work. Perfection.

But enough about boots (is there such thing as talking enough about boots?), in my handbag trifecta post I mentioned that I got a new bag. And you know we love new bag day around here. Over the holidays I was given a gift card and decided I'd use it to splurge on a new bag. I have been admiring the Clare Vivier messenger bag for a while, it seemed roomy, but lightweight, and I've been itching for a navy bag. I will be honest and say that I didn't think they are worth the $363 retail price, so I've been watching eBay and keeping an eye peeled for a discount code.

So, when I found a 30% off and free shipping code from a really random website, I took the plunge. That was an over $100 discount, and I knew from my eBay research that these bags are selling for over $300 used on eBay, so if I didn't love it I could make money on it. Crafty. I'll admit that when I first got it, I was unsure. It didn't seem as big as I had hoped and it's so slouchy there is no shape to it.

However, after a week of carrying this bag, I've kind of fallen in love with it. It holds a ton of stuff, without ever looking ridiculously huge. It is so butter soft that I can't stop touching it, and I love the touches of gold in the hardware. Because it's not lined, it's really light, and I just added a pouch on the inside for smaller essentials.

I think it's one of those things that will just look better with age. It's simple, a great color, and fabulous leather, and it's quickly becoming my favorite bag. Just like that.
So what do you think about my new purchase?

top: Old Navy Maternity (similar here and non-maternity version here)
pants: Paige Union Corduroy Jegging- on sale! (similar non-maternity corduroy jegging for < $30)
jacket: Doki Geki (high end similar here and inexpensive similar here)
boots: Frye Veronica Short Boot (less expensive similar here)
locket: House of Harlow Medallion Locket
scarf: Fred Flare Zebra Crossing Scarf
bag: Clare Vivier Messenger Bag (another cute leather messenger for under $200)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Trifecta: Handbags, Part Two

How awesome was Adrien's post about handbags this week? Ugh, so awesome. It made me want to run out and get me some ladylike, structured handbags but then I realized something. My life is, ah, not so ladylike. I work full time, but in a casual creative environment. I am 35 and I've literally never had a job where I couldn't wear jeans. And in my off time (notice I don't say free time)? I'm a mom to a small kid, with another on the way. So I thought I would share my more casual version of Adrien's go-to handbag wardrobe, in case there are more of you who do not have ladylike lives.

One thing Adrien and I have in common is this:

Buy the best quality you can afford.

I don't do cheap bags and fake leather. It disappoints me and doesn't hold up as long and even cheap Target bags can run you upwards of $40. If you buy 4 cheap bags a year guess what? You could have picked up a beautiful leather bag (seriously y'all, look at that fun, gorgeous bag) that will age nicely and become a statement piece in your wardrobe. It's the hard truth. I only buy one bag a year, and usually I buy it secondhand so I get the most for my money.

Another one of Adrien's points is: Don't be boring. And I agree, but...I've taken kind of a turn for the neutral with my bag purchases in the past couple of years. I used to have a blue bag, a pink bag, an emerald green stunner (dang, now I want that one), but my current most favorite bags are navy, a muted gold, and a worn natural leather. They are all crafted from gorgeous, touchable leather and have interesting shapes and details, but they aren't very colorful. That said, let's talk about what my bag wardrobe would be:

Running around as much as I do, I require that all of my bags have a long strap that can be worn across the body. I have to be able to grab a growing toddler, so free hands are key. My two favorite, and most used bags, are the Marc Jacobs "Mag Bag":

And my Su-Shi Old Skool Mini in Honey:

I also just got (and will blog about later this week!) a Clare Vivier messenger bag in navy. It's gloriously soft and slouchy and holds a lot without looking huge. It's pretty dreamy, but more on that later.

How about you? Do you gravitate towards more ladylike bags or are you more casual? Also, pssssst: it's Adrien's birthday today! Wish her a happy one by telling us your dream handbag in the comments.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Trifecta: Handbags

Of the three things in my Trifecta, bags are the thing I love most. The very most. Nothing pulls together an outfit like a nice handbag, especially one that's appropriate to the outfit and suits your personality.

Buy the best quality you can afford. 

While I'm the first to admit I have a bag problem, I've always gone for quality over quantity. I almost never buy a cute cheap bag from Target because I know it's not going to make me happy long term. I will gladly buy second hand high-end bags on eBay because the quality, details and look are so much more appealing and satisfying. If it means I own one or two second hand expensive bags instead of five cheaper new bags, so be it.

If you are not a handbag person and tend to carry one until it dies, this especially applies to you. This is something you carry EVERY DAY. And everyone can see it! You really want to pick something of good quality that's going to look nice for a long time. It drives me insane to see a nicely dressed woman carrying a ratty bag with weird strings hanging off it. Please don't. If you're thinking, "Damn bitch, I can't afford Marc Jacobs even on eBay" I have you covered. Please go directly to Marshalls or TJ Maxx and look for nice leather bags with Italian brand names you've never heard of. Those are some nice bags for not a lot of money.

Don't be boring.

A black bag is fine and you should probably have one but don't feel like it's your only choice. It's the safe choice but cognac, eggplant, cobalt and red can be really versatile and a lot more interesting. Prints are fun too but not as your main choice.

Bag wardrobe.

Okay, so how many is too many? How many do you really need? This would be my bare minimum:

For fun I'd add:

And, since I like talking about bags I'll tell you about my two favorites. First, my Marc by Marc Jacobs Hillier Hobo. I bought this with a gift card I won from a blog contest but even if I'd paid full price for it I'd say its worth every penny. It's my everyday workhorse - the perfect size, indestructible, easy to carry and, well, look at it:

Beautiful. I never get tired of carrying it and will probably buy a replacement when it dies. If I could only have one bag, it would be this one. But! I do not have to limit myself to one bag, so my second favorite is a bag that is slightly impractical but such an object of beauty that I don't even care:

My LV epi leather Speedy. It's a classic shape, a beautiful color and also very hardy. I bought it secondhand on eBay and it was the most I'd ever spent on a bag. I LOVE carrying it and it always gets comments. A handheld satchel is not that practical, but it fills me with joy every time I use it. That is a successful purchase right there.

So, your turn. Are you a handbag person? Tell me everything.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Hello There.


A: I am wearing the hell out of this suit.

M: Oh, you really are. Well DONE, you.

A: I mean his face, really.

M: At first I thought he was purposefully wearing only one glove and then I was like...NOPE DON'T CARE.

A: Gloves?

M: Sorry I don't know what I was thinking.

A: Get with the program, Marianne.

M: Pregnancy brain, or something. I'm now looking at his thighs and objectifying him.

A: I've already taken that jacket off.

M: That's really my only complaint. WHY SO COVERED UP, BRAH?

A: Well, it is winter, I suppose.

M: Excuses.

A: Lame. He appears young and healthy.

M: I mean, he's in Italy. How cold could it BE?


M: Well me either, damn it. Why aren't we in Italy?

A: Now I'm all depressed.

M: Me too. I want some cake.

A: I have donuts.

M: Jerk.

A: I was going to share but I CHANGED MY MIND.



Thursday, January 10, 2013

Adrien: My Trifecta.

I didn't take any outfit photos over the holidays but I did do a lot of thinking about personal style and my wardrobe, thanks in part to a great gift from Marianne: I Want to Be Her! by Andrea Linett (of Sassy and Lucky, two magazines I dearly loved.)

Andrea Linett's style is very different from mine and what inspires her is not always what would inspire me, but it made me feel much better about the amount of time and energy I put into how I look. It's pretty well known among my friends that I'm into style/fashion and sometimes it worries me. Does my obsession with handbags make me appear shallow and materialistic? Maybe it does, but you know what? I like what I like.  I care about how I present myself to the world and I care about how the world sees me.

And, I suspect if you're reading this you probably feel the same.  (DEEP ADRIEN. SO DEEP.) We're all friends here and we like clothes and stuff, right? And we want to look pulled-together? And maybe be one of the women from Linett's book, the one who turns someone's head because we look so freaking awesome? God, yes.

So, I'm going to do a little series about what I think is important when it comes to stuff. By "stuff" I mean the things that shape my personal style and how I find it immensely satisfying to have an item that perfectly fits the picture I have in my head. That THING that really makes an outfit. Obtainable joy.

Now, obviously there are other factors at work - how you wear something can be just as important as what you wear and fit is really important. Also, accessories are great for making a basic outfit really interesting blah blah blah. But, I decided to just pick three things that I find most worthy of obsession and go with that:


MBMJ Hillier Hobo


Frye Melissa back zip


Banana Republic classic trench

Stay tuned!