Thursday, June 30, 2016

Work/Play Outfit (and Old Navy Open-Back Cami Review)

I bought this adorable open-back print cami at Old Navy weeks ago and proceeded to not wear it, mostly because I don't own a strapless bra. I finally decided to hell with it and threw it over a bralette thingy:

Cute for a weekend look, right? I'm wearing it with a pair of utility shorts I bought at Banana last year. This pair is pretty similar but this Hinge pair are nearly identical. This cami, though! It's swingy and has great details and it's totally Daniel approved:

Hi, buddy. The sea urchin print on this top is what really sold me. I loooove it. Plus, it's like $13. Really. They also have a peplum-hem swing top with the same print and and, if you have a little girl there’s a dress

I'm wearing the cami with my favorite BR necklace but I think this coral necklace would be thematically appropriate and this gold fringe necklace would just look ridiculously cute with my outfit. 

My watch is a Cluse La Bohème in rose gold and it's hard to see but I'm wearing my LUV AJ ring from the Rachel Zoe Box of Style. This one is really similar and probably less snag-prone. I mentioned interesting details on the cami and this is what I mean: 

It's breezy and open but still hides your bra and the buttons are cute. (But seriously with the visible straps. Anyone have a good strapless bra they like?)  I was struggling to figure out how to pull off wearing this to work and finally I just switched out my shorts for cropped pants and threw on a summer weight cardigan

Totally work appropriate as long as I keep my sweater on forever. Now, bag and shoes time: 

I carry my red LV epi speedy a lot in the summer because it's such an easy hit of color and it adds a little needed structure to unstructured outfits. Red satchels for everyone! I particularly like the shape of this Matt and Nat satchel and this Furla bag is everything a red satchel should be. And ooh, this MBMJ red duffel is an extra 60% off the sale price! Git it. Cheap and cheerful? Right here

My sandals are an old pair of Birkenstock Gizehs in silver. You should probably just get a pair if you haven't already. Except don't buy these electric blue python print Gizehs because I want them. Badly. I will cut you. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

BUY THIS (So We Don't Have To): More TJ Maxx Finds.

Oh yes, I'm still stalking the TJ Maxx site, no shame. You can't search the site by brand name but I have managed to dig out a few good deals to further enable you. First of all, I want to tell you how much it hurts my feelings that they have beautiful Alexander McQueen bags mixed in with the regular stuff all, shrug NBD. It makes me want to weep. But! I also found this excellent MBMJ Ligero bucket bag in the best grey color for $180:

And this completely adorable bright blue zip-around MBMJ wallet for under $80:

There are a few other MBMJ bags on the site but nothing I was super excited about.  Edited to add: here's a blue leather MBMJ tote for $80! (With thanks to the anonymous commenter!)

They also have that really nice Vince Camuto Leila tote I keep yammering on about for under $100 in white: 

And...I also think this Alexis Bittar lucite bracelet is really beautiful and I'm going to go cry now. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Adrien: This One Requires Help.

So hey, you know my favorite Ann Taylor leopard print dress? I actually have a second one in a different pattern. I bought both of these back in 2010 and have worn the leopard print version a lot. The ikat? Depsite being the same size it's a tighter fit and I can only get away with it in the summer when I'm exercising a lot and also Spanx:

Despite it's bodycon nature, I do really like this dress. The colors are ridiculous and the ikat pattern does weird magic things. This Maggie London dress has a great ikat print and so does this one by Karen Kane. I also love the casual blue print on this dress (but you know I like a tassel.) Also, melting ikat. Sure. That is a thing.

I wish Ann Taylor still made this particular dress. A washable stretch jersey sheath dress with a fun cowl neckline? That is wardrobe gold. This one by Ralph Lauren is about the closest I could find, design wise, and there's this one in blue.  On to the details:

I'm wearing my old J.Crew locket necklace which has lost a few stones, but I still dig it. Marianne has this one from House of Harlow and this cool Zig Zag Sunburst necklace also "doubles as a locket for versatility." (What does that mean, House of Harlow?) My bracelet is an encrusted version of the Giles and Brother skinny cortina cuff

Shoes and bag! Are you sick of my Chie obsession? They seriously last forever so I just keep wearing them. This pair of Chie Mihara sandals has the cute little buckle thing going on and this pair is probably the closest in overall design.

My pewter bag is an old MBMJ Mag Bag in Fool's Gold. Do you have a metallic bag yet? Surprisingly versatile. I'm not usually a MK fan but this pale gold satchel is beautifully subtle and a really classic shape. For something less structured (and less expensive) check out this Mellow World hobo in metallic champagne.

That's it for today! I am weirdly pleased to realize that everything I'm wearing is something I've had for ages. Sometimes I get it right.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Reader Question: Black Tie Wedding Gown, Part Two.

Part one of this reader question can be found here. In part two I'm going to make some suggestions for how to fancy up the dress she already owns. Because really, unless you find a black-tie-appropriate dress you absolutely love and that can be worn again, it's depressing to spend that kind of money on a one-wear item.

Again, this is the dress she already has:

It's a perfect canvas and would be easy to glam up with some sparkly costume jewelry. One of my favorite places to find affordable costume jewelry is Ann Taylor. They have a  few really cute blingy necklaces right now. This one would be a fun choice since it's a summer wedding:

I also think this bib necklace would be an interesting and not-too-classic choice:

Or go full-glam with something like this one:

Whee! They also have matching earrings which I love because duh, tassel:

Or, go minimal on the earrings and wear this bracelet instead:

My dream fancy jewelry is Lulu Frost but most of what I love is way out of reasonable range, price-wise.  But, ooh, TJ Maxx.  This pair of Lulu Frost earrings  are the right kind of fancy:

And, oh, Alexis Bittar. How pretty would this necklace be with a long flowy black dress:

Or, throw caution to the wind and wear THE HELL out of this crazy BR necklace:

Now all you'd need is a pair of sparkly sandals and a pretty wrap. Can you wear flat sandals to a black tie event? I don't know, but I think this Vince Camuto pair is really pretty:

Or you could go with something like this sandal with a fashiony block heel:

Or, play it a bit more demure with this metallic kitten heel sandal from J.Crew:

Throw on something like this silk chiffon wrap and you're good to go! You only had to buy eleventy million accessories instead of a pricey dress and eleventy million accessories. You win. 

Friday, June 24, 2016

Weekend Window Shopping: Shopbop Sale!

Ooh, this is a good one! Shopbop is giving an extra 25% off sale stuff until midnight (PT) with code 25EXTRA. Add that with 2% cash back from eBates and you've got a pretty nice deal. (I should warn you that I put this together last night because I'm traveling this weekend so my abject apologies if some of my picks have sold out. Still a good sale!) Here's what I like:

Cute Boy Friday: The Next James Bond.

I keep reading articles about who the next James Bond is going to be (since Grumpy McGrumperson Daniel Craig apparently has decided he's over it.) Here are the names I've seen floated along with my very biased opinions:

Damien Lewis - Creeps me out a little. Not my Bond.

James Norton - I think he needs a few more years on him, but one day, yes indeed.

Aidan Turner - Hmm. I’m not sure. I like him, but is he Bond material? He's a maybe (and also might be too young.)

Tom Hardy - Way too rough around the edges. You can’t out badass Daniel Craig, you just can't.

Henry Cavill - Please God no. He’s conventionally attractive but he’s a block of wood as an actor and doesn’t have that devilish air that Bond requires. Newp.

Tom Hiddleston - I couldn’t envision it until recently when I started watching The Night Manager in which he’s doing his best JB impression. He's maybe a little...prim for my taste? At least he can act.

Idris Elba - Uh, duh. Obvs. I mean, come on. He’d blow it out of the freaking water.

PS. This:

Best. Ever. Happy Friday! 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Adrien: Best Laid Plans in Black and White.

So, you know that morning when you wake up extra early so you have time to get your outfit shots just right and of course there's a violent thunderstorm outside making everything dark and the power is flickering and you forgot to put lipstick on and one of your giant lights keeps tipping over and OH MY GOD WHATEVER. Here:

Okay, first of all, I'm mad about the lipstick. I'm also mad I didn't size down in these white LOFT jeans because I really like them and they're falling off me. So annoying, LOFT. They're back up to full price on the site but white straight leg is on sale and so are the Lou & Grey white flares.  I really want this pair by AG but that ain't gonna happen. Ugh. Oh, and despite my general love for Old Navy right now the white Rockstars are a war crime. Trust me. 

That's me praying that the power doesn't go out. I'm wearing a great slub tank from Banana Republic from last year. It's a good, swingy top. This year's version is striped (!) but this slub tee also looks like a nice option. Has anyone tried this Everlane linen muscle tank? It has potential. I also love this Splendid slub crossover-back tank but is too many dollars. 

I am not mad at this necklace though. It's the Beaded Tassel Necklace and it's so cute! The tassels are a little fluffy but I love how sparkly the beads are. So good against dark colors. LOFT has definitely jumped on the tassel trend. This one is a great summery option and this is just straight pretty (and basically free.) My bracelet is so old I don't even remember where I got it but this pavé version is a nice upgrade and how cool is this Geo Cuff bracelet

My old faithful MBMJ Hillier Hobo. I really should replace it one of these days. The newer hobos from MJ are great but the leather is a bit different and I like mine a lot despite it being sad and worn. I'm not going to lie, though, the price on this black New Too Hot To Handle hobo at NR is KILLING ME. Man, that is a good deal. Moving on before I cry:

This is a not-very-good picture of my awesome TOMS strappy wedges in a grey metallic denim. This particular color is long gone but they also come in a metallic suede, cute patterns, and...okay. Get Out And Vote wedges. With removable charms. This is a thing. Huh. Sure. I think my work is done here.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Beauty Review: Benefit Hoola, Dew the Hoola, Zero Tanlines.

I recently made a very boring Sephora order because I was out of my beloved PTR Un-Wrinkle peel pads and my even more beloved Clinique Take The Day Off cleansing balm. It's not really exciting to reorder stuff but if you wait until the the samples and promotions are good? Things get more interesting. Here's the loot:

With my order I got three regular samples: Fresh rose skincare, Verb shampoo/conditioner and Dior One Essential City Defense SPF 50. I have yet to try any of them yet. I also had enough VIB points to get two 100 point bonuses: Bite Beauty Matte Crème Lip Crayon in Glace and Josie Maran Protect and Perfect Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 47. I've tried both of them and I'm underwhelmed. I like the texture of the Bite lip crayon but the color is too pale and cool for me. The Josie Maran sunscreen is good stuff but a bit... sunscreeny. (I'm pretty spoiled by the non-sticky texture of my Shiseido Senka.)

I used a code I found in the Sephora promotions section to get a Benefit Cosmetics Hoola deluxe sample set which includes: Hoola Matte Bronzer, Dew the Hoola Soft Matte Liquid Bronzer, and Hoola Zero Tanlines. It's freaking adorable: 

This is what I'm most excited to talk about because I basically just got this to try the Hoola bronzer but I ended up loving all three products. This never happens, you guys. I mean, I'm a pretty big fan of Benefit products (OMG I want to try all the new brow stuff) but some of there products are pretty silly. I will admit I didn't really "get" the idea of liquid bronzer. First things first:

I actually did expect to like this and I really, really like this. Are you pretty pale and afraid bronzer will make your face look orange and dirty? This is the perfect bronzer for you. It's not shimmery, it's not orange AT ALL and it goes on pretty sheer. I use a fan brush and just floof it over my cheeks and anywhere the sun might hit - chin, forehead, bridge of my nose. Foolproof! I dig it. I'll probably buy this in the full size eventually. 

This product is a non-shimmery liquid bronzer and I was pretty WTF about it. I just didn't get what I was supposed to do with it.  The site recommends putting it on a bare face or over foundation but instead I mixed a little in with my Smashbox foundation which is a shade too light for me right now. AND OMG IT IS NOW PERFECT. It seriously color-corrected my foundation just enough to look right and sliiightly sunkissed without any kind of unnatural weirdness. I am impressed and using this every day.

This product is just what the title says - an all over bronzer for your non-face parts. It comes with an application sponge (I guess so you don't bronze your hands) and is not a self-tanner. It claims to transfer-resistant and last for 12 hours. I've only used this once in an attempt to blur my tragic farmer's tan:

I applied several thin layers and it went on really sheer and didn't streak. Here's the after:

Not bad, eh? You can still see my tan line but it isn't quite as harsh. (Also, I know the lighting is a bit darker in the bottom photo but what can you do?) This product wouldn't do much for someone with darker skin but for pale folks it's a good way to blur tan lines or add a little color to your arms and legs temporarily. It apparently has the "signature Hoola scent" but I don't remember even noticing that it was scented. It's subtle. 

If you're curious but don't want to commit to full-sizes, Sephora has a really cute set that includes these three products plus a (good) mascara and a lip balm. Now I want that. Ugh. 


Last year I recommended Asian exfoliating bath towels/mitts for the softest baby unicorn skin you'll ever have. I recently got this Cure Series version and it is ridiculous

Seriously. You will never feel so glowy and clean and it's long enough that you can scrub your back which is the best feeling IN THE WORLD. Just get one. Dewit. DEWIT. Get one and report back and tell me I'm right. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Adrien: Old Favorites and Stuff.

I've worn this dress on the blog quite a few times! Marianne gave it to me last year and it's become a favorite:

Sure, there's a whole lot of crap at Old Navy but I've been surprised by how well this dress has held up and the print is great, right? They do good prints! I currently love the blue coral print on this cami dress and the graphic print on this shift dress is really cool. Even the prints on their chiffon swim cover-ups are pretty! 

So, favorite cheap dress, check. I just added a big-ass red bag and a pair of heels and suddenly it looks legit. And jewelry of course:

Both necklaces are from Banana Republic but the tiny pyramid stud isn't hard to find. I really like this one by Rebecca Minkoff and it's on sale! Scarab pendants are a bit tougher to track down, but hey, this amazing Valentino is on the RealReal. Sigh. This beetle brooch at BR is also pretty cool and isn't a million dollars. 

Heeeey, creepy hand closeup! I wanted to show you guys the LUV AJ ring that matches the necklace I wore last week. They make pretty jewelry! I love this Diamond Kite Coil ring and the Open Spear ring looks a bit like mine. Mine came in my Box of Style and I'm enjoying it even though it's a little bit stabby. I apparently like stabby jewelry because I'm also wearing my Giles and Brother skinny railroad cuff bracelet. (The pave version is on sale!) It hurts to take off but I love that it fits my puny wrists.

 Bag 'n shoes time. My LV epi speedy bag I've talked about a lot, but it's such a favorite of mine. I insist that you have a red satchel in your life. Coach has been doing a nice job lately with the Mercer Satchel (half off!) and this Matt & Nat satchel would be a beautiful non-leather option.

My sandals are a pair of Chie Mihara I found on eBay a few years back and I love them. Chie really has a thing for bright orange piping on a pair of heels! And oh man, this bright yellow pair. I love.  I should also remind you that that Marianne has a cute pair of Chies for sale in the blog shop!