Sunday, November 6, 2011

How Overcaffeinated Got Her Grove Back

Outfit Details:

trench - H&M, blouse - Joe Fresh, jeggings - Forever 21, shoes - Joe Fresh, scarf - H&M, ring - H&M, bag - Rebecca Minkoff, sunglasses - Ray Bans

Ignore the ghostly hand peeking out from behind my head. It's a remnant of Maya's halloween artwork that I have yet to take down.

Howdy there! I know it's been a long time, but I have an honestly and 100% truly good reason for my absence.

I'm a little over 14 weeks pregnant.

And basically weeks 5 to 12, I spent in some kind of coma. I pretty much made it through my days in some kind of zombie haze where I would drop into bed exhausted by 9pm every night, and sleep right through (well, except for the 2-3 bathroom trips) until 7:30am.  To top that off, my body expanded and I went through the nothing-fits-me-and-I-feel-fat-and-ugly-in-everything. Not the best mindset, and not one that I felt compelled to share with the blogging world.

It's sad, but clothing really does affect my self-esteem that much. After feeling like a frump in a daily uniform of leggings and a loose top, I finally asked myself... is this really how I wanted to spend the next 9 months (okay maybe 6 months by that point)?  Or did I want to take inspiration from all the stylish pregnant bloggers out there, and the effortlessly chic celebrity moms and embrace my changing body? I chose the latter, and am determined to be a pregnant mom with style.

After two months of not shopping (and me being an admitted shopaholic, that's how yucky I felt), I finally felt motivated to find clothes that fit and flattered me last week.

So here's to day 1 of trying. I feel pretty good in this outfit --  comfy, casual yet chic.  The three c's I hereby swear to live by.  And bonus, you can (kinda) see my face in the pics!

I am wearing jeggings that I was shamefully, super excited to find at Forever 21.  They have an elastic waist, and are pretty much leggings made of lightweight denim. With the hideous elastic waist hidden, I think they look pretty cute. And while I don't have much hope that they'll last me the entire pregnancy, I am hoping that I'll get good mileage over the next two months or so.  They were a mere $10.50 each so I might have went overboard and bought four pairs.

I haven't bought any shoes lately, but one pair I have been pining over is the Rachel Comey Mars boots. Unfortunately, my style sense and my wallet sometimes have a hard time co-existing, and the RC boots are way out of my price range.  Imagine how happy I was to discover that Joe Fresh had an almost knock-off at $69 ($79 - $10 promo coupon).  The leather is surprisingly nice, the shoes are very comfy and I am in LOVE. If they ever make a tan pair, I'll be the first in line!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

21 Day Challenge: Day 18 - Statement jewelry

Outfit Details:

dress - Old Navy, cardigan - H&M, necklace - J.Crew bubble necklace, shoes - Dolce Vita Pela

Let's face it. I am a girl who loves her statement necklaces. Is obsessed with them actually. I love how they can elevate the most basic jeans and tee outfit, or can add edge to a girly one. So when I had the chance to own the grey version of the J.Crew bubble necklace that came out several years ago, I had to bite. I already own it in black, but I often find it too harsh to pair with a lot of outfits.

I picked up this dress recently from Old Navy, and thought it was the perfect companion for the grey bubble necklace.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

21 Day Challenge: Day 17 - Repair it and wear it

Outfit Details:

dress - Target, shoes - Expressions (The Bay), necklaces - vintage and Forever 21

Back in the day, before Maya was born when I used to work in an office, I practically lived in my wrap dresses. Now they sit sad and forlorn in my closet, waiting for the day when I no longer have the luxury of doing what I do from home.

This Target dress is one of my less "work-ish" ones and has the potential for being worn on a daily basis. The problem lies with the length. Even back in my office days, I thought the hemline bordered on frump city and has been sitting in my sewing pile to be hemmed. Then this challenge came, and I was suddenly forced to go actually tackle something from that pile... so 15 minutes later... voila!

Still a little too work looking for my taste, so I switched over to flats before leaving the house.  Hmm, still not sold.  Any ideas how to make this more fun and less work-like?  A cardi maybe?

21 Day Challenge: Day 16 - Menswear

Outfit Details:

top - Old Navy, skirt - Winners, shoes - Joe Fresh, belt - Costa Blanca, necklaces - Forever 21

The Menswear challenge had me excited. I recently bought a pair of oxfords, and I have been dying DYING to wear them. I think they are the perfect alternative to ballet flats, and add a little quirkiness to just about any outfit.

I decided to pair them with this skirt that is made of a traditional menswear pinstripe shirting. The style is totally girly though, and I love how you can wear the skirt "bustled" or unbustled.

21 Day Challenge: Day 15 - New Hair-do

Outfit Details:

dress - Old Navy, necklace - vintage

So we're on day 15 of the challenge, and I've officially hit a road block. Here's the situation -- I have the thinnest, flattest hair in the world, and anytime I wear it back, it looks sad and lifeless. I toyed with skipping this challenge completely, but the stubborn part of me refused to give up.  So in the end you get this.  By best attempt at doing something different with my hair.

Oh well. At least I tried right?

Monday, August 29, 2011

21 Day Challenge: Day 14 - Be a copycat

Outfit Details:

top - Joe Fresh, skirt - Anthropologie Apothecary skirt, necklace - Ann Tayloft Loft, shoes - Banana Republic

One of the great joys I get from reading other people's fashion and style blogs is the inspiration I draw from them. I think I'm a decent dresser, but there are some out there, that hands down, I have to say I'm not worthy!

One of those bloggers is Lisa from Respect the Shoes. I admire how funny and candid she is with her readers, and she is a fabulous dresser. Day 14's prompt was to recreate someone else's outfit.  No surprise, I decided to copy one of Lisa's outfits.

21 Day Challenge: Day 13 - Neutral with a pop

Outfit Details:

top - Joe Fresh, skirt - Anthropologie Circle the Globe, necklace - Joe Fresh, shoes - Steve Madden

Neutral outfit with a pair of red shoes... hmm, have I done this before recently?

Sorry about the lack of creativity with this prompt. Weekends are often jam packed with errands and events, and this weekend even more so than usual. So, as I often tell Maya, you get what you get and you don't get upset.

Friday, August 26, 2011

21 day Challenge: Day 12 - Jazz up your jeans

Outfit Details:

top and bracelet - H&M, jeans - Gap, belt - Banana Republic, shoes - Joie

The resurgence of wide legs and flared jeans over the spring, and for the fall season have me super happy. I have quite a few blouses that pair up nicely with them, and after being tucked into skirts and worn under dresses, they are begging to be paired with wide legs for a 70s inspired look.

* I realize that these jeans might need to be hemmed just a tad. I put on my tallest heels to compensate, but these jeans still skim the ground. Either back to the shoe closet (I *might* have an even taller pair of sandals somewhere near the back) or to the sewing machine.

** Um, apparently, I need to break out the iron too.

In other news, Jess over at Consume or Consumed is having a Shabby Apple giveaway. I've had my eye on their website for a while, and they have the most delightful dresses.  The mariposa dress that the winner would receive is no exception. So head over to Jess' site for details on how to enter!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

21 Day Challenge: Day 11 - Wear a dress or skirt

Outfit Details:

dress - Zac Posen for Target, belt - unknown?, necklaces - Forever 21, shoes - J.Crew

Today's challenge is to wear a dress or skirt. This was a toughie. Yup, really tough... I think I broke into a sweat trying to find something that would meet the requirements.

Or maybe not!

If you follow my blog, you have realized that I wear skirts and dresses more often than not. In fact, probably about 90% of the time. So I decided to make this "Wear a dress or skirt closet orphan" day. I picked up this skirt years ago during the Zac Posen for Target collaboration. Unfortunately, I bought the dress too big all over. After sitting in my closet for eons, I finally decided to shrink it in the wash. After all, what difference does it make to potentially ruin a dress that you weren't wearing anyways? Result? It's still a touch big, but nothing a belt can't help.

Ah belts. They can fix anything...

21 day Challenge: Day 10 - Closet Orphan

Outfit Details:

cardigan - Gap outlet, tank - Forever 21, skirt - Anne Klein, shoes - Joie, necklaces - Forever 21

Today's challenge was to wear a closet orphan. I picked up this skirt for just $9 during Winners' huge clearance sale over the winter. And like many clearance items I've picked up, I've sadly never worn it. I loved the panelling that goes down each side, and it seems like it would be a great basic... except...

I have absolutely no need for a tweed pencil skirt. Something about tweed + pencil skirts says office to me. I work from home, so my daily attempts at being somewhat stylish are more for me than anything else. I find that I'm much more productive when I feel good about my appearance. I also never seem to reach for my pencil skirts in general. They seem a bit constrictive and impractical for my daily life. (Although strangely, it doesn't seem like 4" heels are!)

So this poor skirt sat alone languishing in my closet until this challenge came along. It's not as constrictive as I thought it would feel, being more straight lined pencil than curve hugging. I'll bet it would pair well with a casual tee or boots for the winter too.

You'll notice that this fox shirt from day 1 has been remixed. Woot! Just one more remix to go.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

21 day Challenge: Day 9 - Go Monochrome

Outfit Details:

top - Old Navy, skirt - Zara, shoes - Nine West, necklace - vintage

Yesterday's outfit would have been perfect for today's monochromatic challenge. I considered saving it, but knew that there were plenty of other items in my closet ready for the challenge. This skirt (a Zara find from 7 or 8 years ago) has been begging to be taken out for a twirl. I'm not courageous enough to go super-bold on my monochrome looks, so you won't find me in bright red, pink, coral or purple. Gray, green or blue however, are right up my alley.

What I'm pining for from Anthropologie

After all, my birthday is coming up.  I'm talking to you DH!

My Anthropologie Wish List

Cotton dress
$148 -

Pleated dress
$158 -

Lace shift dress
$128 -

Vintage day dress
$168 -

Bow blouse
$118 -

Floral sweater
$118 -

$168 -

Cotton pencil skirt
$118 -

Metal necklace
$28 -

Monday, August 22, 2011

21 Day Challenge: Day 8 - Mix casual and dressy

Outfit Details:

top - J.Crew, skirt - Larry Levine (Winners find), necklace - Joe Fresh, shoes - Expression (The Bay)

When I woke up this morning, I was hit by the urge to pull this underused skirt out of my closet. A good thing too because it made the perfect basis to build today's challenge outfit around. I decided to go monochrome with the casual tank, to allow the dainty necklace to pop just a little bit. Then I added my Tiffany blue pumps to break up the grey.

21 Day Challenge: Day 7 - Layer accessories

Outfit Details:

dress - H&M, cardigan - Old Navy, necklaces - Tiffany and vintage, shoes - Seychelles

So today I gave up thinking outside of the box. Instead of doing something different from my usual (layering belts or scarves or bracelets), I went with layered necklaces. Something I do a couple times a week at least.

Hey, if it ain't broke!

21 Day Challenge: Day 6 - Unconventional

Outfit Details:

skirt as dress - Anne Klein, cardigan - Joe Fresh, belt - H&M, necklace - Jacob, shoes - Joe Fresh

Day 6's challenge was to wear an item in an unconventional way. This one had me stumped. I spent nearly an hour hauling stuff out of my closet trying to come up with an outfit that hadn't been done before in the bloggy world, and yet would still be something that I would be caught out of the house in.

In the end, after trying endless ways of wrapping my scarves, playing around with bathing suits in lieu of body suits (posting a picture of me in a bathing? Not gonna happen!), belts as necklaces, necklaces as belts, I finally gave up an settled on wearing my longest skirt (a midi) as a dress.

I thought I looked okay, but I've fooled myself before. I walked out of the bedroom and passed DH in the hallway who did a double take and said "You look niiiice!"

DH couldn't tell that this dress was actually a skirt and on top of that, one of his fave outfits on me of the summer! Homerun!

Just a side note: Apparently Maya is better at the unconventional challenge than I am. While I've been sitting here writing this post, she took my necklace which I'd left on the table and placed it on her head like a crown. I gotta say, it works!

Terrible after-thought photo of the skirt worn as a skirt

Friday, August 19, 2011

21 Day Challenge: Day 5 - Belt it

Outfit Details:

dress - Forever 21, belt - Costa Blanca, shoes - J.Crew, necklace - Forever 21

If the pictures in yesterday's post looked particularly nice, you can thank my wonderful husband who took the photos for me with his fancy shmancy Nikon DSLR. (See honey? I'm giving you credit!) Today, I'm making do with my Canon PowerShot and the self-timer. Still, it's got to be an improvement over my usual iPhone + mirror photos.

So here's something I need to remember to do -- shop in my closet. This outfit is a perfect example of re-discovering old favourites you had forgotten about. (The belt is the only thing bought recently.) It's funny about having a closet that is overflowing with clothes. Depending on my mood, it can simultaneously bring me joy yay, look at all the lovely things I have to choose from! to distress oh my, there's way to many things to choose from!

Today's 21 Day Challenge prompt is to belt it. I know I didn't try to think out of the box too much on this one. In my defence, it's the end of the work week, and my front driveway and walkway are getting ripped up (home reno) by a crew of four burly guys. Oh wait, I was trying to get sympathy right?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

21 Day Challenge: Day 4 - Colour Blocking

Outfit Details:

top - J.Crew, skirt - Joe Fresh, shoes - Expression (The Bay), necklace - Anthropologie, clutch - Aldo

With the theme from the first three days of the 21 Day Challenge, I feel like I didn't have to reach much. I can attribute most of that to reading other fashion blogs. Seeing others be truly fierce with their style empowers me to be just a bit bolder with my own. Remixing, tucking in and pattern mixing has become pretty much second nature to me.

But I still have my weaknesses. I don't think I'm particularly good at is mixing unexpected colours. I admire other bloggers like Kendi and Rosa who are able to pair unexpected colours flawlessly.

So today's colour blocking challenge left me both excited, yet also a little apprehensive. It's a trend that I love, but have been a bit intimidated to fully embrace in my own style. I could've taken the easy route and gone for one of my colour blocked dresses, but I wanted to push myself. After all, this is supposed to be a challenge!

Colour blocking silhouettes tend to be very clean lined and minimalist, so I decided that I wanted to build an outfit around this skirt. I yanked out about a dozen tops from my closet and started pairing them up -- shades of green, blue, pink, etc. before finally settling on this coral one. I liked the way the colours were similar in tone, but still had a definite contrast. Together, they created the unexpected combination I was craving. The bag, being colour blocked itself, was a no-brainer. As for shoes, I took a cue from the bag and went totally opposite end of the colour wheel.

To pat myself on my own back, I think I did pretty well with this one. (Hopefully, I'm not being delusional.) Bring on the next challenge!
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