Busted!

B and I were recently discussing the virtues of fixing things instead of automatically replacing them. Why? Because I feel like the past few weeks, all I’ve done is shuttle pieces of my wardrobe back and forth to various vendors for mending; two dresses to the tailors (one for a busted zipper, another a burst seam); my favorite watch to the jewelers — twice; soon, my best knee-high boots will visit the cobbler for some resoling. Oy.

Why do I bring this up today? Well. This dress.

When taking photos this morning, I was elated that I still managed to get another “summery” wear out of this frock. I jazzed it up with a cobalt blue belt, snow leopard print flats, and a blue-purple gem pendant (a slight variation from the last time you saw it). I thought these were fun, bright ways to wear it slightly differently before autumn weather really set in.

Then, while at work, my hand brushed against the side seam, above the trumpet flair of the skirt, and I felt it: a mass of errant threads that only means a burst seam. Ugh. I left it and thought, “ok, not too bad, I can fix that.” Then, an hour later, I thought to test the back seam — conveniently right on my butt — and, yes, you guessed it, another wider, uglier mess. Sigh.

With a work event this evening, I asked B to bring me another dress to wear at least. He’s a peach.

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Dress: Donna Morgan via Modcloth (sold out)

Flats: TOMS

Belt: TJ Maxx via another dress

Necklace: Global Odyssey

I love this dress. So what’s a girl supposed to do? I ended up Google searching “Donna Morgan dress red” and found it at Nordstrom Rack — the last one, one size bigger and for $45. After some debating, I decided to buy it (it’s thankfully a pay week!). While I’m dismayed at how fragile this dress it, I’m wondering (and hoping) that a slightly larger size will give me some ease on the more pressured seams (especially in the skirt). Also, despite buying this dress twice, I still haven’t spent the full retail amount. Damn you, Donna Morgan, on making such an addictive product! Gah!

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Cue the Harmonica Solo

Two 12-hour work days left me a little loopy this morning. I pulled out this old favorite necklace of mine — a small harmonica — and while taking photos, I regaled B with an improvised harmonica concert. When I was done, he graciously clapped for me — and then the ham took over and I went into full-force bows and curtsies like I was at Carnegie Hall.

Too. Much. Work. Too. Little. Sleep.

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This dress is a recent buy from Old Navy. I’ll use my mother’s favorite phrase: “It was on sale and I had a coupon!” What can I say, it’s genetic.

Old Navy’s been making dresses like this all year — a-line skirt, fitted bodice, spaghetti straps. While I hate having to always wear a sweater over these, the flow of the fabric is surprisingly nice and the fit is perfect. They also don’t all apart in the wash like so many Old Navy things do (like my awesome red pants just did this week — woe is me!).

We’re at that point in September when I don’t know what I should dress for. Monday through Wednesday this week, the temperatures were in the 90s, then yesterday is was in the low 70s and rainy. I decided to pretend it was actually fall and pair the frock with my favorite mustard cardigan, tights, and cutie Oxford flats. I think the colors all pulled together in the end and made this a playful, Friday look.

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Dress: Old Navy

Cardigan: Anthropologie

Tights: Target

Shoes: Naturalizer via DSW

Harmonica Necklace: Marolsha’s Shop via Etsy

I’m Berry, Berry Tired

Last night was my first shift back at the theatre, and, phew, I was beat today! I had forgotten how hard 12+ hour days can be!

Waking up this morning was a struggle, especially since it was so grey and dreary out. I think I changed my outfit three times — each one, unintentionally, having a polka dotted element to it. I finally settled on black on black, with a dash of pink to brighten things up. One of the ways of making sure today’s outfit worked was making sure I could stretch in it. Odd, right? I pulled out the old half moon pose followed by hands to feet posture from Bikram yoga, to help awaken some muscles up. My cats think I’m a weirdo.

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Tank: Old Navy

Cardigan: LOFT

Skirt: H&M

Shoes: TOMS

Necklace: Kohl’s?

One of my favorite ways to look awake (notice I said “look awake” and not “feel awake) is a good old swath of red lipstick. I also couldn’t resist sampling the new vampy hue I received yesterday from Birchbox, called “Smitten” from ModelCo. I own two other great shades from this brand because they’re so highly pigmented and, even when they do fade, they still leave a wonderful tint. It was another helluva day — including a meeting I was not looking forward to and a second round at the theatre tonight — so I used some of my favorite tricks to look and feel professional.

Stitch Fix #9 Review — Near Perfection!

I love my stylist Alessandra! This my my fourth Fix with her: while not everything was perfect, she keeps nailing my style and my wants!

This time around, I asked for some seasonal transitional items — both for weather and for my return to my part-time job at the theatre. I wanted more separates, maybe one dress, no black and white or polka dots. Oh, and maybe a teal skirt, and anything in dark blue/teal, plum, or mustard yellow. I received my Fix three days early (a second time in a row!) and loved what I found!

Item #1: Brixon Ivy’s Dona Lace Sleeve Knit Top ($48)

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This has to be a new Brixon Ivy top for the fall because I couldn’t find an image of it anywhere online.

I loved the color (a rich navy) and the lace yoke/sleeves — I thought it was fun, playful, flirty. Because of how idiosyncratic it is, I tried pairing it with a new skirt I just bought from Old Navy and booties. Not a great look, but sometimes it’s fun to push a limit and see what could/couldn’t work. Some of my favorite outfits are those that come out of “well, what if I paired…”

Anyway, back to the shirt. it’s about a half size too small and pretty thin (I notice it so much more when seeing these photos). It also has a weird hi-lo, shirt tail hem that, when it comes up at the seams is well above my hip. Weird. If it fit properly, I think it could have that casual sexy feel, but I feel kind of frumpy in it with the size being off. Returned. 

Item #2: 41Hawthorn’s Lisbon Stud Detail Blouse ($58)

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Love it! As you’ve probably noticed, I wear a lot of bright colors, but never much black. It’s from years of working at the theatre and always wearing black so I could slip through the audience unnoticed. I revolted when I got a promotion a couple of years ago: “no black unless I need to!”

I pulled this blouse out and loved it. The weight is great, so, despite being loose, it fits beautifully. I love the stud detail, as well as the cuff on the sleeves. I love it with jeans, and I could easily dress it up with slacks or a skirt. Kept.

Item #3: Papermoon Soldano Scallop Trim Blouse ($44)

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The color is rich and lovely, and the scallops at the neckline and armholes are sweet. While I loved it with a more masculine, edgier (faux) leather jacket, this was really light and airy, making it feel boxier than I would like (unlike the heavier 41Hawthorn blouse) with other pieces. Returned.

Item #4: Margaret M Christiana Pencil Skirt ($78)

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When I saw the price, I was ready to throw the skirt in the return bag without trying it on. “Almost $80 for a skirt!? No way!” I tried it on despite that reaction and loved it. It’s quite fitted, but the fabric is soft and the pattern is fun. I paired it with the purple Papermoon blouse above, a white one here (which I wore to work!), and I have so many fun ideas for this one into the fall! I had some credit, cutting down the price a bit. Kept.

Item #5: Kut from the Kloth’s Caleb Dress ($68)

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Sound familiar? That’s because I received this dress back in June! (Actually, that’s when this photo was taken! I didn’t have a great one from today; sorry, folks!) The original I received was a size 12, but fit like a 14 or so. I was so dismayed that I emailed Stitch Fix to see if I could exchange it somehow. They were out of 10s, so they offered me a size 8. I accepted, then declined.

Well, Alessandra was great and tracked down a 10 for me. And it’s $30 cheaper than it was in June! It fits beautifully, the fabric is fantastic and the watercolor pattern is stunning! Obviously I had to keep it!

Hit or miss: overall, success! I kept three of the five pieces, though I now kind of wish I had kept the Papermoon blouse. It did look really nice with that jacket! Alas! I received pretty much everything on target of my desires: mainly separates, and ones appropriate for the fall; plus a dress I knew I would love in my size and $30 cheaper!

Labor (Day) Pains

I couldn’t help playing “labor pains” off of my disappointment over summer’s end with Labor Day. Sorry, folks!

When I buy clothes, there are certain qualities I look for: comfort, ease and wearability over 12+ hour days; some originality and fun-ness (yes, that’s a word now, deal); a great shape. Pockets are a plus too — especially in dresses.

At one point this morning, I seriously questioned why I ever bought this dress. It is a full wrap style, meaning I was relying on a button to stay in place all day for this to work. Risky. To fix that problem — and the weird button-lump that was happening — I decided to safety pin myself in. Ladies with large chests with understand this: it is flipping hard to twist yourself in such a way as to see under your boob. I needed both hands for pinning so I couldn’t, like, lift myself out of the way. I instead had my neck and shoulders cranked and contorted around and kind of underneath… Really not glamourous.

After four (!!) attempts, I finally asked B to help. When he too failed, I pulled the frock off, laid it out of my bed, pinned accordingly and shimmied back in. And, wonderfully, that method worked.

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Dress: H&M

Shoes: TOMS

Jewelry: Global Odyssey

The guffawing in the fourth and fifth photos are reactions to one of our cats, who is out of the frame. Sweetie was casually laying around watching this mini-photo shoot. As we weren’t paying attention to her, she flung her little purple ball at me — attempting to photo-bomb everything. She obviously elicited a reaction, so I guess she won.