Monday, August 29, 2011

Over the Top

Day 12 of the 21-Day Challenge was to jazz up your jeans, so I jazzed up my jean skirt with a sequin vest.

tank — French Dressing (Cost Co)
vest — Style n Design (thrifted)
skirt — Bongo (thrifted)

Is there a better way to dress up denim than with a beautiful sequin vest? (I got this vest on my most recent thrifting excursion, and I was so excited. I had been craving a sequin vest ever since I saw Megan of Megan Mae Daily wear one here.) And would you believe that my tank (the gray tank) is the most expensive thing that I'm wearing?

I was curious about the vest, so I Googled it, and I actually found the exact same one in an Etsy shop here, where it was described as vintage 1980s. I don't know about that date though. How do they come up with these dates?

I've tried to wear sequins before, but I haven't been too enamored of my two previous attempts.

I'm not sure if this is any better though — even though I like how the vest and the skirt looks, I highly doubt that I would wear this to work. My skirt, number one, is way too short for work, but even if it was longer, the vest is a bit over the top. Is there anyway I could switch this around so that I could wear it to work?

I have this bad habit of buying or getting something and then never ever using it. I save it because it's too good to use or I want to use it for the perfect occasion, and then that perfect occasion never happens. I would have squirreled this sequin vest away, and it would have languished in my closet, probably never to be worn. I would have taken it out every so often and oohed and aahed over how beautiful it was, and then wished that I had somewhere or some event to wear it to. But it would always be just too nice to wear — I might damage it if I wore it out. Well, what is the point then in even having it?

I'd love to find some way or somewhere of wearing this vest so I can enjoy it outside the privacy of my own room.

There is something to be said for this habit, however. When I was a kid, our Sunday dinners were always a fancy occasion. We may have just been having meatloaf for dinner, but it was always served on the good china, and we used the good silver. Even though my sister and I griped about it (we were the ones who had to set the table and take care of the dishes), it made our Sunday dinners special. If we had used the good china for everyday, would they have been so special?

the good china

And since this vest is so visible, I'm also linking up to Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Football Shoulders

Day 11 of the 21-Day Challenge was to wear a dress or a skirt. Easy, especially during the summer. And with this challenge, I am more than halfway done! Woo hoo it has been harder than I thought to keep up with the posting.

dress — French Curve Clothing (thrifted)
sandals — Madden Girl (Marshalls)

I'm not too keen on this dress. I think it accentuates my broad shoulders and gives me the dreaded "football shoulders." 

Shoulder Pads
Image from your address here

One of the reasons I started taking pictures was to see what I really looked like in my clothes.* Now that I see how this dress actually looks, I'm thinking that it should join the "get rid of" pile.

*It's been surprising to see the difference between what I think I look like, and what I actually look like.

So, what do you think?

Is this dress a keeper or a loser?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Pants with an Attitude

Day 10 of the 21-Day Challenge was to wear a closet orphan — an item from your closet that, for whatever reason, you rarely wear.

sweater — Liz Claiborne (thrifted) 
pants — elevenses (Anthropologie) 
shoes — Mia (DSW)

These pants are one of my closet orphans. They were one of those spur-of-the-moment purchases, that you kind of regret almost immediately after the purchase. It ended up taking me almost a year before I was able to figure out how to wear them. I wore them with this sweater back in May, and I wonder how long it will take for me to wear them again.

Anthropologie is one of those stores where I look but don't touch. They have some really nice things, they play the best music, and their store is laid out beautifully so it's no surprise that I like to go in and browse, but it usually ends there. Their items tend to be very expensive, and more often than not, I think their things are yeah, I'm going to say it overpriced*. I can't afford their clothes unless they are marked down and then those marked-down prices are slashed again. A lot of people basically stalk their site, waiting for the prices to be cut. I don't have that kind of patience, and I don't think their things are that special. It surprises me to see the Anthro love that I have come across in the blog-o-sphere.

*Saying that Anthropologie is overpriced may almost be sacrilegious in the blogging world.

These pants were a case in point. They were originally well over $100 (if not close to $200). By the time I came strolling in the store, they had been marked down to somewhere in the neighborhood of $7. When they flew off the rack and into my arms and told me, "You would be a sucker to pass me by," I was sold. How could I let an attitude like that pass me by?! Seriously though, they're a nice pair of pants, and well made, but I don't think I would have paid more than $20 for them.  

The pants made me act this way! Really. 

With an attitude like this, don't you think that these pants need to be incorporated into my wardrobe more often?

How else would you wear them?

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Great Pumpkin

Day 9 of the 21-Day Challenge was to be monochromatic. So put on your sunglasses and hold on tight, because you might need them!

tank — Bay Studio Career (thrifted)
shirt — Liz Wear by Liz Claiborne (thrifted)
pants — Tommy Hilfiger (thrifted)
shoes — Op (thrifted)
belt —(thrifted)

I am very skilled in creating a black monochromatic look, and it's also very easy since more than half my closet is black. However, I thought orange might be a bit more fun and, needless to say, much more colorful. I'm not sure if I pulled it off as well as this woman here, but keep in mind that I had to work with my less than model quality body and the clothes in my closet (as opposed to the model's emaciated statuesque and slender frame and her designer own clothes).

I kind of feel like the Great Pumpkin came a few months early this year — just in time for Labor Day.

My pants have that dopey little flare at the bottom, which I don't particularly care for, so I rolled them up. I'm thinking of cutting them off and hemming them, but that would mean that I'd have to make a decision. 

This was definitely a fun look to put together. It would have been acceptable to wear to workmy office was business casual, and khakis and capris were acceptable summer attire but I'm not sure if I would have been brave enough. But you never know ...

What do you think?

Should my pants be

Should I wear this to work?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Same Old, Same Old

Day 8 of the 21-Day Challenge was to mix fancy and casual. I almost skipped this challenge because I couldn't figure out what to do, and then I realized that I was doing the same old, same old.

shirt — French Dressing (Cost Co)
skirt — I.Q. & Co. (thrifted)
belt  — (thrifted)
sandalsArizona Birkenstock

You finally get to see a picture of me in my muscle shirt, which is not to be confused with seeing pictures of my muscles. (What do you call these type of tanks? Everything I want to call them seems to be derogatory, and I'm uncomfortable using them.) And I can't believe that it has taken so long to get a picture of me in my Birks! I used to live in these all summer long! I guess used to is the operative word here.

I love my belt, in all its sequined glory. It was a spur of the moment purchase, and then I regretted it because I didn't have a clue as to what to pair it with!

But I think pairing the belt with casual items worked, and I'll probably do it like this again in the future. And honestly? I would have worn this outfit to work (I'm pretty much housebound these days, so my gauge is not whether I actually wore an outfit to work, but whether I would if given the opportunity.) It's a good mix of dressy with casual. I mean what is more casual than Birks and a tank? And what is more dressy than a sequined belt and a nice skirt? It's different and fun but not so far out there that I would feel silly.

What was my same old, same old? (If you think that I was talking about what to wear, you're wrong.) No, for me the same old, same old is my perfection streak that can get in the way of making a decision. I want something to be so perfect that I think too much, and I worry too much, and I make something way more complicated than it is. It really is my Achilles' heel. And most of the time, I agonize over these silly and inconsequential matters.

So c'mon, Kari — you're a grown a** woman, as I had a friend who was prone to telling me, just do it (and there's that Nike phrase again. For somebody who once said she hated that expression, I use it an awful lot.)! Whatever you do, it's not going to be the end of the world.

Do you have trouble making decisions?  

I'm also linking my belt up to Meagan's Thursdays Are for Thrifters at Spunky Chateau.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Good Luck!

Day 7 of the 21-Day Challenge was to layer accessories. You can probably guess from the picture which accessory I decided to layer.

necklaces — borrowed
pin — thrifted

I layered three different necklaces and also added a pin for good luck isn't it cool?

It's a wishbone, a four-leaf clover, and a pearl all that luck rolled into one. With the way my luck has been going these days, I can use all the extra that I can get (I've also been crossing my fingers and toes). By the way, did you know that breaking the wishbone can be dated back to the fourth century? I thought it was strictly an American tradition.

One of my favorite accessory-layering blogger is Iman over at Mishaps and Miracles. She is an American living in Japan and teaching English, and she has this amazing sense of style with the greatest attitude. She inspires me to "Work it!"


Okay, so I probably need a few LOTS more lessons though. I'm not exactly working it in these pictures ... I won't bore you with all my excuses though.Suffice it to say that I have a lot going on, and I'm just exhausted.

jacket — Old Navy (thrifted)
shirt — Lauren by Ralph Lauren (thrifted)
skirt — Express (Express)
sneakers — Casual (thrifted)

Do you recognize the shirt? It's the one that I picked to remix on the first day of this challenge. 

I'm wearing an awful lot of black in both looks, but I think my sneakers changed up the look a bit. 

Even though it's a casual look, I could have and would have worn this outfit to work.

It's what I did wear to meet Patti from Not Dead Yet Style. She's the first person who I've met (in real life) from the blogging community. And she is a sweetheart! We hit it off right away. Very, very easy to talk to — she let me babble on ad infinitum. In fact, we I talked so much that we didn't even have a chance to go thrifting! I felt like I had known her forever, and I look forward to getting to know her better in the future.

Do you have any good luck charms?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

My Own Drum

Day 6 of the 21-Day Challenge was to be unconventional. I should have this one down pat — I definitely march to the beat of my own drum. Seriously though, the object of this prompt was to be creative and wear an item in an unconventional way. And so I did.

shirt — (thrifted)
pants — London Jean (Victoria's Secret)
shoes — Crocs (Dick's Sporting Goods) 
belt — (thrifted)
necklace (thrifted)   /  bracelet (thrifted)

The print on my top could actually qualify as pattern mixing. Isn't this a sweet pattern?

I really liked how the milky white of the bangle and the necklace picked up the flower petals in the print.

So what am I wearing that's so unconventional?  

My shirt is actually a dress. In fact, it's one of those cute, flirty dresses that should NOT be worn by a woman of my age. I think I saved it by wearing it tucked in as a shirt.

Don't laugh! I know that I look really dorky! 

Egads, this is bad. (Notice how I didn't make this picture as big as my other ones.) Is it the proportions that are all wrong on this? Or is it just too big? Funny thing is is that I really, really liked how this dress looked in the mirror -- I didn't think there was anything wrong with it. Why is it that we can't see a flaw when we look in the mirror, but they are magnified tenfold when we see ourselves in a picture?

Is the dress too young or does it just not fit? 
I think it's both. 

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