August 28, 2012

purple, blue, black

Blazer: Express
Blouse: Ann Taylor (got for $10 during the sale!)
*note, this particular top is regular sized but runs very short
Pants: Ann Taylor ($25 during the sale!)
Shoes: Target (similar)
Bag: Longchamp
Necklace: Danielle Stevens (similar)
Sunglasses: Versace
I have 3 confessions: 1) I hate this jacket, and I don't know why I still wear it. I bought it when I worked at Victoria's Secret in college because back in the day they required everyone to wear all black with a black blazer (but I noticed whenever I shop there now the sales associates just wear black tops or black cardigans, not fair!). It has never fit me, but at the time this was the smallest jacket that I could find so I got it out of desperation. I think it's time to say goodbye! 2) I didn't wear these pants today. 99% of the time I take pictures of real outfits that I wear, but today I just wore jeans to work with the rest of the outfit - I am debating whether to keep the pants because I thought they might be too tight, and I wanted to take some photos before I decided definitively...which leads me to confession 3 - 3) I photoshopped some wrinkles out of the crotch of these pants in the bottom picture - can you tell? This tells me these pants are probably too tight :( But then I look at the top picture and I don't think they look toooo bad. Do you think they are too tight? Be honest please!

August 27, 2012

Blog Sale!

On this hurricane Isaac weekend (and I had today off too) I decided to clean out my closet and find some items I'm willing to part with. 19 items were added to the sale. All shipping is included in the price. Some items are New With Tags, so be sure to look out for those!

Head over to Shop Professionally Petite to check out the sale!

August 21, 2012

olive green, blush, and browns

I bought these pants from Banana Republic about 6 months ago on super sale to try out the whole "skinny ankle work pant" thing. I was not expecting to like the style let alone the color, and when the pants arrived ... well.. I didn't love the color. But I did love the style - perfect for showing off shoes, and very slim cut. I've paired these before with all black, but I tried them again today with blush for my blouse and browns everywhere else and I think I like it better this way. I think olive green is a pretty tricky color.. I still can't think of many other color combinations besides black, brown, and now blush. How would you wear olive green? I'd also love to know how you'd style these pants because I just have the hardest time wearing them!
Blazer: Ann Taylor (similar)
Blouse: Loft
Shoes: Corso Como (on sale)
Sunglasses: Cotton On
Necklace: F21 (similar at F21)
Watch: Michael Kors

August 19, 2012

On Plato's Closet, TJ Maxx, and the joy of the internet

Plato's Closet
On Saturday I cleaned out my closet and made two piles, one for Goodwill and one to bring to Plato's Closet to try to sell. This was my first experience with Plato's so I wasn't sure what to expect. If you don't have a Plato's Closet in your area I will briefly explain - they sell "gently used" juniors clothes to girls and guys. They advertise that they sell a lot of Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister, and American Eagle, and since I really don't wear the clothes I own from those stores anymore I took it upon myself to especially try to sell those. In addition, I tried to sell my white jeans from Gap (too small for me), my mint jeans from F21 (love my ASOS ones much more) and several party dresses that still had the tags on them (my biggest vice in clothes when I was younger was hoarding party dresses from Sorority semi-formals and formals lol).

Procedure: When you walk into the store you fill out a short information card and certify with your signature that you own the clothes and have the ability to sell them. Depending on how many other people are "in line" to have their clothes evaluated before you, it could take a few minutes. They told me 30 minutes so I had a quick look around the store and then went to Ross next door to kill some time. When I came back, they were done evaluating and they printed out a receipt showing me how much I would get for each item they wanted to buy. I had some questions about why certain items were not bought and they explained each one. There were some people in front of me who I saw the store bought NO clothes from, so I guess I should be happy that they even wanted anything of mine.

The verdict at Plato's? They wanted to buy 10 of my items... for a total of $38. The receipt below:
I was obviously surprised at how low the offers were on every item. Take the Free People tank for example - that is a designer brand (more so than Abercrombie, for example) and they offered me the same price for that shirt as one from Hollister. That makes no sense to me.

Items they didn't want that I was surprised about: the white and mint jeans (they claimed they were looking for fall clothes and these were too "spring and summer") My response (in my head) was that this is Miami of all places and I will surely continue to wear these jeans year round despite the color, so WTF? They also weren't taking skirts because they had too much inventory. They also didn't take any of my Abercrombie kids tops in XL because they "dont sell kids clothes." I mean, I get that you don't sell kids clothes, but in XL? Those will definitely fit women/juniors who are size XS or S - obviously, they fit me! Whatever.

So in short, I came home with most of my clothes, and I will probably be donating all of them to Goodwill soon. I decided to keep the Express dress (last on the receipt) because it still had the tags on it and I think I might be able to make it work for me for this Fall and Winter - and if I can't, well, then I'll sell it for real next time.

Lessons I learned:
1. Marks and stains: anything with a slight mark or stain (according to them) will be rejected.
2. Seasonal stocking of clothes: They stock the store seasonally, so be prepared for them to reject clothes that seem to identify with another season.
3. Kids clothes: they don't take them, no matter what
4. Shoes: my store was in desperate need of shoes, so take this as an opportunity to get rid of those pumps that you never wear because they are super uncomfortable.
5. Accessories: almost all accessories at the store are priced at $4 - cheaper than F21, and a LOT of choices! I might come back to sell some of my accessories that I never wear from F21 - but I expect to make only pennies off the transaction. IMO - better than having them sit around my jewelry box taking up space for new stuff.
6. Remember there is Ebay if you are too attached to an item to let it go for pennies: No matter how expensive an item was when you bought it, they have certain set prices for everything. I asked them about my Levi's leather jacket and they said if I brought it in and it was in excellent condition I would get $8.80 for it. For a leather jacket that has been worn less than 10 times. That is just unacceptable for me, so if I decide I want to sell it this season, you can bet I will try a blog sale, ebay, or the Alteration's Needed forum first.

TJ Maxx & the Internet
I have a love affair with TJ Maxx - most of the time. I usually find great deals on shoes and handbags, but their clothes are a little "eh" for me unless they have a Runway department. I was mortified to find out that the TJ Maxx near my apartment got rid of their Runway dept! Anyway - armed with my $30 from Plato's closet, I decided to go to TJ Maxx.

Every time I find something that I like at TJ's, I have to immediately look it up online and see if it really is the best price available. TJ's only advertises that their stuff is up to 60% off department store prices - and honestly, being a bargain shopper, that is NOT that good! I can usually find stuff at 70 to 90% off on clearance racks at name brand stores, at discount stores like Nordstrom Rack and Loehmann's, and by using coupons online.

The point of this post is that having a smart phone these days can really come in handy if you are really out looking for the best deal possible. For example, yesterday at TJ Maxx I came across two Rebecca Minkoff Covet bags (in black and brown) priced at $249. I was contemplating purchasing the black one because of my recent decision that I wanted to get a bag that looks like a briefcase, and the Covet bag was marked to 1/2 the price of the Loeffler Randall one that I love. Anyway, I quickly checked the internet, and $250 is NOT the best price for these bags. Amazon currently has both Black and Brown in stock with Prime shipping for $202 and $212 respectively.

Rebecca Minkoff Covet Bag ($202 - Black)
I decided to pass on the Covet bag and contemplate it more via Amazon now that I've seen it in person. It is really a cute bag in person, but it is probably only large enough to carry something the size of an Ipad. It would not be big enough for carrying papers or files. 

Another reason I love TJ Maxx is because when you shop with an open mind (like I try to) it can introduce you to brands that you have never heard of before. I do consider myself somewhat of a "brand snob" but there are times I'm willing to overlook an unknown brand for style and price purposes. Two of my purchases at TJ's demonstrate this theory:

1. Big Buddah Prep Tote in Brown
TJ Maxx Price: $39.99
Buy at Amazon: $84-$94 (depending on color)
Buy at Zappos: $60-94 (depending on color)
This bag came in all sorts of colors. It's large enough to carry files and the faux leather looks great and feels durable. I thought the chain detailing made the bag look more expensive. Basically, I love this bag and am going to be bringing it to work often! (I'm still on the hunt for a black briefcase looking bag however).

2. Ellen Tracy June sandals
TJ Maxx Price: $28 on clearance
My inspiration: Cole Haan Air Catalina - $52-92 at 6pm.com
Similar by Michael Kors in Metallic and Black - $595
Similar by Tibi in Metallic and Black - $240
As soon as I saw these shoes, I knew I had to have them. For one, I'm always on the lookout for new sandals because I change between my $6 Loft ones and a few other pairs almost every day, so these shoes tend to get worn out quickly. In addition to the style and price being right, they also added something to my wardrobe that I don't yet have - red. I literally have 1 item in my closet that is red right now and I think a small stripe on my shoe is a good way to get used to the color.

Final thoughts: TJ Maxx can have some great finds, but if you are concerned about getting the best deal possible, always check the internet before making your purchase. If I hadn't checked the internet, I might have walked away with a $250 bag that, with a coupon and a gift certificate, I could have gotten for $110. TJ's is also a great place to try lesser known brands for a good price. If you can overlook the name, you might find a style that you really enjoy. 

August 16, 2012

lusting after...

Long story short, I signed up for some Amazon emails today to get a 20% off code and this Loeffler Randall Rider handbag was immediately suggested for me. That's what I love/hate about Amazon.... they just KNOW my preferences which is amazing, but then I want to buy everything which is NOT amazing haha! I've wanted a cute little briefcase for a while and this one literally jumped out at me and said BUY ME. What do you think? Should I get it with my 20% off coupon or wait for something a little less expensive?

August 15, 2012

the power dress

You've probably heard the term the "power suit." A power suit is nothing more than a suit that makes you feel confident and makes you feel like a million bucks. I think you can have a power "______" anything. My power dress for work is definitely this sheath dress from BCBG. It fits me perfectly up top, it matches with everything because it's black, and it has some interesting details to keep it from being too plain. In short, I feel great when I wear it - I feel like a real attorney when I wear it. Unfortunately, my boss told me today that I don't need to dress up so much unless I'm going to court or meeting clients... so I will put this dress back into my closet until I pass the bar lol. I guess I didn't mention that I started my job this week! What do you wear that makes you feel confident?
Dress: BCBG (similar - available in a TON of sizes)
Cardigan: Loft
Shoes: Corso Como
Bag: Longchamp
Sunglasses: Versace
Necklace: Barneys (similar)
Belt: F21 (similar)
Bracelets: Etsy (save, spend, splurge)
In other news, I scored these Corso Como Del pumps at Nordstrom Rack about 2 months ago for only 50 bucks! (but today was my first time wearing them) They usually run about $130-150 so I thought this was a good deal. I'm always on the lookout for low-ish pumps that are known to be comfortable (3" or less usually), and these Del pumps have gotten the stamp of approval in comfort from many people, including one of my favorite bloggers Elle from Fast Food and Fast Fashion (she owns several pairs!) I found the cushion in the Del pumps to be thicker than the Ann Taylor perfect pumps which I wear all the time. I wore them all day today for the first time and have no complaints. I did notice that the size 7 (my usual size) was slightly smaller than other 7's I own, especially my most recent Ann Taylor pointy-toe pair that I bought which need a pad to keep my feet from slipping out.

August 14, 2012

monochromatic EBEW

I'm linking up for this month's Every Body Every Wear monochromatic challenge! I have had this outfit in mind for about a month since I bought this jacket at the Zara sale. I'm loving pairing white and blush together this summer, and I can't wait to wear this outfit out again - it will definitely be repeated.
Blazer: Zara
Blouse: Ann Taylor
Jeans: F21
Shoes: Ann Taylor
Necklace: Amrita Singh
Belt: Ann Taylor
Bracelet: old necklace
Sunglasses: Versace
Head on over to EBEW to see the other fabulous entries!

Monochromatic

August 13, 2012

navy, brown, stripes

Tee: Old Navy
Scarf: H&M
Shorts: A&F
Shoes: Miss Me
Necklace: F21 (similar)
Sunglasses: Versace
Watch: Michael Kors
Belt: F21
On this sweltering hot day mixed with ridiculous showers, I had to fight to stay cool. A trip to the grocery store required a light scarf because of the humid to arctic temperature change. A note about my hair: ever since I got the keratin treatment done, all I have to do is blow dry my hair for maximum 10 minutes and this is how it turns out. No flat iron needed. Most frizz is gone, and it takes no effort to get my hair straight and with some volume. I'm thinking that the keratin treatment was worth it for the sake of my hair not being subjected to two heat sources (hair dryer + flat iron) every day.

August 12, 2012

Asos Lace Shift Dress

I was looking through photos and realized I never posted what I wore to my graduation. I will warn you that it is not enlightening or anything. I ended up wearing two different dresses - this one to an award ceremony where we received our honors cords (the green cord below) and another dress to the actual graduation ceremony which got literally 0 pictures taken of it! It is the phantom dress. Sometimes I think it's to my benefit when no pictures are taken of me in a dress, because then I have free reign to wear it again and no one will remember. I ended up wearing this dress with simple gold and rose gold accessories, and neutral shoes to make my legs look longer. The white cardigan was worn indoors but it was too hot walking around campus to keep it on.
Dress: Asos
Belt: Forever 21
Necklace: Barneys
Watch: Michael Kors
Shoes: Mix No. 9 via DSW
Bag: Longchamp
University of Miami's campus is so beautiful, but I really took it for granted for the past 3 years. Walking around the campus with my family was a great way to appreciate the beautiful nature and landscaping of the whole campus. The tree behind me here I think is called a Banyan tree - it is actually one of the smaller ones on campus. The campus is actually an arboretum (tree museum/conservatory/botanical garden-ish) which is pretty cool.
And now, a gigantic picture of my face! Underneath the black robes I am donning a beautiful dress of which there are no pictures to document its wearing. 
When a tree falls in a forest and there is no one around to hear it, does it make a sound? When a dress is worn and there are no photos taken, did you really wear it? 

August 4, 2012

white/stripes

In my last post I talked about getting a keratin treatment that requires not getting the hair wet for 4 days. What I didn't mention (but I have mentioned before on this blog) is that I'm currently in the process of helping my parents move! August heat + sweat + hair treatment = problems! I've done a good job so far of keeping my hair dry, but even staying indoors with AC cannot stop sweat from developing when you are constantly moving about, carrying boxes, clothes, etc up and down flights of stairs. The point of all this is that I'm pretty embarrassed about the greasiness of my hair, but I don't think it shows too terribly in pictures. Tonight I went over to my mom's friend's house who just got a new pool - obviously I couldn't partake in christening the pool due to said hair treatment - but it was nice to put on clothes, eat Five Guys, and have a few drinks overlooking the pool and joke around talking. Fun fact: my dad had to testify in a murder trial earlier this year. Good times. Google Sheila Davalloo if you are into crimes and such, it makes for an interesting read.
Vest: Zara
Tee: Old Navy
Jeans: F21
Shoes: Target
Bracelets: Movado, Mexico vendor
Bag: Longchamp
2 things I wanted to note: 1) sorry for wearing the same vest 2 posts in a row - I'm living out of a suitcase, shit happens! 2) I placed a Zara order online and it literally arrived the next day (same order I got this vest from). There must be a warehouse near CT or something because that is AMAZING time. When I order online from Miami I usually have to wait approx 4 business days (during non-sale time)!

August 2, 2012

all about keratin

I ended up venturing out of my house for the first time in 4 days to get my hair did by my long-time stylist for the last time, probably ever, before I begin my "real person life" down in Miami. When I made the appointment a week ago, I had looked at myself in the mirror earlier in the day and was in awe of how frizzy my hair had gotten. When I was younger I got my hair relaxed once or twice and it made a huge difference in how straight and frizz-free I was able to get my hair. But this was like 5 years ago and now keratin treatments are all the rage instead.

FYI: I ordered up the Brazilian Keratin Treatment. It took me 3 full hours in the chair to get a cut, put the keratin on, blow dry the hair, and flat iron the keratin into the hair. I'll have to keep it DRY (I can't wash my hair, go into rain, or sweat) for 4 full days (a huge challenge). I have to come back in 4 days to get my hair washed and blow dried (this may be a perk of my salon and not "the norm" - not sure). It's supposed to last for up to 6 months (sounds good to me). If it does get wet, or if I sleep on my hair and it becomes a little "crinkled" (whatever the word is) I have to immediately take out my straightening iron and iron away the kinks or else I'll have said kinks for 6 months. Keratin apparently changes the structure of your hair, so if you flat iron it, it will be straight, if you curl it, it will be curly, etc. I was warned not to curl my hair for a while (I'm assuming a few months) or it could interfere with the straight structure that they created with the treatment. Overall, I'm pleased with how straight it is right now, I'm not too pleased about having greasy hair for 4 days in the middle of the summer, and I really hope it was worth the hefty price tag :) And now for some pictures and an outfit:
Vest: scored at the Zara sale! (similar)
Tee: F21
Jeans: F21
Wedges: Ann Taylor
Necklace: Danielle Stevens via Hautelook
Lips: Revlon Lip Butter "Peach Parfait" (almost matches my natural lip color)