August 28, 2013

August Budget Recap

I'm linking up with Franish for Budgeting Bloggers! I set my monthly clothing budget at $200. Here's what I bought:
1. Banana Republic Sloan Ankle Pants in Porch Green - $43

2. Forever 21 Black Skinny Pants - $19.80 (so comfortable - like a thick ponte legging material)

3. Forever 21 Pearl Cluster Necklace - $15.80 (similar)
4. Zara Dress - $32 (similar)
5. Ann Taylor Striped Peplum Top - $8
6. Ann Taylor Necklace - $16 (sold out)
7. Ann Taylor Necklace - $16 (sold out)
And now for the, "WTF was I thinking when I bought this??" moment:
8. Nordstrom Rack MC Hammer Pants - $20 (similar)
9. Nordstrom Rack Crop Tops - $20 and $15 (the $15 one not pictured) (similar)
Guys, these pants are the most comfortable thing ever. However, I haven't been brave enough to wear them OUT out yet. I have worn them to like, the Subway near my house, but not out in "public." I think I would wear them with heels to go out to dinner or drinks or something but I'm having a hard time thinking of what to wear them with in terms of flats. The crop tops... well, they might be returned. It turns out I don't have as many high-waisted things to wear them with as I thought I did. I will update if I return them, lol. 

TOTAL: (according to $191 out of $200 (including tax)

I stayed in my budget this month! Good for me. And I got a lot of pieces I'm happy with, too. I'm especially happy with the black skinny pants - it's nice to not wear jeans all the time. The pearl necklace is pretty and looks more expensive than $15. I also love the two Ann Taylor necklaces I got - have been wearing them often to work. And the striped peplum top has been worn at least 8 times already. 

Did you stick to your budget this month? Did you get anything really great?!

August 25, 2013

Turquoise & White

Every once in a while something happens and it reminds me that I'm not a young kid anymore. Specifically, this weekend I realized I'm getting older because I went out on Friday, danced to "twist and shout", and my legs are still killing me 2 days later. Ugh! Anyway, this is what I wore Friday night.   Saturday I spent the entire day working. I went to Naples with my boss to visit a client and we brought like 20 files in the car with us to talk about them on the way there and back. Productive but not relaxing :) I'm going to Chicago again on Labor Day weekend - any suggestions for restaurants or special happenings on Labor Day?! Leave any in the comments!
Top: Ann Taylor (now extra 60% off until 8/26 at night)
Jeans: Forever 21 (similar)
Shoes: BCBGirl (similar)
Necklace: Forever 21 (back in stock after many months! some of the best $6.80 I've ever spent)
Watch: Michael Kors
Bag: Longchamp

August 22, 2013

Sad Day

Just to preface, I'm going to say something really terrible and then change the subject completely.... I found out today that one of my firm's clients, who I've worked with recently, passed away in jail. I don't know the exact cause of death, but I had been talking to his family and received a letter from him recently saying that he was having kidney problems. I don't know him or his family on any level more personal than a work relationship, but it still hit me really hard. I had just been negotiating a good plea for him and now he's gone. Another attorney told me to get used to it because it will definitely happen a few times over my career. That's unfortunately just the nature of the quality of medical care available in the jails. Ugh.

And now to completely change the subject as promised: I wore this outfit to court today and to the office after. This dress is so comfortable, it really felt like a sweat suit. I also always forget about this necklace. It's one of those puka shell type things from when I was a kid but because it's longer it is still pretty much in-style and I can knot it like I'm wearing it today to change it up a bit. Do you have any super old jewelry that you've held on to and are still able to wear today?
Blazer: Theory (similar)
Dress: H&M (similar)
Shoes: Ann Taylor (similar)
Necklace: old
Watch: Michael Kors
Bag: Michael Kors (similar)

August 21, 2013

Banana Republic Sloan Ankle Pants Review & Outfit

A few weeks ago, Elle posted that Banana Republic was having a 40% off everything sale which was stackable with individual 25% off coupons for new email subscribers. I already was an email subscriber but was not above registering my blog email to get the extra % off, as I had been waiting for a good sale like this to buy another pair of Sloan pants. I wear my khaki pair from last year pretty often - see them here and here. Unfortunately, there were no 00P in the colors I was hoping to try, specifically black and the Porch Green color below. I ended up ordering 00R, 0R and 0P to try. All were "meh". I was hoping the regular sizes would add some length, and they did, but they weren't ankle pants anymore which defeated the purpose. When I went into the store to return my package, I saw the green in 00P and had to try them on. They were the best fit of the bunch. The manager even said she would adjust the price to match the online price I paid (about $40) but "just this once" - yea.. ok we'll see about that, lol. Anyway, I didn't have a chance to wear the pants to work yet but I did wear them on Saturday to brunch at a sort of hidden place called Peacock Garden Cafe in Coconut Grove. I probably could have worn this to work with a jacket and heels though...on a non-court day :) 
Top: Loft (on final sale)
Shoes: Forever 21 (similar)
Sunglasses: Forever 21 (similar)
Necklace: Forever 21 (similar)
Watch: Michael Kors
Bracelet: Ebay (similar)
Bag: B. Makowsky
I like that they sit pretty flat from the front. Some extra material in the rear but unfortunately I'm going to have that problem with most pants as I have nothing back there. They fit me pretty sung across the thighs and hips but were loose from the knee down. 
The pants are labeled BR's "sexiest fit" which doesn't really go along with office attire. However, I think the thicker material, the loose fit from the knee down, and the fact that I would wear these with a blazer which covers most of my butt makes them office appropriate. Also the darker color as opposed to a bright red or something. 
PS - I followed THIS tutorial to do my hair. I think hers looks way better... but I'm trying new things instead of the same old boring straight or curled hair so at least there's that!
Linking up with Tara from Mix & Match Fashion, and Agi at Vodka Infused Lemonade!

August 19, 2013

More Striped Peplum

I think a lot of people have the same problem, but when I get something new I seem to want to wear it all. the. time. I obviously can't wear a casual striped peplum top to work every day, so on the weekends I've been reaching for it....a lot. I wore this out during an unexpectedly stormy day to run some errands. I also stopped into Nordstrom Rack and bought some, let's say, unexpected pieces (harem pants are one of them...). Stay tuned to see if I even keep them or chicken out. I will say the pants are VERY comfortable though so I might even keep them as pajamas even if I don't keep them as real pants, lol.
Shirt: Ann Taylor
Shorts: Charlotte Russe (similar)
Vest: Zara (similar - on sale)
Shoes: Target (similar)
Necklace: Ebay (similar)

August 18, 2013

PSA: Don't Forget to Cut the Strings on Your New Suit!

If you didn't know, below is a picture of a "vent." You find vents on the back of many mens and women's blazers, and on women's skirts. Sometimes there are even two vents.
 Vents are usually sewn shut with a little bit of string, like this:
Public Service Announcement: Don't forget to cut the strings to release the vent! 

The strings are there to help the material lay flat and look nice on the hanger. Cut off the strings before you leave the house! I definitely have been guilty of walking around with my skirt vent sewn shut once or twice (as an intern! before I knew better!), but once I realized I had been walking around all day like that, I was embarrassed and quickly fixed the issue. I only bring this up because on Friday in court I saw 2 people in front of me in line to call a case - 1 man and 1 woman, who had the vents of their blazers still sewn shut. Congrats on the new suit, but don't let everyone know you got a new suit :)

There are a bagillion more "office faux-pas" that I can think of, but that may be another post for another time. For now, just remember to snip your strings :)

August 17, 2013

An Unfamiliar Silhouette

I surprisingly haven't bought anything from Zara since the summer sale 1 year ago, when I bought some pieces that I absolutely love and get a ton of use out of - namely, this moto vest, this moto jacket, and this blazer. Nothing really stood out to me from the sale this summer, but I kept checking back every few weeks because price drops suddenly make clothes seem more desirable. Last week, I checked the sale and came across this leather-like dress. I liked the high neckline, the leather-like material, and the a-line shape. I decided to try it for only $29.99. It's now only $19.99 online and is still available in S, M and L if you are interested. 

Anyway, I obviously can't wear this to work, but I didn't purchase it with the intent of wearing it there. It's too short and, uh, it's faux leather. (Sidenote: I actually saw a woman wearing a leather/faux leather skirt to court the other day - it MIGHT have worked but she was also wearing booties so I just thought it cheapened the whole look and looked way more weekend than work attire.) I'm unable to be a fair critic of myself because of this unfamiliar silhouette - I'm not used to seeing A-line on my body so I think I look stupid. Please enlighten me if you think this looks OK or not! I will say, if I decide to keep the dress I want to get it tailored. I want to take in the top about a half inch on each side and bring up the hem a few inches to make it more obviously "weekend" - right now it's a bit long for "going out" attire. So, what's your verdict? Keep and tailor or return??
Necklace: Forever 21 (similar)
Watch: Michael Kors
Shoes: Corso Como (similar)

August 16, 2013

Navy & Yellow

Wore this to work today - to court and the office. I figured I could get away with a brighter top at court on a Friday. I really like the look of bright yellow and navy together. It also helps that the paisley pattern has some navy/cobalt blue in it, too! My work outfits really struggled this week, too many black suit days... meh. Who is happy for the weekend?! I don't have many plans but I'm going to brunch tomorrow (first one in Miami in many months) and I'll probably take my dog to the park. Good times. What are you doing this weekend?!
Blazer: Theory
Pants: Theory
Top: Loft (now on final sale)
Shoes: Cole Haan
Necklace: Forever 21 (similar)
Bracelet: Ebay (similar)
Watch: Michael Kors
Sunglasses: Forever 21 (similar)

August 14, 2013

Black & White & Hair

I wore this for a friend of mine's last night out in Miami. We went to dinner at Versailles, probably the most famous cuban restaurant in town, and then out to a local bar. I'm not a huge fan of Cuban food, but over the years I've found a few things I really like. I LOVE croquettas and Versailles didn't disappoint. The empanadas, yuca fries, and cilantro sauce were also great. My Cuban friend also said they have the best Cuban sandwich in town. 3 people at the table ordered the sandwich (myself included) but I wasn't wowed - it could just be that I had way too much ham already that day, lol. 
Anyway, I've been wearing my hair like this a lot recently and it is SO easy to do! The tool I use, the Conair You Curling Wand, was only $20 at Walmart. I think every hairstyle always depends on the type of hair you have, but I never thought of myself as someone who had hair that could hold a curl until I tried this tool. My hair stays curled for days -- until I wash my hair. I highly recommend trying it. Plus, it's only $20 so it's not a huge investment like some of these $100 tools on the market! On freshly washed and blow dried hair, I wrap about 1-2" sections of hair around the tool away from my face. I hold about 10-15 seconds for each strand. I curl my whole head, spray with hairspray, and then brush my hair through immediately as the hairspray is drying. I then use my hands to shape some of the curls and smooth out the hair and it turns out like this! Easy - and it only takes about 15 minutes (I don't have an extra 15 minutes during the week but I love it for weekends!). 
Vest: Zara (similar)
Pants: Forever 21
Shoes: Shoedazzle (here in white)
Necklace: Forever 21 (similar)
Bracelets: Ann Taylor, Brace URself, unknown
Linking up for Tara's Summer Style Linkup, and Style Elixer for Friday's Fab Favorites!

August 12, 2013

"Dressed Up"

I remember in elementary school, if I decided to wear a skirt I had to mentally prepare myself for all the "Why are you so dressed up?" questions that inevitably were asked by my classmates. Now, in my professional life, I can look forward to wearing whatever I want, usually on the dressier side, without being questioned for my choices! When I wore this outfit last Friday, however, I got some "why are you so dressed up?" questions. Totally fine with me! I enjoy getting dressed for work, and I was happy on this particular Friday to lose the blazer and wear one of my favorite dresses, even though I had no court, no client meetings, and honestly wouldn't see anyone except the people in my office all day. Sometimes I just wanna get dressed up!
Dress: Theory (similar)
Blouse: Ann Taylor
Shoes: Corso Como (similar)
Necklace: Ann Taylor (similar)

August 8, 2013

Blue + Grey

I wore this to court today and to some depositions in the afternoon. This blue silk Ann Taylor top is one of my favorite blouses in my closet. You wouldn't know it by the amount of times it's appeared on the blog though, or by knowing me in real life either. I think I've worn it 4 times total! Wore it here last. I love the blouse, but it's the dreaded "dry clean only"! It also wrinkles like cray when I tuck it into skirts. So even if I didn't sweat a TON today (it was 95 when I checked my car thermometer, ugh) I still couldn't re-wear it because of all the wrinkles. Ugh, I hate dry cleaning. I also feel like dry cleaning in Miami is insanely expensive. My BF has a dry cleaners in his building in Chicago and it's like $1.50 for a men's shirt! Why can't it be that cheap for women's blouses? Do you have any high maintenance items that you love but don't wear as often as you'd like?
Blazer: Banana Republic Factory (similar)
Blouse: Ann Taylor (similar)
Skirt: Theory
Shoes: Forever 21 (love this loafer style)
Necklace: Forever 21 (similar)
Bag: Michael Kors (similar)
Hair: curled using Conair You Curling Wand

August 6, 2013

Skinny Work Pants

I can't believe this is the first time these Theory pants have made it on the blog. I probably wear them at least once a week! There's no doubt that skinnier women's pants are "in" right now, as opposed to a more bootcut or flare style (although bootcut will probably always be classic). However, they are infinitely harder to wear to the office, almost wholly because it's difficult to get the length just right. I went back and forth with my tailor about how short to make these pants, and we finally decided on this length. I think we could have gone a bit shorter to avoid the slight crease near the bottom, but I was afraid of them becoming ankle pants - I just wanted "skinny" pants. Anyway, I wore this outfit last Friday to court and to the office. The pattern on the shirt and the mixing of the grey blazer and navy pants made it a bit more casual but still appropriate for court. Do you own any skinny work pants? How do you wear them?
Blazer: Theory
Pants: Theory
Blouse: Ann Taylor
Shoes: Cole Haan
Bag: Michael Kors (similar)
Necklace: Tiffany key on another necklace
Earrings: Lord & Taylor
Sunglasses: Forever 21 (similar)

August 5, 2013

Summer Tweed & Stripes

Despite the tweed material of the dress, the thing just says "summer" to me. The weave of the tweed (kind of loose) and the lighter colors and fun stripe details feel appropriate for warm weather. Wearing a lighter colored blazer like here also makes it feel summer appropriate. What do you think about wearing "winter" fabrics in the summer heat? 
Dress: Ann Taylor (now on final sale - w/ extra 40% off comes to $48) 
Blazer: Theory
Shoes: Ann Taylor (similar)
Necklace: Forever 21
Bag: Michael Kors (similar)
Below I'm trying on the "Miracle Dress" from Ann Taylor (I returned it). It certainly did not work miracles for me. I was too tall for this particular dress in petite sizes because the waist on the dress hit a few inches above my natural waist. The end result was that the ruching (which is supposed to flatter and conceal your stomach) made me look like I was pregnant. Not a flattering look :) The material also wrinkled easily (see below) and felt kind of cheap. I did love the bright cobalt color though. 
Dress: Ann Taylor
Necklace: Forever 21 (check stores, don't see it online) (similar)
Bracelets: Forever 21
Shoes: Cole Haan

August 2, 2013

Kinda Parisian

What is it about stripes and Paris? I found myself wondering why we always associate stripes with French culture and decided to turn to trusty Google to find the answer. The answer was pretty easy to find - read about Breton stripes and why they are connected to Paris/France here. I wore this on Tuesday night out to a wine bar with my boss and coworkers. This top was added as a filler in a recent Ann Taylor order, but I ended up really liking the loose/casual fit mixed with peplum. I ordered it in 2 sizes (petite and regular) and went with the regular for a longer and looser fit. The shirt and the necklace below ended up being the only keepers from my order. These black legging/jeans are also a recent purchase (technically bought all these items in late July but I'll be putting them into August's budget). I have been more careful to notice what I'm lacking in my closet, and one of the categories I noticed I needed was more jean alternatives. These black ponte pants fit the bill (can't believe these are my first black pants since probably high school). I'm also wearing new shoes from Alonai company based in Miami. They specialize in very small and very large shoe sizes. I think the company thought I had petite feet because of my blog name but I have pretty average size 6.5-7 feet. They do sell "normal" sizes but just have less choices on their website. These shoes are very comfortable and very affordable at only ~$30! 
Pants: Forever 21
Shoes: c/o Alonai
Bag: Longchamp
Necklaces: Forever 21 & Ann Taylor
Watch: Michael Kors
Linking up with Style Elixer today!

August 1, 2013

Zara Vest, Periwinkle Jeans, Glitter Loafers

The lighting has been really wonky lately when I go to take photos - maybe its the time I'm choosing to do it? Anyway, sorry about the extra grainy photos below. I'm really upset because I washed my Zara white linen moto jacket (worn below) to get some stains off, and it came out kind of warped from the washing machine. I tried ironing it but it still doesn't look the same. It's not terrible or unwearable but it's not the same as it was either...I might have to look for a replacement. I wore this to run some errands on Sunday- went to CVS, Panera, and Ulta to hit up the 20% off sale. I purchased 2 new colors of gel polish to add to my collection. Although my finger nails are still far from being grown out, I love doing my toes because the gel polish lasts at least 2 weeks and the shine stays amazing until the minute you remove the polish. I'm also able to wear more "fun" colors on my toes than on my hands. I'm curious - what colors do you wear on your nails to work? Do you have any restrictions in your dress code regarding polish? 
Blouse: Old Navy
Vest: Zara (similar)
Jeans: Forever 21 (similar)
Shoes: Dollhouse (similar)
Necklace: Forever 21 (similar)
Bracelet: David Yurman