Thursday, March 22, 2012

Spring Shopping Fever

Ah....I am hesitant to say this, as certainly the tides will turn once I finish typing the words, but Spring has arrived here in Chicago. This time last year we still had snow on the ground and I was proudly rocking my sleeping bag coat. Not this year pretty people! The sun has been out, the temps are a risin', and the people of Chicago are loving it. I have to give it to Chicagoans, we do not mess around when the weather is warm.

With this change of season, I am looking to do a little changing of my own. You see my entire life I have always desired to be a well dressed gal, but I seem to lack the essential skills to put together a decent wardrobe. I think I have good taste, but I don’t really have style.  Does that make sense?  I know what I think looks good, but I don’t know how to put it all together. To me that’s what makes someone a stylish individual: Put Togetherness.  I find myself getting in fashion ruts, wearing the same faded tops over and over again. Standing in my closet every morning just looking at the clothes hanging lifelessly on the hangers.  There have been times when I have just thought “I suppose I will never be a great dresser.”

However if plants that lay dormant for months at a time can bloom once again, I figure it’s never to late for me to try to revamp my look. So here we go!

I am not one to follow trends that will last one minute, but I really couldn’t help getting on the bright colored pants bandwagon. They. Are. Everywhere. On billboards, in magazines, walking down the streets. So this is one trend where I say “If you can’t beat em’! Join em’!”  I am kind of digging the bold colors, and you can find lots of affordable options.

I had originally ordered two pairs from Old Navy, but, as I mentioned a few posts back, when they arrived I found myself unable to button them.

Battered and bruised from that experience I thought I would stay off the trendsetting train, but a few days ago I found myself on the Forever 21 site ordering these two lovelies. 

I have received notice that they have been shipped, and I am already terrified that I will be met with the same fate. Time will tell.

When I set out to begin my new wardrobe rebuild I remembered my super stylish friend Laura imparting upon me that "while accessories may feel like a superflous thing, they can make an outfit." Wise words, Laura, very wise words indeed. Think about it, you could have a closet full of white, grey and back T-shirts, but add different scarves, necklaces, earrings, name it, you have turned your outfit from fab! So I made a promise to myself that anytime I purchased an item of clothing I would purchase an accessory as well. None of these would be expensive, but they will pay off big in the long run. Here are two of my recent finds:

See? What did I tell ya? From Drab to Fab!
I do love a good scarf. 

While I may never have been great at putting entire ensembles together, I have always had a soft spot for a great shoe. I mean what girl doesn't? There are few greater joys than strutting down the street in a new pair of heels/flats/wedges/boots/you-name-it.  The great thing about new footwear is, if taken care of, they can last you for years. I am always willing to shell out a little more for shoes. What can I say? I am a firm believer in taking care of your feet.

Last year I fell in love with Tom's. Everyone at work had them, and while they looked kind of flimsy my colleagues assured me they were so comfortable, so ordered a darling pair of red slip on's to try. It didn't take long for me to drink the Kool-aid. They are deceptively simple looking shoes, but they provide great support. Plus, for every pair you buy Tom's donates a pair to a child in need. It's charity and consumerism rolled into a fashionable ball of happiness.

So today, I just thought I would pop over to the website just to peruse their new offerings, when I came across these beauties:
I wasn't necessarily in the market for a pair of muted animal print ballet flats, but they caught my eye and I couldn't look away! I read somewhere that every woman needs a little animal print in her wardrobe, and while I am not 100% convinced of that theory, this certainly piqued my interest. In the end I was powerless to resist their adorableness and found myself pressing the buy button.

Plus would you check out this amazingness?

I already have the top shoes in Red and Grey (yes I ended up purchasing a second pair this summer) but Olive and Navy would round out my collection quite nicely. Also would you check out those wedges? i mean, could you not just die? They are so cute that I really can't pick out a favorite of these three, nor would I want to.

See, I am a fool for shoes.

In addition to some fun summer flair, I am also creating a list...oh who am I kidding, I have a spreadsheet ok!....of what I would like to call "investment pieces." Classic items which will stand the test of time. While I am no high roller, I would certainly be willing to spend a little more on these items to ensure quality of construction.

A few of these items include:

A classic Jean Jacket. I used to have one and I am not sure where it is now, but I have been feeling the pangs of desire for a replacement. I came across this cutie at Piperlime, and again found myself powerless in it's presence. So I can cross this item off my list. However I think this is a great purchase for Spring and will carry me into the fall for sure (See what I just did there? It's called the "justification of ones frivolity").

Don't you just love a good Trench Coat?  A perfect Fall and Spring staple that can be dressed up and down. I have my eye on one at Banana Republic, but it will be a little while before I can shell out the dough for it. Good to have goals, I say.

A timeless, quilted, quilted, black leather shoulder bag is truly an investment. Luxurious, yet practical.  Simple, yet statement making. I am already considering asking Santa for it (ahem).

There are some other items as well, such as the perfect Nude Pump, a fabulous pair of Dark Washed, Fitted Jeans, and of coure the quintessential Little Black Dress. I feel investment items require patience. You shouldn't jump at the first item you see, but rather wait till the right one comes along.

Do you have any wardrobe must haves? Any new trends you are itching to try?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Facing Death

I am not sure what it is, but as I age (sigh) I seem to become more fearful about meeting my demise in a horrific way. For example, despite my desire for adventure, air travel makes me very uneasy. Take off's, landing and turbulence make my heart race and my stomach flip. It's a strange new development and I only hope that I don't develop agoraphobia in the coming decade.

The newest paranoia I have developed is a fear of elevators, which is problematic considering I work on the 25th floor.  In all fairness, before you are ready to commit me, lots of people in my office are fearful of the lift's in this building. They have a tendency to open their doors before they are fully level with the floor they are letting you out on. Plus the bank I have to travel are express elevators so you shoot up and it makes your ears pop...always slightly unnerving.

Well a few days ago I received a message in my inbox that I had mail on the 24th floor. Normally I would take the stairs to travel such a short distance between floors, however you can't do that in my building for reasons I am unclear of.  So I step into the carrier of death, press the button (side note: I am always embarrassed when I take any elevator only one floor, it makes me feel lazy and like people are judging me), and it's doors shut. There is another guy in the elevator who I do not know (surly he must be judging me) and I fixate my eyes on the green numbers that change with each floor. I see it tick over from 25 to 24 as the carrier starts to slow down and stop. However instead on the doors opening to let me out safely, the door remain shut and then the entire thing drops. How far I am not sure, it was likely only a foot or more but it was enough to make your stomach turn thus causing me to grab the side rail in terror. I turned to look at my fellow passenger and he huffs

"What just happened?"
I squeak back "It didn't stop on the 24th floor."
"That was terrifying" he exhales, "The elevators in this building make me hate all elevators."

I nod in agreement, but my heart is still trembling in fear because I have no choice but to get right back in and travel up another 24 floors.

That night I did the StairMaster at the gym and climbed almost 80 floors.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Least We Can Do

I am issuing a challenge to you all. Please take a half hour out of your day to watch this video. Once you are done please share it in any way that you can

Let's make KONY Famous.