Tuesday, August 31, 2010


As the title suggests, I have big news to share with all of you today. As you know, I am currently residing in Lancaster, PA working for American Music Theatre as their costume designer and wardrobe manager. While I absolutely LOVE what I do, I've made the decision to leave my job. I submitted my resignation today with October 1st as my final day. After that I will be packing up and moving back to New Hampshire to regroup and figure out my next step. I'm sure this move is going to come as quite a surprise to everyone here in PA, but I've done a lot of thinking and praying and soul searching and I have made the decision to make a leap of faith.

I've never liked being around people who aren't happy in their situation and spend a lot of time complaining about it and just being miserable. I resolved a long time ago that if I make a strong attempt to resolve the things that are making me unhappy and it does not work, then I will not be one of those people. I resolved to do something to change my situation. Even if the change ends up being worse than the previous situation, at least I will know I've made a solid attempt to change things.

I am definitely scared about finding work once I move, but I have been in worse situations before and I've landed on my feet. Several years ago, I was let go unexpectedly from my day job. It was not a happy day, but what resulted was that I ended up doing more freelance work and after a few months, I was working full time for the theatre where I learned almost everything I know about costume design. If I had never been fired, I might never have gotten into design at all! It was a blessing in disguise. In this situation, I'm voluntarily placing myself in a precarious position, as opposed to someone doing it for me. Some have said it's "brave" others have referred to this choice as "admirable." That may be true, but right now it mostly feels scary. Quitting a job that pays well and provides great benefits is a little frightening, but I am confident that it's the right thing for me to do at this point in my life. I once heard a quote that really stuck with me, and it's very fitting for my current situation: "When I have come to the edge of all the light I have known, and am about to step off into the darkness of the unknown, faith teaches me one of two things will happen. Either I will find a solid place on which to set my foot, or I will fly." I'm crossing my fingers for the latter.

Shoesday Tuesday- Suede Pumps!

Remember my post from last week about grey suede pumps? Well, I took my own advice and got myself a pair of gorgeous suede pumps in a rich taupe-grey. The funny thing is that back when I bought my bright purple pumps, I saw the grey pumps, too and at first I considered getting them. But since I'm a sucker for shoes that are bright and colorful, I couldn't resist the purple ones, so I left the grey ones behind. Well, last week, I was out shopping with some girlfriends and I happened upon the same pumps I'd left behind so many weeks ago. They were still available in my size and they had been reduced to 80% off the sale price. Originally, $99, they'd been marked down to $73.99. At 80% off, I only paid $14.80 for them! Can you even believe that? I was SO happy! They don't have the platform like the pumps from my post last week, but they have something even better- a beautiful cut-out detail that will take you breath away:

Honestly, could these shoes be any prettier? I love them! Not only are the cut-outs beautiful, but I love the shape of these shoes- from the heel to the arch right down to the rounded toe- they are perfection to me. Now I just need to remember to get the suede-protecting spray for them so that I don't ruin them when I go out. If you like these and want some for yourself, they are Victor Alfaro- the style is called "Swan" and the color is called "Mushroom" but they were also available in black leather. I bought mine at Bonton. Happy shoe hunting, lovelies!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Rate My Look- Accessories from Besties

Today when I put this outfit together, it didn't immediately occur to me that the most interesting accessories in the outfit were from my closest girlfriends:

I'm talking about the necklace and the bag, of course. The necklace was given to me from Andrea as an opening night present for Abbey Road. She conceived, wrote, directed and choreographed the entire show. Working on costumes with her was so much fun. She made this necklace for me as an opening night gift- isn't that so sweet of her? Here's a closer look at it:

Can you see the detail on the pendant- a pair of scissors? How perfect is that? I love it. As for the bag, I actually blogged about it a looooooooooong time ago here. Beth, being the sweetheart that she is, gave me the bag for my birthday. The joke with this bag is that while it's clever and adorable, it's highly inconvenient and impractical. I can barely carry anything in it and since the pouches are smaller at the top, it's hard to get anything out. Like I said, inconvenient and impractical. But totally cute, right? And didn't I say just the other day that one of my fall must-haves is an olive handbag? Check! (Silly me, I didn't take a close-up photo of the bag. I'll try to remember to do that and update this post.) I did, however, get a close-up photo of the shoes. Oh, the shoes. I was going to wait until tomorrow to go on about these shoes (since it is Shoesday Tuesday), but I can't wait. Check these babies out:

Who doesn't love a little pop of zebra print, right? These shoes are Madden Girl by Steve Madden and I scored them at the BCF for only $19.99. They are actually quite comfortable, too. I feel like a total babe in them. As for the rest of the outfit, the dress is made by me, originally seen here, the belt is so old, I have no idea where it came from, the cami is probably from Target, but I really don't know for sure and the sunglasses are vintage. I love the shape of them- I really should wear them more often.

So what do you think of my outfit today? Leave a comment and let me know!

2010 Emmy Fashions

Did you all watch the Emmy's last night? Some of my favorite shows did really well- Modern Family, Mad Men, Dexter, Top Chef- it was fun to watch. Jimmy Fallon was a good host, too. I especially enjoyed his tribute to shows that ended this season with his quick costume changes from Elton John to Boyz II Men to Green Day as well as the clever song choices and lyric changes:

But now for the fashions...

There were many more hits than misses in the gowns that I saw, but I did notice a few trends: there were quite a few one-shoulder gowns and even more white grecian gowns. Most of the stars who chose to make a statement with color did so with rich, jewel tones as opposed to pastels or brights. There were also quite a few black gowns on the red carpet, but none really stood out for me. The one who did stand out, though was Elisabeth Moss in a one-shoulder Donna Karan in a stunning shade of nude:

Please forgive the terrible shot that crops the bottom of her dress out of the photo- it was SO hard to find a good photo of this look, but this is the best I could do. I'm so happy for Elisabeth Moss in this look because she has had some serious red carpet duds. And her character of Peggy Olsen on Mad Men  isn't exactly a fashionista either. From the flawless gown to the perfectly coifed hair to the understated jewelry, she nailed it. Kudos, Elisabeth!

Some other lovely one-shoulder looks:

Jennifer Carpenter

Cheryl Hines

Jane Lynch

Nina Dobrev

The other trend most apparent (at least to me) was the choice to wear white. Or maybe it was really apparent because Rachel Zoe just had a freak-out on the last episode of "The Rachel Zoe Project" about not being able to use white AT ALL for the Golden Globes, so I noticed even more when someone was in white. I dunno. Either way, these ladies ALL rocked it:

Brooke Burke

Amber Riley

Rose Byrne

Eva LaRue

Kim Kardashian

Julie Benz

The last of my favorites didn't really fall into either trend category of one-shoulder or all-white, but they looked stunning none-the-less. In fact, I think I liked these because many of them were unexpected
Lea Michele

Sofia Vergara

Toni Collette

Tina Fey

Claire Danes

Jayma Mays

And now for the worst-dressed...

While Elisabeth Moss was nailing it in Donna Karan, her co-stars Christina Hendricks and January Jones were making major flops in their choices:

Neither one of these looks really works. The Zac Posen, while beautiful, would be better suited to a different body type. Although, I do like Christina's hair. As for the Versace, it's wearing January Jones, not the other way around. The cone-like detail on the bust is a little too Madonna-esque for my taste and her hair looks messy, but not in a sophisticated way. About the only thing I like about her look is the shoes, which I assume are Louboutins.

Some other major red carpet disasters:

Emily Blunt (what's with the little tufts of tissues stuck all over the dress?)

Emily Deschanel (the color's not bad, but this dress does NOTHING for her.)

Holly Burrell (I have no words, except maybe, "Is this a joke?")

Lauren Graham (Hmm.... weird, and a poor shoe choice to boot.)

Mary Hart (as if the dress weren't bad enough, what is with the hair?!?)

Mindy Kaling (What a total tulle disaster!)

Mariska Hargitay (My only issue with this dress is the ruffle at the neckline. Aside from that, it's amazing. So, why the ruffle? It ruined a perfectly stunning gown. Ruined.)

Maura Tierney (The fabric reminds me of a sofa in a hotel lobby and the neckline is not doing anything for her.)

The men managed to look pretty dapper (for the most part) last night. Men have it easy with tuxedos- there's nothing more classic and sophisticated. I appreciate when they try to mix is up a little, but some are more successful than others. For example, Ryan Murphy looked incredible in the irridescent Tom Ford jacket that was tailored to perfection. His slightly oversize bowtie helped support the quirky choice, and the plain black pants kept it from going over-the-top:

Another "Glee" standout was Kevin McHale who chose a mustard bow-tie as the finishing look on his tux:

Neil Patrick Harris pretty much always looks great for these types of events, but last night his grey tux with black lapel was a complete knock-out. I love it!

Some other great looks for men:

John Hamm

Mario Lopez

Mark Salling

Skinny ties were in abundance last night and I loved it, but there was another trend I didn't enjoy quite so much. Lots of men made the choice to wear the tux without a tie at all:

Eric Stonestreet (first photo) plays one of my favorite characters on Modern Family and he took home the Emmy for Supporting Actor last night. Do you think he wishes he took the time to tie on the bow tie, now? I hope so. It's one thing to loosen or even remove your tie at the after-party, but I'm not a huge fan of this no-tie look as a choice. Even worse, though, was Alan Cumming's take on it:

I suppose he's going for the ascot-effect, but it just ended up looking like he tied his skinny tie around his neck instead of around his shirt collar. And I can't even talk about those loafers.

Well, that's about it for my red carpet commentary. What did you think of the fashions last night?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Fabulous Etsy Finds- Handbags for fall!

I haven't posted about great Etsy finds in quite a while. I am always recommending Etsy to people for just about every accessory they could possibly need. I feel like whenever someone describes an accessory they are looking for, I've seen something similar on Etsy. There is so much on that site, I could literally spend the entire day just browsing. I try to remember to "favorite" the items and sellers that catch my eye.

I'm always amazed by the craftsmanship of the artisans who sell on Etsy. I was perusing the handbag section the other day after getting a message from my BFF about an amazing bag store she'd found. I have been talking for weeks about how I need a new handbag, but instead of buying one, I've just pulled out older bags from the back of my closet. It works for a little while. The first day I use it, I feel proud of myself for not spending the money on a new bag when I have perfectly good ones in my closet. Then after a few days, I remember what it is about that bag that made me put it in the back of the closet to begin with. Maybe one of these days I'll actually take the time to find a new bag for myself.

Here are some beautiful handbags I found while browsing Etsy the other day:

Genuine Italian Leather Tote, Chic Leather, $139

Artisan Leather Handbag, Chic Leather, $159

Baby Ballet Bag, Opelle Creative, $172

Slouchy Red Leather Messenger Bag, The Leather Store, $140

Potli Leather Shoulder Bag, Studio One Designs, $115

Happy purse shopping, everyone!

Top 5 Must-Haves for Fall

If you've been following my blog recently, you know I've been focusing on fall trends. And then this weeks episode of Project Runway did the exact same thing- the entire challenge was based around fall trends in both fashion and hair style. So, to break up my (very) long-winded posts about specific trends, I though I'd give you a couple of short lists to get your fall fashion wardrobe kick-started- My Top Five Must-Haves for Fall (mens and womens editions).

First up, ladies:

1.) Suede shoes: Pick your favorite style- booties, pumps, flats, tall boots- but find a pair in a luscious suede or faux-suede finish.

Suede Wedge Booties, Gap, $79.50

2.) A trench-inspired piece: Whether it's a skirt, a dress, or even a traditional jacket, the trench is hot this season. It's a part of the oh-so-popular military trend right now, so get on board!
Trench Dress, Ann Taylor Loft, $98

High Waist Belted Dress, YesStyle, $43.40

3.) A leather bag in olive: I am dying for bags in this color right now.

4.) Quirky tights: whether a fun pattern or a bold color, adorn your legs in fun and funky tights this fall.

Chevron Patterned Tights, Old Navy, $9.50

Super Sheer Spiral Tight, American Apparel, $14

5.) RED! Shoes, tops, pants, dresses, jackets- it's all hot if it's a bold red this fall.

Steve Madden Caryssa Pump, Nordstrom, $129.95

And now for the gentlemen:

1.) A great 3-piece suit: Great on its own or broken up and used in a more casual way, the 3-piece suit is not just this seasons trend. It's also a great classic investment piece.

Jones New York Black Suit, Mens Wearhouse, $499

2.) Corduroy: Nothing says "fall" quite like corduroy. Go for classic, clean shapes like straight or boot-cut pants.

Straight-leg Pants, Old Navy, $29.50

Straight-fit Cords, Banana Republic, $55

Corduroy Blazer, Gap, $88

3.) Lace-up boots: "A dressy version of a hiking boot" is the best description I can come up with.

Aldo Umphrey Boots, Zappos, $150

4.) Plaid: Whether flannel or lined in fur, plaid is the "it" print this fall. (That's actually true for both men and women.)

5.) Leather outerwear: An amazing leather jacket is never out of style, but this season, keep an eye out for sleek blazers and motorcycle styles.

Pentagon Blazer, Undergear, $220

There you have it- my top five must-haves for fall for both men and women. Let me know what you think!
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