Friday, December 30, 2011

Some recent creations...

Over the last few weeks, I've been getting back into knitting. I did quite a bit of sewing in my free time this year, but winter is defeinitely a good time to get back into sewing. My good friend Brance just loves the stocking that I knit for him a couple of years ago. He loves it so much, he actually wanted a coordinating one to give to his girlfriend this Christmas. The only way to get a truly coordinating stocking made with the same pattern and yarn is to go right back to the source. 

You can see the original stocking I knit for Brance on this older post, and of course the coordinating one for his girlfriend here: 

I'm pretty excited about how it came out. This stocking is such a great one- it knits in just a couple of hours. the yarn is thick and chunky and the needles are size 13, so it really does go very quickly once you get started. It knits on double-pointed needles. The loop and pom-poms are my own addition to the pattern and  like how they came out! 

In addition to the stocking, I also managed to make a super snuggle-y infinity scarf for Juhree using a cream colored thick yarn. The pattern is simple- just popcorn stitch the whole way, then sew the ends together: 

So warm and cuddly! It took a little less than four skeins of yarn and about 6 hours to knit this scarf. The popcorn stitch looks great, but it uses a LOT of yarn. If you want to make one for yourself, just use size 10 1/2 needles and 4 balls of Wool-ease Thick & Quick Yarn in the color of your choice. Cast on 32 stitches and knit in popcorn stitch (K1,P1 across odd rows, P1, K1 across even rows) until the scarf measures 60 inches or so. Sew the ends together to create a loop. You'll be warm all winter in this gorgeous scarf.

Now that I'm done my projects, I really want to find a new one to work on. Rather than head to the store for more yarn, I'm going to see what left-over yarn I have kicking around and I'm going to see what I can do with what I have.

Do you knit or crochet? I'd love to see the projects you are working on! Email me or leave a comment to tell me all about it! Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Rate My Look: An Oldie...

My friend Melanie snapped this photo of me over a month ago when we got together for lunch and a matinee viewing of the most recent Twlight movie. Yes, I like Twlight-the books, the movies- it's all so fun. Sparkly vampires and a love story? What's not to like? Anyway, we caused a stir in the restaurant where we had lunch- several of the waitstaff approached our table to tell us how fabulously stylish we both looked.

You can check out Mel's outfit from the day here. We posed outside of the Mexican restaurant where we had just eaten a delicious lunch consisting of garlic cheese nachos and taco salads. So tasty! It was unseasonably warm for mid-November, so I went without tights and in light-weight, almost summer-y fabrics. my denim jacket kept the slight chill out and my boots were pretty toasty warm. You may even have noticed my bag in the corner of the photo- a bridesmaid gift from Beth from the week prior. I don't think I've featured it on the blog yet, and now I'm kicking myself for putting it down when we took the photo. Amateur mistake. I guess it shows that I'm a little out of practice when it comes to blogging. I have been very busy lately and I've really struggled to find the time to blog. When it comes down to it, I've been choosing to spend time with friends and family rather than focus on blogging. It used to be something I thought about constantly, but lately I've needed a break. Given how many posts I've managed over the last three years, it's not surprising that I would finally need a bit of a breather, so I hope you all understand and still continue to read even if I post less frequently. I appreciate your continued support! 

Anyway, why not let me know how you feel about my outfit (and my blogging hiatus) in the comments! Thanks for reading!  

Friday, December 23, 2011

Holiday Party Photos

November and December are the major party months of the year and this year was no exception. Between the official company holiday party and the various other parties thrown by my coworkers, I feel like I haven't had a weekend free in a while. We were all very fashionable for our company party, so I'd like to share some of the photos with you:

Brandie, Kristin and I at our company holiday party

I was in love with my outfit for this particular event. I found the dress and the sequin cardigan at Forever 21 of all places! Combined, they cost less than my shoes (which I found at DSW). I felt festive and sexy and up for a night on the town with my girls! I hope I get to wear this outfit again sometime. It would make a great date outfit as well. 

Juhree and I at our company holiday party

You can't really tell in either photo, but I also sported one of my fascinators. You can check it out in this post. I thought it was a fun, funky finishing accessory for my outfit. As for Juhree's outfit- I love that she didn't wear just a standard LBD (like most of us!), but rocked a bold, cobalt blue satin dress. I don't have a photo of the whole dress, but trust me when I say she looked hot! 

McKenzie and Jeff

McKenzie's dress made me drool all night long- a simple LBD in a fitted bodice with a full skirt and the fabric was sparkly and lush. She's so gorgeous, I can hardly handle it! I also love that her boyfriend Jeff wore a newsboy cap- so cute!  

What did you wear to your company holiday party? Was it a dressy event? Send me a picture or leave a comment below to tell me all about it!  

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Stylin' Friend

Remember Mel's Shoes?

Well, today I'd like to share the rest of her outfit: 

I love everything about her outfit- the bold red coat, the leather bag, the shoes, the skirt- all of it! She wore this before Thanksgiving (I'm behind on my blogging, I know!) when the two of us got together for lunch and a viewing of the most recent Twilight movie (Team Edward). I thought that Mel's outfit was a great way to take a summer-y piece and use it year round. Her seersucker skirt looks adorable with the fitted top and tights. You may also remember that she won the necklace she's wearing in last year's Thanksgiveaway

Leave a comment and tell Mel how adorable she looks- she certainly got a lot of compliments while we were out on the town that day. Enjoy the rest of your day, everyone! Thanks for reading. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Shoesday Tuesday: New Shoes at Work and an Update on My Busy Life

Where have I been?!?!?!? I have been a blogging slacker lately and I'm sorry about that! The month of November was particularly crazy for me. I did a lot of traveling-mostly short trips for a couple of days at a time, but by the end of the month, I was ready to stop living out of a suitcase. I feel like I spent a small fortune on travel-size toiletries, too.

I started off the month with a quick trip down to North Carolina which was pretty adventurous for me because I went down there to meet a gentleman I'd been talking to on I won't go into the details now, but let's just say that my friends have been asking, "When are you going to do a blog post called 'How to Dress for a Skype Date'?"

The week after that was Beth's wedding, and you've all read a little about that. I had more fun at that wedding than I ever thought possible. I enjoy weddings- the food, the friends, the dancing- but there was definitely something special about that wedding in particular. It was an awesome time with wonderful friends and some really great fashions, too.

The following week, I went with some co-workers down to Providence, RI to visit a friend performing in the touring stage production of How the Grinch Stole Christmas. It was a wonderful show and a really fun trip. It rained while we were there, but our moods were sunny the whole time. I purchased a pair of adorable flat oxfords while I was there, too!

The week after that was consumed by prepping and cooking for Thanksgiving- we had a small family gathering with enough food for an army. On Black Friday, Madeleine's Daughter held our annual sample sale and it was record-setting! So many brides came in looking for a bargain and they got it! Dresses were marked up to 80% off and it was exciting to see the smiles on the faces of the brides who found amazing dresses at even more amazing prices.

Finally, I finished off the month with a quick trip down to Lancaster, PA to visit some friends from my old job at AMT. I saw a matinee performance of their current Christmas show and also spent a lot of time catching up with cast, band and crew. I hadn't seen most of those people in over a year, so we had a LOT of catching up to do. I loved hearing about what's been going in their lives and of course I loved talking about what's happening in mine. Between my job that I love and my new budding romance, there was a lot to share.

Now we're into December and I can hardly believe it! I feel as though I didn't really work at all last month and this month is so full of holiday parties that I can't imagine how I'll stay focused at work! First up is our company Holiday party this Friday. It's a secret what we're doing, but we've all been told to dress up. I plan to recycle an old stand-by- my red dress. It's a great dress, so why not wear it at every opportunity, right? The very next day is a holiday party hosted by my coworker Brandie. I plan to wear a dress that I also wore  on my trip to North Carolina. I promise I'll take a photo to share it with you. It will forever be known as "the date dress" but that's a story for another time. The following weekend, my other coworker Sadie is hosting her annual "Yule Ball" and I've got an awesome outfit picked out for that party. I'm excited to show it to all of you. The only thing I haven't figured out is the shoes, but I've got some time. After that, there's a bit of a breather and I'll get to just enjoy the next couple of weeks leading up to Christmas and the New Year. However, my New Year's plans just changed last night. Originally, I had planned to go to a party that my other coworker Juhree is hosting. I even bought a fabulous dress and super sparkly cardigan that I was SO excited to wear. But then I was surprised with the offer to take New Year's Eve off of work, so I took it. After a little research, I was able to book a flight down to North Carolina, so I'll be ringing in the New Year in a more intimate setting.

Phew! That's a lot of news to share, but I had to get it all out in one shot! I hope you'll forgive me for being such a blogging slacker these last couple of weeks. I'll try to be better! I promise.

In the meantime, check out these amazing shoes we're going to be carrying at Madeleine's very soon:

Are they spectacular or what? I can't wait to try them on! Speaking of work, you may have noticed I've been blogging over at the Madeleine's Daughter blog pretty regularly. So, technically, I haven't been a complete blogging slacker. Check out those posts when you have a minute and follow that blog, too! 

Have a great Shoesday Tuesday, everyone! 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Shoesday Tuesday: Mel's Smokin' Heels

This weekend I got together with my friend Melanie and while we were out having lunch and seeing a movie, we got a few compliments on our stylish outfits. I was especially impressed with Mel's shoes:

I'm so in love with these! And Mel is right on trend with the opaque, dark tights which not only keep her warm in the cold, New England fall weather, but they draw the eye right to her amazing shoes. Want these shoes for yourself? We saw them on sale at DSW in the grey pictured above as well as black. 

If this isn't enough of a Shoesday Tuesday fix for you, hop on over to the Madeleine's Daughter blog today and check out my Shoesday Tuesday post there! Leave a comment here or there- you know how much I love comments! Have a great day, everyone! 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Rate My Look- Yup, it's a tiny hat

I wore this outfit to work the other day and got lots of compliments as well as lots of insults:

Skirt: Zara
Jacket: Charlotte Russe (I stole it from McKenzie, though)
Hat: H&M
Shoes: Random store in Providence, RI that I forget the name of
Bag: Salmagundi (bridesmaid gift from Beth)

The majority of the outfit got the thumbs up from everyone (especially the shoes), but what caused such controversy and outcry was the tiny hat that I wore. Yes, I admit that it's not exactly in season, but we've had a few unseasonably warm days here (much like today), so I decided to wear it. I was with two coworkers when I bought this hat and they both tried incredibly hard to stop me from buying it. Phrases like, "Circus clown" and "monkey hat" and "you look stupid" were used to deter me. As you can see, none of them worked. Once at work, the opinions were split- some loved it, some hated it. There really wasn't an in-between. And I suspect some who claimed to love it were just saying that so as not to hurt my feelings. Regardless of what anyone thinks, I love it! And you can call me crazy or stupid or lame or anything else you like. I loved wearing this tiny hat all day! I'll probably wear it again once the weather warms up. 

So what do you think of my outfit and my tiny hat? Love it? Hate it? Leave a comment and tell me what you think!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Kristin's a Babe!

It's true! She can't help it. Kristin's a total babe and she's on her way to being the star of my blog with her adorable outfits:

What's great about Kristin's outfits is that she always looks put-together and professional, but her accessories are simple and understated. She's chic, but not overdone in any way. And her hair is always super cute, too. It's making me want to book an appointment at the salon and chop about 4 inches off mine. 

Leave a comment and let Kristin know how fabulous she looks! 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Weddy's

Beth and Micah's wedding last weekend was so much fun and they both looked amazing. I'll be sure to post professional photos in time, but in the meantime, I thought I'd give some awards for the fashionable guests who attended.

First up, the award for Best Suit goes to Caleb:

The slim fit is very flattering and I love that he rocked a skinny tie and a tie clip.

Next up, the award for Best Accessory goes to Kate in this amazing fascinator: 

I love the Russian tulle and the beading on it. It was the perfect finish to her outfit. 

Whether you think it's tacky or not, I'm awarding myself Best Shoes of the night (the bride is exempt from any awards or she would have won): 

Finally, the award for Best Dressed Guest goes to Adele. Her outfit was so fierce, Amy and I actually talked about it at the altar: 

Yes, it's true. When Adele came up to do her reading as part of the ceremony, Amy and I ever so quietly commented on the fierce-ness of this outfit. I'm not proud of myself, but I can't lie to all of you. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Men- Find the Perfect Fit for your Suits

I recently stumbled upon this video explaining how the perfect fit is achieved with a mens' suit. There are a lot of measurements involved and much like the average woman who wears the wrong bra size, there are many men out there wearing the wrong suit size. Whether it is too big in the chest, an incorrect length, or just ill-fitting in some way, this video can help you determine the correct size suit you should be wearing. When in doubt, go to a professional. Find a reputable suit store and have your measurements taken properly.

Once you have the proper measurements, you can play around with the style of the suit. Do you prefer one button or two? Flat front trousers or pleated? Notched or peak lapel? And of course the shirt fitting is a whole separate issue. But we'll cover that another day. Ladies, feel free to share this video with your men. Let's have them looking as fabulous and fitted as we do.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Shoesday Tuesday: Sadie's Boots!

Sadie has been drooling over a certain pair of boots for a few weeks, but she finally caved in and got them!

I'm completely in love with them, aren't you? I love the zipper on the side and the snap over the gusset on top. I love the color, the suede- everything about them! If you want to get these for yourself, you can find them here or here

And if this isn't enough of a Shoesday Tuesday fix for you, hop on over to the Madeleine's Daughter blog and check out my Shoesday Tuesday post there today!  

Monday, November 14, 2011

Speaking of weddings...

Yesterday I posted about my outfit for Beth & Micah's wedding, but today I want to share ANOTHER wedding outfit with you! Remember this dress? Well, here's a photo of Melanie at the wedding wearing it!

Is she sassy or what? I wish the photo showed the entire dress, but I will be bugging her until I get a really great photo of her in this dress! Her shoes were phenomenal as well (they were the all-black version of these, actually). I think she did a great job accessorizing the dress and I'm really thrilled with the final product. Thanks, Mel, for being a perfect Renee Terese client! You look amazing! 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Finally- the Wedding Outfit!

This past weekend was one of the most fun, exciting, beautiful weekends I have had in a long time. My BFF Beth got married! Other than one glitch involving cookies homemade by the groom's mother (more on that another time), everything went perfectly. From setting up the venue, to the rehearsal dinner to seeing friends and family to the actual wedding and of course all our outfits- everything was spectacular. What I loved so much about this wedding was that it was 100% what the bride and groom had envisioned. From start to finish, you could feel the personalities of the couple, their friends and their family members infused within the event. My personal favorite was the chuppa we helped to construct and erect. My contribution involved helping to drape the fabric canopy and although it was my first chuppa, I have to say it was pretty stellar.

I don't have time right this minute to write a blog post about everything, but I wanted to show all of you my bridesmaid outfit for the wedding. Up until this point, all you've seen are the shoes, but I was so happy with my entire "look" and I really do plan to wear this dress again!

The picture's a little grainy- the lighting wasn't amazing in that room and I had to use the camera on my phone. Not ideal, but you can definitely get a sense of the overall look. The dress was purchased at Ann Taylor months ago. The coolest thing about it is the exposed zipper on the side. It just adds the slightest edge to an otherwise sweet, simple dress. In addition to the zipper, there is a raw edge to the fabric at the waistline that doesn't look unfinished, as you might expect. It's more of a cool detail that you have to almost know about in order to notice it. The shoes are epic. And excruciating, but whoever said beauty doesn't hurt was lying. The bracelet is my oh-so-fabulous Audrey Cluster Bracelet from Stella and Dot

Love it!

My fascinator brooch was purchased on Etsy from an amazing little shop called Takka Petit. The prices can't be beat and the quality is great. Between Beth, her sister Amy and I, we each had a fabulous "flower" of some sort as part of our looks. Beth's was part of her dress, Amy wore hers in her hair and mine was versatile- I mostly wore it on my dress, but at one point, I clipped it in my hair. I'm looking forward to wearing it again soon! 
Purple Feather Fascinator, Takka Petit (Etsy), $16.50

Just because I love them so much, let's have another look at my shoes: 
CJ by Charles Jourdain via Off Broadway Shoes

The only other accessory I had was a glittery champagne clutch that I actually purchased at work: 

What I loved about my outfit was that everything coordinated with the colors of the wedding. The shades of purple that I wore (dress, fascinator) were used in the flowers and the centerpiece designs. Every other accessory fell into the champagne family, which perfectly complimented the bride. And even though my bracelet, bag and shoes were all technically "neutrals," they were each very special pieces. In fact, there wasn't much about them that was neutral aside from the color. 

So there you have it: my bridesmaid look. Please feel free to leave a comment and tell me what you think. I'm sure at some point I'll see the photos from the actual wedding photographer, so you'll have that to look forward to as well. Enjoy the rest of your weekend, everyone! 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

I'm expanding- as a blogger, that is!

Today is my BFF Beth's wedding day and I am SO excited for her! As you read this, we are probably getting all dolled up for the big event. I am certain this day is going to be wonderful from start to finish, and since I'm going to be totally focused on everything wedding related, I'll be taking the weekend off from blogging. However, you can still get your blog fix by visiting the Madeleine's Daughter blog here. I've recently "taken over" as the main author of that blog and I'm really excited about it. In addition to today's post over there, I've also written a few others here, here and here. Check it out and leave a comment here or there to tell me what you think!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Youtube Gold

I only have one appearance (that I know of) on Youtube and it's not anything I plan to share here. However, I really enjoy all sorts of Youtube videos- from funny cat videos to instructional make-up videos, to anything entertaining. My friend Amy was recently part of a set of hair styling videos that I found pretty impressive. So take a minute to watch her video and leave a comment below with your thoughts:

Happy 11-11-11 everyone!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

My Bridal Emergency Kit

I can't even begin to tell all of you how excited I am for this weekend. My BFF Beth is getting married!!! The last ten months have flown by and I have to admit that I have enjoyed every minute of being a part of this wedding. From dress and accessory shopping to trial make-up trips to Sephora to wonderful social get-togethers like her shower, every single minute has been a blast. It's kind of surreal that the big day is finally upon us, but I have no doubt that it will be a beautiful, elegant event. I'll do my best to take lots and lots of pictures!

You've already seen the shoes that I'm going to wear and I'm very excited about my dress and the accessories I'll be wearing. I'm looking forward to sharing that outfit as well as the looks of the rest of the bridal party, but until then I want to share something a little less glamorous: my Bridal Emergency Kit!

A long time ago, Beth put me in charge of creating this kit and I have to admit, I really had fun thinking about it and putting it all together. I looked into kits that were already made, but in the end, I thought that a more custom kit was in order. I started with a fabulous zippered carrying case that I found at Target:

Super cute, right? 

And now for the interior: 

I'm pretty sure I've prepared for any and all possible emergency situations! Inside this kit you will find: 

Clear nail polish
Nail polish remover
Baby powder
Nail file and clipper
Wet wipes
Eye drops
Lint roller
Needle & Thread
Bobby pins
Hand sanitizer
Double-sided fashion tape

There are a few items in this kit that I'm particularly proud of. The first is the baby powder. I'm sure most of you think it's probably in there for the most basic type of use, but the truth is that baby powder is the perfect product for removing stains, particularly those with oil or grease. Baby powder sprinkled onto an oil stain (like salad dressing) helps to draw the oil out of the fabric. Corn starch does the same thing, but baby powder smells so much nicer! 

The second item is the vodka. While you might think I put it in there to help calm any unsteady nerves with a quick shot, the truth is that vodka is a far better deodorizer than any other option (and a nip of vodka is cheaper than a travel size FeBreze). It's actually a secret I learned when I worked in theatre. Some of the costumes used to get really stinky and vodka was sometimes the only thing that could get out the stench of body odor or cigarette smoke. 

Finally, I'm most proud of the custom sewing kit. Rather than purchase one at the store, I created my own using things from my own stash of sewing supplies. I even chose specific thread colors that match the colors of the dresses in the wedding party. No matter whose dress tears, I'm prepared. Of course, I hope no one has to even open this kit, but if they do, we're prepared. 

Have you ever had to create a bridal emergency kit? What did you put in it? Did you need to use anything in it? I'm curious to hear about what your experiences were, so leave a comment and tell me all about it. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Psychic Coworkers

I've mentioned before that my coworkers and I tend to show up to work wearing very similar outfits sometimes. Remember Juhree and Kristin? Well, the other day, Brandie and Kerry took it to a whole new level and actually showed up in the exact same dress!

You can see that they both styled their dresses with black accessories to coordinate with the black waistband of the dress. And yet, they both look so different! Brandie (on the left) styled her dress with a pair of black leggings and some killer high heels. She kept the accessories to a minimum with just a fabulous pair of earrings and her wedding ring. Kerry, on the other hand rocked a pair of high-heel, tall boots, lace tights, a cardigan and lots of Silpada jewelry. Just like Stella and Dot, Silpada is a fabulous jewelry company of which Kerry is a representative. It seems she's always booking parties and she always seems to have so much fun doing it. If you're interested in finding out more about hosting a Silpada party, email Kerry and ask all about it! Don't tell the S&D folks, but I'm a fan of a lot of Kerry's jewelry! I really like these rings: 

Also, every time she wears this ring to work, it catches my eye. And until I visited her Silpada site, I actually had no idea that the stones in the ring were interchangeable. Now I'm REALLY a fan of that ring! 

Leave a comment and tell me what you think of the different ways my coworkers have styled this dress. I think that everyone I work with is super stylish, but I love hearing other opinions, too! Have an awesome day everyone! 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Shoesday Tuesday- I'm loving every color!

These shoes are so fabulous and feminine, but I could never decide which color to get! Fortunately, I'm not in the market for a new pair of high heels, or I might find myself with four new pair of shoes! Check these out:

All four of these options are available online at Leave a comment! And have a fabulous Shoesday Tuesday! 

Friday, November 4, 2011

Rate My Look

I know it has been quite a while since I posted an outfit of my own, so I made sure to have someone take my picture the other day.

Sweater: Marshalls
Ring & Necklace: Stella and Dot

You'll have to forgive my wrinkled skirt. I did press it after I took this picture, so I wasn't so rumpled for the workday. I was excited about the color combination of this outfit- I just love the mustard sweater with the purple skirt. And I love that neither is new, but this outfit feels so new because of the combination. You may remember the boots from this post. The ones pictured above are the new color, but I have a confession to make. I really preferred the darker brown color, so I ended up ordering a new pair online. I have a problem with buying boots this year. At least I can admit it, right? Anyway, part of the reason I felt compelled to get the darker color is because I really prefer a monochromatic look with my tights and boots. While the taupe color pictured above looks great on bare legs, I know that this winter I'll get a lot more use out of a darker pair that I can wear with chocolate brown tights. 

I'm going to try to be better about taking photos of my outfits- I definitely miss sharing them with all of you. Feel free to leave a comment and let me know what you think of my look. You know how much I love comments! 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Stylin' Ladies

Lately my co-workers have really been bringing it when it comes to their daily fashion choices. I feel like there is someone nearly every day who I just NEED to photograph for my blog! Of course, most days we're busy actually working, so it doesn't work out nearly as often as I'd like. The other day I just HAD to photograph Juhree again- her outfit was too cute!

Juhree is particularly good at accessorizing- she always has a fabulous cocktail ring, a great pair of boots and super cool earrings. This outfit struck me as not only cool and stylish, but also flattering. Notice how she's cinched the flow-y top with a cool belt in the same color as her skirt and tights. Not only does it make her waist super tiny, but it draws the eye upward, which is always a good thing. 

On the same day that I took this picture, I also had to photograph Kristin: 

First of all, anyone who can rock a sweater dress like this gets some serious kudos from me. Second, light pink and chocolate brown is one of my favorite color combinations. As if she isn't already tall and slender, Kristin maximized her height by keeping her tights and boots monochromatic. 

I love how great all my coworkers look every day- it really makes writing this blog a LOT easier! 

Leave a comment if you have something to say about either Juhree or Kristin's outfits and have a fabulous day! 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Dressing for the Casual Workplace

My friend Melanie is an owner of a mobile veterinary company. She and her business partner travel to people's homes to care for their pets. It's actually kind of an amazing business and if you live in New Hampshire, you may want to check out their website.

Working for a veterinary practice can definitely present some fashion challenges, as can any job where your clothes are at risk of getting ruined due to less than ideal environments. Whether you work with animals, or outdoors, or in any environment that isn't an office, choosing appropriate clothes can be tricky.

At Melanie's request, I've put together some stylish, flattering outfits that are also appropriate for her particular workplace. As a traveling vet, Melanie needs durable clothes that also look professional. She needs to be aware of so many things such as whether or not the fabric is easily washable, or whether it will be a magnet for pet hair. The fit is a constricting factor, too- anything loose and flow-y is NOT an option. She needs to be able to move easily, since she's likely up and down all day long, handling the pets. She thought I wouldn't be able to come up with anything, but I'm never put off by a challenge. So, here are my looks:

Casual Vet

This first look is all about layers and comfort. Melanie loves clogs, so I wanted to make sure to include a pair in at least one outfit. What I like about this outfit is the layering- a thin long-sleeve, fitted henley layers perfectly under the super cute cotton plaid button-front shirt. Paired with dark corduroys that are designed to fit just like jeans, the whole look is polished, but casual and all the fabrics are washable. The corduroys are probably not super ideal, because they'll attract pet hair, but since they're super cute, I recommend Melanie keep a lint roller in her car and she'll be fine. As the cold weather approaches, she'll need something to keep her warm. A quilted vest is much more practical because it allows her arms to be free, but she'll still be warm. Finally, a cute, canvas cross-body bag allows her to carry all her essentials all day long in comfort and style. As for the colors I've chosen, I tried to stick with dark colors that won't show dirt or stains. The top is a lighter color, but the print will help mask any pet hair that wants to cling to her.

This outfit is proof that you can be stylish even in comfortable, durable, casual clothing. But since I like to go the extra mile, I am going to give Melanie three outfits to choose from. Here's #2:

Casual Vet 2

The same concepts apply to this outfit as the first one- layers of comfortable, durable items. This time, I chose a pair of skinny jeans in a dark wash. If your workplace allows you to wear jeans, don't ruin things for everyone by choosing an inappropriate pair. Keep them crisp, clean, free of holes or distressing and make sure you choose a dark wash. Tall, flat boots are very trendy right now and can work with a casual or dressy look. In this case, they dress up the jeans a bit. Again, I went with a simple, button-front top that's fitted and flattering. It's also another great choice for layering should you decide to add a cropped cardigan on top or a long-sleeve fitted tee underneath.

And finally, look #3:

Casual Vet 3

This look probably seems a bit too dressy, but hear me out. A comfortable pair of leggings is always a good choice for a casual work environment and nothing is more comfortable than a chunky-knit sweater dress. Belt it to keep it flattering and pair the whole look with another great pair of flat boots. Another reason this outfit is so great is that it can easily transition from work to dinner out. Change to a pair of high heel boots, add some fun jewelry, switch to a sleeker purse and voila! Perfect for a dinner date!

So, Mel- did I do a good job? Would you wear any of these outfits to work? Leave a comment if you like them or even if you don't! And thanks for reading!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Shoesday Tuesday- A Quest for Nude Shoes

So.... I've got a pretty exciting date planned for this Saturday night and I'm really looking forward to it. While I won't be telling you guys much more about the specifics, I will be happy to talk about the outfit planning I've been doing for it.

The most difficult part was finding an appropriate shoe for my date night look. I went on a quest for an amazing nude shoe. The dress I plan to wear is simple, flattering and somewhat neutral in color. Eventually I'll take a photo for you guys, but for now you'll have to use your imagination. The challenge for me was to find an awesome pair of nude shoes and a great clutch to go with the dress. It was harder than you might think- when everything you're wearing is pretty much neutral, it's actually difficult to avoid looking very matchy-matchy. Unfortunately, a pop of color just wasn't appropriate, but in the end I was successful.

Since I'd like to keep my date outfit to myself, this post is going to cover the shoes that I really thought would work, but that didn't for some reason or another. Sometimes it's just as important to know why something doesn't work as it is to find the one that does.

The first reject was a shoe I fell in love with from across the store. When I tried it on, I was so incredibly disappointed! It has so much promise!

I wanted SO much for this shoe to work- it's nude, but also dressy, and it has a funky side to it with that cool bow on the side. It even looked as though it would be flattering AND secure with the strap across the front and the strap in the back. Unfortunately, this is a shoe that makes even the thinnest foot look FAT. From the strap across the toe to the diagonal strap across the top of the foot- this shoe squeezes and holds in all the wrong places. I had foot fat. Major foot fat. My friend Melanie can testify to it. It was a real shame. 

After rejecting the bow-detail sandals, I ran across another amazing pair of shoes- funky and dressy, but still nude. Again, they caught my eye from across the room: 

You may remember these from this post. Yup, they're the shoes I bought to wear for Beth's wedding on November 12th. While I do think they would be the perfect choice (after all, they're pretty much the perfect nude shoe), I am saving them for Beth's wedding. After her wedding, I'll wear them all the time, but not before. 

Finally, I considered these cool, gold glitter pumps: 

I actually found these shoes months ago at Marshalls for only $25, and I've worn them a couple of times. They are fun and technically "nude" because the glitter is more of a champagne than a gold. But they just weren't the right vibe for the dress or the date. 

In the end, I did find an awesome pair of funky, dressy, nude heels. And yes, I'll show them to you eventually. In the meantime, I hope you enjoyed reading about the rejects! 

Happy Shoesday Tuesday! 

Monday, October 31, 2011

Project Runway Season 9 Finale Part 2

I have to admit, this was a very disappointing finale episode for me. Not as disappointing as last season when Gretchen won, but pretty close. While Anya was a strong contender throughout the entire season, I always felt that Viktor was the superior designer and he was a more skilled technician. Anya's final collection didn't thrill me, but to be honest, neither did Viktor's. I believe Viktor's downfall was that he finished too early. When Tim Gunn announced they would be given an additional $500 and freedom to do whatever they liked with it, I believe that Viktor should have passed. He edited so much of his original pieces out and filled in with the weird sheer, S&M-esque looks. It was too dark, and not nearly inventive enough. It was his competition to lose and he certainly did.

If I were one of the judges, I would have fought for Kimberly to be the winner. She was the only designer who created a cohesive collection that was well-constructed and told a story. Her ivory pants look took my breath away:

I would LOVE to wear this outfit (minus the sheer part of the shirt- I'd have to layer a cami underneath or something). The cut and fit of the pants is amazing and I love the bow on the blouse. So gorgeous! The other two pieces that I would love to wear were both Viktor's and I'm sure neither will come as a surprise to you:

Both of these dresses are silhouettes I'm very accustomed to wearing, but I also love the prints of his fabrics. I love that he created prints and that they were meaningful to him as well as beautiful. I honestly wish that he had won- I just can't support the decision to crown Anya as the winner. 

What are your thoughts on the finale outcome? Please leave a comment- I'd love to know! And also leave a comment if you watched the new "Project Accessory" or if you are planning to watch "Project Runway All Stars." I'm looking forward to the All Stars show, but I'm also looking forward to seeing all the decoy runway shows this week. Have a great day, everyone! 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Bridal Market

A couple of weeks ago was bridal market in New York, Chicago, etc. and of course Madeleine's Daughter was well represented at those shows. It's such an exciting time- seeing all the new trends and deciding which lines and dresses to carry in the store for the next year. For the most part, we continued with all the designers that we already carry- Monique Lhullier, Lazaro, Christos, Amsale, Alvina Valenta, Maggie Sottero- the list goes on and on and on. But, we are also going to be adding a line- the Nicole Miller bridal collection. And we are all very excited about it. It's perfect for the bride who wants something simple, but still very fashion-forward. Here are a few of our favorites from her collection:

I love this look for an informal wedding, or for a second look at the reception. The asymmetry is so trendy right now. 

I absolutely adore the neckline on this dress- so striking, but subtle at the same time. I would absolutely wear this dress.

Again, her simple silhouette with stunning detail is what makes her designs so appealing. There is no gimmick, just beautiful lines. I'm really excited to see these dresses in person once they're in the store.

Leave a comment and tell me what you think of these dresses!

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