Thursday, January 22, 2015

Plaid Sperry Beret

I usually prefer hats with a little more height and structure, but I'm crazy about this Plaid Sperry Beret.
Some days I feel like my life has a running soundtrack or theme song. Sometimes it's just a song that plays over and over again in my mind for no discernible reason. But other times, the reason is obvious.
The jumpsuit is by Vince Camuto, from Macy's. I put a thin shrug underneath it to add color (and sleeves!)
For example, wearing this outfit has me dancing around all day to a classic Prince tune, albeit with my own little twist on the lyrics. It's the hat: it's plaid; it's by Sperry; it's a's my Plaid Sperry Beret! What's more, it really did come from a secondhand store. No wonder it gives me the uncontrollable urge to walk in through every "out" door!
Fashion is what you buy; Style is what you do with it!
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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Precious Metal

Charcoal cape (Enza's Boutique - if you haven't been there yet, you are really missing out!); Turtleneck (Kasper); Skirt (Tribal)
Remember the movie "Office Space?" I love that movie, and I think about it every time I borrow my assistant's stapler (even though it's not red). Lately, I've also been thinking about it every time I go to a cafeteria near my office for a 32 oz. Diet Coke (which is nearly every day). You see, until a few months ago, a 32 oz. DC was $1.95 (including tax). But after new computerized cash registers were installed, the price went up to $1.96. I might not have noticed, but a DC that costs $1.96 rather than $1.95 means I get four pennies back from my two bucks instead of a nickel. This does not please me. I am more annoyed about getting four coins back instead of one than I am about the fact that the price is actually higher. Pennies clog up my wallet and can't be used in vending machines or at toll booths. Pennies annoy me. 
My grandmother's copper brooch adds a pop of brighter color and plays up the metallic threads that run through the scarf; the bag is Brahmin (and eBay purchase), and the boots are Tommy Hilfiger (from TJ Maxx); I found the matte grey and copper Fossil watch last fall in the men's department at Nordstrom Rack.
I was told by the cashier that the base price had not been raised, and that the change must be due to the sales tax calculation. I found this odd because the sales tax rate has not increased. I found it odder still when a colleague recently paid for both my DC and his own and was charged exactly $3.90, rather than $3.92. What?! Apparently there is a two cent savings if you buy two large drinks at the same time. And then I discovered that a different cafeteria on the same campus and under the same management was still charging only $1.95. Color me perplexed. The conspiracy theorist in me thinks someone must be pulling an "Office Space" style rounding scheme! In reality, I suspect it's really just a computer glitch in the new registers. On the bright side, I'm slowly whittling down the piles of pennies floating around the bottom of my desk drawers because I now give the cashier $2.01 so that I get a nickel back. It still annoys me, though. I really should drink more water, or at least walk a little farther to the cafeteria that still charges $1.95...
The rose gold and crystal earrings are Nadri, from Nordstrom. I love Nadri because it's guaranteed for life. I lost a crystal from one of these earrings last year but I took them back to Nordstrom who sent them off to the company for repair. They came back looking brand new in less than two weeks.
As much as I dislike pennies, I love copper. It's my favorite metallic hue. The copper accents in this ensemble are particularly precious to me (and they're much better than all that "flair" poor Jennifer Anniston had to wear in Office Space). The vintage copper brooch belonged to my Grandma Dorothy. The charcoal and cognac scarf it adorns has tiny copper threads running through it, and was hand-made for me by my mother. I love both pieces and built the whole outfit around them. Before I received the scarf, I would never have thought to pair charcoal grey with copper and browns, but I'm thrilled with the combination and have married the two color families in other outfits, as well. See Mom - it's not just Grandma who inspires my wardrobe choices; you're a catalyst, too!
I actually have two skirts in a similar color combo but slightly different lengths and fits. I'm not sure which I like best.
Fashion is what you do; Style is what you do with it!
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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Booties & the Beach

A hat and sunglasses are must-haves when you're staying at the southern most hotel in the Continental United States. Hat (Jessica Simpson, Nordstrom); Sunglasses (Secret Ingredient)
So every time I visit a coast, any coast really, but especially a warm weather coast, I find myself looking at local real estate and day dreaming of a life in paradise. And this despite my red headed, fair skinned tendency to turn pink in the sun despite spf 70 and floppy hats.
The sundress was a $14.99 bargain from the girls department at Target (see my original post featuring it here)
But, I have to admit I would miss the change of seasons. A life without significant seasonal climate differences would dramatically limit my opportunity to wear boots. And I really love boots - short boots, tall boots, riding boots, cowboy boots, even rain boots. Somehow, boots at the beach just don't seem to make a lot of sense. 
Boots (Old Gringo)
Of course, that didn't stop me from wearing my newest (and current favorite) pair of boots for a sunset stroll on the beach in Key West this week.
The beaded, etched silver necklace is a treasure from a visit to an art fair during another island excursion (to Galveston Island, Texas) several years ago.
I really didn't intend to do so. I wore them on the plane to and from Indy (where temps were well below freezing when I left and when I got back). Flip flops were the formula for the days in between, but that changed a bit when a still healing broken toe made my sand-friendly slip-on sandals uncomfortable after two days and several miles of sightseeing and shell searching. At least the boots matched my sundress, and they were an unexpected hit on Duvall Street (though they didn't keep me from falling off my bike and getting a road rash to match my swollen toe!)

Fashion is what you buy; Style is what you do with it!
Linked up with Hat Attack!
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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Sail Away

Top (Land's End); Skirt (American Living; JC Penney); Bag (Anne Klein; Macy's); Sandals (Lindsay Phillips Switchflops)

The temperature in Central Indiana was in the single digits last week and the windchill...well, let's just say it was stupid cold. To add insult to injury, our furnace broke on the coldest day we've had all Winter, followed by frozen water pipes. But, I am NOT complaining. Okay, I was complaining. But I shouldn't be complaining because I am currently in Key West and I am wearing my favorite monogrammed Switchflop sandals and I am eating shrimp. Tomorrow night I will be freezing in the Hoosier Heartland again. Today, however, I am all about sunshine and sandals and skirts made of sailcloth! 
I took these harbor pictures in France last Summer; I added custom monograms buttons to my Switchflops (you can find similar ones here); the watch is Geneva (from Steinmart) and the leather and rope nautical bracelet is from Kiel James Patrick.
The travel writer Tim Cahill said "A journey is best measured in friends rather than miles." So true. The very best part of this brief mid-Winter getaway is that we get to spend time with dear friends visiting the US from Germany. Though I can't say I'm disappointed they chose someplace warm! 
In fact, our German friends have impeccable taste in vacation destinations - we spent several days with them last Summer in the South of France, where I was also all about sunshine and sandals and swooning at sailboats. The harbor pictures above and below were actually taken in the French Riviera, and I'm reminded of those big, beautiful boats and that exquisite trip every time I wear this sailcloth skirt from American Living (and no, the irony of associating an "American Living" skirt with a French location is not lost on me). But now I'll associate it with a fun Winter getaway in Key West, too! 
It's hard to see in the picture, but my Switchflops were my go-to shoes in France last Summer, too. They are the best for travel because you can match every outfit without taking up space in your suitcase!
Fashion is what you buy; Style is what you do with it!

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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

TARTANasaurus Rex

Dress (British Retro); Cardigan (; Beret (Sperry); Necklace (Tatty Devine); Tote (Lauren Ralph Lauren); Boots (
If this tartan plaid dress inspires deja vu, it's because I featured it in my Christmas Eve post just a couple of weeks ago. The first time around, I gave it a dose of church-worthy holiday spirit with a leopard cape, red accents, and pearls. It was one of my favorite ensembles of 2014, and I like the dress itself so much I couldn't wait to style it differently and wear it again in the new year.
I swapped out my rainy Christmas Eve umbrella for a jaunty Winter wool beret in the same blackwatch pattern (my favorite plaid). I also decided to forego the formality of the leopard cape and pearls in favor of a fun and funky fossil necklace that I really dig. As cold as it is this week, though, I probably should have added a Jurassic parka, too! Are you groaning at my "dino"mite puns yet? Don't worry, I can't unearth any more without consulting a dinothesaurus...
No bones about it, though, I can't get enough of this quirky matte gold T-rex necklace by British designer Tatty Devine. I discovered it on a trip to London in 2011 and coudn't resist. It's a smash with my 7 year old nephew, but also a surprising hit at the office. Tatty Devine designs are not widely available in the US but Nordstrom sometimes carries the line, and online retailer Asos is also a good resource.
I must be having a "British" moment, because the dress is also from the UK. Though, unlike the dinosaur, classic tartan plaids will never be extinct!
Fashion is what you buy; Style is what you do with it!

Linked up with Hat Attack!

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Thursday, January 1, 2015

Champagne Kitsch

Dress (Bernie Dexter); Crystal beaded tights (Leg Avenue,
Happy New Year!  My propensity for head to toe coordination was once again in overdrive as we rung in 2015 at the Indianapolis Museum of Art's annual bash last night. A champagne and confetti print dress is a bit kitschy, but hey, it's New Year's Eve. If ever there was a "right" night for this 1950s style dress, it's December 31st. It's not your typical "black tie" attire, but it's definitely festive (it also has pockets, which I love). 
And since I'd already decided to go against the traditional evening gown grain, I figured I might as well pile on a few more bubbly elements to complete the look - a pop art Kate Spade evening bag that looks like a champagne bucket; and a Loreta Corsetti couture hat with a hand-beaded, custom Moet Champagne hat pin made from a souvenir I kept from last year's Kentucky Derby.
The iridescent beads that Loreta used to create the champagne "bubbles" spilling from the Moet bottle topper inspired me to pull out a vintage 1950s aurora borealis necklace and bracelet that belonged to my Grandma Dorothy. I also added a small, coordinating brooch to the hat. It, too, belonged to my grandmother, and I know she'd be thrilled that her treasures are still being enjoyed and admired.
Hat (Loreta Corsetti Couture Millinery, Chicago). If you love hats, check out the Style Crone's monthly Hat Attack for more inspiration.
As for New Year's Resolutions - I'm not a big fan. I believe if you can do better, you should. It doesn't matter what day of the year it is. That said, I recently received a card with a message I've been thinking about quite a lot. It says, "The real secret to the fabulous life is to live imperfectly with great delight." Those of you who know me may be snickering at this point - I have never lived by such a mantra. I am a certified Type A, obsessive-compulsive perfectionist. I accept that fact, and in general, it has served me well. But, I've also come to realize that sometimes my need to get every little thing "just right" gets in the way of spontaneity and joy. I need to work on balance. We'll see how it goes...
This "Champagne Bucket" evening bag from Kate Spade is actually metallic leather, and it's big enough to hold more than a lipstick but still looks chic for a formal event; Rhinestone embellished heels (Steinmart)
I hope all of you experience balance, spontaneity and pure joy in the coming year. Cheers to living with great delight in 2015!
Fashion is what you buy; style is what you do with it!
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