Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Through the Looking Glass

""Through the Looking Glass"
If you saw my early April post, "Hatters Gonna Hat," you know how much I was looking forward to co-chairing a Mad Hatter themed "Through the Looking Glass Designer Tea" hosted by St. Margaret's Hospital Guild in conjunction with this year's Decorators' Show House and Gardens. All proceeds from the Tea and the Show House benefit Eskenazi Health and its commitment to serving the underprivileged in our community.
Hat (Amazon); For more swoonworthy hats, check out my friend Judith over at Hat Attack!

In the past few weeks, I've truly felt like a mad hatter running around tending to last minute details to make sure our enchanted event on Monday afternoon was a delight for all 100 guests. I'm beyond thrilled to share that it was, by all accounts, a whimsy-filled Wonderland feast for the eyes, ears, and taste buds. I'll share all the little details in an upcoming post, documented in delightful technicolor by artist and photographer Faith Blackwell.
The Alice and White Rabbit Necklace was a Christmas gift. I love it!
But, for now (and because I've been asked by several guests), I thought I'd share the details of my own "Through the Looking Glass" style. If you know me at all, you know I can't resist a theme...and I never do things half-way. I keep trying to get better about that whole "moderation" thing, but I'm failing miserably. For this look, though, every single element was already in my closet. The dress, Irregular Choice shoes, and tights were all acquired at different times, but coincidentally are all from ModCloth. Yes - I said tights. Even I draw the line at getting themed tattoos just for a party - but those Alice in Wonderland characters on my calves certainly fooled a lot of people! 
Are those tattoos or tights?
The Alice and White Rabbit necklace was a Christmas gift from my in-laws, and while I wear it for other occasions, too, it was a "must" for tea. The hat is a simple, inexpensive fascinator from Amazon, with a few additional floral embellishments added with a hot glue gun by yours truly. 
The White Rabbit shoes from Irregular Choice were the piece de resistance.
I was thrilled to see many of our guests embracing the theme, as well, and seizing the opportunity to sport Spring chapeaus of all shapes and sizes. I can't wait to share their Wonderland "madness" with you soon!
The vintage earrings belonged to my Grandmother Dorothy. She's always with me, one way or another, when I throw a party!
Fashion is what you buy; Style is what you do with it!

Friday, April 24, 2015

The Haberdashery Derby

I'd be lying if I said the hats weren't a large part of the appeal of the Kentucky Derby for me...I think I love a sensational chapeau nearly as much as I love a good spectator shoe, and sensational hats go hand in hand with the pageantry that defines the first Saturday in May at Churchill Downs. If people were asked to identify "Kentucky Derby Style" in a survey for the game show Family Feud, I'd be willing to bet at least 90 out of 100 people would answer "hats." (I'm much more confident in that bet than I am when I'm picking the ponies...)
And yet, Kentucky Derby style is so much more. It's a visual feast unlike any other I've experienced, and even men who spend their days in Dockers and golf shirts are apt to don classic attire that's in many ways a throwback to a more genteel era.
Lucky for me, Derby Day consists of several races with downtime between each that allows me the luxury of taking it all in. I'm a picture taking fool, sometimes surreptitiously capturing a moment, and sometimes boldy introducing myself and asking for the shot. People are very accomodating on Derby Day - they've chosen their outfits with care and hold their heads high, proud to have their image recorded.
On Derby Day, no detail is overlooked, from belts featuring the iconic Mint Julep to seersucker in every shade and cufflinks with panache, style rules the day.
And, while I'll be sticking to Spring sundresses and carefully embellished hats for my own Derby outing this year, I have borrowed a bit of the menswear style for my everyday life. The crisp brown and white spectators I'm wearing below are straight out of the men's shoe department at Nordstrom Rack!
She does him - who says a girl can't wear menswear?! Shoes by Allen Edmonds (Nordstrom Rack)
I've long loved spectators and own variations on the theme in myriad color combinations. This pair is my latest find, picked up in Chicago over Easter weekend. I can't believe it never occurred to me to shop the men's shoe department before! A men's size 6 was the perfect fit, and because not too many men wear the small size, the selection on the clearance rack was huge! I've also found that when it comes to spectators, the workmanship on men's shoes is often of higher quality. That's certainly true for this pair from Allen Edmonds. Even if I don't pick the winner of this year's Run for the Roses, it's a sure bet that this won't be the last time I seek out menswear gems for my own wardrobe!

Fashion is what you buy; Style is what you do with it!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Let's Talk About Sox, Baby...

Alright, friends, cue up a little old school Salt 'n Pepa beat and sing along:
Let's talk about sox, baby.
Let's talk about toes and feet.
Let's talk about all the good things 
and the bad things that may be.
Let's talk about sox. Let's talk about sox!
These socks from local boutique Silver in the City are probably my all-time favorite pair. But, they don't do a whole lot to protect my feel.
I know, I know, what a terrible way to bastardize one of the iconic group's most famous songs. I couldn't help myself - it been running through my mind nearly every day for the past few weeks as I've experimented with, and finally found, socks that help protect my sensitive feet from blisters while I'm logging lots of daily miles (mostly walking, but more and more running each day, too).

You may recall my recent post about my experiment with the Fitbit Flex and Fitbit One on a treadmill desk. Well, I've been a Fitbit stepping fool the past several weeks, and if you saw my feet...well, let's just say I won't be torturing my Instagram followers with gruesome images of the massive blisters on top of blisters that formed in the first two weeks of my march back to fitness. Frankly, I was a little afraid that even the woman who normally gives me a pedicure would run screaming from the room (not to mention afraid of even getting a pedicure because my feet were so raw).

In desperation, I started researching blister prevention and stumbled upon several recommendations for different types of socks designed to reduce the friction and moisture that result in barking, angry dogs after logging 15 to 24 miles a day for several days. I made good use of my Amazon Prime membership and ordered several different pairs to try out. After a few days of experimenting, I finally found a two-pair combination that has stopped the blisters in their tracks, and even allowed my feet to heal without slowing down my progress.
The combination of toe socks from Injinji worn under a pair of fitness socks from WrightSock have been my savior during 75 to 90 mile weeks. My highest single day total of 56,475 steps was just  over 24 miles. I'd be lying if I didn't say I was tempted to log another couple of miles just to get that marathon distance. I could never have done it without the right socks.
Granted, these socks are not the fun, kitschy variety I favor, and they're a little pricey. But the toe socks from Injinji (above right), worn underneath a second pair of fitness socks from WrightSock (above left) made me feel like I could live up to phrase on my all-time favorite socks (first photo, above) and "kick each day in it's sunshiny a$$." 

I've tried both types of socks on their own, but it's really the combination that works best for me. The toe socks are kind of hard to get used to, but having that barrier between the tootsies really helps with blisters. They're very thin, though, so adding the second pair cushions the soles of my feet while still keeping them from getting too hot. I now have several pair of these socks, and keep a clean combo in my bag so I can protect my feet whether I'm working from the treadmill or going for a run. 

Fashion is what you buy; Style is what you do with it!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Hatters Gonna Hat!

Come down the rabbit hole with me
for the St. Margaret's Guild
"Through the Looking Glass" Designer Tea!

No need to wear your bunny shoes, but feel free to don your maddest Spring hat for the festivities! I'm so honored to work with the wonderful women of St. Margaret's Guild to co-chair this very special April 27th event in coordination with the 2015 Decorators' Show House and Gardens.
This elegant yet madcap misadventure in design will feature delectable sweets and savories from the Illinois Street Food Emporium and white glove tea service by our small but skilled "Wonderland" staff (you're in for a surprise!) You'll also be regaled by a visit from Alice, the White Rabbit, and the Mad Hatter himself courtesy of the Sapphire Theatre, followed by a selection of songs from the Indianapolis Opera Ensemble that will please even the Queen of Hearts.  Finally, you'll be treated to a private tour of BOTH of this year's Show Houses! 
What's more - all proceeds benefit Eskenazi Health and its services to the underprivileged in our community. Since its inception in 1907, the Guild has contributed almost 11 million dollars to Eskenazi, the vast majority of which is raised through the annual Decorators' Show House and affiliated events. Get your tickets here while they last!
 Hmmm...I just can't imagine why they thought I would be right the right "hatter" for the job! 
From an elegant cap to a baseball hat, any chapeau will do...but don't worry, hatless heads are welcome, too! Tickets are selling fast, so get yours today!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

"Scandal"ous Style

Cape (Ginger 'n Spice); Pants (212 Collection, Kohls); Boots (Karen Scott, eBay); Bag (Kate Spade, Nordstrom Rack); Watch (Embassy, Steinmart)
Last week I spent some time in our Nation's Capital meeting with a Federal Government agency. Getting away from Indiana, however briefly, was a welcome respite given the political hot mess in the Hoosier State at the moment. Who would ever have thought the scandal and uproar in my own hometown would eclipse that in Washington D.C.?! Yet, even on Capital Hill, the fact I was from Indiana was met with questions about the recent passing of the controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the subsequent public outcry over the perceived license to discriminate. It's no surprise, really. When your state passes a law with such suspect motivational underpinnings that it's lampooned on Saturday Night Live and in the pages of The New Yorker, "Indiana, we have a problem."

I have never intended this blog to be a political platform, nor an outlet for critical evaluation of complex and storied legislation. This is a style blog, for Pete's sake, and I'll leave the critical legal analysis to my day job. That said, from a personal perspective I will state unequivocally that I do not discriminate and I do not believe discrimination based on race, gender, sexual orientation, or religious beliefs is appropriate in any context. We are all in this together, People, and we all have so much to offer the World and each other!
 I love my modified cat-eye tortoise glasses with ivory accents from Revolution Eyes.
Blessedly, I believe that most of the people in the (still) great state of Indiana feel the same. Hoosier Hospitality is alive and well, despite the big black eye it currently sports. Unfortunately, Indiana's reputation has been seriously maligned in the past few weeks, and in a manner that threatens to have a considerable economic impact. The suspect motives behind passage of the law are disturbing; the language of the law itself is overbroad (oops, sorry, a tiny bit of legal analysis seeped in); and regardless of how the new legislation might actually be applied and interpreted by a court (perhaps not in the egregious way we are afraid of), a lot of damage has been done. Indiana needs help with its image. Indiana needs its own Olivia Pope.

Olivia Pope - ah yes - that's how I'll bring this blog back to style. Kerry Washington's character on Scandal has sensational personal style. Her wardrobe is an integral part of her character, reinforcing her status as both power player and hero (hence the prevalence of light colors that allude to the classic hero's "white hat"). It makes me so happy to see a professional woman on television portrayed as stylish and feminine without cleavage to the navel and thigh high skirts (In my law school days, I used to cringe at the "professional clothes" in Ally McBeal).  
72 inch continuous pearl strand (gift); Rhinestone Brooch (JoAnn Fabric)
I think of this ensemble as my very own Olivia Pope outfit, though I'm fairly certain she'd forego the inexpensive color-coordinated watch band, glasses, and blue topaz ring. But, hey, I gotta be me, and you know how I like to match. Coincidentally enough, last week a colleague with the last name Fitzgerald (nickname Fitz) thanked me for my critical analysis of some legislation in a different state with the following compliment: "Thank you Jody, You are a great American." I laughed out loud when another colleague chimed in and said, "Only here and on Scandal can you be called a great American by someone named Fitz!"

Though I may like to channel her fashion sense on occasion, I can't work any Olivia Pope-style magic on Indiana's damaged reputation (and I wouldn't want her job in a million years). So, I'll settle for making sure that, in my own life, I treat people with respect and as the equals we are. If each of us can manage to do that, we'll be on the right path.
I also have glasses with turquoise accents, also from Revolution Eyes - hard to choose for this particular outfit!
Fashion is what you buy; Style is what you do with it!