Friday, November 26, 2010

A Little More Catalog Love...

Happy Belated Thanksgiving all! We have had a great time, and when I get a bit more time (and that ever elusive mistress of mine, energy), I will post some festive frocks that I have been wearing this week!

Today I want to show off the next in the series of "Catalog Inspired" outfits. After realizing that two other lovely blogger friends of mine decided to try the same look out I wore in this last post, I have decided that every so often I will do a post where I take my fave catalog images and show them off "in real life style." (To see the other lovely blogger ladies, go to About All and Nothing at All and to Deco Aurora.)

(Oh, and for those of you who REALLY are digging this, check out a post I did on this very subject WAY back in early 2009, right around the start of this blog.)

Here is the image from the October 2008 "If" catalog. I remember receiving this catalog right around the time baby CW was born and just adoring all the styling. J. Crew really hit the perfect mix here, just enough preppy, just enough edge, and just enough lady-like. I believe other ladies adore this catalog as much as I do...I also know there are other images whose styling I might have to steal borrow.

At the time, the jacket was WAY WAY out of my price range and considering I had just given birth, I just said "no."

Fast forward to now...

On me, last week.

Jacket: Bought the Duchamp Print Astor Jacket on ebay for a song, granted it is a "line through label to prevent returns" kind of item, but other than the itsy-bitsy little line, the jacket is perfect. I bought it in a size 4, and the fit is spot on.
Top: I had bought this Snow Leopard Harlow Blouse in a size 10 on super-sale around January of 2009 (see it on me way back when), but then I lost the post-partum weight and it was suddenly too big. This summer a JCA was selling their size 4 for a really REALLY good price and I went ahead and grabbed it. :) The size 10 went to Mint Condition to make someone else's day.
Pants: Banana Republic from 2006. Near match to the ones in the catalog.
Shoes: These are flats, the Jane Suede flats from 2008. Also bought on super-sale. Admittedly the height of the heels in the catalog image are more flattering, but I wore this on a preschool run day, and I didn't want to have to be uncomfortable.

Anyone else willing to try this styling for themselves??? ;)


Wahoo! by dinagideon featuring an arbonne
Before I go, I wanted to let you all know that I am having a HUGE Black Friday sale with my Arbonne business. The polyvore above has some of the items on sale (although almost everything I sell is on sale in one form or another). If you are interested, take a look at the polyvore, or check out this blog post I wrote on the sale. I look forward to helping some of you with your holiday shopping!!!

P.S. You all have had some really nice comments lately. I believe that today I will respond to the last two posts, so if you have written something in the past two weeks, check out the comments a little bit later tonight, I should have gotten back to you by then. :) Thank you!!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Review: Merino Strata Cardigan Plus Some SAHM Outfits...

Hi, all! I am going from all sparkly to all plain Jane with this post's outfits. :) LOL. No, no, not plain Jane, just a whole lot less "special."

There has been some talk about the Merino Strata Cardigan from J. Crew, and since I own it and have worn it, I figured a review was in order. In addition, I am showing three recent stay at home mom outfits, including today's which features the strata cardigan.

Above is the polyvore of the outfit I wore today. All today had on tap was a visit to the mall to return the Lisette Lace Shift dress (it's SHORT!--maybe on super sale--but not at the price I got it--even if it included 25% off), and to do a price adjustment on the Lisette Lace Shell (which I bought on Monday night at fp, minus the educator discount--now it is $59.99!). I won't even bother talking about going to J. Crew except to say that Sofia who works at Pentagon City is really, really sweet to my very terribly behaved children (CW!).

This is a close-up of the top half of the outfit.

Cardigan: Size Extra-Small.  I really do love this cardigan.  I know it has received some negative reviews out there, but I find it quite feminine and flattering.  I couldn't wear the Maya cardigan, though, made me look really thick in the waist, so maybe the people who don't like this cardi are the ones who wore the Maya well.  The ruffling is higher than the Maya, so maybe I should be cinching higher when looking to flatter my upper body.  The pose I am doing shows how the buttons work, they are actually snaps that can gape when you pull out from the pose, as I am doing here with my hand on the hip.  That said, you really can't see the gaping from the front or the other side, so as long as you have a tank on under, you should be fine.

Love the seaweed color.  Just the right shade of green/blue.

The merino is nice, as well, similar to other merino cardigans I have from J. Crew.

Top: I have reviewed this already...go to this post for more info.

Here is the outfit on me, full length.  I think these jeans are so comfy, but honestly, I need to retire a few pairs that are just too baggy and saggy.  Comfort for me comes when I wear a size too big in my pants, but it looks terrible in photos.  Sigh.  I guess that is why I like the Minnies so much...they are fitted, but so very comfortable.

Close up of my jewelry and the color of the cardigan.

The jewelry is the Northern Lights necklace (which I know FFM LOVES!) and the factory cluster earrings.  There is a reason FFM loves this is classic, beautiful, sparkly, and just the right amount of bling for a multitude of outfits.  Definitely can be dressed up or dressed down.  The earrings are seriously one of my TOP ten pieces of jewelry from J. Crew...and they are from the factory!!!  These are well-made and for those of you lacking silver-toned bling in your wardrobe, these little earrings might suit all your pewter dangly needs.

About a week ago it was NASTY and cold and rainy outside, and I figured this gingham sundrine flannel shirtdress would fit the bill in keeping me warm, and comfy cozy.  Adding the tights and booties helped me keep my figure from being all chopped up (I know the leggings look in my review post wasn't super-flattering--LOL).

This is the ultimate SAHM outfit.  The flannel cleans easily and the softness is nice for the kids when they want to snuggle with you (CW loves being carried--all 31 pounds of her--yikes).

Speaking of CW--SO CUTE, and BIG.  Remember when she was this small?

This is a SAHM outfit that Mr. Dina loved...he said I reminded him of a colorful, sassy, preppy girl.  That is his favorite kind of girl, I think.  :)

The jacket is an ebay win from a few weeks ago.  It is from Fall 2006, with wool from Robert Noble of Scotland (the Fiona has the same kind of wool).  The details on this jacket are pretty remarkable...they include a tie-repp lining under the collar (for popping!), an embroidered crest-looking thing on the interior of the placket, leather buttons, an adjustable waist, and contrast lining.  I think this may be a 6, but there was no tag, it had been cut out.  The shirt is the Liberty floral daze perfect shirt from last summer.  I purchased this in a size 4.  It is a lot of color, so I decided that the dark pewter Jackie shell would be the perfect solution to blinding all those who saw me that day.  I bough the Jackie shell in an x-small.  The jeans are another comfy pair (read: over-sized).  They look a bit less baggy because they are straight-legged, but still, I think retirement may be around the corner for these Levi's.  The shoes are some rain shoes from Mod Cloth.

Close-up of the upper half of the outfit.  Sorry about the blurriness.  I love my hair like this.  I wish it looked like this EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.  I didn't even try to get it to look like this...just the perfect combo of brushing, shampooing,and great weather (no humidity).

Have a great Friday afternoon.  You all stop working as early as you can, whatever your work may be...SAHM, pilot, Army General, whatever.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sequined Out in Camel and Black...

If you are a polyvore addict like I am, you may remember seeing this set Monday that I created. I needed to know whether I should wear it or not to go out with a good friend that evening...she was taking me to an album launch (her cousin just released an album of holiday music) and I was taking her to dinner. And because I never, ever get to go out with the girls anymore (well, rarely, anyhow), I wanted to splash out a bit.

The ladies of the polyvore world liked the set, so I felt like I had chosen well...

On me, before I was about to leave.

Top: Cashmere Cowlneck Sweater, Size Extra Small. When I see that anything that J. Crew makes comes in a size extra-extra small, I know to order the extra-small (which is a size down from the small that used to be my normal size). Except in bottoms, where I don't know if I would want to chance ordering a small (which would be a size down from my normal medium). I love the fit...I didn't need to open the buttons at the bottom of the hem, but I like the effect of the buttons being opened. The cashmere FEELS very nice this year, and softer than last year or the year before. I also have yet to see pilling on this item (although I did only wear it for four hours). Thumbs WAY UP. I will buy another (on super-sale) in another color, maybe the blue?
Skirt: Sequin Mesh Bell Skirt, Size 8. The 6 fit fine when I tried it on way back in August, but I like how the 8 allowed me to pull the waist down a bit for length. I was exceedingly comfortable all night, and that says something when you are wearing a skirt made of sequins.
Tights: C? From a drugstore. Comfy enough. I like that they are super-opaque and black...they worked nicely with the Alecias I am wearing on my feet.
Shoes: Size 9.5. Yay, my black suede Alecia peep-toes get to come back out now that it is colder...

I also wore the black ingenue coat, which was the exact right coat for the night and the outfit. It started to rain while we were at the album launch, and the coat plus the cashmere kept me nice and toasty.

Another view. Similar, yes, I know, but I kind of liked this shot. :)

I hope I can post tomorrow, that would be quite nice. We'll see just how busy I can possibly be in one day (answer? very!).

Summer Sun-dressing in the Fall...

Happy Wednesday! If all goes well, this will be my first of two posts today centered around sequins (and who doesn't love sequins--lol--just kidding, I am sure some of you are a bit over them, but to me, Miss Magpie, I don't know if that will happen).

I had a special event to go to over the weekend, and seeing how I had not gotten around to wearing the Painted Silk Bridget Dress, I really wanted to wear it. Problem? It is silk, one-shouldered, and clearly meant for the summer. It wasn't cold-cold, but it certainly wasn't warm, either, on Saturday. Enter a fab sequined jacket from ASOS.  Ah, perfection. Now I could wear a completely inappropriate dress and make it just a tad more appropriate.

Above is the polyvore of the entire ensemble. The polyvore is a bit different from my polyvores of the past as I tried out the whole "make your polyvore look like an actual paper-doll" route. It was a bit difficult, but in the end, it almost works... :)

Dress: Size 8. The Painted Silk Bridget Dress was a J. Crew Collection item that I had bought in June (with some sale or another) and had intended to wear out while dining al fresco with my hubby. The one time I did that kind of date with him, I was feeling gross and kind of bloated, so the poor dress just sat in my closet all rejected feeling. I was not feeling gross and bloated on Saturday, however, I do believe my bandage on my leg gives a certain extra something special to the outfit. LOL. I should have bought these bling-ed out bandages instead. BTW, my hubby HATED the bubble hem of this dress but loved the rest of the outfit.
Jacket: Size UK 10, Size US 6. I think I may have bought this sequined boyfriend blazer for $35 dollars, with free shipping and returns. This jacket has convinced me that ASOS is a good company, but that said, the shipping was SUPER-SLOW, so bear that in mind if you buy something from them and it expect it on your door quickly. Having dealt with slow shipping from Boden in the past, I wasn't worried about it, but it can be frustrating if you have never bought from the UK before.
Shoes: Size 10.5 AA, Cole-Haan. Yum.

I wore my hair in a side ponytail just to be a bit different. I actually like it in this style.

The earrings are the fun dangly ones from Mickey last year.  I still love and wear them...a lot.  I also use the free daily calendar agenda they gave us as a Christmas gift last year, so I have to say, if they are still sending out free gifts, that daily calendar agenda would be fine by me!  (I am such a relic, actually "penciling" things into a calendar and not using a computer calendar instead.)  Not that anyone at corporate even reads this blog (I know, I have seen the stat counter)

You all have a great day.  Sequined outfit #2 up later today!

Monday, November 15, 2010

What Would Emma Pillsbury Wear When Faced with the Infamous Beltway?

"Oh, dear, Will...I believe our meeting will have to be delayed as I am stuck in just the most terrible traffic ever...the Beltway has beaten us."

It is incredibly fortunate that Emma and Will and their singing teen acolytes are in a suburban high school in Ohio and not in Northern Virginia. See if they were, they would never make it to regionals or nationals because they and their school bus would be forever trapped in the never-ending cycle of traffic that makes the DC region so (in)famous.

Here is how my conversation went with my dear bloggie friend Suzy:

"Suzy, I know that I was planning on meeting you in Montgomery Mall in Bethesda later this morning so you and I could meet up, I could give you your Arbonne catalog and samples and that gorgeous Madewell necklace that I sold you on the exchange, but I am afraid the traffic is too insane to even bear. By the time I got to the mall, I would have to say hi, throw the bag full of goodies at your hands from my open car window, and yell good-bye as I race off to catch the light so I can get back on the highway for my insane return back home. I believe, Suzy, that if I were to try and meet you in Richmond I could get to you faster. (Suzy laughs, and agrees.) Next time, I will take the hour and half trip to Richmond (100 miles door to door) to see you and not the two hour trip to Bethesda (20 miles door to door)!  I will resign myself to mailing your package to you instead."

I had been so excited to see her...I wanted to show off my babies, hang out in the mall, check out the new arrivals at J. Crew, and show off my Emma Pillsbury inspired outfit. Sadly this was not to be. (SHAKES delicate, glass-beaded bracelet wrist at the back-up on 495.)

Anyhow, this is the polyvore of an Emma inspired outfit that only my kids and a WHOLE bunch of random strangers were able to see at Tysons (le sigh, it seems I always end up at Tysons for shopping).

Emma Pillsbury wore a similar outfit a few weeks back and WWEPW blogged about it soon thereafter. And then the cardigan went on sale...whee!

And on me...before I realized what my day was to hold. I would have been better off in an orange reflective vest and a green utility jumper. At least that way I would have been better dressed to help the construction workers out...

Cardigan: Pick A Bunch Cardi, Anthropologie, Size Small. Very fitted and short. Definitely size up if you are long-torsoed.
Skirt: Double Serge Pencil Skirt, J. Crew, Bronzed Ochre, Size 6. The 4 fit, but way too closely...I felt like an extra in the secretarial pool over at the Mad Men set in the smaller size. LOL.

I did buy a blazecoat at the Tysons J. Crew. They were running a 25% off special, so I bit. I bought a 2. That coat runs really large. A lot of you all will probably be sized out.

I hope you all have a great day...just so you know, I have some stuff on sale...go ahead on over to my polyvore and check out the pieces, sizes, and prices.  :)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Boden Bliss...

Dinagideon is in busy, busy land lately! Sorry for the absence! :) Just out and about, but unfortunately for my poor blog that means a lack of posts and commenting back. Le sigh.

Clearly today's post is brought to you by the letter "b," as I am not only busy, but I am in Boden bliss. Why? Well, not only is today's outfit one of my personal favorites ever from this British bastion of bodacious blouses, but yesterday, my dear friend Johnnie B. sent me a $25 gift voucher to be used on any purchase between now and the end of the month. Best part? No minimum amount required AND I could use it with another promo! So what did I do? I used it last night to buy my daughter and I some outerwear. Right now there is an e-mail circulating (and probably in some catalogs, too) that if you buy 2 items, you get your 3rd for $1. This is one of the best that Boden offers as you can buy three nearly the same priced items and receive a huge % off (do the math, you'll see). The three items I got were $88 a piece, which equals $264, but after the offer, it goes down to $177. Apply a $25 gift voucher and all of sudden what was $264 is now $152, or a savings of around 42%. That includes free shipping and returns, btw. So yes, I am a bit in Boden bliss today. :)

Above is an outfit I wore on Sunday (when I made the decidedly serendipitous trip to Mint Condition). The coat is from Mod Cloth and as soon as I saw it back in September two thoughts ran through my head: "Ooh, that looks like an Emma Pillsbury coat," and "It will be mine."

Mr. Dina loved the dress.  It got nearly the same reaction as my jeans and tee combo from a few weeks back.  I am wearing this Retro Spot Tunic in a UK size 10 or US size 6.  I like that the length finishes where it does...too short and I would have to wear it with pants and too long and it would be A LOT of that print.  ;)

Rex is not picking his nose.  It only looks like he is.  I have no idea what he is thinking in this shot...

This was supposed to be a full-on side shot, but Baby CW came in and decided to shoot her historical re-enactment gun at the window.  She must have seen a deer.  LOL.  (Her Pops--grandpa--is a deer hunter.)

With the Mod Cloth coat.  It is called a "Coat fit for a queen," but it's just fine as a "Coat fit for a SAHM mom who spends way too much time worrying about her clothing."

You all have a fab night.  I will talk with you all sometime soon.  Promise!  ;)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Mommy Style Monday #14--How Catalog Images Can Help with "Wardrobe Block."

Happy Monday, everyone!

Real quick, before we get into what to wear when you are having a wardrobe block, I wanted to let you all know I have quite a few items for sale this week. Check out my polyvore for more info. :)

Once again, my weekend activities colored what I chose to write about in this week's Mommy Style Monday. Turns out that the Paris Catalog was hugely inspirational to me and my particular wardrobe decisions...yet here's the kicker...I didn't even realize what I was choosing to wear was based on the catalog until I actually sat down and thought about it today.

And no, I don't mean that I wasn't aware that both the library doll dress and the velvet Bella jacket were in the Paris Catalog, just that how I want to style both of them was based on the images in the catalog. That is how ubiquitous these images have become...the styling in them is now second nature to me because of how irrationally focused much time I spend looking at the catalog. Why do I spend so much time reading the catalog over and over? Let's count the ways...

1. Well there is the obvious...this is J. Crew at one of its high points. The clothing was for the most part made VERY well and the colors of the items were just so saturated and alive, it is hard to imagine someone looking at the images and not wanting to purchase at least one thing.

2. Who can resist smiling, happy people who are having a good time? Everyone in the catalog, from the women and men to the kids seem to have drunk from the "happy water," and honestly, after the long days I sometimes have (Mr. Dina works late a lot), it is nice to see fresh faces not beleaguered by the strain of every day life.

3. Since I lived in Europe for brief periods of time throughout my life, it is nice to see the backdrops of places that just simply do not exist in the USA. Washington, D.C. is certainly beautiful and does have an incredible skyline, but it is suffering from being overplayed, as I see it a lot. The Parisian monuments? Not so much (although there is a rumor, so says Mr. Dina, that we may get there for some couple's 10th anniversary!!!).

So, yes, I am a tad over-exposed to the Paris catalog, but it seems to be a good thing, because...



Had an Arbonne Party planned. Got canceled. E-mailed all my local JCA friends and said "let's have an afternoon wine party at my place." Four of them said yes. Whee!

Morning of...chose a gorgeous pink jacquard dress from 2004. Oops. Retaining Water. Fit is off. What to do? Will Spanx work? Oh, no. That makes it worse. Agh! Sh***T.

Look in closet for another dress. Am hostess. Cannot wear jeans and a tee. That would be bad. Have fashion blog. I know...LIBRARY DOLL DRESS. Ooh, yes. Shoes. Cole Haan Pointy Air Fionas in Chocolate Brown will work. Yum! Cardigan. Ooh, Ivory Ciel Etoile Cardigan should look good.

Do hair. Pin looks sort of cute. Maybe put hair back? No. Don't. It's okay...remember, dinagideon, open wine!

And this worked. By the time the JCAs arrived, all was good. :)

So you know where I am going with this, right?

Turns out that I basically recreated the whole entire look that Vanessa was wearing in the catalog.  Yes, I know it isn't brain science or heart surgery, but clearly, the image is SO SUPPLANTED in my brain that I created it without thinking about it.  Only difference was the hair, but come on now, I ALMOST put my hair back (see stream of consciousness dialogue I had with myself above).

Image from Catalog is above.  I love how she is flaring the skirt portion out so we can see the images closer.  BTW, Mr. Dina and I went to sushi after the party and he said that I was wearing Beethoven's bust on my bust.  He thought he was so clever.  ;)

Not a carbon copy, but the feel is for sure there.  Anyone want to take this over-tired momma to the River Seine and photograph me wearing this near it?  I'd be okay with that. 

Close-up of the upper portion of the dress.  I am wearing the deco necklace here.  My dad especially liked this outfit.  Maybe I should show him the Paris catalog. 

If you are on the fence on whether you want to purchase the Ciel Etoile cardigan, I give it a huge thumbs up.  It is a nice dressy piece that doesn't feel super-fancy.  Just the right amount of bling, you know?  I am wearing true to size here, size small.

So Sunday comes along and I go to Mint Condition to pick up some of my expired consigned pieces.  At the party, Kater (one of dear JCA friends) mentioned that there may be a purple velvet Bella in my size and that I should be on the lookout for it.  So knowing that this is a piece I should have in my closet (and don't), I scoured the shop for not only my items, but a potential new item.

And yep, Kater was right.  It was absolutely singing to me when I saw it.  Size 6, like new condition for $50.  That's right.  People are paying top dollar for these all over the place, and I score a like new, in my size Bella for $50.  The heavens decided I was worth it yesterday.  :)

Anouck Lepere wearing it on page 23, and copied it as best I could from my own wardrobe. 

Here is my version of the look in the catalog.  I almost sold those golden beads last week on the exchange, but didn't.  Guess they were meant to have a new life, in this very outfit.  I only wore this briefly today to make sure it looked decent but I plan on wearing it out for one of my excursions.  It is insanely comfortable and warm.  And the collar on this jacket looks so chic, I didn't feel like I had to overdo the makeup...

I am glad I copied the image.  Made dressing super-easy and convenient AND I felt good wearing it.  What crazed, overworked mom of toddlers wouldn't want that?

Here's the image from the catalog that I photographed today.  I have come close.  Clearly the necklace, top, scarf, and sweater are different, but certainly close enough to count as more than just inspired by.  This is a downright copy.  I wanted to do my hair the same way because there is nothing better than hair pulled back when dealing with a collar like this...especially since my hair verges on lion-like when it is down (Michael Bolton and I could be BEST friends with our crazy, thick-a%% big hair).

I tried the chicken wing pose.  LOL.  I think it works only for Belgians.

So I guess the moral of this story is SAVE ALL CATALOGS, even the ones you don't really like.  The more you study them, even with today's omnipresent scary hobo/witch effusive layering, the more these combos will become part of your memory.  I know we aren't in grad school trying to pass some insanely difficult test with the studying I am asking you to do, but think about it this are studying for a test that WAY MORE people get to see the results many people even give a rat's patooty that I had the HIGHEST grade in Anthropological Linguistics?  Maybe one, or two?  And they would only care if they actually knew how hard that class is...

I like that my wardrobe ruts are so easily solved.  After all, I actually want to live in my clothes--not have my clothes over-rule my living.  The less time I spend dressing means the more time doing things (even if my version of doing things is to talk about clothing--I never said I didn't have a double standard). 

Any of you want to send me pics of your versions of catalog images?  I would love to see what you come up with and share them with my readers!  (If enough of you send them in we could have it be a weekly thing that we show off once a week!)

Have a great week, everyone. 

Friday, November 5, 2010

Anthro Afternoon Delight...

Lazy, lazy dinagideon, no desire to update yesterday. :)

I hope you all have had a great end to your week. I have! I *finally* got paid for teaching my Fall Into Fashion class. I only had to threaten to quit plead nicely to receive the check (was supposed to come on Tuesday).

I will admit to maybe, just maybe grabbing a beautiful Milly sweater in my size (in the black and white colorway), as it is on sale, and oh, so, lovely. Nice little treat, and I can wear it to my winter intersession class. (BTW, anyone have a good name for my Winter class?  I was thinking Wear Winter Well, but I don't know...sort of stumped here.)

Today I am showing off three Anthropologie outfits that I have worn in the past month...

First up is the Vestiges Dress.  I have had my eye on this all summer long, and when I couldn't wait any longer, I bought it off ebay for a substantial amount of savings over its full price.  It did make it to sale but as of today only size 2 and 8 are left.  And I know why--because it is AWESOME.

I took a size 4 in this...I have one other shirt from Girls of Savoy (blue one with the ruffles) and that is in a 2, so I know this brand runs large.  The four is perfect everywhere, but especially in the bust, where it is just fitted enough.  The minor miracle is that it fits just wide enough to accommodate my larger hips.

The belt is quite long, but I just played with it until it worked for my waist.

I had heard this dress was very constricting through the neckline, and I truly understand that.  Although it didn't bother me in the least, I could see how the sheer excess of ruffles could get on the nerves.

Hand on hip and my girl in her own frilly floral frock.  She, btw, told me that we matched as I had flowers and she had flowers.  God, I love two-year olds, they are so freaking cute.  ;)

Outside church.  We have now moved to the stage where Rex does well at church and CW does not.  Sigh.  I chose to keep her out as long as possible, her sweet little voice becomes almost manly in volume when she enters the marble encased hall of worship.  To keep her amused, I took pics of us and then showed them to her.  She loved this one, especially.

This is an Anthro dress from last season called the Whirling Ruffles Sweater dress.  I bought this on super sale, and I am glad I did.  This is easily one of the comfiest, warmest dresses I own.  It was *just* chilly enough that morning for me to wear it layered with a Boden cardigan, a J. Crew skinny belt, and some Cole Haan sandals.  Sadly, this outfit can't be worn now, it has turned a bit too frigid here and I had to put all my sandals away for the winter.  I am not one of those snow bunnies...I far prefer the moist, oppressive humidity of August to the dry, windy, and bone-chilling air of February.  (And this is coming from someone who runs hot, even in winter...)

The polyvore of the outfit.

Finally is an outfit for Date night.  Fittingly for the final outfit, I present the Curtain Call dress  It was priced right when I bought it, much less than its original price, in other words.  I chose to go with the x-small, as I read the reviews that it was RUNNING HUGE.  It does run huge...hence the x-small was perfect on me.

I personally like the effect of the exaggerated sleeves and the narrow waist.  That said, I know this is not a dress for a lot of women.  The neckline and sleeves work well on my small upper-body as it helps balance me out a bit, but I imagine that if you are larger than a B cup and you have a bit broader shoulders, this may put you out of balance.  Then again, if your S.O. LOVES you with more up top, this may be the dress for you!  LOL.  ;)

I am wearing it with a pearl necklace I bought from Ann Taylor last winter and a pair of Carma peep-toes by Cole Haan.

Here is the outfit with my all time favorite leather jacket...which I bought from Ann Taylor in 2004.  I fell in love with how buttery soft it was, and since it was on sale, I snatched it up.  I remember buying it for around $150 and cringing at the price, but considering it was originally near $300, and I have worn it a TON since then, I think my purchase was pretty sound.  :)

You all have a great day.  If you are interested in receiving the Arbonne Holiday Catalog from me (it is SO BEAUTIFUL), please leave a comment with your e-mail address or e-mail me at  I am planning on offering my clients a Black Friday sale on all items in the Holiday catalog, so if you want to be in on that sale, I need you to be on my client list before that point! 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Reviews: Gingham Sundrine, Ingenue Coat, Tweedette Dress, and Tilly Satin Two-Tone Platform Heels

It's been a while since I have done a straight through review post. Below you will see 16 photos of four separate items, the Gingham Sundrine Flannel Shirtdress, the Double Cloth Ingenue Coat, the Tweedette Dress, and the Tilly Satin Two-Tone Platform Heels.

I received these all over the past two months, and because of sheer laziness and overwhelming busy-ness (lol at the two together), I am now just getting to these reviews. I took all these photos today, and in no way did I primp to get ready to show off these outfits. Just sayin'...


Gingham Sundrine Flannel Shirtdress, currently available in most sizes. Last week, it appeared that they were all sold out, but I suspect that many were wooed by the image in the catalog, and when their reality didn't match the luminosity of the image, many returns were made.

I *knew* I could never match the ice queen model, so my expectation was far lower. I really wanted a dress/tunic I could wear to take my sweet son to preschool and be "dressed" but comfy and warm at the same time.

That said, I have to make sure the placket is open (I am wearing a peach-colored cami under the dress) in order to keep me from appearing like I am a frontier women, ready to cultivate the corn, y'all.

I like it with leggings, but think I might wear it out the first time with some opaque black tights and knee-high booties (or booties, we'll see). Definitely plan on wearing a scarf or lots of necklaces, for sure. Any other ideas?

P.S. This is the side view.

Back View.  I am really glad I bought the size 6 (current dress size in J. Crew), rather than an 8.  The 8 may have given length but would have probably been a bit frumpy overall.  This puppy should not be too loose or else your bum may suffer from baggy britches syndrome. (Or from a wayward tag syndrome, haha.)

Hand on the hip. This view looks juvenile to me.  Definitely need tights, boots, and a scarf.

However, in this image, I look the right age.  Maybe the hand on the hip is making me look younger.  (Ladies, hands on hips!!!  Fountain of Youth!!!)

Sundrine Dress on Audrey Bella.
Sundrine Dress on Gigiofca.

Double Cloth Ingenue Coat in Black, currently on back-order in many sizes and colors. This I bought in a 6, my current J. Crew Double Cloth coat size (my stadium cloth size is smaller). I bought this on a whim when I saw that I could buy it for $200 (minus 30%--so around $140 or so) and free shipping over the summer. Yes, please. Turns out that I made a wise choice as it is now $350, but at least you can apply a 25% off to the total. (And go with cobblestone or plum, not the black or white, the black or white will probably be available next summer for another low low price...mark my words!)

It is all buttoned-up and belted here. This is one glamorous coat and I definitely can see wearing this with a cocktail dress. That said, it does lend itself to dressing up a more casual look, like a cute tee, cardi, and jeans. It doesn't feel "stuffy," just chic.

Here I have opened up the top set of buttons, expanded the collar to show off the gingham shirtdress. This collar is very versatile and I anticipate discovering new ways of wearing it open.

Here i have it opened all the way, and belted in the back (almost like an apron, if that makes sense). I love this! And since we have warm-ish days here in NOVA in the winter, this will be a nice option on the days when we get into the 50s and we don't need to "BUNDLE" up.

Ingenue Coat on NoJCrewinJapan.

Tweedette Dress, or the Luna Mixy silk and wool dress (if you shop at Net-a-Porter), currently sold out of size 0 at, and sold out of size 0 and size 8 at Net-a-Porter.  I am wearing a 6, but I only decided on that size when I looked at Net-a-Porter for sizing info.  THEY GIVE YOU THE EXACT MEASUREMENTS of the items.  Awesome.  I had pre-ordered an 8 and then realizing how that would be very large in the top and a few inches too large in the bottom (yet giving me no extra length), I changed my pre-order to a 6.  If you buy Collection pieces from J. Crew, definitely check out Net-a-Porter to see if they have your item so you can use their measurements.

I did not buy at full price.  My on-line PS was running a 20% off sale, including pre-orders, so I ordered this at that point.  I am wondering if they will reduce the price of this dress anytime soon?  If so, I will definitely be thinking about returning an re-ordering.  I have only tried it on for you all, so I know I could return if need be. 

I do like this dress for a couple of reasons. 

#1--LOVE the plaid wool skirt portion, such a great color scheme, and the wool is well-made, seems to be the sort of wool you find in Scotland.
#2--This is surprisingly comfortable!  Once you have fiddled with the top to make it fit you properly (the last photo in this set shows how I got mine to settle into the right position so my cami
#3--Love the silk fabric of the can tell it is VERY HIGH QUALITY silk, very much like the silks that I have felt on high-end designer pieces.

Do I think this is a dress for everyone?  No.  I know that this is a you either love it or you hate it kind of an item.  I fell in love with the look in the lookbook--see image #13--(after I took away her silly avant-garde hat), and I think I like the dress even better on me (I fill it out better, lol, go curves!). 

I wonder if anyone will be getting this dress?  Clearly there are a few of us out there, but none of the JCAs as far as I can tell. 

Side view.  Love my peach colored cami!  (Just kidding.)  I think, when I decide I am for sure keeping it (really more of a price thing--hate the thought of it being reduced a lot and me being unable to justify buying it for more--any of you doing this now...waiting with tags on, not wearing it, just in case?), I will take my needle and thread and sew a small fastener to the vee, so I can gain a more modest neckline.

Back view.  Exposed Zipper appears more exposed on-line.  I think it is a nice touch of hardware, but really could care less, one way or another.

Only passes the sit down test when I wear tights.  Will not be wearing it all bare-legged, no matter how much Net-a-Porter and J. Crew want me to.  So there.

Here is how I like it best.  See how much better it looks with the neckline just so and a pretty necklace atop it?  I also adore the pockets, great feature.

Tilly Satin Two-Tone Platform Heels, currently available in all sizes.  These are Collection shoes, so they are silk satin, with suede piping, and leather soles.  They were also INSANELY expensive for what they are, so I know exactly why they went on sale so fast...'cause no one was biting.  I did, but only after they we're reduced to below 200 AND I could apply a 30% off and free shipping deal.  Yes, I will take them for $130, Mickey, sounds great to me.

I am wearing these in a size 9.5.  They fit great.  I have narrow feet, though, so you all may want to size up if you run a bit wider.  They are not super-comfortable, in fact, I am wearing them right now to kind of break them in, but really, am I wearing these for comfort?  Nope.  These are date shoes, holla.  These are the kind of shoes the Eagles were talking about in that song "Those Shoes."

So pretty, love the color, love the strappy-eque look, love the silk (so soft).

Gah.  So elegant!  I need to find a reason to wear these!

Zippers in the back, cute touch...also you can see the leather soles peeking out.

Anyone else purchase or try on these items?  Your thoughts?  Links to reviews I missed? 

Have a great Tuesday!  Have fun with the 25% off sale!