Summer Lovin'


Sweater: Anais by Kim Hargreaves; madelinetosh tosh sport in chamomile (currently out of stock, but carried by Happy Knits); my notes and modifications on "Tournesol"
Dress: Anthropologie Forget-Me-Not Dress by Moulinette Soeurs, dresses from the same designer this season, this Tracy Reese dress (also at Anthropologie) has a similar vibe and is on my personal wishlist
Shoes: Manolo Blahnik, luxe orange sandals by Versace, far more reasonable ones from Ivanka Trump
Toes: Essie Bouncer, It's Me
Lips: Marc Jacobs Lovemarc Lip Gel in Showstopper

It's full-on summer and I couldn't be happier. Yes, I know when the humidity finally amps up I will complain just as loudly as everyone else, but for the halcyon sunny days before the gross hits, I will be loudly extolling the virtues of hot weather. Hot weather gives you the excuse to paint your toenails blue, wear a yellow cardigan with orange shoes, and pin your hair up in a bun and call it a hairstyle.

If truth be told, this is not my favorite fitting dress from Anthropologie and I am blissfully pleased I got it on super sale last summer. It is, however, a happy summer dress and, for that, I may be inclined to forgive it's somewhat boob-smooshing empire waist. The sweater, though, is a different story. I love this sweater. I love the happy yellow color, I love the pattern, I love the way it fits (though I wish the tops didn't tend to fly open and I've thought of weighting them in an attempt to prevent this. And the shoes. I guess we need to talk about the shoes. They're too big. Which is something I never ever say because my feet are enormous. But these shoes are too big. True, I have yet to see if an insert would fix that, and it might, I'm just bummed that my only orange shoes are not exactly right.

This outfit, overall, is a pretty average representation of how I do sundresses. I wouldn't shrink from wearing this to an office (provided it wasn't a law office or an investment bank) and I'd also wear it on a weekend day when I wasn't going to the beach. Obviously, I give it two thumbs up for vacation evenings!


Experiment x2

IMG_4437 - Copy

Sweater: Every Girl Sweater by Laura Zukaite; madelinetosh 80/10/10 fingering in fathom; my notes and modifications on "Jane Russell"
Skirt: Calvin Klein perforated leather skirt, similar or just as much fun styles at ASOS (on sale), Joseph, and just because it's outrageous, Proenza Schouler
Shoes: Giorgio Armani brown leather sandals, similar styles by Cole Haan and Diane von Furstenburg 
Lips: Buxom full-bodied lipstick in two-timer
Fingers: Butter London in Lady Muck (frankly wish it was a little summerier - my own fault for second guessing what would look good with my tan)
Toes: OPI A Roll in the Hague (might not change this color all summer long, I adore it)
Bracelet: Breil stainless steel, not at all like these also fashionable bangles

Story: There are some things I know to be true of other women my age - they style their hair and they wear jewelry. I typically do neither. It's something I aim for.

My husband bought me the earrings I wear for my 23rd birthday and it was really sweet because I spent my 23rd birthday in the hospital having a blissfully simple and majorly life-improving bit of health care. So my then-boyfriend, now-husband, bought me diamond studs. In the many years that have passed, he has asked me on numerous occasions would I enjoy an upgrade - bigger diamond studs - and I have always said no because the earrings were an indulgence for people just starting their adult lives and I value them far more for their meaning than their size (also do I really need big horking diamonds on my ears?). Other than that, I wear my rings: engagement and wedding. I've never been a jewelry person because I am so conscious of it on me. Necklaces itch my neck, bracelets and watches interfere with my arms, I just haven't ever loved being bejeweled. Furthermore, I have such simple taste when it comes to jewelry that it seems rather boring to, like today, add a simple silver bangle. But accessories are important so I can adapt.

The hair thing is a bigger mess. I am a) impatient, b) lazy, and c) the owner of less-than-perfect hair. My hair is thin, prone to unsexy frizziness, and limp on the best of blowout days (see: my wedding). I have been using Rogaine on the front of my head for over 2 years and it's still less robust than I would like it to be. I guess I could learn to tease it. See how I said, "I guess?" Implying I won't really. So I was very excited to try the notion of beachy waves. It's easy! Simply rough towel dry your hair, spritz with salt spray, and tousel. Well, we can be the co-judges of how that turns out. I think my hair just looks messy. True, I have been cutting my own bangs and that has not gone well, but I feel way less Gisele and way more Tina Fey making a joke about falling asleep with her head in a bowl of Cheetos. I will try to find other, low maintenance ways of having hair.


But let's talk about the sweater. I love this sweater. It's got a heavy Megan Draper vibe and looks great with skinny pants when I choose to wear skinny pants. I also love wearing it with my traffic-cone orange skirt as my original photos will prove out. I even like the strange length sleeves. Generally I like long sleeves, bracelet sleeves, or short sleeves, and nothing in between. I think the cutting the arm anywhere from bicep to wrist makes the arm look shorter and, therefore, less elegant, but I don't seem to mind these 3/4 length sleeves. The sweater does have an element of impracticality, namely it's wide neck, but I'd like to try to fix that perception of impracticality.

Yes, I pushed my bra straps to the side for the photos. However, this was done largely because I was appalled by how grimy the bra straps looked when I saw them in the mirror. Clearly I need to do a laundry. I don't, however, subscribe to the theory that bra straps should never ever be seen and you should be terribly embarrassed if they are seen. That is bollocks! I didn't believe it when I was a teenager and the issue started arising, and I certainly don't believe it now. I wear a bra. You know it, I know it, everyone knows it. You should be more concerned if you thought I wasn't wearing one. Strapless bras are never as practical as those with straps and I really shouldn't have to put one on in the day time when I'm not going to a wedding. The bra I selected today has a similar color blue to the sweater in it so that when the straps do show, they're complementary, not hot pink. So the straps don't become the focus of the outfit. The pearl clutching associated with visible brassiere-ness really gets my anger up. It implies that women should be embarrassed by having breasts and needing to put them somewhere. I hear women, awesome women, complain that they can't wear such-and-such a bra because it isn't seamless and someone might see the seam of their bras through their shirts. So. Effing. What? I'm not advocating that you wear sheer blouses with firetruck red bras to the office because that's not appropriate on any level - you wouldn't want your male coworkers wearing sheer shirts and red ties - but I am saying that you are entitled to calm down about the exposure of bra-related things. You wear a bra, we all know it, and the end of the world will not occur if we notice that you are wearing a bra. Please stress less. Stress causes wrinkles.

Or is that only something my grandmother said?



Sweater: Hey Girl cardigan by Bonnie Marie Burns; Wollmeise Merino DK in Fruhling, my notes and modifications for "Atlantic Pacific"
Top: Elie Tahari silk shell, similar styles by Reiss and Kate Spade
Skirt: Brooks Brothers wool skirt, similar style at Loft
Shoes: Manolo Blahnik, similar color, same style in black, for people who think I spend too much on shoes
Lipstick: Makeup Forever Rouge Artist Natural in N31 Soft Fushia (sic)

Story: I got these shoes on ebay 10 or so years ago because I couldn't resist the idea of chartreuse, patent leather, mary janes. Also, they were likely 1/5 retail. Since the idea of chartreuse, patent leather mary janes is so patently ridiculous, I try to wear them a lot. They add a lot of fun to the simplest outfit and are surprisingly versatile (though not with brown). They also make other people happy because they're acceptably outrageous.

I would never have made myself a chartreuse cardigan, however, until I saw this post by Blair Eadie last year at which point I couldn't not make myself a chartreuse cardigan. I did not make the cardigan to match the shoes. In fact, I'm pretty sure this is the first time I've worn them together. I still hate the buttons on this cardigan because they aren't the right color. They are the second set of buttons this cardigan has had, and the third set might never go on the cardigan because they're not quite right either. I hate selecting buttons for cardigans while, simultaneously being adamant that for my style, the buttons need to blend, not stand out.

The top is a bit of a departure for me. I don't tend to wear a-line tops because I like highlighting my waist. Similarly, I don't own many Nehru-style collars because they tend not to flatter the busty. I'll admit that this top is a hand-me-down and I wear it and a similar navy one in an attempt to broaden my horizons. I don't know if I would buy this style myself, but as a something different in the closet that I didn't have to buy, it can stay in the rotation.