Sweater: Arielle by Kim Hargreaves; Tilli Thomas Voile de la Mer (discontinued) in Parchment; my noes and modifications on Jumping on the Arielle Bandwagon
Skirt: bcbgeneration; similar (very similar) styles by Rachel Zoe and Nasty Gal
Blazer: Armani Collezioni; similar styles by ASOS, Topshop, and Anne Klein
Shoes: Cesare Paciotti; other cage-style shoes from Ivanka Trump, Vince Camuto, and L.A.M.B, all reasonably priced by the way, though someone really ought to buy these so I don't have to (I simply cannot, the shoe budget has been blown for the rest of 2014, you'll see why in a couple of weeks)
Lips: Bobbi Brown Art Stick in Rose Brown

Always reinforce buttonbands.


See what happens when you don't? Even on a top that is too big (see waist bunching and whatever it is that's going on with those sleeves).

I should give this top away. I know I should. It looks sloppy and doesn't fit. But I love it. The color was perfect. It's really difficult to get a gold that looks natural and not sparkly, and I love this shade. It's actually one of my earlier knit pieces and I did it flat and seamed on teeny tiny needles. Which is why I'm in no hurry to make one that does fit even though I had the yarn (this time a pale peach). And I should have reinforced the button band, especially because the material is silk. Lesson learned? Perhaps. I don't know how much it costs to reinforce a button band, but I suspect it's more than $10, and I kind of hate the tailor I've used in town (he seems rather expensive and not all that thorough).

I originally was going to wear this with a black pencil skirt since I always wear this top with a black pencil skirt. I tried to shake things up by wearing it with my black pencil skirt that has a flounce, but that wasn't flying. So I tried the pleated skirt. The pleated skirt which is a pretty decent copy of an Alexander Wang skirt that I lusted after while simultaneously being unable to spend $300 on, both economically and philosophically, so was overjoyed when I discovered this one by the teen line of BCBG for less than 1/4 the price on sale. I wish they made more colors. Then I was confronted with a slightly drop-waisted effect given the length of the top. I thought I would hate this, but it's not so bad because the top ends where the pleats begin.


Then I got a little crazy (for a me definition of crazy) and chose the short blazer and it also miraculously worked with the look. The fun hem of the top peeks out beneath the cropped blazer and I dig that. A hand-me-down from my mother-in-law, I honestly don't see the difference between this fairly pricey blazer and my inexpensive ones, thus my recommendations for similar styles are all reasonably priced. The shoes were purchased on a lark and because:sale and I'm so glad I got them. They're different from every other pair I have an interesting without being over the top. I realized when I added them to this outfit that I was comfortable wearing them to work. My mother and I went to an exhibit at FIT last year on shoes and all the pairs on display were donated from people's personal closets. I realized that my own collection of footwear was almost uniformly safe. Yes there are color experiments, but the shapes of my shoes are fairly consistent and fairly traditional, and I have been actively looking at different shapes and compositions, perhaps not yet to buy, but to work into my idea of what makes a good shoe because eventually I'd like to have a more diverse collection. These shoes are a gateway drug of sorts.

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