Some days you just want to be able to throw on an outfit and go; on days like this I immediately go for tall boots, skinny pants, and a flowing top. I just received this tunic from Gwynnie Bee yesterday and think it is too cute. Come on now, how can you resist a top with horsies all over it? I’m pretty excited for Gwynnie Bee’s new arrivals – peplums, sequins, wrap dresses and more! Not only that, Gwynnie Bee tweeted yesterday that they just placed an order for leather jackets! Swoon!
Search Results for: label/Fitzwell
Baby, it’s COLD OUTSIDE! My husband, Emerson and I headed to our favorite local diner for breakfast and I bundled up in my Lands’ End Luxe Down Parka. LOVE this coat – it’s so warm and the hood is so snuggly! Underneath was my Ann Taylor LOFT curvy bootcut jeans, my black booties from Fitzwell, and my black and white striped long-sleeve tee from Ann Taylor. Silver hoops and cuff. Pretty generic attire, but it was early and I knew I would be spending the rest of the day at home.
Exciting plans this afternoon – cleaning the bedroom from top to bottom, washing laundry, wrapping the last two presents. Tonight off to my sister’s! Hope everyone is well and staying warm!
Shirt – Ann Taylor (found on clearance rack for $29.99 and then 30% off)
Pants – Gap Perfect Trouser pants
Shoes – Fitzwell “Andrea”
Silver hoops and cuff
Coat – Lands End (and check out Wardrobe Oxygen tomorrow- I will be having a full review of the coat!)
Back to work! It feels weird getting back after a week out of the office. So many voice mails, emails, and regular snail mail to go through!
I felt so out of sorts this morning, didn’t really have the creativity to pull together a real ensemble, so I just wore the two things that came out of the dryer yesterday. As I ramp up back into the work world, I will get back on track!
Sunday, I cleaned out my closet. With travel and busy schedules, my closet was looking very much like my high school bedroom, where I no longer knew the color of my carpet due to the piles of clothes, shoes, and junk. In cleaning, I found this fabulous top that Karen Kane was kind enough to send me a couple months ago. It’s a Medium when I normally wear a large, and I am thrilled it comfortably fits over the bust but is a bit snug over the booty. I did my belt trick and created a bit of a peplum. The fabric is perfect for the humidity as it doesn’t cling and floats with any passing breeze.
These shoes are a STEAL at 6pm. I like Fitzwell because they have extended sizes (wide widths and wide calfs for their tall boots), but they also have strategically placed heels to reduce pressure and to make it easier to walk with such height. First day wearing them and no issue walking to the office, pretty impressive!
I bought this dress in a rush, and I must admit after my first time wearing it I didn’t have the desire to wear it again. But that would be a big waste of money, so I washed it cold on the gentle cycle (it says Dry Clean but it’s 100% polyester ponte and I have bought a lot of Ann Taylor ponte before and it washes beautifully) and hung it to dry. This morning I tried to iron out the wrinkles with a relatively cool iron and where the iron went, the fabric immediately faded. Oh, and the dress which originally hit right to the knees is now at a length which is veering on inappropriate for the office. I must admit, I miss the old quality of Ann Taylor. They seem to be very lost, going from trendy to classic to trendy again, and their quality is all over the place. So if you get this dress, follow the instructions and be sure to dry clean.
This morning I felt rushed so I grabbed this dress from Karen Kane. I have worn it before, but this is the first time on the blog. While I love the concept of a sweater dress, I usually find them too clingy; this one has a flattering fit and flare silhouette which makes me have a waist but hides the lower tummy.
As for the green in the title, it’s because of the “Jalepeno” Chevy Spark that GM loaned me for the week! When they asked me what type of car I’d like to try, I asked for something with a bunch of fun gadgets, good on gas, and perfect for city driving. While the Spark has four doors, it’s quite compact and I can zip around city streets and park at cramped meter spots with ease. I drove it to work today and can’t wait to play with it more!
I was tempted to title this post DONT CURR; today is that kind of day. Instead the theme to The Facts of Life played in my head – you take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have the Facts of Life. Well today’s outfit is a fact of life – some outfits aren’t fun or chic or terribly flattering, but they get the job done. This is more of a weekend look for me, but it was raining cats and dogs this morning, I have a complicated project today at work, and I really didn’t care too much how I looked doing it. Revlon’s Matte Lipstick in Wine Not makes the look a hair more purposeful, but really I’m just glad I have had my coffee and got to the office without a car driving in the gutter and splashing me from head to toe!
FYI, this dress does shrink in the wash. I washed on cold and tumbled dry on medium and it shrunk most everywhere. Personally, I like the fit much better than before (size Large regular) though wish I still had that extra half inch of length. Speaking of which, this dress is currently on sale and Gap is offering 30% off today (code THANKYOU).
This is my lazy look – all black, and closet pieces I have had for years and constantly wear. This morning on Twitter Morgan said outfits like this bring the goth out in her, I say this is a pretty lazy goth look, call it Weekend 30-something Suburban Goth. And the hair? Well it’s hot and humid today, so out comes the natural look (luckily today it’s not acting too Kip Winger – usually when I need a haircut it behaves better when wavy/curly/Kip-y). The last time I wore this sweater and jegging combo, it was with my booties. Today it’s raining so I wanted a closed-toe shoe that could handle a few puddles so I pulled out the Fitzwells. My coworker recently got these same boots in brown and also loves them – fits wide calves, soft leather, and what an awesome price!
Saturday afternoon we went to help a dear friend celebrate his birthday. Relaxed get together at his house, so it was a great chance to break in my new boots.And check these babies out – just $53 for soft leather and a classic style that fits my wide calves! I like them so much, I wish I bought them in brown as well. Heads up – I usually wear an 8 but bought them in an 8.5 since they didn’t have wide widths available at this price – the foot seems to run a bit narrow and I really did need that extra half of a size to make them comfortable. The leather however is soft and they have already molded nicely to my feet!
And the first picture… I just couldn’t help myself with such a crazy range of beverages in my possession!
I didn’t really NEED these shoes. I have ankle booties that I can wear with skirts, and I have a pair of city boots I can wear with jeans and trousers. However the ankle booties are peeptoe, and the city boots… well I just don’t like them. I bought them out of desperation.
When you are overweight, you don’t carry that fat just in your belly – it goes everywhere, including your feet. After having Emerson I had an extremely difficult time finding any shoes that would fit. Before getting pregnant, I was already wearing brands that tended to size wide, or purchasing wide widths whenever available. After she was born, my feet were almost as wide as they were long. I became a huge fan of brands like Sofft, David Tate and Fitzwell for offering extra-wide width shoes with style.
A year after Emerson’s birth, my feet had narrowed slightly – enough to make many of these lovely wide shoes I bought almost unwearable. I decided to purchase a new pair of city boots to replaced the very worn, now too big (and slightly dowdy) David Tates I owned. I tried a couple of my old favorite brands – Franco Sarto, Nine West, Enzo Angiolini, Impo, found them all to be too tight on my still-puffy tootsies. After reading online, I checked out Fitzwell and found a pair of booties that had a slender kitten heel, extended toe box, and weren’t that cute on top, but knew that portion would be hidden by my pant leg. They fit, they were incredibly comfortable, and they got the job done.
I learned during my adult life to buy lower- to mid-priced shoes because my wide yet short feet would quickly stretch them out, and anyway I had some stinky feet that would make even the most-babied shoes unwearable after a season or two. I didn’t think this would ever change. Then I had a baby and joined Weight Watchers. Childbirth changed my chemical makeup and I was happy to find out it made my feet far less stinky. I could switch out insoles, wear natural-fiber socks and have shoes stay nice forever. And with Weight Watchers, I am seeing the padding disappear from my chin, my belly… and my feet. My slimmer tootsies started swimming in my Fitzwell boots – I started compensating by wearing thick socks and subconsciously purchased less pants because I didn’t like my only winter pants-appropriate footwear.
One day I was doing some virtual window shopping at Nordstrom.com and saw a pair of Cole Haan booties on sale. They had the Nike technology that people rave about. This bootie looked really classic and versatile – so versatile I thought they could be worn with pants AND skirts. Unlike the ankle booties I already owned, they had a closed toe and no memorable details. They had a more… modern and stylish silhouette than my Fitzwell city boots (and a higher heel, which I liked). I would have NEVER considered Cole Haan pre-pregnancy because I couldn’t see spending so much on a pair of shoes that would be grody within a year. But they were on sale for less than $150, and I am a new Allie, with new feet…
They arrived on Monday and I didn’t even open the box until Tuesday. I just NEW they wouldn’t fit. Tuesday night, after putting Emerson to sleep I went and tried on the shoes. Oh my, the leather is pretty, the heel is the perfect width and height, and they FIT! Omigoodness, they FIT! Not only do they fit, they are comfortable. Not as insanely perfectly comfortable as my Miss Sixty booties, but darn-patootin’ close! It feels GOOD to be wearing well-made shoes that fit, flatter, and could easily be in my wardrobe for years.
So technically, I didn’t need another pair of shoes in my wardrobe. However I think these shoes are good for my soul, as well as my soles!
Blue Merino Sweater – Ann Taylor (last year)
Gold and Crystal Necklace – Ann Taylor (earlier this fall)
Gold “Twig” Bracelet – Ann Taylor (two years ago)
Black Trousers – Gap Perfect Trouser Pants
Black Ankle Boots – Fitzwell “Andrea”
It seems as though my entire wardrobe is hanging to dry from my shower curtain rod. Pretty simple outfit today making do with what was clean!
I am so excited, I am finally getting my hair cut and colored tonight! Sooo needed! Not going to go with hardcore bangs like I previously mentioned; pretty much keeping my same cut but trimmed up. I also will get it colored – single process, a bit darker than my natural color but nothing drastic. I really just want to grow out my hair right now, once it’s to the length I like I may get creative again with the color.
Only in the 40s here in the DC area, and the ground is still wet and mushy from yesterday’s rain.
Coat – Lands End (they don’t seem to make this one any more, but my mom has this one which is a very similar cut and length)
Scarf – Banana Republic (no longer available)
Sweater – Ann Taylor (no longer available)
Necklace – Ann Taylor (no longer available)
Jeans – Ann Taylor LOFT
Boots – Fitzwell “Andrea”
Hair is next day, straightened really fast with my flat iron. I think I need a haircut, and I am really craving thick straight blunt bangs. I don’t pull the trigger because I fear I will regret them. But then I think with layers, they can grow out without too much pain.
Heck, I grew out my Kelly Taylor early ’90s ‘do and my Kelly Osbourne asymmetrical ‘do…
This is a week of very early mornings. Tomorrow I will have to wake up at 3:30am to get to work on time. I KNOW! Unfortunately this means you get a bunch of the wacky waist-up photos in the poorly-lit office bathroom.
Blue ruffle top – Ann Taylor Loft (no longer available online)
Black pants – Gap Perfect Trouser Pants
Black booties – Fitzwell “Andrea”
Necklace – Ann Taylor (no longer available)
Striped tee – Lands End Canvas (NOW ONLY $9.99!)
Orange silk scarf – Banana Republic (no longer available)
Denim pencil skirt – Ann Taylor (no longer available)
Boots – DUO “Bern”
Necklace – Ann Taylor (no longer available)
Today is was super rainy and grody in the morning. Humid, warm, wet. My hair is second day and woke limp and sad. I tried some dry shampoo, but gave up and just threw it up in a messy updo. No point in stressing over it at 5:30am!
I got back my camera! And with it some very overdue pictures from Christmas!
So Christmas Eve was a bit of a mess. Looking back, I can’t recall what happened but I can remember getting dressed in a rush, realizing what I wanted to wear was not clean, not having time to do my hair. Usually, we dress up for Christmas Eve (my sister wore a hostess dress, my mom wore a top with velvet pants, even Emerson wore a dark green velvet dress). Yeppers, I wore jeans. They WERE clean!
My sister hosted, made a delicious meal. We had classic Christmas crackers, plenty of wine, and my mom read The Night Before Christmas to Emerson and she opened presents from her stocking.
No pictures of me. I was wearing my chunky taupe cardi from Ann Taylor, my gray and tan striped surplice tee also from Ann Taylor, and jeans. We do Christmas Day pretty casual – breakfast while opening presents. Above, you see Emerson enjoying her Christmas present – a new kitchen!
Day After Christmas:
Black and white striped scoop tee – Ann Taylor (no longer available)
Black felted wool military-inspired jacket – Ann Taylor (no longer available online but may be in stores on sale rack)
Black trousers – Gap Perfect Trouser Pants
Boots – Fitzwell “Andrea”
Necklaces – One from the Renaissance Festival, the other from Ann Taylor LOFT. Both many years old.
Bracelet – Tarnish via Nordstrom
Nope, I didn’t hit the spray tan before these pictures. I honestly have no clue why I am a weird orange color. The day after Christmas we went to visit my husband’s family up near Baltimore. We had a wonderful meal and spent time with his awesome relatives.
Emerson rocked another one of her Christmas presents – a faux fur coat from her Aunt Debbie! She loved seeing the snow fall…
I was honored to be interviewed by Elle of the new blog Label Ho. Elle’s discusses fashion and her personal style on this site. I love supporting fellow fashion and style bloggers so I jumped at this chance to have us get to know one another better!
You can check out the interview here.
I loved the questions she asked (and if you go back in her archives, you can see her answers to the very same questions!). The name of her blog cracks me up. It reminds me of when I was Editor of my high school yearbook. I had such the fight with the sponsor over the proper spelling of this word. “If you add an ‘e’ it’s suddenly a garden tool!” (Let’s not even get into why this word was in my yearbook – let me just state that my high school was a fabulous one where I learned Japanese and was in International Baccalaureate courses, but it wasn’t in the most chi chi of neighborhoods.)
Since she interviewed me, I decided to ask her a few questions as well. Get to know Elle!
Name: “Elle,” author of Label Ho, a fashion and personal style blog
Why did you start blogging? What could be better than writing and posting about something you love? I thought it would be a fun hobby and a great way to connect with other fashion-minded people.
Favorite item in your closet: An authentic vintage Gucci handbag circa the 70s. I love that its suede and doesn’t have the GG logo plastered all over it. I found the bag at a thrift shop and its in immaculate condition. Best of all, I got it for an excellent price!
Favorite Web site to visit: FabSugar.com. They have pretty comprehensive coverage of what’s going on in the fashion world, delivered in quick, short posts. I also like that they post great outfits that members of their community put together. I’m fascinated with seeing what people put together.
Top five items on your style wish list for this season: I can only think of three since I think I pretty much have most of my key pieces already:
1. Another pair of dark bootleg jeans. I’ve pretty much worn my favorite pair so much (Joe’s Jeans in the Honey fit) that the color’s faded significantly.
2. More dresses. I’ve purchased a few already, but I just can’t get enough. They’re so easy to pull on in summer.
3. A pair of wide-leg jeans. I’ve tried on a ton of different ones, but still haven’t found a flattering fit.
I wrote about this dress in this post. A lot of you wanted to see me in it since I am a very different shape from the model, but it has been too cold to bust out this lightweight silk dress until now. When I bought it I figured I’d style it with peeptoe ankle booties and my wide silver metal plate belt, but once spring arrived I decided I liked it a bit more stripped down. The dress is by the brand Myne, and each time I read the label I say, “It’s MINE!” in the whiny voice I use when I read Emerson her book, The Boy Who Wouldn’t Share. As an FYI, this is a size 10; I originally got a 12 but found it too long for my petite stature. The 10 fits comfortably but the belt that came with it is too small (no biggie, the belt is kind of ugly and cheap looking).
If you signed up for my monthly Style File newsletter you know that I recently got these glasses. They’re huge, they’re bright, and they’re a lot of fun for a very low price (hello prescription lenses under $30!). I’ve been wearing a lot of red lately – I’ve been doing a red lip almost all winter and have been choosing OPI’s Big Apple Red as my nail polish of choice for almost a year. It made sense if I was going to buy some funky glasses to have them in my current signature shade!
Yesterday I visited a major outlet mall in my area. Over a mile of stores – some with great bargains, some with great piles of crap. There have been many stories about discount stores – how some of the product is not on sale, the clothes are made specifically for the outlet and are not the same quality that the brand name usually delivers, etc. After all that, you find designer duds for less, when is it worthwhile to spend, when should a bargain be passed by?
If it doesn’t fit well for $300, still doesn’t fit well for $150 and even for $65, don’t buy it. Just because it’s a great bargain does not make the fit any better. Shoes that are too tight or too big, jackets that pull at the back, pants that would be lovely if you just lost 15 lbs., no matter the bargain these items should just stay on the rack.
If the jacket’s sleeves are too long, the skirt’s hem at an awkward length, the shoulders a bit too big, these things can be altered easily by a tailor. You must be in love with the piece and find multiple places and ways to wear it to justify the tailor expense. I found a cream silk linen suit at a discount store – the suit fit perfectly except for a broken zipper and too long of sleeves and legs. I bought the suit for $65, regularly $350, and for $40 had the zipper and hems all modified. I have worn the suit to work, to religious events and as separates for three years. That purchase was worth the added tailoring expense.
Often times the items at the discount store are there because they are leftover from last season. When it comes to classic pieces like suits, dresses and knits, this is not a problem. A blue merino v-neck is lovely almost every year, and more lovely when 50% off. The problem comes with the trendy p[pieces.
If Lindsay, Mischa, Nicole or Chloe was wearing it last spring, it’s a good chance that piece is passé now. Pass on the embellished jeans, the metallic leather bags, the rainbow-hued sunglasses and most other accessories. Just because it’s on sale does not mean it is a good buy. When it comes to scouring outlets, your best deals are the ones that will last through more than one season. Sweaters, suits, outerwear, cocktail dresses, leather goods and most shoes are great bargains if you find quality and value in the same item.
Just because you found a pair of Manolo Blahniks for $100 at the
We have all seen the label whores – those women with a Coach purse, Jimmy Choo shoes that JLo wore last year, Baby Phat jeans, a Bebe tee with the rhinestone logo, Chanel sunglasses and a Pucci scarf in her hair. These items weren’t bought for the quality or the style. They were bought because a stranger could spot the brand a mile away. She looks trashy, obvious and victimized by fashion. None of these are appealing. Labels do not suddenly make you well dressed or well liked.
If you can find a Furla bag for 40% off and it suits your style as well as lifestyle – then go for it. If you are buying a bag purely because it’s Prada and you don’t like the style, size or fabric… well you have become a label whore.
Don’t buy that jacket just because it’s designer. Pretend that it is an unknown label – do you still like it? Do you still find it attractive and necessary? If not, put it back on the rack. That goes for ill-fitting designer duds, last season’s “It Bag,” obvious logo advertising (if it’s that obvious, it will be that obvious from last season – not worth your time or money) and damaged designer goods.
Many discount retailers sell the irregulars from a label. Some irregulars can barely be seen by the naked eye – may be an incorrect dye lot or the wrong buttons sewn on a jacket. Some may work in your favor – pants cut too short or sleeves that are too long or too narrow. Often times these stores received the garments that were damaged in production, transit or through many jaunts to the fitting room. Broken zippers, missing buttons, fabric snags are all defects that can easily be repaired or covered up if the price and style is right. However there are other defects that are not worth the purchase, no matter how low the price. Runs in nylon, stains, button holes at the wrong height, linings that do not align with the trouser, two pieces stitched together from two different dye lots. Even if it is Versace, it will look like Gallo Clothing on you if it is this defective.
Buying in Bulk
I used to be a huge fan of buying in bulk – find a tee shirt you love, buy it in eight colors and three of white and black. Flattering trousers? Buy one in every color. I then found that my wardrobe was like one big uniform… one big boring uniform. Mixing basics with fun pieces offers versatility, ease but individual style.
At outlet malls, buying in bulk is a good idea. Yesterday I was at the Banana Republic outlet and found high quality stretchy tees in tons of colors – $9.99 each. I bought one in black, one in white, one in gray and one in red. These shirts can be worn with jeans on weekends, with a little skirt for happy hour with the girls or under a suit for work. I found a great pair of wool trousers at Off Fifth, bought them in brown, gray and black. They were so standard and fit so amazingly well (and were only $39.99 each) that it was worthwhile to buy every color I liked. I knew with my work and lifestyle I would find regular use for such trousers. Another time I found a pair of really cute studded pointy heels from NYLA. They were 75% off and tres cute. I decided to buy them in hot pink, ivory and black, thinking that if they fit well, they would get much use. I was imagining sparkly tops and designer jeans with the ivory, a sexy power suit with the black, and envisioned an outfit a la Carrie Bradshaw for the pink. I took them all home, have worn the pink ones multiple times, and have barely touched the other two. I don’t wear designer jeans with sparkly tops on a regular basis, and don’t own a single chic black power suit. Those two shoes have barely seen the light of day. Consider your current lifestyle when considering to buy in bulk – items that look too familiar may not be worn and too many of the same thing may make them all too boring to regularly wear. Also, if you don’t wear red patent stilettos now, you probably won’t after purchasing a pair.
In conclusion, don’t buy just because of a label, or just because of an amazing price. Less money for an item is still money, and money should be spent carefully. Be willing to take the time to find quality purchases, not pick up every shiny bauble that sort of resembles what Gwen or Jessica wore last Spring. Fashion is not about the specific item, but the allover look. A Louis Vuitton bag or a pair of Chanel sunglasses will not make you a fashionista, the pairing with appropriate and complimentary pieces is what takes you from being a label whore or a fashion victim to fashionista status.
My NYE plans changed abruptly – my poor sister was going to host a bash and came down with a horrible stomach bug that has been traveling around our extended family and neighborhood. We’re not sure exactly what we plan to do this evening, we have a babysitter and two bottles of bubbly in the fridge and I plan on picking up sushi on the way back from dropping Emerson off at my mom’s house. There’s a few activities going on in town, but we’re not against just rining in the new year snuggling together on the couch!
So instead of what I was going to wear to the party, I decided to do something more comfortable and low key, but still with plenty of sparkle and shine! I saw this sequined sweater on eBay many years ago and they sold it as a dress; even when I was a size 10 this baby was NOT long enough to be a dress. I wore it once before with a flippy skirt and tights, but it made my body look a lot like a barrel. With jeggings and heels, my midsection is better balanced, and I don’t feel as much like a goth disco ball!
CAbi recently contacted me and asked if I’d like to style a few of their pieces. Yes please! I have been a fan of CAbi for a long while since my dear friend Lisa became a consultant for CAbi and introduced me to the line. The clothes fit so well, it always amazes me that my petite curvy frame can rock the same CAbi pieces as my tall slim friend Lisa. I decided to take this opportunity to try a few things that aren’t typically me and asked to try their Dressed Up Sweatshirt. Gotta say I like it! It’s sheer so I have a black cami underneath, but not super sheer that it looks inappropriate at the office. I love the mixed pattern, and am always a sucker for any animal or snakeskin print. I originally imagined this top with their Fleather Skirt (which I also got and adore and will feature soon), but today I was feeling more relaxed and decided to pair it with dark denim.
I can’t recommend eBay for bags enough. There’s so many people out there who buy and baby bags and then tire of them after a season or so. I wanted a plain black leather tote that could pack into a suitcase if need be, but look nice enough for work. I found this one on eBay; the leather is super soft, it’s unfinished inside which makes it light and easy to pack but the straps are thick and sturdy. Single pocket inside to hold keys and cell phone, structured bottom, straps that fit over a winter coat and a magnetic closure. All that for $20 and it even came in a dust bag. If you know a certain brand or even style number/name search eBay before paying retail and you can save big.
One trend I am LOVING this season is the full midi skirt (those of you who follow me on Facebook already know this). However, I don’t have the budget to afford one from Tibi or another designer. When I see a trend I love that I think can be easily recreated, I don’t go to Forever 21 or Zara, I head to Etsy. This way I know that I am supporting a small business or independent artist while getting the designer look for less. While I was desiring a solid color, I found this gorgeous wax print print skirt from buythedress. Even better, this Etsy seller lives just a few towns from me!
And I know some of you are thinking… what is this white chick doing wearing Ankara? Actually, some of you may just find it to be a pretty print. Many mass retailers these days are taking Ankara, also known as Dutch wax print and silkscreening it on all types of fabrics and all types of garments and calling it a “floral” or “tribal print.” It’s hard in the land of fast fashion to always know what exactly you are wearing and if it’s cultural appropriation. Ankara has gained popularity in the past seasons, and has been seen far more often on celebrities and runways so here’s a few links providing the history and origin of Ankara:
- MuseOrigins: The Origin of Ankara
- National Museum of African Art: Yinka Shonibare MBE
- Beyond Victoriana: “African Fabrics”: The History of Dutch Wax Prints
- The New York Times: Africa’s Fabric is Dutch
- Slate: The Curious History of “Tribal” Prints