Category Archives: Fashion

Navy Skirt

I found the J. Crew skirt I wore yesterday.

It’s still available online and is on sale for $69.99 from an original $148. I paid either $10-$20 for it.

The fabric is really gorgeous and it is versatile for many seasons. Definitely not something I would normally buy, but I’m glad I did!

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A very J.Crew outfit…but you wouldn’t know it.

Today I’m wearing two pieces that I purchased at the J.Crew warehouse sale. I’m not sure if either of these items are available online, but the shirt is from the brand Le Minor. It’s a French brand and the fabric is a heavy canvas. Apparently something a French fisherman would wear…very chic. The skirt is J.Crew.

Sorry about the crappy photo. Brian stepped on our point and shoot on the last day of the honeymoon…

J’adore.

Don’t I look French? And this does NOT look like an outfit from the J.Crew catalog.

My inspiration for this outfit actually came from Pinterest, but I linked the original websites below.

Striped top and long flowy skirt.

Combined with a loose fitting top and a long flowy skirt.

Thankfully it’s going to be upwards of 65 degrees here in the RVA, so I should be perfectly comfortable!

J. Crew Warehouse Sale

Let’s try this again.

I’m rather annoyed that my photo/link-filled post got erased by WordPress, but I’ll give it another whirl.

Friday morning my co-worker and I arose bright and early to get in line for the J. Crew Warehouse sale just around the corner from our office. If you don’t know, a J.Crew Warehouse sale involves a massive warehouse (duh. In our case, an old, empty Borders) and THOUSANDS of J.Crew items. Basically they arrange hundreds of cardboard boxes FULL of clothing by type – there are tables of women’s dresses, women’s tops, sweaters, racks of coats, you get it. There is a set price list, regardless of how much an item originally cost. For instance, all coats are $50, all sweaters are $20 and all dresses $20. Pretty sweet.

Upon arriving at the store at 7:30am, we were greeted with a long line to get in to the 8am opening. We were about 50th in line and had no problem being in the first group to get let in. We were handed a price list and a GIANT trash bag and instructed that we could only fill 1 bag per visit and only spend $500 per visit without having to get back in line. This discourages people from buying a million items and selling them for profit on eBay.

I majorly scored at this sale. Majorly. I don’t normally lean towards J.Crew clothing (expensive and quite preppy), but I managed to find some amazing pieces that I would NEVER normally purchase.

Behold.

I purchased two of these coats – one in black and one in white. They are absolutely beautiful and I can’t find a single flaw in either. A version of this coat is still available on the J.Crew website, and was originally $325. I paid $50 a pop. The version I purchased is actually the Colletta style, which is slightly different around the middle, like the orange version here.

I bought this exact dress and, like the coats, can’t find a single flaw. I’m not sure how it ended up in the Warehouse sale, other than maybe it was a sample or on a mannequin. It is from J.Crew’s suiting collection and is still available online. Originally $188, I paid $20.

This sweater dress is currently available on the Madewell website for $98. I paid $20. My dress still has some sort of weird sample sale tag on it. It’s a GIANT tag that says it’s for Madewell and lists a bunch of other random details about the dress. Other than that, the dress is in perfect shape and just needs a quick snip to remove the massive tag.

I love this gold striped top. It’s still available on the J.Crew site and was originally $98. Again, I paid $20. From what I can find, my purchase is flawless and I’ve already worn it twice!

This cashmere sweater is the only piece I purchased that has a flaw. It’s missing a button, but the extra button is still attached to the care tag. All I need to do is take it to my seamstress and get the spare button sewed on. Originally this cardigan was a whopping $178. I paid $30.

I also left the sale with two pairs of shoes (a wedge and a ballet flat) as well as a few more dresses and sweaters. I can’t find many of these items online anymore, but I’ll try to remember to snap photos when I wear them out and about! Overall, my experience at the sale was a positive one. You have to be willing to dig around a bit, but almost everything I picked up was good quality and barely any of the sizes were XXXXL or XXXXS. The best deal was by far the coat selection…I wish I had more $$ to drop and more closet space! Oh and swimwear was $3 a piece. THREE little dollars a piece!

The sale is still around through the last week of January…you can find out more here. Don’t be afraid of all the “rules” posted on that site. I didn’t have to sign anything and definitely spent time checking over all of my items before I purchased them. No place to try anything on, but if you know your sizes it’s no big deal (I didn’t purchase any bottoms for that reason. I need to try those babies on).

Shopping success!

Land’s End Canvas

A  25% off coupon to ANY item on Land’s End Canvas recently found its way into my inbox. With that kind of flexibility, I just HAD to use it, right?!

I absolutely love the shoes I ordered from LEC, but this time around I decided to check out their jeans department. I am really terrible at buying jeans and I’m definitely in the market for a new pair.

I ended up finding these babies in the sale section. With my coupon and free shipping, the grand total was $20!

Please oh please let them look this good on me.

The reviews are favorable, so I’m hoping these fit nicely. I’m only 5ft4, so I’m guessing they might be a little long. I really hate having to get things hemmed, but I might as well grow up and do it if I have to. Either that or I’ll cuff ’em if they’re too long.

I’m going to consider these jeans my casual-ok-to-wear-to-work pair. When we have events in the fall/winter, jeans are my go-to bottoms of choice. I need a pair that look respectable and that DON’T have frayed bottoms. Yes, it’s time to grow up a bit.

The new slacks are scheduled to arrive by the end of the week and I’m crossing my fingers for a “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” moment!

A Hairstyle Worth Sharing

I am not very creative when it comes to my hair.

It’s naturally curly and somewhat hard to be creative with. I can blowdry it straight pretty easily, but usually I’m not bothered. I feel like I’m lucky to be able to wash it, add a little de-frizz stuff and be on my way.

However I don’t always think my natural hair is that “professional.” Yes I can pull it into a messy bun, but even that isn’t so “I’m-27-and-mature.”

My natural do - very old pic (2006?)

So, imagine my excitement when, while reading Capitol Hill Style, I discovered the “Gibson Roll” – perfect and stylish, especially for people with curly hair.

Seriously, this is the EASIEST and PRETTIEST hairstyle ever. I’ve gotten SO many compliments on it…people ask if I had it done professionally! My mom even asked why the heck we were spending so much $ on a wedding updo when I could just do this.

Check it…

So purdy.

 

Side view.

It's hard taking pictures of your own head...

Basically you just pull your hair into a low tight pony tail, create a little “nest” for it above the elastic (imagine half-way doing a topsy tail), and then pin it in.

There is a super excellent and easy to follow tutorial here.

I’ve definitely found my go-to professional look. Love.

 

Rehearsal Dinner Dress

Another big ol’ check mark can be added to that perpetual to-do list…

Swoon.

It’s much darker in person and the material is absolutely to die for. It’s kind of a light wool…perfect for late October. I seriously didn’t want to take it off.

Dress by susana monaco.

Thunderstorms…the ultimate motivator. And my hair.

If there’s one thing that always motivates me to run, it’s the weather. And I don’t mean nice weather. Drop me onto the street with a thunderstorm looming in the distance and I am going to run like the wind.

I set out to complete 9 miles on Sunday afternoon, which is an usual time to run for me. I like to knock my long runs out on Saturday mornings (it makes me feel like I have the whole rest of the weekend to just veg out) but since I was out of town for my lil bro’s graduation I had to make adjustments. I checked the weather report obsessively on the way home from NC and it seemed as though I’d be running in torrential rain no matter what time I started. However, I take the weather reports with a grain of salt since they are usually just flat out wrong. Around 5:30 I decided it was kind of “now or never” and laced up my shoes.

The first 4 miles of the run were super pleasant – not the massive storm weather.com had predicted for 5pm. I chose a flat route and the sun was still shining gloriously. Around mile 5 I headed into the park near my house and the winds started to pick up and the sky darkened. I contemplated turning home, but I could see a twinkle of sunlight in the distance and I was bound and determined to get in my miles.

This looked scarier in real life. Props my my iPhone for taking the edge off.

I was literally at the FARTHEST distance from my house when the rain started to come down. I was also in the middle of a forest and completely alone. It kind of freaked me out. However, it did motivate me to whip out a 9:16 mile. I could feel the adreneline pushing me faster and faster. It was pretty bad ass.

Thankfully the rain lasted all of 1.5 minutes and I was out of the park in no time. My knees started to feel fatigued around mile 8 which scared me a little bit. I hope everything works properly and pain-free at Sunday’s half!!

Overall I was super happy with this run. I paced myself in the beginning and was able to reward myself with faster speeds at the end. 9 miles and change has been my MAX training distance for this race…let’s hope it’s enough.

In other life news, my brother has officially moved in. We haven’t lived together for 8 years, but so far so good. Now when I work from home on Monday’s I’ll actually have some social interaction…yay! He’s spending most of his time trying to find a part time job while he prepares to go back to school in the fall. The rest of his time will be spent cooking us gourmet meals I hope.

Also, I’ve been wearing my hair UP a lot lately. It’s naturally curly, so this humid weather makes it difficult to maintain.

Au natural

I like to blowdry it straight, but as soon as the humidity hits it goes a little crazy and I throw it up in a bun.

Check out my hair, not my ear.

In the winter (and on NON-HUMID days) I can even whip out the curlers and really go to town. However, these occasions are few and far between. Tears.

Nice hair requires entirely too much effort.

Wow, what a tangent.

Next up on the agenda, the Story of US, part deux. Stay tuned because it’s about to get juicy.

Bridesmaids – Black and Purple

Bridesmaids - Black and Purple
Bridesmaids – Black and Purple by carrie_on featuring a sleeveless dress

I’ve decided to go with black dresses for my bridesmaids. Shopping for six different people has probably been the HARDEST part of this whole wedding planning thing. I looked at lots of dresses in bridal salons and absolutely HATED the fabrics. It’s no wonder bridesmaids never want to wear the dresses again. I mean, if they’re going to drop $150-$200 on a dress they should be able to wear it again. Call me cheap, but to me that’s a lot of money for a one time thing!

So, the maids will be choosing their own dress. My only “stipulations” are: knee length, “formal” looking, NOT shiny or silky, and “nothing weird going on”. I don’t care if they match and I want each girl to fell 100% comfortable. The boys will be in black suits with purple ties (or some sort of purple thing…I’m clueless when it comes to male attire), I’ll be in white (duh?), and Bridawg will be in black with a white tie. In my head it works, so let’s hope it doesn’t look too whack-a-doo come wedding day.

I whipped up this Polyvore to make sure my vision was at least somewhat aesthetically appealing. I have on clue what flowers I’ll end up choosing…I just know they’ll be bold and purple. I’m still not 100% decided on the shoes, and I don’t care if they match. If the girls all end up liking the same thing, we can go that route, but ultimately I don’t care either way. The girls will all wear matching earrings to pull it all together (not really a huge fan of the Polyvore selections, but those will do for now).

Whew, another BIG OLE CHECKMARK on the wedding planning to do list. Next up, hotels, transportation, music and a photographer. And we’re only 6 months out – y.i.k.e.s.

Cupcakes, 15k, Date Night, and HEAT

High five for me…I had quite the jam-packed long weekend.

Brian and I took a half day on Thursday to squeeze in a cupcake tasting for the wedding. YUM. We got to choose 5 flavors to try, and they brought us TWO of each cupcake for a total of TEN cupcakes. On a good day I can polish of 1.5 and feel like exploding so this was a bit overkill. But, wow…they were AWESOME. I highly recommend Pearl’s Cupcakes in Richmond, VA if you want a yummy treat (and excellent service).

We ended up splitting one of each flavor and took the rest home.

Delightful.

They were all so yummy, it was kind of hard to choose. We ended up ordering Chai Honey, S’mores, Mocha and Lemon Blueberry for the wedding. It’s a nice mix of flavors so our guests can pick and choose. YUM.

No cupcake makes it out alive.

Next up on our agenda was a trip up north to see the Phillies play (they won wahoo!). We ended up coming back down south earlier than expected, so I had a chance to run in a local 15k. This was perfect since I planned to do 9 miles this weekend anyways.

The 15k was a small local race – maybe 110 runners or so? It didn’t really feel much like a race to me, but I think that was because I was running with a training run mentality. Oh and it was RAINING the whole time. We had some pretty serious weather down here this weekend and I don’t think I would have had the guts to get out and run if it weren’t for the race. I ended up finishing in about 1:31, not too shabby for me!

Mr. Garmin survived the rain, thank goodness! That random 11:30 mile in the beginning was me messing with my iPhone to keep it dry. I have no idea why I didn’t at least walk and fiddle…Oh well. I felt pretty good the whole time and didn’t really push myself. I figured I’d PR no matter what, and I really just wanted to get the miles under my belt.

After the race I napped and cleaned the house a bit and Brian and I went out for a date night. The restaurant was just OK (Stronghill in Richmond, VA), but I was happy I got to wear my favorite shoes again. I’m kind of obsessed.

Swoon.

I scored the dress at the Banana Republic outlet for like $20. I don’t think I’d know how to dress myself if it weren’t for dresses…they are so EASY!!

Sunday was spent lazing about and cleaning the house. I also went to my favorite yoga class and hit up Trader Joes. I love that place.

Today I decided to run a quick 5 miles during lunch. This was all fine and dandy until I realized it was 82 degrees outside. I don’t have too much of a problem with heat, but it’s quite a transition going from 40/50 degree runs to 80+ degree runs. I think I have some sort of sweating problem because I didn’t FEEL like I was sweating at all during the run. It wasn’t until I got home that I realized how soaked I was. Ewwww!

I don't normally glow like this.

Sweat was dripping from my body and I didn’t even notice. Is that normal? Yuck.

Not too shabby considering the heat. It’s amazing how “easy” 5 miles feels after doing 9! I’m always pleasantly surprised how training WORKS!

Shoe Love

After reading this post here by Julie, I was inspired to start my own Nude Shoe Search (yes it’s capitalized…it’s important). I read through the comments section of the post and came across a pair of shoes from Land’s End Canvas suggested by another reader. At first I was skeptical…Land’s End?? Isn’t that for 40+ year old lake people? However, I have been PLEASANTLY surprised by the Land’s End Canvas line.

I literally could not pass up the deal on these shoes in their sale section. They were just a mere $34.99 and I Googled around for a free shipping code. The reviews were good, the shoes looked pretty banging, and the stars literally aligned for me to buy these shoes (not that I needed an excuse or anything…).

BEHOLD.

Land's End Canvas Women's Suede Heels in Maplewood

L.O.V.E.

And yes, that is the actual pair of shoes I ordered, sitting on top of our guest room dresser. They are a neutral suede and have a small elevated platform in the toe. Oh and did I mention that they were $35 measly bucks?! They fit like a glove (I’m a true 7.5 in shoes like Nine West and my feet are pretty narrow so I stuck with a 7.5 based on the reviews I read) and they are super comfortable. I just wore them for 8+ hours at the office and even did a little shopping during my lunch break.

Here’s the image from the Canvas website.

The neutral color would go with a lot of things in my closet, but here’s what I wore today.

Sorry for the sad iPhone pic…maybe we need to register for a real camera. I digress…

Here’s a real picture of the dress. It’s from F21 and actually looks nothing like camouflage in real life. I scored it here.

The grays/neutrals are MUCH darker than this photo suggests. Weird. But still cute.

I’m hoping these shoes will carry me a long way and I’m kind of wishing I bought them in navy as well!