Sunday, October 31, 2010

Four Ways To Wear Episode 10: Cognac-Colored Boots

The Candidate: Brown Giusti leather and suede knee-high boots that I found at the Goodwill for $20. Of course, they were a size 5 1/2 (I'm a 7 1/2) but that didn't stop me!

The Goal: A pair of versatile brown boots

The Results:

I went out to dinner last night with family and this is what I wore!
Boots: Giusti via Goodwill
Tights: Hue via Plato's Closet
Sweater dress: Ross

These boots are so high, I feel like they need to be toned down for work--this was my attempt.
Boots: Giusti via Goodwill
Tights: Hue via Plato's Closet
Skirt: Brass Plum via Goodwill
Shirt: Toomi via Goodwill Outlet
Scarf: Self-made

Boots: Giusti via Goodwill
Pants: Martin & Osa via Goodwill
Jacket: AE via Plato's Closet

These pants are almost too wide for the boots! I need some ultra skinnies to wear with these boots properly...dare I say it? JEGGINGS?
Boots: Giusti via Goodwill
Pants: Martin & Osa via Goodwill
Scarf: From a market in the Ukraine
Long-sleeved shirt: Gap via Plato's Closet
Sweater: One Clothing via Ross

The Verdict: I was sold from the moment I tried these suckers on and they ACTUALLY FIT MY CALVES. The ONLY pair that has ever done that! Plus, I Googled Giusti and found that apparently they make high quality shoes and their boots retail for between 300-600$. Done and done. The only thing that I don't like about them is that the suede attracts dirt like a magnet! I have tried brushing them and waterproofing them, and we'll see how long they look nice for...However, for how they are right now, I am pleased. Cute with skirts and pants (albeit only super skinny ones), good for work and relaxing, and they are in my color palette! Score!

Tutorial for Stretching Out Shoes (leather AND synthetic)

As promised, here are photos of my leather boots I found at the Goodwill! It only took perseverance, time, and several pairs of thick socks to stretch them out to fit me.

I've done this four times, on both leather and synthetic shoes, and it worked like a charm every time.

Step 1: Find uber-cute shoes at an awesome price...only to see that they are too small. NEVER FEAR! Proceed to Step 2 (but be forewarned that the most I've had this work was a full size too small...not to say it wouldn't work for more, just that it hasn't been tested!)

Step 2: Bring said shoes home, ogle at how pretty they are, and put them on...while wearing thin cotton socks. They will be tight. Wear them around the house, and try not to walk too much because it will be painful. I wear mine when I'm studying, reading or on the computer (which, let's face it, is 99% of my life). However! Don't hurt your feet. You still have more steps to go. I usually do this step in several half hour increments per day, and I always check at the end of the day how the shoe fits with my bare feet (or in the socks I would wear the shoes with) to make sure I don't stretch out the shoes too far.

Step 3: The next day, repeat Step 2...only while wearing two pairs of thin cotton socks. It will be VERY TIGHT. Never fear. If you can't wedge your feet in, then repeat Step 2 until you can get to Step 3.

Step 4: This day, use WOOL SOCKS. Then perhaps wool socks layered on top of cotton socks.

Step 5: If you are still not seeing the progress you like, or if it's down to crunch time, then I have worn wool socks, with the shoes, in the shower. It's like you think I might be kidding...but I'm totally serious. This is for real y'all. (although I wouldn't do this with leather shoes, only synthetic) The socks absorb the water and expand, and the heat softens the synthetic material and makes it more susceptible to stretching. After your shower, take off the shoes and socks and stuff the shoes with a dry towel to prevent them from shrinking as they dry out and cool down. (true story, I've done this with formal high heel shoes--before, super tight and uncomfortable...after, comfy comfy comfy!)

Step 6: Enjoy your AWESOME newly comfortable shoes!

NOTE: Please stretch shoes at your own risk. I wouldn't try this on anything expensive!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

October: A Month In Review

With only one day left in the month, I think it's safe to do my Month In Review feature for October! If I go on a massive shopping expedition tomorrow, I'll be sure to make a note of it! ^-^

Brown Full Skirt
I am in love with this skirt. When I was looking back at what items to include in this month's review, I couldn't believe that I bought this skirt only this month! I wear it multiple times a week, with boots and with flats, and it's extremely versatile. This cost me $6 at the Goodwill and it's definitely worth it.

Orchid Silk Dress
I do love this $4 Goodwill find--it's currently my go-to comfy weekend dress. I think I will get more wear out of it in the Spring and Summer, just due to the color, but it meshes well with what I have in my wardrobe and I've already worn it at least five times this month.

Brightly Colored Lightweight Scarf
I haven't worn this scarf as much as the other pieces--I think twice so far this month--but that's to be expected. Temperatures have plummeted over here, and the light weight plus the bright colors tend towards Spring/Summer again. For a $4 Goodwill purchase though, I can play with incorporating it into my winter wardrobe!

Equestrian Scarf
I found this scarf recently for $6 at the Goodwill and I love it. I've worn it twice so far, but I've also only had it for about a week. It is one hundred percent silk, surprisingly warm, and I love the colors and patterns in it--the bright coral, the darker cranberry, the deep forest green. To me, it should be paired with heavy-knit socks, equestrian boots and a tweed coat.

Leather Knee-High Boots
No photo yet--these will be debuted on the blog soon! I found them at the Goodwill for $20, but they were much too small for me! However, since they are leather, I decided to buy them and try to stretch them out using my uber-technical process of wearing socks that are increasingly thick while wearing the boots around the house. They are almost a perfect fit now and I waterproofed them yesterday, so I should be wearing them within the next few days!

Vibram Five Finger Shoes
After wearing my old running shoes for over two and a half years, I definitely needed a new pair. I did a lot of research and decided to try out a pair of the Vibram Five Finger Toe Shoes (I have the KSO style, if anyone is interested). Mr. P has had a pair for months now and he loves them. I absolutely adore them--they make running a whole new type of experience. It is definitely taking time to get used to running in them--my stride is completely different, so different muscles are being used--but I have high hopes that they will help to correct some of my feet and ankle problems. Not a fashion purchase, but a fun addition to my closet none-the-less! These cost me a pretty penny--$80 at REI--but if they will help my running, then they will be worth it.

Once again, the number of items I bought was surprisingly on-task, while I blew past my money goal due to my running shoe purchase. Not including the running shoes, I spent $40 the whole month, plus another $40 on various undergarments that I am definitely not going to be showing on the blog (I'm also not including them in my item count-up). ^-^ It wasn't the most frugal of months, but I feel that I am getting fairly content with how my wardrobe is shaping up.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Work Appropriate Work Costume!

At my school, everyone goes all out for Halloween--staff and students! I needed an easy, appropriate Halloween costume that would still be a full costume. No putting bunny ears on and calling it done for me! It was an easy choice to use my Slytherin scarf and tie for a HP-themed costume.

Does anyone else dress up for Halloween at work? Any other great ideas?


Hush you silly little Gryffindorks!

Skirt: BP via Goodwill
White Shirt: Unknown, Goodwill donation pile
Sweater: Unknown, Goodwill donation pile
Scarf and Tie: Allivans, gift
Blazer: H&M
Boots: Steve Madden
Tights: F21, gift
Snake Pin: Goodwill

Professor Sinistra was especially apt as today we took a field trip to a Planetarium to see the stars!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Wool you love me?

Why yes, I HAVE busted out my wool winter coat. It's chilly over here and it is definitely wool season now!
(can you spot my camouflaged kitty?)


Coat: France
Scarf: Self-made
Pants: Martin & Osa via Goodwill
Shoes: Naturalizer via Goodwill
Blazer: H&M
Sweater: Gap via Goodwill

Ho-Hum Gray

When I was in middle school, I had a gray knee-length sweater that tied around the waist that I wore every single day. In my mind, it was beautiful, went with everything, and was flattering on me. After wearing this sweater for what was most likely 365/365 days, I looked at a photograph of myself wearing it and had a revelation--this sweater looked grungy, not the elegant idea I had in my mind. Even more than that, it was unflattering to the extreme! As a middle schooler, I still wore the sweater after this moment (let's face it, I have never been Ms. Fashion Lady), but it gradually dropped out of my rotation.

This is vaguely how I feel about this gray sweater that I keep wearing. When I put it on, I feel pretty, carefree, and, since it's my only long-sleeved cardigan at the moment, warm. However, when I look at photos of myself in this cardigan, I usually think to myself, 'Plummy, that is not a flattering look on you. That old grandpa sweater isn't even that warm and it still manages to make you look like a log!' (My inner self is simultaneously nagging and brutally honest)

Do you have any items of clothing that you love, but when you look at them in a photo they are less appealing?
What was your favorite item of clothing in middle school?
What do you think about this gray sweater?

Sweater: Unknown via Goodwill Donation Pile
Shirt: 6 degrees via Goodwill Donation Pile
Skirt: I.N.C. via Goodwill
Scarf: Goodwill (a new find while I was searching for a Halloween costume, and it's 100% silk! I love the colors--a play off of my two main colors, but slightly tweaked and refreshing)
Tights: Hue via Plato's Closet
Shoes: Naturalizer via Goodwill

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Drip Drip Drop...

I am sorry for having not posted in such a long while! Readers, I am in a bit of a conundrum. Lately, the weather over here has looked like this:

This is not so conducive to taking outfit photos. Not only is my usual photo-spot (which is--gasp! secret revealed!--on the side of my house) flooded out, but anywhere outside would cause my camera to get wet. Not only that, but on top of the pitch black mornings and evening it has been twilight all day long. If I was to find a spot outdoors that is out of the rain, I would still have to use the flash. I've tried taking photos indoors, and it just doesn't look good. I am not sure what I can do, besides wait out the bad weather. (all winter?) I will try a variety of indoor/covered outdoor-with-the-flash combos and we will see if any of them work.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Sun is a Late Sleeper Too

These shorter days are wrecking havoc on my photo-taking schedule! I apologize for the graininess in this photo, I took it right before I left for work and apparently that is still too dark for decent photos.

Skirt: Express via Plato's Closet
Blazer: Costa Blanca via Goodwill donation pile
Shirt: Kiabi Women from France
Scarf: Too bad it didn't photograph well--it's very pretty, with Parisian landmarks on it in yellow. I found it at a garage sale ages ago.
Tights: Hue
Shoes: Naturalizer via Goodwill

Monday, October 18, 2010

Can the 80s be subtle?

I do realize that I talk about the weather a lot on this blog...and I do realize that, for the most part, most of my pictures look the same weather-wise. However, it was so unusually pretty outside today I felt compelled to bring it into my picture. Once again, cue MS Paint!

And yes, I AM rocking a side ponytail today!
Skirt: Preview Collection via Goodwill
Shirt: Toomi via Goodwill Outlet
Sweater: Unknown via Goodwill donation pile
Belt: Chico's via Goodwill
Tights: double layered, Target leggings and Target black and brown herringbone (finally wore them!)
Shoes: Steve Madden

Calling All Morning Birds

I'm tired of the same old background! However, instead of diligently trying to find another background that is both accessible, close and has a good place to precariously balance my camera, I have decided to tap into my thus-far-unexplored MS Paint skills. Thus, I give you:

We can pretend I'm calling the birds to 7:30 in the morning, moments before I rushed out to work.

This was the picture that started it all...I wanted to include flowers, but my yard is full of dead leaves and the brown wall of the house is not quite up to my 'bundles of pink flowers' expectations.
Shirt: AE via Goodwill donation pile
Sweater: Unknown via Goodwill donation pile
Skirt: Preview Collection via Goodwill
Tights: double layered, Hue via Plato's Closet and Target
Shoes: Merona, gift

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Like An Iceburg...

I wanted to plan my outfit around this swishy brown skirt and the idea of warmth. Despite appearing to be a light fall outfit, there are hidden layers here! I am wearing two pairs of tights and a long-sleeved shirt underneath it all, plus my scarf is a wool and silk blend and traps the heat like crazy.

Skirt: I.N.C. via Goodwill
Shirt: 6 degrees via Goodwill donation pile
Tights: two pairs, one Hue via Plato's Closet, one Target
Shoes: Naturalizer
Long sleeve undershirt: Gap via Plato's Closet
Sweater: Unknown via Goodwill donation pile
Scarf: Street market in Ukraine

Monday, October 11, 2010

Where The Cotton Blooms and Blows

Jacket: 22 via The Rack
Shirt: Kiabi Women from France
Jeans: Martin & Osa via Goodwill
Shoes: Naturalizer via Goodwill

Double Double

My clever hidden-wedge boots, how I love you. Perfect for a day when I want to dress up and wear heels, but when I am too lazy to actually wear heels!

As we start getting into colder and colder weather I will begin my favorite cold-weather trick--layering tights. Here I layered a pair of patterned gray fishnet-type tights (I love them, but they were unexpectedly lady-of-the-night-esque when worn alone) over my plain gray tights for a subtle patterned leg. Once we get into colder weather, I will start layering opaque tights over opaque tights, tights over leggings, and (finally, when it is freezing out) tights over Underarmour (how I love thee!).

Do you have any tricks for enduring the cold weather?
Do you notice your personal style changing a lot from the summer to the winter?
On the subject of my outfit, do you think the khaki skirt stands out too much from the darker palette of the rest of the outfit?

J’adore mes bottes avec le petit talon caché ! Parfait pour moi quand je suis trop paresseuse de porter des chaussures avec des vrais talons !

Lorsqu’on approche l’hiver, je commence à porter deux collants, l’un sur l’autre ! Ici je porte les collants gris de la dentelle sur les collants qui sont seulement gris. Ça donne un motif joli, je crois ! Je vais commencer à porter les leggings sous les collants, ou même Underarmour (mon favori—c’est comme les leggings mais sportif et très chauffant !) sous les collants !

Avez-vous des trucs pour quand il fait vraiment froid ?

Votre style, ça change beaucoup de l’été à l’hiver ?

Pour ma tenue, la jupe est-elle trop claire en comparaison avec les autres vêtements ?



Sweater: Gap via Goodwill
Skirt: H&M via Plato's Closet
Tights (2 pairs): Both via Forever 21
Boots: Steve Madden

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Hustle Bustle

I grabbed this gray dress this morning and ended up doing a monochromatic look in shades of gray and black. I very much enjoy both of those colors and I didn't mind being all dark--it reminded me of when I lived in France and for most of the year, almost every French person wore black pretty much exclusively. You might think I exaggerate, but when I'm on the Swiss side of the border, I see lots of blue, red and brown, but on the French side (we are talking a 15 minute train ride, not traveling to a different climatic zone) everyone is in black--black boots, black jeans, a black peacoat and usually a black scarf, although sometimes people went crazy and went for a--wait for it--black and white patterned scarf. Now, don't get me wrong--they looked excruciatingly chic and I yearned to emulate them, so much that I gathered much of my current black wardrobe during my time in France. I love wearing black and gray, and it usually ends up as my go-to look if I am at a loss.

J’ai d décidé de porter cette jupe grise ce matin et, en résultant, j’étais monochrome pour la journée. J’aime bien les deux couleurs gris et noir, et ça ne m’inquiète pas d’être foncé. Je me rappelle à l’année quand j’habitais en France, et tous let français portent le noir pour presque toute l’année. Quand je restais en Suisse, les hommes portent du bleu, du brun, de la rouge, mais au coté Francis, tout le monde porte le noir et seulement le noir (et parfois une écharpe d’une autre couleur). Ils étaient trop chic et je voulais devenir comme eux, donc j’ai ramassé des vêtements noirs. Moi, j’adore porter le noir et le gris, et je les porte quand je ne connais pas qu’est ce que je dois porter.

Do you have a monochromatic look you tend towards?
Is there a certain color palette that people wear where you are?
Do you think I was successful in wearing my black and gray, or do you think it reads too somber for me?

Portez-vous les vêtements monochromes ?

Est-ce qu’il y a un couleur que tout le monde préfère où vous habitez ?

Croyez-vous que le noir et le gris, c’est un succès pour moi ? Ou est-t-il trop sombre pour moi ?

Dress: unknown, Goodwill donation pile
Long sleeved shirt underneath: Gap via Plato's Closet
Wrap: Chico's
Leggings: Target
Belt: Chico's via Goodwill
Boots: Steve Madden

Friday, October 8, 2010

September: A Month In Review

New feature time! A Month In Review is when I look back at the month (September, in this case) and look at my purchases. Did I stay strong with my goals? Do I have a pattern? How was my spending?

Maintenant, une nouvelle chose! A Month In Review, c’est quand je revienne sur le mois (Septembre, à ce moment) et je regarde mes achètes. Je me suis maintenu aux buts ? Ai-je eu un motif ? Ai-je dépensé beaucoup ?

Anne Klein Skeleton Watch
I found this watch (mine has a caramel-colored band) at The Rack and I loved it! I needed one for work, and at $40 it was a bit higher than I wanted to pay...but I've worn it pretty much every day since I bought it, so the PPW is already under $1/day (usually my cut-off line for a good deal vs a not a good deal).

J’ai trouvé ce montre (le mien a un ruban caramel) à The Rack et je l’aime ! Il a fallu que je trouvais un montre pour mon travail, et il coute $40, un peu plus que je voulais dépensé pour un montre…mais je le porte toujours !

Underarmour Shirt (which I transformed into a scoop-neck layering piece)
$2 at the Goodwill? Yes please!

$2 à Goodwill ? Oui !

Naturalizer Oxford Flats
$4 at the Goodwill. I have worn these sucker so much--they work with skirts and pants, and even though I am still breaking them in a tad, they are still comfy for wearing all day on my feet.

$4 à Goodwill. Je les porte toujours…cette chaussures marche avec des jupes, des pantelons, et elles sont confortables.

Fyrinnae Makeup
Yes, I caved. I'm a sucker for their eyeshadows, and I jumped on the order of a friend to get the free shipping (I spent $14). I could never regret Fyrinnae though!

Oui, j’en ai acheté plusieurs. J’adore leurs fards à paupières, et j’ai combiné mon ordre avec l’ordre d’une amie pour avoir des frais d’expédition gratuits.

Outdoor Research Raincoat
This was a big ticket item--over $100. However, I've been waiting to get one and Mr. P and I decided to take the plunge this month (we found a deal).

Cette jaquette est cher, mais il y avait une solde et je voulais une jaquette pour la pluie depuis longtemps. Et alors !

(no photo!)
I bought these tights--brown and black herringbone, from Target, $5--thinking that they would be my go-to neutral tights. I mean, both brown and black? How could that NOT be the ultimate neutral? And can see by the lack of photos that they are surprisingly absent. I think I wore them once in the past month (a day that I did not photograph). This upcoming month perhaps they will get more wear--I think they just looked a bit heavy and dark for the surprisingly sunny September we've had so far.

J’ai acheté ces collants et je pensais qu’ils seraient le meilleure couleur neutre, parce qu’ils ont brun et noire. Mais…je ne les porte pas souvent. Je crois c’est peut-etre à cause du soleil, et ces collants sont chaleureux. Je crois que je les portrais plus en hiver.

This month I stayed surprisingly on-task. The tights were the only real bust of the month, and they may yet turn around. The Fyrinnae makeup was also not truly necessary...but so much fun! :) I love my oxford flats and my watch, and the raincoat is my first real raincoat EVER. As such , I am tickled pink by the fact that I can be standing outdoors, in the pouring rain, and not feel even damp.

My total for the month blew past my $100 goal due to my rain jacket purchase, but minus that I spent around $65, right on target. I bought 6 over my 5 item goal. Still, not too shabby! Unfortunately, the bad news is that I tried on my Frye boots and they don't fit properly. *sob* So I'm not saving up for anything at the moment, besides saving up to have money in the bank!

Do you tend to buy a ton of similar items, or do you jump around? Have you ever looked at (or tallies up) what you buy in a month?

Ce mois, c’était bien. Les collants sont les seules que je ne porte pas souvent. Le maquillage, ce n’était pas nécessaire, mais je l’aime ! J’adore les chaussures et la jaquette, et je porte le montre toujours (je le porte maintenant !).

J’ai dépensé trop à cause de la jaquette, mais je ne m’inquiète pas. Sans la jaquette, j’ai dépensé $65, et ce n’est pas mal. J’ai acheté six choses. Les nouvelles qui ne sont pas assez bien…j’ai porté les bottes Frye et elles ne marchent pas pour moi. :( Mais c’est pas mal, j’ai trop maintenant !

Vous achetez beaucoup des choses similaires, ou toujours différents? Vous achetez assez combien dans un mois? Plus ou moins que moi?