Friday, January 30, 2009

Weekday update #17: solid colors

Because of a client event at the office today, we were asked to dress closer to the center. Since I was actually attending the client function, I thought a demure solid colored something or another will have to do. Not to be overly boring, I opted for a tailored vintage dress. Initially there was no plan for a belt, but my self-made necklace of jade beads with a vintage pin thrown on it just looked too lonely up there. It literally called out to its similarly colored mate by falling directly on top of it in my closet. Not one to fight fate, I relented and they were meant to be together.

Like C said, we have clients in the office today. In my best attempt to look “normal,” I donned a suit. I figured it would be lean, clean and suitable for today's event. Earlier in the morning, while giving myself a final once over in the mirror, I made the fatal mistake of asking my boyfriend how I looked. “All you need is an AK-47 and you’re good to go.” He said. “Why’s that?” I asked. Again, totally my mistake for keeping the conversation going. His response, “cause you look like Tony Montana!” My response. “Sure wish I had that AK right now!” ^_^

(John Meyer pant suit - Smart; Brooks Bros. button down; Burberry boots)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Weekday update #16: Mexico

As I was walking into C’s office, I put this thought into my head, ‘C will have on some form of purple today, I’m sure of it!’ Getting ready for my surprise, I spy C in a gorgeous navy sweater and tweed skirt trimmed in gold piping. Lovely surprise, but it was not purple as I had suspected. However, here’s where you could have knocked me over. As soon as I walk into her office, we both look at each other and say the following (at the same time I think), “ooh, I like that ring!” “Girl, that necklace is hott!” Then we both said (maybe within seconds of each other), “oh, I got this in Mexico!” I had to laugh, I really did. So we both weren’t in purple, but we still had a connection. Don’t you just love synchronicity?!?!

(New Port News velvet jacket; Elie Tahari silk & velvet dress; Leg Avenue hosiery; PayLess boots)

It turned out that both Gigi and I had an accessory detail from Mexico today. Mine, the long twisted gold mesh necklace was discovered in a small shop in Cabo. It grabbed me instantly with its fluidity and lightness while being so substantial in size. As you may have noticed, when it comes to accessories, I am not one for subtleties. I'll admire an itty bitty necklace for its cuteness, but if it adds nothing color or shape wise to an outfit, it doesn't really do the job for me. Go big or go home, as my husband says. :) Luckily, big often also means fun and less expensive. A great combination, don't you think?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Weekday update #15:color matching

You don't need me to tell you that darling Gigi here is a much more adventurous dresser than I. I suspect the big man would let her get away with much more at work than he would me too. That aside, it's impossible not to applaud her for the effort and thought that go into her daily outfits. :) Being her much lazier counterpart, I can only claim one thing in common with Gigi, which is our love for that one, or in her case the many, details that put the punctuation in a look. This morning for me was all about the purple rhinestone pin given to me by an old friend, who had since followed her dream to become a fashion designer. Go Attie! The pin served the purpose of my usual belt to give the light sweater some shape as I bunched the waist portion together. I really like the fact that it allows the dress to peak out from the top. Nothing makes me happier than doing something new to old things and make the whole thing interesting again.

Now check out the cool look Gigi put together. :)

Okay, so this is my loose and I mean loose interpretation/tribute to the late, great Coco Chanel. It’s in the shoes tis’ all I can say. When I saw these little booties with satin ribbons, I was captivated. While walking through Phipps Plaza (it’s a little shopping plaza in Atlanta), I stumbled upon these booties in a window display. Now mind you, I had just said to myself, “self, that’s it, you ain’t buying nothing else today, GO home!” As I turned to walk out the plaza doors, I caught a glimpse of a bone and black shoe something or other. The closer I got to my spied object, I reminded myself, “self, you don’t have a bone and black shoe anything, and since you love Chanel (the woman), you should get these so that when you wear them, you can think of her.” I gather that’s what made Mme Chanel such a force. She didn’t mind if the stores copied her designs. She was smart enough to know that in a sea full of carbon copies, people always remember the original!
(dress - Victoria’s Secret; scarf - Salvatore Ferragamo; tights - Nordstrom’s brand; shoe bootie - Corso Como; pearl bracelets - various suitors!)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Weekday update #14: Red for Chinese New Year

Happy New Year… again! Today starts Chinese New Year and I’m especially happy to say that this is my year, the Ox. I suppose I’ve just announced my age. No matter, I’m not caught up on numbers anyway. A few weeks back, C advised me to wear a red belt for luck. Earlier, I decided on a cute little a-line black dress with red belt, but then my girlfriend in Taiwan sent me a translation of my fortune and well… I decided I might oughta’ up the red ante just a little. It appears, as an Ox person, that I carry “fan Taisui” so I need to “an Taisui.” I hope I’m getting this correct Nori, forgive me if I’m mistranslating your translation. ^_^ Anyhoo, my sweet, sweet friend “an Taisui(ed)” me at the temple AND online. Last I heard, she added my name to her grandma’s prayer list for those needing “an Taisui.” I am truly fortunate to have such wonderful friends. Although, I tell you now, not all my friends got the meaning of the red suit. One of my fellow colleagues here called me The White Stripes. I hadn’t even thought of them but, honestly, if I had to choose a point of reference it would more than likely be Louis XIV!

(pant suit, including vest - Stelle by GilberGilmore; button down - Brooks Bros.; white belt - Kenneth Cole; tie & boots - vintage)

Having donned red for two days in a row over this past weekend for Chinese New Year, I was ready for some other colors. Of course, I couldn't completely avoid the evil repelling hue, hence the scarf, belt, and shoes. It's nice to see that this dress came out of the tailor's fitting rather nicely. It's quite a pain to have it refitted and still have the pockets in the right places as opposed to somewhere on my butt. :)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Weekday update #13: the mood is purple

There are days when I wake up feeling like the prettiest and luckiest girl in the whole world. I don't mean prettiest or luckiest in comparison to anyone else, but in the most absolute and abstract sense. It's a validation of one's being. It's a good feeling. This was not one of those days. I woke up feeling . . . well . . . purple. Purple is an infinitely better feeling than blue, so I am sticking to it.

You know, C and I tend to wear the same colors on the same day a lot! We never discuss what we are going to wear with one another, yet somehow we wind up approaching each day with a similar sense of style choices. This morning it was very chilly, to me at least, so I chose to wear leather. I also needed a cool color to give this chocolate dress a little "pick me up." As I reached for this purple & yellow shirt this morning, who knew that C would also be strutting her stuff in the exact same color?! That's just too uncanny. As I look back through our posts, I have to chuckle a little. There are many, many days that we have on the same color or material type. I suppose the saying is true... great minds think alike!

(leather dress - Ralph Lauren Collection; silk shirt - vintage; waist belt - Linea Pelle; tights - Amsterdam; boots - Isaac Mizrahi)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Weekday update #12: Jeans!

I just love this denim jumper. Truth be told, I'm a jumper fanatic. I think that has something to do with growing up in the 70's. I threw a cardigan over it to hide most of the jumper (I am at the office after all). I also had the cutest burgundy corduroy jacket to wear over this, but I ran out of the house so fast that I left my jacket on the bed. I later found my dog all snuggled up in it. I just got that thing out of the cleaners and now it's going right back. Oh well, at least one of us got to enjoy it today!

On a different note, I had no idea that damn dog was "setting up shop" on my bed either!

(cardigan - Banana Republic; button down - Brooks Bros.; scarf - Salvatore Ferragamo; denim jumper - Dittos; oxford heels - Stuart Weitzman)

Why wear one brooch when I can wear three. With a simple outfit such as this, more is sometimes more, or at least more fun. :) I was even asked if the brooches were part of the outfit. That sounds like good accessorizing to me.

Weekday update #11: Storied outfits

One snowy Sunday back in New York about five years ago (before I got back in touch with my now husband), I was stuck in my office working on a case. In between the frustrating legal stuff, I exchanged a few emails with a guy that I had been contemplating whether to date. Very cute and plenty funny, the problem was that I didn't think our lives were moving in the same direction, so didn't want to waste my time. Well, on that lonely Sunday, he asked about having dinner. Instead of making up a reason why I can't, I wrote and said that if he could get to midtown Manhattan in the snow by dinner time, we could eat around my office, thinking there is no way that he'd be able to or he'd want to in the big snow storm, being at the time in NJ visiting a friend. How wrong was I. He soon called and said that he was on the way.

I looked just terrible that day, wearing a great big old sweater from my high school day. Not wanting to trek back to my uws apartment to change, I decided in my desperation to dash across the street to the crappy Strawberry hoping to find something. If you have ever gone inside a Strawberry, you know that it is a store with glittery jeans and short skirts catered to teenagers. Having very little expectation, I was more than surprised to see this dress hanging on one of the back racks. Demure but still interesting, it was perfect for this kind of last minute date. I quickly dropped the twenty five dollars and took it along with a pair of tights. The dress has since became one of my favorite every winter, so easy to wear and yet always together. The date, in case you were wondering, also went very well. I say very well, not because we ended up going on a second date, but because we really enjoyed our conversation and were adult enough to realize that we wanted very different things from dating. He, at that point, had already retired from a great ten year run as a wall street broker and is comfortably settling into his own real estate business. He was looking for someone to build a family with. I, on the other hand, was just starting out at the firm and simply wanted to explore what life has to offer. Despite the fact that the date led to no future, it remains one of the most enjoyable ones I've been on.

Today was a very special day in the office. We threw a wedding shower for one of our associates, we'll call him BB. BB is what I would consider the manliest of men. He hunts, he fishes, he hikes, he does something called a "3-point stance" on command. Anyhow, whenever I'm given the pleasure to plan one of our showers I like to go all out. That typically involves gathering together the perfect libations, decorations, foods, and gifts. I also try to dress the part as well. That means I must have the perfect getup! On this day, I pulled out the most wild and furry thing I could find. Trust me, it's really not the wildest furry thing that I own, but it's probably the wildest that I could get away with at the office. Do you like?

(lace shirt - Victoria's Secret; suit (trimmed in fox) - vintage; tights - DKNY; boots - Isaac Mizrahi)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Weekday update #10: contrast

Well, it's jean Friday and my mourning period is carrying over. Honestly, I think it would be hard to tell when I'm NOT in mourning as I tend to wear black a lot! It's chic, what else can I say. The funniest thing happened this morning in our Office Services Dept. One of the guys from our dept. asked me, "hey who are you supposed to be today?" I looked at him puzzled, but soon realized that he reads our blog! That was a surprise let me tell you. My reply was simple, "I am myself. I did not have time to pretend this morning." He smiled and said to me, "naw, you're some sort of a rockin' roller, I think..." Considering I was still thinking of Mr. Asheton when I got dressed this morning, perhaps I did have time to pretend. Touché.

(Coat - Nanny; shirt - TopShop; jeans - thrift store; boots - Salvatore Ferragamo)

It's jeans day at work, but I am hardly ever comfortable in jeans. Call me weird, but I feel terribly constricted in the hard fabrics of a pair of jeans. This is not to say that I don't wear them, I do, when I run out of tights in the winter and am too cold to go bare legged on a plane. I know this because that's exactly what I plan to do today on my trip to Palo Alto. As much as I like to travel for fun, work trips are hard to get excited about. Especially when one must sacrifice most of Sunday to it in order to make a Monday morning meeting. So this past Friday, I made a date with a friend to have a nice dinner in hope of jump starting my shortened weekend. I figured that this dress was workable enough to go from the office to dinner without looking too inappropriate at either.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Weekday update #9: All about the accessories

My husband is a darling when it comes to buying pretty things for me. As a matter of fact, I depend almost entirely on him to replenish my shoe collection on his monthly trips to Asia as it is impossible to find lady like size 4 heels here in the States. For Christmas, I received from him a selection of jewelry, which included this awesome necklace. It's hard to see the details here, but layered together are a large row of enameled flowers having sparkly centers and another row of oval stones of the same color. As simple as this outfit was, I felt completely special when I put on the necklace.

Although I'm smiling in this picture, I'm actually in mourning. I'm mourning for Mr. Ron Asheton. He was the guitarist for the Stooges. Mr. Asheton passed away a few days ago. I've been trying to keep tabs on his funeral arrangements, but none have been made just yet. So, I got to thinking that if I could have been priviledged to be a guest at his funeral, what would I wear. This is what sorta came to mind. Now since this is a rock and roller we're talking about, I would have nixed the cardigan and worn a really lacy high neck top under my snake print leather dress! Think mod-vampire if you will. Since I had to be at work instead, I had to dull it down a bit. Does this look dull enough? I guess. Whatever, beauty is in the eye of the beholder anyhow. ^_^

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Weekday update #8: It's not about the trend

If the bubble dress and polka dots are already out this season, then turn away from my photo now! I'm quite sure leather and lace are well beyond passé. No matter. Anyone who knows me knows that I've always been just a little left or right of center! I suppose you could say that C and I are avant-garde in respect to our sense of fashion. Last night I watched Deadwood. As you can see, it spilled over onto today. I bet some were thinking, can-can dancer. Nope, all wrong. I was merely trying to show off my funky tights, but the lighting was not working for me, so I just gave up.

As a side bar, C was so well put together that I immediately gasped when I saw her! I always look forward to seeing what she'll wear every single day. She's just got that certain, how do the French say?... "I don't know what?"

The fashion magazines may have stated long ago that bubble dresses and, for that matter, polka dots are way over. But I don't care. I love them all the same and preferably together like in this coat, which I always wear as a dress. I spotted it in a tiny sliver of a shop on my last visit to Singapore. The shop owner had no idea about the quite fabulous designer label and sold it to me at way way way below market price. Nothing beats a great deal, especially one that makes my world a prettier place.

Weekday update #7: earring

I don't wear earrings on most days due to my lobes' unfortunate sensitivity to metal. But I do like large clip-ons in my hair once in a while. This is especially true on days when my hair simply refuses to part the other way without a little help. This morning, my dear mini cooper ran out of battery (my fault entirely) and I spent quite a few hours trying to revive it. Desperately needing my hair to get out of the way, I grabbed the largest earring I could find (a red coral pearly thing) and put it on. Later in the day, I grew to really love it. It reminded me of my hairstyle back in elementary school. It still seems to work... I am not sure if that's good or bad, but I like it.

Man, I wish this rain would go away! When you have a natural afro weather like this totally wreaks havoc on your hair. Today, I donned a messy bun. If not, I’d so be looking like Carrot Top right about now. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, I suppose. It appears being Carrot Top hasn’t hurt his career any, but, we already have one CT we don’t need two! Anyhow, my geisha inspiration has spilled over just one more day. Above, is my loose interpretation of Sayuri with a little Hatsumomo hair thrown in for good measure. Funny thing about the pearl necklace though, I originally had the 100 inch strand just kinda draped around my neck, but they kept catching on everything. As I was trying to remove my rain boots (right before my photo mind you), I got so frustrated I just started placing my arms through the strands in an effort to get them out of the way so I could get my pumps on. Well, after the pumps were in place, I went on to figure out what to do with those pearls! So after checking myself out in the mirror, I decided to do absolutely nothing. You can’t tell so much from this angle, but they are all wrapped up around my back. Kinda sassy I’d say. See, it’s true, necessity is the mother of invention! Hopefully the rain will subside tomorrow so that I can go “Victoria’s Secret” curly all over ya’ll. Honestly, I’ll worry about tomorrow, well… tomorrow.

(dress - vintage; vest - Diane Von Furstenberg; fishnets - Leg Avenue; pumps - Michael Kors; pearls - I can’t remember, they are real though!)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Weekday update #6: Updo

2009 has arrived! It's a new year and along with that comes a new me! I'm sporting an updo, which is hard to do when you have a natural afro. But, fortunately for me Madame CJ Walker burst onto the scene some 100 odd years ago and gave women like me a host of options! ^_^ At present, my option is to invoke my "Memoirs of a Geisha" look. I'm rereading the book and yes, rewatching the movie. I just love that darn movie, but you won't understand any of it if you don't read the book. Sorry. Anyhow, this guise gives a 'shout out' to the great Mameha and her nemisis Hatsumomo. Thanks to my black & tan Diane Von Furstenberg kimono wrap dress, I was able to give this rendition some sort of justice. I've added loads of gold chains from Target (pronounced Tar-chez!), chocolate fishnet stockings, and chocolate Isaac Mizrahi boots (that's, not for Target) ^_^. Upon C's suggestion, I opted for the side profile. I must say I like it, I wish you could see the chopsticks in my hair, but I was in a rush to get the picture over and done with so I didn't really worry about it much. "Water is always in such a hurry, perhaps it is just as well."

My husband didn't know that orange was his favorite color until he started living with me. I guess waking up everyday in a house peppered with the hue has an effect on one's psyche. When he picked out our pumpkin colored bar stools, I was smitten. This dress is of the prettiest burnt orange right in the range that I love. It's not obnoxiously loud, but definitely does not blend into the background either. On such a gloomy day at the start of the new year, I absolutely didn't want to blend into the grey environment. If the weather isn't going to bring on the colors, I sure will.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Weekday update #5: Pop of color

I immediately wanted this dress when I first laid eyes on it. The button details low on the waist and the snug cut captivated my attention. But it was the color that melt my heart. Not all pinks can be so simultaneously soft and strong. I will even call it vivid, risking you thinking that it's something like a fuschia. It made me happy whenever I looked down.

Today, it was all about my tribute to the working woman. Honestly, I had to move a lot of files so I needed to be comfortable. Funny thing, I too knew I wanted this jumper the first time I saw it, but for a totally different reason. Many years ago, this jumper was a part of my halloween costume. I was Storm. Yes, I was, and it looked great... trust me! Anyhow, earlier in the morning, I had to remove the "X's" from the collar along with the cape! By adding a red polka-dot scarf, I've transformed from Storm, into Laverne (Laverne & Shirley). Yeah, that's right, I'm a child of the 70's. Laverne was one of the first hardworking women I remember from early on, aside from my mother of course. Shlemiel/Shlemazel/Hassenpfeffer Incorporated!