Sunday Style: Flowers and Sunshine

WARNING: When combined with ACTUAL REAL sunshine, wearing a fun floral print causes a sudden rise in energy and enthusiasm that may increase risk-taking behaviors.

This is the latest medical update from the surgeon general, or at least it’s going to be after I submit these photos as scientific evidence.
Floral crop top; picture pose ideas

It’s no secret that I hate winter. Back on December 1, I was already writing about how I missed the daylight, so after another seven weeks of the same gray cloudiness, you’ll have to forgive me if the glorious sight of the sun in the sky made me want to run around everywhere throwing confetti, climbing on things, kissing babies, hugging puppies, giving presents to old people, and baking 1000 funfetti cupcakes to arrange in a giant, edible art installation.

I don’t know many people who would want me to kiss their babies, though, so I stuck to climbing on a couple of things while wearing my favorite Christmas clearance acquisition, a top in a perfect winter floral. Question: are shirts getting shorter or am I getting taller? JUST KIDDING–I haven’t grown in at least 15 years, about the same time it was last appropriate for me to be seen in a belly shirt. I only gave in to this cropped top because it was long enough to wear with high-waisted jeans or a skirt without showing off my blinding winter belly.

I’m not sure if you can tell from the pictures, but this shirt has a slightly ’70s vibe; it has gathered cuffs and is made of the world’s most luxurious fabric–polyester, which has amazing wrinkle- and pet hair-resistant properties. I paired it with one of my favorite purses, a gray cross-body bag with a ’70s-ish touch in the tassled zipper pulls.

I’m super lazy about relocating my belongings when switching bags, though, so whenever possible I try to just put the purse I’m currently using inside the one I want to use. Obviously, it only works when moving to a larger sized bag, but if you’re like me, moving to a smaller sized bag is a very rare occasion. Anybody else use this trick?

How to switch purses quickly

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A word of caution, however, when mixing your florals and sunshine with caffeinated beverages. Unlike Red Bull, coffee doesn’t give you wings, but it might make you want to climb on something really high.

Cool picture ideas

Sunday Style: Foxy Ladies

A couple months ago I heard on an Animal Planet special that Chihuahuas might have descended from foxes instead of wolves, and this has been my favorite factoid ever since. So naturally, when I wore this fox sweater, I had to take one of my tiny foxes out as an accessory.

Even though she loves to go on walks, Pepper gets super uncooperative whenever a camera is pointed in her direction. Sometimes she looks away exactly the moment the picture is taken.

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Or tries to inconspicuously hide behind whatever’s available.

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Yep, she’s sly like a fox all right. Plus, look at her–the snout, the ears, the intense predatory eyes (in this case probably fixed on a leaf)–the resemblance is there.

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As far as my style goes, I really need to get with the program and learn to hem my own jeans. Being on the short side (I’m 5’3″), I do a lot of ankle rolling, but I still sometimes contend with bunchy knees and/or ankles, and it’s not too cute. Even though I’ve hemmed other pants before, the small leg opening on skinny jeans intimidates me. It’s probably time to break out the pairs I’ve ruined with paint through the years (despite Justin warning me many times not to paint in my regular clothes), do some practicing, and figure it out. Maybe if I use them to teach myself a new skill, I can at least say it wasn’t a total waste.

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Even Pepper thinks I need to do something about my pant length situation. She’s like, “You got those things rolled again? Come on, lady.”

A Double Dose of New Year’s Eve Style

New Year’s Eve and basically anybody’s wedding are my favorite events of the year because they give me an excuse to get dressed up, and I love getting dressed up. I’ve always kind of had a fantasy of working in a The Devil Wears Prada-type scenario where I’d have a reason–nay, an obligation–to wear elaborate outfits and uncomfortable shoes on a daily basis. In my fantasy, this scenario would also consist of less psychological manipulation and more eating, but hey, you can’t have it all. In real life, I work from home three days a week and in a pretty casual office the other two days. This has a lot of perks, but it also means that on weekends I sometimes want to put on every clothing item and accessory I own just to run to the grocery store.

I also grew up with a definite sense of necessity in “dressing for the occasion.” Even now, when I tell my mother or grandmother that I’m going to X place, the first question is, “What are you wearing?” So with NYE coming up at the end of the week, I wanted to share a few ideas for practical and stylish dress. I emphasize practicality because most NYE style ads seem aimed at very formal events, the likes of which I have never attended (though I would like to, so if you throw one of these next year, please consider inviting me) and at people who are not impacted by the realities of weather. Here in the lower Midwest, December 31 is usually pretty damn cold and requires slightly more coverage than a sequined strapless tube dress provides.

Anyway, on to the clothes!

*** Look 1 ***
Look 1 would work great for a house party where you want to be stylish, festive, and comfortable, but don’t necessarily have to dress to impress any Vogue editors.

Winter party style

This dress is pretty lady-like in shape and color, but I think the multicolor “pearls,” off-color tights, and funky shoes keep it from being too precious. The wool coat works with the cotton dress to keep the look more casual, but the green adds another layer of interest. This is NYE, though, so don’t forget to wear all the flashy costume jewelry you got.

Multi-color pearl necklace; tortoise shell glasses

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When I bought these shoes off a clearance rack a few years back they had t-straps, but I cut off the middle section to make them a little more foot-flattering.

Retro purple and gray heels; retro mary janes

No matter what kind of party you’re going to, take your style up a notch with a stand-out lip color. It’s totally FUN!

Coach Julayne glasses in spotty tortoise

Coach Julayne glasses

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*** Look 2 ***
Look 2 is a bit more glam and would be great for a night out at a bar or restaurant.

Headband with updo

An up-do like a french twist helps show off your bold jewelry, and a headband adds a little extra bit of polish. I’m simply wearing a craft store ribbon that cost something like 60 cents.

Fur scarf accessory

Gold statement necklace

A blazer’s not as warm as a coat for sure, but you can easily wear it all night if your event locale is a little drafty. Add a fur scarf for visual interest and especially warmth!

Perfect shade of red lipstick

Sometimes you can’t beat a simple pump for sexiness and sophistication.

Perfect black pumps or high heels

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Perfect french twist updo

What’s your NYE style strategy? Dressed up or dressed down?