Thursday, July 29, 2010

Ahoy Matey!





Occasion:

Today was a super productive day getting things done around the apartment. However, at about 2:30 I really needed to get out and get some fresh air. My friend A needed to go to Bed Bath and Beyond and since she has 2 kids under the age of 3 she could use an extra hand. I took Keppie (our 3 1/2 month-old Golden Retriever) with us and she was a hit at the store - people kept stopping us to oodle her (she is super cute, in my non-biased opinion:)).

Since it was so hot again today, I really wanted to get my hair out of my face! By tying my scarf in this cool pirate-inspired style, I was able to tuck my headband fall (see note below) behind my ears and out of the way. This head covering is really easy and a great alternative to a ponytail when your hair is dirty or you just want it out of your face. This vest is actually sweater material but it is super light so it's great for layering. The low scoop of the sweater screams for a funky, large necklace, and I actually layered these two very similar necklaces together to make it even more eye-catching. A large braided belt helps to give shape to the loose vest and ties into the brown theme (remember a few posts ago I mentioned keep accessories in the same color scheme when you wear a lot of them). Since this ensemble has a lot of accessories going on (a scarf, 2 necklaces and a thick belt), I thought it was best to keep the bottom simple with a black skirt. In keeping with the brown theme, I opted for the menswear inspired oxfords.

Note: Jewish law dictates that women cover their head/hair (big debate over which it is and how much hair is covered) upon getting married. There are many ways to do this (scarves, hats, wigs etc). In keeping with these laws, I cover the vast majority of my hair anytime I am out of my apartment (or there is anyone other than my husband in my apartment) so in all of my postings I have most of my hair covered. I have chosen to wear wigs as my predominant hair covering. At this point, I have 2 wigs: The one with bangs seen in "Splash of Color" and "Easy Like Sunday Morning" is a full wig that covers all of my hair and has bangs in front. The one seen in this picture and others such as "Coffee Date" and "All that Glitters" is called a 'headband fall'. A 'fall' is a partial wig that doesn't have a front, so one wears it with a headband, hat or pulls some of one's own hair out in the front (like I do) to disguise it or blend it in to real hair. For more hair covering info and and an interesting blog check out The Daily Cover.

Outfit:

White Undershirt: Ruthie's (in Monsey)

Sweater Vest: Banana Republic

Necklaces: Thrifted

Scarf: Marshall's

Belt: J.CREW

Skirt: NY&Co.

Shoes: Steve Madden

What do you do when your hair is dirty or you just want it out of your face??

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Flirty Florals

 Yay Florals!

Fun Chain Detail
 Ruffles make it super feminine


Occasion:


The weather here finally cooled down enough (read: low 90's as opposed to almost 100) for a couple days for me to appreciate summer. This heat wave really has me itching for fall! I decided to celebrate being able to walk around outside without instantly feeling dehydrated by wearing the most summery pattern: Floral!

Today was another long day of doing errands. I wanted a lightweight shirt because even with the heat breaking a bit, low 90's is still really hot! Because the shirt is a bit flowy, a structured denim pencil skirt came in handy to streamline the bottom half of the outfit. A colorful, contrasting belt also helped give shape to an otherwise pillowcase-y frock. The flirty ruffle details and the bow at the neckline give the shirt an even more feminine feel. Tip: Don't be afraid to mix and match with color! I wore both the green belt and the coral sandals to bring out those colors in the pattern. Just make sure that you accent with solids...too many patterns can make you dizzy! I like the 'gladiator sandal' trend, but I find that most have a bazillion buckles, and really, who has the time? These have a back zipper making them really practical while still stylish, and the chain detail gives a bit of edginess to a super girly ensemble.

Quick Anecdote: I used to be afraid of patterns to the point that my entire closet was solid colors. My closet is organized by color (read: huge Dork!) and I realized that half of a full closet rung was full of black shirts, sweaters, blouses...etc. After being inspired by a former coworker, I made a pledge to my self: NO MORE BLACK! I started looking for patterns wherever I went. Slowly but surely I have been adding a new area to my organized closet: The Pattern Corner! For all of you that think black is best, I challenge you: make your next purchase a patterned one. Patterns are all over the place right now: madras, gingham, florals, etc. There is surely a pattern to please every person:)


Outfit:

White Undershirt: Ruthie's (in Monsey)

Floral Frock: The Pink Orchid (in Passaic)

Belt: Ann Taylor

Skirt: J.CREW

Sandals: Aldo

Are you a fan of flirty florals??

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Keep it Simple









Occasion:

Today I had a wonderful day of hanging out with friends (old and new!). In the morning, good friend R and I went shopping (stay tuned to see the new purchases!) and had a blast hanging out. In the afternoon, I met up with new friend and veteran blogger, C for coffee and a 'blog tutorial'. She provided me with a wealth of information which I hope to begin to incorporate as I learn how to navigate this cool world of blogging.

Since I was shopping in the morning, I wanted to keep my outfit simple. It's a pain when you are trying on clothes and you have an intricate ensemble, so I tried to keep everything as basic as possible. Because my tunic had cool embroidery, I skipped accessories entirely in order to highlight the details. A simple black skirt instantly adds class to any outfit, instantly upping the 'dressy' factor. I love these cognac colored leather flats! They add a bit more interest to the outfit without detracting from the tunic.

Outfit:

White Undershirt: Elzee (in Brooklyn)

Tunic: Banana Republic

Skirt: NY&Co.

Shoes: Tommy Hilfiger


How do you 'Keep it Simple'??

Monday, July 26, 2010

Splash of Color









Occasion:


Sunday started out as a beautiful day, and after a low-key morning, D and I set out to run some errands. As we were leaving Bed Bath and Beyond (one of my fav stores EVER!) the skies opened up and it began to pour. Not just a heavy downpour, but winds so strong that it looked like it was raining sideways! Thank goodness I took the pictures before we left and it was still sunny.

I knew I wanted to wear this bright orange sweater, but because of the intense color I knew that I needed to keep the rest of the outfit pretty muted. Tip: This is a great way to help start an outfit in the morning if you are someone like me and stand in front of your closet full of clothes thinking that you never have anything to wear! Pick a piece that you want to base the rest of your outfit around (like a bright shirt, patterned skirt or even a great statement accessory) and then let that article of clothing guide you in putting together the rest of the ensemble.

I thought that a dark colored skirt would be too much of a harsh contrast to the sweater's splash of color, and I wanted to wear white undershirts - ruling out a white skirt - so I chose this light blue cotton full skirt to give a bit of contrast, but still keeping the rest of the outfit subdued. The sweater has a cute ruffle at the neckline so I decided to play up the ruffle factor by layering with a ruffled undershirt. The ruffle of the undershirt was also a great frame for the necklace! When tucking a shirt in, I am a big fan of a wide belt to hide where the shirt and skirt meet; this adds instant polish to the outfit. I just got these menswear inspired oxfords and I think they are a great shoe trend with which to jump on board. Not only are these shoes great now when you want a closed-toe option, but they will transition perfectly to fall! (As the midpoint of summer begins to pass, I tend to look for pieces that will transition nicely to fall when making my purchases.)

Outfit:

Sweater: J.CREW

White Undershirt: Elzee (in Brooklyn)

White Ruffle Shirt: J.CREW

Skirt: Gap

Belt: J.CREW

Necklace: Thrifted

Shoes: Steve Madden


What's your favorite 'splash of color' item in your closet??

Saturday, July 24, 2010

All that Glitters...


Fun, Fringy details!

LOVE embellishments

Pick a color to tie all of your accessories into


Occasion:

I am always on the lookout for great short-sleeve shirts to beat the heat in the summer, however covering my elbows and wearing a high neckline for religious reasons make it necessary to wear an undershirt underneath anything with short sleeves. This double layer usually makes any short-sleeve shirt look ridiculous.

One of the tricks that I have learned is to wear more structured short-sleeved shirts in place of fitted tee's. Wearing structured shirts allows the layers to have more shape, whether loose and flowy or cinched at the waist with a belt. I like a deep V-neck as well because it gives you space for a fun, eye-catching necklace which helps to take the focus away from an otherwise potentially awkward high neckline. I am also really loving short sleeve tunic-y tops with wide sleeves because it provides a good contrast between the fittedness of the undershirt and the wide sleeve.

I love the fringy tassels of this tunic and the gold sequin border! The mixture of these emellishments gives great dimension and texture and makes the cool pattern even more interesting. To continue the gold theme, I added a neutral colored belt with little gold emellishments, a cool detailed gold necklace and, of course, my signature gold top-siders. Because I love this denim pencil skirt soooo much, I wore it two days in a row (that's what happens with a great classic wardobe staple)!

Outfit:

White Undershirt: Ruthie's (in Monsey)

Tunic: J.CREW

Belt: J.CREW

Skirt: J.CREW

Necklace: Banana Republic

Shoes: J.CREW

What piece do you love to wear and rewear??

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Coffee Date






Occasion:

I had a non-productive morning, and because of that I was feeling very blah. I decided to call my friend, R, and see what she was up to. R was having a crazy morning and we both agreed that we needed to get out of the house, so I walked over to pick her up and after walking for a bit (and a brief separation) we went to go get coffee.

When outside forces are affecting my mood, (weather, stress, unproductivity, etc.), putting together a nice outfit can really boost my confidence and help elevate my mood considerably. Because I was feeling lethargic, I knew a little splash of floral would put a spring in my step. I like how the burnt orange tank brings out the color of the flowers in the sweater and the necklace and belt round out the brown theme. The skirt is a staple that I think every woman should have in her fashion arsenal - a tailored denim pencil skirt. This skirt is so versatile that not only can it be worn with a fitted tee for a super casual, everyday look; but can even cross into "business casual" territory with a structured button down, skinny patent leather belt and killer pumps! If you don't have a denim pencil skirt, consider investing in one. It was so hot out today and that means one thing...sandals:) I am still breaking in these Birkenstocks, so they hurt my feet a bit but pretty soon they'll fit like a glove.

Outfit:

White Undershirt: Gap

Orange Tank: J.CREW

Floral Sweater: Anthropologie

Denim Pencil Skirt: J.CREW

Braided Leather Belt: LOFT

Necklace: Thrifted

Sandals: Birkenstock

What do you think should be a staple in every woman's fashion arsenal?



Easy Like Sunday Morning



Very Vintage-y looking

Pretty ruffles add a feminine touch:)

Super sunny great day!


Occasion:

D's old job had him working most Sundays, so we never really got to do anything. We also never got to do nothing...I really missed lazy Sundays! However, D recently got a new job and with it we both got our Sunday's back:)

On our first reclaimed "lazy Sunday", we decided to take a trip into Manhattan to do some shopping. The Upper East Side is really beautiful and we walked around, admired the gorgeous Brownstones, soaked up the sun and really enjoyed our morning.

When I go shopping, I always like to be comfortable and look really put together at the same time. The madras print shirt is very casual and the "boyfriend" looser fit makes it really comfortable. I love layering, but wanted something really thin since it was so hot out. I really like the ruffle detail of this tank...it adds a fun flirtyness to any outfit. I wanted a really lightweight, breezy skirt to help beat the heat - but be careful - if it's a windy day, you might have a "Marilyn Moment"! A woven leather belt ties the outfit together and helps to give it a casual feel. I love this unique wooden necklace that I thrifted years ago! I like looking for cool jewelry at thrift stores because you know it will be one-of-a-kind. Again, comfortable shoes are a must for walking around Manhattan:)

Outfit:

White Undershirt: Elzee, Brooklyn

White Ruffle Undershirt: J.crew

Madras Print Shirt: J.crew

Skirt: Gap

Belt: J.crew

Necklace: Thrifted

Shoes: J.crew

What would you do on a "Lazy Sunday"? What would you wear??

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Black and White


Finishing up the last errand in the city

Funky embroidery

A simple, classic straw fedora goes with anything!

LOVE the Shinyness:)

Occasion:

While being on summer break from school is nice, sometimes it gets boring being stuck at home (D takes our car to drive to work everyday.) Usually once a week, he commutes with a friend who lives in our apartment complex and I get to have the car. On such days, I usually wind up running errands all day!

Typical errand day: Petco (Keppie always needs something!), Some type of food shopping (Shoprite, Pathmark, Trader Joe’s, Costco…you get the picture!), Bed, Bath and Beyond or Crate & Barrel (still filling in our registry over a year later…), Riverside Mall or Garden State Plaza (or both!..usually a return)…and various other places (Walgreens, BuyBuyBaby - for my nephew, Home Depot, post office, i could go on…)

When I run errands, I still want to look nice, but all of the getting in and out of the car (we have an SUV and I am only 5”2, so sometimes it’s a bit of a challenge depending on the skirt!) and shlepping bags to and from the car and up and down the stairs (3 flights, no elevator) can make for a pretty schvitzy Ally (especially in this summer heat!).

I tried to keep it simple with as few layers as possible and a lightweight, gauzy shirt. A belt around one’s natural waist is a very easy way to make an outfit instantly polished. My necklace is a bit flashy so I kept it simple and didn’t wear any other accessories. Because I knew I was going to be doing a lot of moving and schlepping all day, I wanted a skirt that wouldn’t show all of the wrinkles. A simple black skirt hides almost all of them (and usually most spills too, if you happen to be clumsy:o). Comfortable shoes are a must! I got my Sperry Top-Siders in May, and basically haven’t taken them off since. They are my go-to shoe; dressier than tennis shoes, more support than flip-flops/sandals, plus, the neutral gold color goes with everything, dressy or casual - a general all around crowd-pleaser! A hat is also an easy head covering to get the hair out of your face. I threw this classic fedora on over my headband fall and pulled the hair into a low pony in the back (which you really can’t see…o well!)

Outfit:

Black Undershirt: Ruthie’s (in Monsey)

Shirt: J.crew

Skirt: NY&Co.

Belt: Talbot’s

Necklace: Banana Republic

Shoes: J.crew

Hat: Impressions

What do you wear when you are ‘on the go’ all day??

Anniversary Date Night!


Right after the show!


LOVING the cool Brocade pattern


Can’t really see it that well…but the necklace has cool antique-y details


Occasion:

Wow, I can’t believe D and I have been married for a year! The time has really flown by and it was nice to have a special night out to mark our first anniversary. We went into the city and had a nice dinner at a restaurant we had never been to before called Club House Cafe and it was delicious. We then walked the 8 or so blocks to the location of D’s surprise for me. He took me to see Avenue Q! It was hysterical and kinda inappropriate and we had a blast!

The night before, D gave me instructions to dress up without knowing where we were going. I was a bit overdressed for the restaurant and show, but I felt great in my outfit (and I always love a chance to dress up!)

The dress and belt were purchased last year for working a fancy fundraising dinner at my old job. I jazzed up an otherwise simple fitted sheath dress with a funky new blouse (one of my favorite J.crew purchases this season!) The necklace has a bit of an antique-y feel and some cool intricate details. The shoes made walking around Manhattan a breeze…they are so comfortable, and the platinum gold color ROCKS!

Outfit:

Dress and Belt: Ann Taylor

Shirt: J.CREW

Shoes: J.CREW

Necklace: Banana Republic

Ring: Impressions

How do you dress up for date-night? Err on the side of under-dressed or over-dressed??