Monday, September 9, 2013

Keeping the Summer Alive

Summer is winding down, and while I'm excited to start shopping and wearing all of Fall's must have clothes, shoes and accessory trends (bordeaux lips anyone?), I find myself not yet willing (or able...) to let go of summer just yet.

Part of this has to do with the weather in Chicago lately. It's been HOT, like brutally hot, like walk-outside-and-lose-your-breath hot. I'm not about to stash away my sun dresses and sandals when it feels like a pizza oven outside (pizza?). 

I guess the other part of it for me is just the way we up north romanticize summertime. We spend so much time cowering indoors in the winter that summer never quite seems long enough; we always find ourselves always wanting more (like pizza!).

I got the opportunity to flaunt my summer whites this past weekend when I went out with some girlfriends to celebrate a friend's 30th Birthday (wooo!). I'll be there soon enough so I might as well start getting excited about Dirty 30 in advance.




showing off my signature hair swirl


I happen to love the way white pairs with denim, and I love to mix in a printed shoe to keep a look interesting without having to add color. 

I'm currently trying to wear my leopard Madewell flats as much as I can in an attempt to break them in because they are definitely a somewhat painful pair to wear. I got a blister on my right foot on the first wear and then my left foot on this one! Yikes! I'm hoping by the 3rd excursion of long-term wear that I might notice a change in wearability. I find that shoes with leather insoles kind of need to 'mold' to your foot before they really become yours (and not painful).

I bought the white buttoned dress from Gap last summer to wear to my bridal shower, so it is not available for purchase, however there are still plenty of breezy white dresses out there to chose from (MANY on sale) to keep your summer going as long as you (possibly!) can.

Summer forever!

Outfit Details:

Dress - Gap - No longer available - Similar (and on sale) Similar (also on sale) Similar (are you seeing a pattern here - ON SALE)

Denim Moto Jacket - Gap - ($89.95 - but I had a coupon for 40% off of any one item - yay savings!!)

Madewell Sidewalk Skimmer in Calf Hair - $118 (but currently going for $98 during Madewell's shoe sale)

Anthropologie Long Sparkly Necklace (worn layered) - No longer available Similar

Marc Jacobs Henry Skeleton Watch - $250

Spiky Leather Cuff - Forever21 - $6 Similar (I love buying 'going out' jewelry cheap because that way it doesn't matter what happens to it)

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Beach Wedding in Indiana: A Retrospective

A while (let's face it, a long while...) back I was musing on about the proper wedding attire in terms of summer weddings specifically.

We in the midwest understand all-too-well the complications that can go along with outdoor weddings/parties in the summer. Between the heat, humidity and inherent plausibility of a torrential downpour, we have to have our game faces on once we decide what to wear (and stick with it!).

So, as seen in my previous post, I decided to go with a full-skirted, breezy striped dress from Anthropologie that I ended up getting almost half off when it went on sale! Cha-ching!

Our friends held their wedding on the beach in gorgeous Michigan City, IN over Labor Day weekend. What a treat! Who doesn't love a wedding, and to have a wedding over a 4-day weekend, muah! Perfect recipe for fun!

Here are some of the high points from our fun-filled weekend away:



We stayed in a HUGE vacation house with 13 other people from the wedding party
I only brought dresses...
I tried to bring shoes with enough variation to make multiple outfits work
Walking in the woods to the rehearsal
Out and onto the sand
My rehearsal dinner outfit with the greatest summer accessory: canned beer!
Some bad weather looming on the horizon come nightfall
The weather luckily cleared up by the next afternoon! (photo by Jackie Gruber)
The Bride looking breathtaking (photo by Jackie Gruber)


Everyone from the wedding was driven to the reception in a school bus

Perks of the school bus... you could drink beer!
We also ended up at the casino
Roulette time
What a great way to spend Labor Day weekend, spending time with dear friends to celebrate love!

I would love to see/read about how any of you lovlies out there spent your labor day weekend, and I hope that it was spent stylishly and amongst friends.

Cheers!

Here is some info on the attire for sartorial reasons:

Anthropologie Emerald Ripple Dress - ON SALE for $89.95 down from the original $168 (woo!)

Anthropologie Zelie Maxi Dress - No longer available Somewhat similar

Anthropologie polka-dot tutu dress (old) - No longer available Similar

Anthropologie Pintucked Ponte Dress in Red - No longer available Similar (AND... in searching around the internet, I found out that Taylor Swift owns this EXACT dress seen here which made me embarrassingly excited)

Shoes:

Madewell Sidewalk Skimmer in Calf Hair - $118 - but currently on sale for $98 (I wore these with my wedding outfit to show off some bold pattern mixing)

Seychelles Freesia Flat in Whiskey - On Seychelles website for $95, but on Amazon for $30.20! (raved about in a previous post)

Urban Outfitters Mustard Yellow Pump - No longer available (which I am kind of disappointed by because these shoes are a really nice go-to option if you need heels but aren't a 'heels' person)

Target Sparkle Sandals - No longer available

Accessories/Beauty:

Anthropologie Primary Spheres Necklace - No longer available (but I came across this piece via Etsy recently that's definitely similar in style)

Tarte LipSurgence Lip Tint in Spirited - $24 - This is my absolute FAVORITE lip stain/tint! It's perfect for summer/outdoors as it holds up to humidity and does not need much reapplication (I think I reapplied once or twice over an 8 hour time period)

Essie Nail Lacquer in Snap Happy - $8 - A gorgeous orange-red that highlights almost every skin tone (and matched my lip color!)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Real Steal!

Seeing as I am a firm believer in instant gratification (I'm that girl who is practically ripping the tags off of clothing in the car ride home from a shopping trip), it's a strange condition for me to be proud of myself for exercising patience.

This time, my insatiable need to buy pretty things, was overtaken by pure strength of will and I was, in turn, rewarded for this... handsomely...

Back in the Springtime or as we call it in Chicago, Winter part 2, I saw and instantly fell for these little beauties:


Seychelles Freesia Flat in Whiskey

So if you would be so kind of to follow this link you can see that these shoes are still currently going for the full price of a whopping $90 (I think that's a lot for flats), however if you would click your pretty fingers onto this link, you will find the SAME EXACT pair of shoes in Whiskey for $35.53 on amazon! Be still my heart!

Plus super saver shipping, thanks Amazon, love you!

So sometimes, waiting it out can be to your advantage when shopping, and always shop around, you never know when you might find a deal for the exact same item on Amazon, Zappos or even Piperlime. Try to calm your fashion cravings and use that extra cash for a pedicure or something.

Happy hunting!

Jess K.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Summer Wedding Attire Part 2

Today is one of those days that I'm thankfully wearing my hair curly because it's GROSS outside! So humid and sticky! Not exactly the kind of day that you want to leave the sanctity of an air-conditioned office building, but I was on a mission...


After my trip to the Gold Coast Anthropologie did not go quite as planned, I had the location on State Street put a different choice on hold for me to try on during my lunch break.

This is the dress...


Anthropologie Emerald Ripple Dress $168


Here was the result:



So, at least to me, the dress looked and felt fabulous, so OF COURSE I bought it. However, I am keeping the tags on because I'm not certain about wearing stripes to a wedding. I love stripes, but there is something really breezy and casual about them to me...like drinking a canned beer on a weeknight. I digress, I suppose I could gilt it up with some shiny accessories. For now, I think it's safe to say that I'm still on the hunt (let's face it, I'm always on the hunt for clothes...), but this dress is a solid contender.

Oh, and if anyone who is taller and has a smaller bust than me cares, the dress in my last post that can be found here is now on sale for $89.95, down from its original $168! What a steal! If you like it, head to the store (it's nearly sold out in every size online) and get you one!

Loves and loves and loves,

Jess K.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

What to wear to a... Summer Wedding

Hello Babies!

Yes, it has been a while, I know....

Since my last post, my husband and I have moved to Chicago from the suburbs (with all of the craziness that comes with it...), and have been slowly but surely fashioning our new home the way we want it. It hasn't been easy, and now that the dust has mostly settled, and I can get back to blogging regularly.

With summer in full-swing, I hope that everyone in my neck of the woods is finally enjoying some of this gorgeous weather. It was a long time coming for us, so we have the duty to get as much out of it as humanly possible.

We all know that with summer, comes invites. Lots and lots of invites. Cocktail parties, showers, graduation parties, the list goes on. And while all of these occasions are worthy of looking one's best, none seem more daunting to me than summer weddings.

Now, don't misunderstand, summer wedding fetes are fabulous, what with the strong likelihood of perfect weather and ample sunshine to make for happy guests and flawless photographs. However, I sometimes find myself in a bit of a bind as to what is appropriate to wear and what is not (summer whites are obviously out of the question). Can I wear just a sundress with bold accessories? How about a maxi dress? Patterned or solid? Will I be too hot, too cold... etc.

I took a trip to my not-so-local Anthropolgie in search of the one, and things strangely did not go as I thought they would.

I made the trip to the location in the Gold Coast (!!) in search of this dress:

Anthropologie Tarana Maxi Dress $168
The Gold Coast location was the only Anthropolgie in the city that had my size, so I figured I would take the drive (and annoyance of downtown Chicago on a Saturday in the summer) to try it on. The results were as follows:


The print looked beautiful, but it was obviously too long, and had some fit issues in the bust. I was a little bit disappointed that I had gone all of the way there to have this dress not work, but at least I didn't have to buy it to figure it out. I'm also on the fence about even wearing a maxi dress to a wedding, even if it is in the summer. This dress is beautifully made, but I still can't help but feel very casual in any summer maxi, regardless of the material.

I also tried on some other selections while I was there.

Anthropologie Empress Dress $78


 

I love the colors in this one (and I actually own and love another dress from this same line that can be found here), but the dress was completely unlined which can not only border on revealing, but wears  very casual. Very cute, but not wedding appropriate, in my opinion. 

Anthropologie Sikuli Diamond Dress $168

I wasn't sure about the color of this one (I don't normally wear green or any variation), but I did like the fit. That being said, I was very disappointed in the quality for the price. This dress is made from a variation of Rayon, but feels like a slightly silkier cotton jersey. It has no embellishments, no zipper. and is only partially lined, as can be clearly seen in my photo just above my knees. Yes, the dress was cute and I liked the cut, but I was shocked at the price tag for a dress that, from a visual standpoint, could have been purchased at Target for $30. Hard pass.

In the end, I left the store without purchasing anything. I have another dress on hold at the Anthro near my work, so I will give it a whirl on Monday and post a follow up. 

I welcome any and all suggestions as to what women should and most definitely should not wear to weddings in the summer, and although I have my own opinions about this subject, the bottom line is that gals should wear things that make them feel both beautiful and comfortable, regardless of the occasion.

The very best,

Jess

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A Necklace for the Ages

I have a singular love for the bold and daring. I love a good statement piece be it a garment or accessory. While I don't fancy myself the type to buy things just to collect compliments (the precious...), a good, bold sartorial statement is sure to turn heads and get you noticed throughout your daily travels.

Taking these thoughts into consideration, I couldn't help myself but to notice a stand-out necklace during my latest visit to Anthropologie (on Fashion Friday, no less!):

Primary Spheres Bib Necklace $48.00 Anthropologie
The colors! The sparkly bead! The overall huge-ness! It had to be mine... AND since it was still my birth month, I also enjoyed a sweet 15% off of something that I wasn't going to be able to leave the store (willingly) without anyway.

Kind of an unintentionally serious Selfie
Call it retail therapy or an addiction that needs to be fed, but I'm convinced that my life will be a little bit sweeter with this fetching accessory in it.

Cheers!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Something Pretty For the End of the Day


25,000 Light Sculpture to celebrate San Francisco's second-most-well-known Bridge, The Bay Bridge. The lights will shine every night from Dusk until 2:00am for the next two years! Both pretty and really cool!

Get more info here!

And a Video of the Light Show Here!

Color of the Season... Mint Green!

Hello, there! It's been a while!

Bear with me, this is a new blog, I need to work on a more rigid schedule of posts for your viewing and (hopefully) reading pleasure. 

I would be remiss if I didn't mention that I'm having a hard time catching Spring Fever when the Chicago area just got 10 inches of snow dumped on us overnight. It's not as if Winter lasting until mid-April is much of a surprise after having lived here 15 years, but I can't help but feel somewhat slighted since I can't start wearing a lot of the Spring "must-haves" that I see all over the internet lately. But, don't fret fellow mid-westerners, our time will come!

In the meantime, peep this stuff! 

Mint Green has become the indisputable color-of-the-moment, and it's here to make that moment whimsical and special. I'm not usually a big fan of green in general, but I like this rather toned-down version. I think that the color flatters a lot of varied skin-tones, and is great in accessories as a pop of color.  Here are some of my favorite examples thus far:

Clockwise from Top-Left: Shrunken Dotted Boyshirt in airy willow ($69.50) Butter London Nail Lacquer in Fiver ($15) Lulu's D'Orsay Flats in Mint ($20) ModCloth Point Pleasant Top ($34.99) 

ModCloth Julep You Learn Dress ($44.99) Gap Always Skinny Skimmer Jeans in Mint ($54.99)

Essie Nail Polish in Maximillian Strasse-her ($8)

Chelsea Satchel ($190)
While the color really is dashing any way you wear it, I personally am most fond it in accessory form. I find that to be an easy way of bringing a new trend within your comfort zone, plus you usually spend less that way (Unless you splurge on that oh-so-coveted Chelsea Satchel). I will definitely be rocking some mint-green nails this season, and if I get the guts to try the pants there will be pics.

Cheers!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Thank You Cards Made Easy (Easier...)

For those of you who were unaware, my birthday was earlier this month (thank you... thank you... I'm still accepting gifts) which was one of the reasons I was inspired to post about this. I also just think that even small acts of kindness in life deserve a bit of thoughtful gratitude.

So, I don't know if it's the same for you and all of your various personal connections, but February has a LOT of Birthdays in it. We have a calendar at work that lists everyone's Birthday throughout the year, and February has, by far, the most. With all of these Birthdays coupled with Valentine's Day in there somewhere (I mean, who knows when?), there are a lot of Thanks to give out during the year's shortest month. I know that writing out Thank-You cards can be a total pain (I just got married, OH I KNOW!), but it is oh so important to make sure to give thanks when they are deserved.

Below are some ways I found to make saying Thanks a bit easier:



These Thank You Notes by Kate Spade for Papyrus ($20 for 10 online at Papyrus) are so cute, it's insane. You simply check off which phrase best describes your state of thankfulness and you're good to go! You can choose from, surprised and delighted, over the moon or thanking my lucky stars, adorable! It's probably still a good idea to write a little note in there, as well, but when you're pressed for both time and the right words, these fit the bill!


If we're talking about easy, it doesn't get much easier than sending a beautifully designed e-Thank You Card, no postage required! Paperless Post has a wide range of styles that should fit each and every occasion and, depending on the card, each one ends up costing less and $1. What a deal! You can customize many of the designs to change the color, font and message in order to truly send out a one-of-a-kind sentiment of gratitude. While I will admit that, for me, these lack the personal touch that I feel can only come from a hand-written note, but it's still better than no acknowledgement at all.



There is no doubt a more graceful way to put this, but I like to call this set 'Thank You cards for Dummies' (even though even the act of writing that makes me cringe because I literally hate those ...for Dummies books). I digress, this lovely collection of Thank You notes called A Year of Gratitude ($30, Uncommon Goods) contains 52 assorted cards (one for each month of the year) as well as tips on writing meaningful notes of gratitude, and a journal to record your experience. With these at hand, there should be no reason to not recognize someone's kindness, and you may even begin to notice occasions worthy of giving Thanks where you might not have before.


These cheeky Postcards ($13.60 on Amazon) showcase Artist Vahram Muratyan's modern and whimsical side-by-side comparisons of two of the world's most stylish and enviable cities (bagel vs. baguette, Carrie vs. Amelie, etc.). While these aren't Thank You cards per se, I think that they would still brighten someone's day with your note of gratitude written on the back. I think there is something kind of enchanting about postcards, personally. I just love them, so I would be delighted to get any note written on one of these. Not only does the medium only allow for short, sweet messages, but the cost to send a postcard is .33 versus .45 (soon to be .46), so it will save you a bit of scratch in the long run while still making those special enough to receive them feel the love!

Whatever way that you choose to say Thanks, do it from the heart, and more importantly, do it often. Every bit of generosity deserves to be recognized, and it's not that hard to be thoughful enough to dole out some praise!

Cheers!

Jess K.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Fun Pants!

How can you not love a cheap thrill?


These pants came from Forever 21 as did my top, and I am always thrilled when I can find something really interesting and on-trend without going over my (ever-changing) clothing budget. I flat-out refuse to spend too much on things that are super trendy, as if I'm going to drop $300 on a sweatshirt that looks like it was thrifted for $5 just because it walked the runway! Bah!

I initially saw the pants via one of my favorite style blogs, Chasing Davies, and I instantly had to have them. They're definitely a bit daring, but with a neutral top and simple shoes, you'll be looking chic and feeling  good all day!


I put it with a multi-colored, multi-strand necklace that a dear friend gave me as a Christmas gift so the top didn't end up looking too blah


And, of course, my current favorite accessory to show off is my Birthday/Valentine's gift from the Hubby. I've been wanting a nice watch for a while, and my guy really delivered this year (he totally caught me off guard with this one). This is definitely arm candy that I don't have to yell at about how to properly load the dishwasher.

Pants: Forever 21 $24.80 (similar)
Top: Forever 21 (out of stock in Black) $19.80 (similar)
Necklace: Anthropologie (no longer available)
Watch: Marc Jacobs
Shoes: Gap on sale (no longer available) (similar)

I hope you all have some fun shopping adventures and find a piece (or several) that can make you stand out and feel special!

Cheers!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Fun Shoes of the Day... For fun!


I just thought I would share the shoes I wore today for fun. They're from the Gap (on sale!). I am really loving all of the animal print that's out in the world lately, and I especially like something that is a departure from Leopard, which I love, but is EVERYWHERE right now.

You can find the shoe style in Leopard (hehe) as well as a super funky Pink Leopard print by following This Link!

Printed shoes are a great way to elevate a simple outfit. For example, I wore these today with a plain black Fit & Flare dress, a Denim Chambray shirt underneath and black tights. A maxim that I like to live by is that you don't have to be rich or a fashion maven to be stylish every day.

Cheers.

ipsy Glam Bag February 2013

The Whole Haul with Makeup Bag


I came home last night, and my February ipsy Glam Bag was in the mailbox! What a nice surprise! I wasn't expecting it until next week, but I'll take a bag of makeup early anytime!

If you're unfamiliar with what an ipsy Glam bag is, it's similar to Birchbox; if you're unfamiliar with Birchbox, where have you been?? Seriously though, both Birchbox and ipsy Bag are quite simply monthly Beauty subscriptions. They send you samples of products on a monthly basis that usually follow the theme of the season/month during which they're sending it. Each box also normally comes with a full-size product, as well, which makes it SO worth the $10 per month.

There are actually several variations of this kind of service around these days, and a friend of mine was kind (crazy?) enough to list each one with their respective details and price comparison. You can check it out Here (it's very informative).

Anyway,  I switched from Birchbox to ipsy two months ago because I began feeling disappointed with the products I was getting from B-box as well as with their customer service. I won't bore you with the details, I just think ipsy is more bang for your buck (or 10 bucks!)

So the products from the February ipsy bag are as follows:




Coastal Scents Eye Shadow Sample

This is a good amount of eyeshadow for a sample, and the colors are nice and neutral (I love eye shadow so when I pulled this out, I got so excited that I ripped it open before the photo... sorry). The lighter ones have a more buttery texture than their darker counterparts, but I find that happens often with all eye shadows when they go up in pigmentation. This is one of those brands that makes those HUGE eye palettes (you can check it out Here ). I don't know if I would ever buy one of those, but I can see the appeal. 



Lash Card for ipsy

What you see here is a curved card that is meant to be held behind one's eyelashes as she applies mascara to prevent smudging on the eyelid (You can check it out Here). Okay, as interesting of an idea as this is, I know for a FACT that I'll never use it. I just don't have time in the morning to do all of that. It shocks me every day that I have time for eyeliner, so this will be a pass. Any of my friends reading out there who want this, let me know and it's yours.



Pop Beauty Mascara Sample

This is a mascara sample from Pop Beauty. I've actually never heard of this brand before, but I love mascara, and especially mascara samples (great for travel), so I was excited about this. I'm actually not sure what particular type of mascara that this one is, but all of their eye makeup can be found Here.



Pixi Flawless & Poreless Primer

I'm was super excited about this, because I've actually been looking to try a Primer that's pore minimizing but does not mattify for a while now. I've been kind of, sort of boycotting Pixi recently after being severely disappointed in some of their products, but I wore this under my foundation today and it's still feeling good, so, we'll see. You can (and should!) buy Pixi products at Target Here.



MICA Beauty Gel Eyeliner

Last but hardly least, is a HUGE sample (I think it's as big as the full size, but just doesn't include an application brush) of Gel Eyeliner in black. I LOVE gel eyeliner like it's my own hypothetical eyeliner baby. It has the look of liquid liner but applies like a dream even with a cheap $3 angle brush (which is what I use). This one did not disappoint with a lovely application and a true black pigment. I don't know if I could see myself dropping $35 on it when MAC makes a better than average version for $14, but it's great to be able to enjoy it while it lasts. If you, however are willing to take a $35 eyeliner plunge, be my guest and follow this link!

If you'd like to join ipsy or just want more info Click Here 

Thanks for reading, you beautiful creatures!

Jess K.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Little Red Dresses for V-day and Beyond



So, if you're like me, Valentine's really isn't one of those occasions that you go all out for (and if you're not like me, have fun on your horse and carriage ride and stop showing off!). It's not that there is no romance in my relationship, but we have found over time that the more all out that we try to go, the more complicated and weird things end up being. For me (or us), grand gestures of romance tend to suck out more romance than they create. We'd prefer to just do something casual where we can be stupid together.

All of that being said, I'm still a firm believer in dressing for the occasion, whatever that occasion may be. I also just think that there is a lot you can do with a good Little Red Dress that in some ways, your favorite LBD can't quite accomplish. A LRD will get you noticed for the right reasons, if worn appropriately, while sometimes a LBD can look like just another dress in the crowd.

So, if you're looking for a last-minute V-day look (all of these selections can be purchased in the store except for the one from ASOS), or you just want to add a little punch to your wardrobe, I suggest picking up one of these 4-seasons darlings before they're gone!



From the Top-Left:
Madewell Threadlines Dress in Countess Rose - $120
Old Navy Tee Dress in Amaryllis Red - $24.94
Pintucked Ponte Dress in Red - $148.00

*My personal fave!

Happy shopping and I hope every lovely lady gets just what she wants this V-day (romantic or otherwise)

Jess K.