Monday, March 31, 2008

Opening Day

Red ruffled blouse, Daytrip. Green skirt, from my USMC service uniform (with black lace added by me). Black slingbacks, Audrey Brooke. Faux pearl cuff, Forever 21. Gold watch, Raymond Weil.

Well, after all that talk about not cropping my head out of photos, I’m cropping it today. Off with my head! Now you’re dying to know what’s wrong with it, right? I was looking too squinty. I’m very sensitive to light and bright, overcast days are simply the worst. Next time, I’ll don sunglasses.

I love my new shirt. I got it at Buckle, of all places! I’m afraid it was a big wrinkled by picture time. It was sheer coincidence that I wore red on Opening Day.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Brown and Gray Sunday

Gray cardigan, Wet Seal. Gray and green striped dress, Mossimo. Dark denim, Calvin Klein. Brown moccasins, Me Too. Tooled leather belt (with the name “Skye”), thrifted. Feathered hair clip, 100 Yen Store. Apple watch pendant, Forever 21. (Ashen skin, courtesy of some bad Photoshopping.)

I wore a similar outfit a few weeks ago (see picture at left), but I didn’t like the way it turned out then. I thought it needed a belt, so I added one this time. And I lost the hat.

Some may find it shocking that I’ve paired brown and gray here. I’ll admit that I once had an aversion to mixing the two colors. Lately, though, I’ve found it to look sort of casually sophisticated. And, really, what is all the hullabaloo about mixing brown and gray? You find the two colors together in nature all the time – tree bark, cat fur, bird feathers, rock outcroppings. I took my color cue from this feathered hair clip and kitty Yoda (and his imaginary twin).

Ginger Brows

By now, the secret’s out that I am not a natural redhead. When asked, I don’t lie about it, but I like to put up a convincing front. Most people are surprised to hear that I’m actually blonde. They often protest my revelation by pointing out that my eyebrows are red. That’s because I dye them with the rest of my hair.

The FDA does NOT recommend that you dye your eyebrows. In fact the agency says:

Never dye your eyebrows or eyelashes. An allergic reaction to dye could prompt swelling, inflammation and susceptibility to infection in the eye area. These reactions can severely harm the eye and even cause blindness. (Inadvertently spilling dye into eye could also cause permanent damage.) FDA prohibits the use of hair dyes for eyelash and eyebrow tinting or dyeing even in beauty salons or other establishments.

I do it anyway. While dyeing your brows is theoretically dangerous, with modern, no-drip dye, the chances of it running into your eyes, from your brows, is small.

Materials required:
Hair dye
Disposable cup
Small paint brush (I believe my brush is an inexpensive watercolor brush)
Paper Towels
Exfoliating facial scrub

1. Prepare dye as directed on package. Decant a small amount (1 – 2 Tablespoons) into a plastic cup.

2. Apply dye to brows with paintbrush. Coat brow hairs thoroughly.

3. Allow dye to develop for the full time directed on the package. (During the development time, I dye the hair on my head.)

4. After the full development time (25 minutes with L’Oreal Feria), remove the dye with a damp paper towel. Remove any remaining dye with a dry paper towel.

5. Wash the brow area with an exfoliating scrub (I use Burt’s Bees) to remove the tint from surrounding skin.

6. Dyeing complete!

Please note that the dye WILL stain your skin and the only safe remedy for the resulting “shadow” is time. An exfoliating scrub hastens the fading process by removing dead cells. In 2 – 3 days, the tint will no longer be noticeable. Therefore, you will not want to dye your eyebrows the day of a big event, but rather a few days beforehand.

I love defined brows, so the dyeing process alone does not give me the results I like. I use cosmetics to fill, darken, and define my brows. I haven’t had much luck finding auburn brow products at the grocery or drug store. Sephora carries a few different options. I first used Clinique’s auburn pencil (Superfine Liner for Brows), but looked for a new product after being frustrated with the pencil’s short life (~6 weeks). I now use Smashbox powder/wax duo (Brow Tech) on my brows and am more satisfied with both the results and the value. As the dye fades and brow hairs shed, the cosmetics become even more crucial to maintaining the ginger illusion. In fact, although I haven't tried it, you may be able to fool your friends and neighbors with make-up alone and skip the risk of blinding yourself.

Friday, March 28, 2008


Black dress, London Times. Yellow cardigan, Mossimo. Black belt, Steve Madden. Aqua peeptoe pumps, Wild Diva. Bangles, from an import store.

In many of those books that list a little black dress as an essential wardrobe item, the reader is further advised to own both a day and an evening LBD. Being on a limited budget, and only scoring my evening LBD after weeks of searching, I dismissed a day version as a luxury. When I spotted this dress at Marshall’s I was attracted to the tie neck, puffed sleeves, pleats, and swingy shape. That it was black was actually a drawback. (I don’t wear much black.) I looked for it in another color, but found none. So, without meaning to, I ended up with a day LBD after all.

While I like the trapeze dress shape, I belted it for wear today. The pleats form the most charming gathers when belted.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

TOS: Green and Citron

White blouse, Bebe. White cami, NY & Co. Black skirt, from my USMC dress blues uniform. Green and citron silk scarf, Old Navy. Bracelet and bangles, Xhilaration. Green platform peep-toes, Wet Seal

I think updating a classic combination, like a white top and black skirt, to reflect current trends is a fun wardrobe challenge. Last summer, I added red and leopard accents to a white blouse and black trousers to rev up a basic ensemble. After purchasing this bold scarf last weekend, I thought a black and white outfit would be the perfect foil for the citron and green. I added a few matching, bright bracelets and my green (clown) shoes to take a black skirt and white blouse from stale to fresh.

It’s raining today and peep-toes + puddles = wet feet! I wore my leopard print boots in to work to keep my toes dry. My roses umbrella was done in by 50 mph gusts while I walked over the 6th street viaduct this fall. I replaced it with a collapsible, leopard-print umbrella (not pictured).

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

TOS: Gray with Brights

Cropped green jacket, London Jean. Gray and white floral dress, Isaac Mizrahi for Target. Fuchsia beads, Xhilaration. Yellow pumps, Victoria Spenser. Silver/gray belt, Luxury Divas.

I told you I’d wear the yellow pumps more than once this week!

I LOVE this dress. It’s a great cut for my figure: fitted bodice, boatneck, full skirt, belted. However, it seemed both too precious and too formal for work. I replaced the self belt with a wide silver one and introduced some color with a mixture of brights.

I’ll be honest. Many days I take picture after picture before I get one that looks flattering (like yesterday). I know that an outfit is especially good when I like every picture, from every angle. This is one of those outfits. (And now you know the secret behind multiple picture days.)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

TOS: Too Casual

Short-sleeved trench dress, Forever 21 (thrifted and dyed by me). Yellow belt, Xhilaration. Brown strapless dress, Newport News. Navy sandals, Forever 21.

This is the fourth time I’ve worn this dress to work and the fourth time I’ve felt underdressed. It is just too casual for the office. I am going to retire it from my work wear. It will still make appearances on evenings and weekends.

When I put this outfit together, I thought it was best with no jewelry. The yellow belt seemed bold enough on its own. However, looking at the photo, I think the look is too spare. What do you think? What would you have added to this ensemble?

Monday, March 24, 2008

Touch of Sun: Mostly Black and Navy

Navy and black jacket, Forever 21. Black top and navy skirt, Moda International. Yellow pumps, Victoria Spenser. Yellow “crystal” brooch, Burlington Coat Factory.

Close up of the brooch:

You’re going to think this is horribly trite, but I’ve got another theme this week. This one is born of necessity. Our spring has been so cold, dark, and rainy that I’m desperate for a bit of sun. If the weather gods won’t give it to me, I’ll incorporate some sunny yellow into my wardrobe each day. Of course, the yellow pumps will make a few appearances.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Boggity Bog Bog

Leather jacket, Wilson’s. Orange and pink scarf, Studio Eighteen. Sheer blouse with crochet trim, swapped. Orange cardigan (barely visible), Mossimo. Denim, Dollhouse. Cowboy boots, Playhouse.

Whatiwore2day was “on location” today at the Cedar Bog northeast of Dayton, OH. You’ll be absolutely shocked to hear that we had the bog (actually a “fen”) all to ourselves! (I guess no one visits swamps on a cold March day.) Fashion in action at the bog:

True fashionistas match their socks to their outfits.

You may notice that there’s no scarf at the bog. We stopped at Marshall’s on the way back and I bought the scarf and the cutest black dress.

You can see the rest of the bog pictures by clicking on the image to the left. (But they are mostly of landscapes and plants, not me.)

East Meets Western

Denim jacket and asian dress, Forever 21 (but dress via swap). Gray tee, Bitten. Gray leggings and red beads, Xhilaration. Golden leaf earrings, Claire’s. Cowboy boots, Playhouse.

This was too casual for work, but I wore it anyway. Today was sort of like a Friday, because we have tomorrow (Good Friday) off, so I figured that I could get away with a casual getup. It was insanely comfortable. In fact, without the jacket, it felt a little too much like pajamas.

Note: I do NOT look like this when I sleep. Instead, I’m all sprawled out with my mouth open and drool leaking. I took a picture like that, but Mike told me it was to sexy(?!) to post.

I must be honest, I wore a different pair of boots at work: my gray slouchy pair. I liked the long line of gray leggings and matching boots, but the short-hem-leggings-stiletto-heel combo seemed too sexy for the office. I was uncomfortable all day. Mike brought my cowboy boots in when he picked me up so that I wouldn’t feel so whorish stalking about the Kenwood Mall.

Which boots do you like better with the outfit?

I like these boots best...
Cowboy Boots
Gray Slouchy Boots free polls

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Yellow Pumps

I’m totally addicted to viewing my blog stats. I get such a kick out of seeing what key words bring a person to my site. Besides obvious combinations of my blog name and actual name, the #1 combination that brings people here is “Nicole Richie dress” (bringing people to this page). Today, I saw that “what to wear with yellow pumps” had brought a visitor to my site. Sounds like a fashion emergency, to me. There you are, with bright, trendy shoes for spring and no clue as to how to incorporate them into your wardrobe!

You all know I have a pair of yellow pumps. I bought them last August after sighing over the yellow accessories worn by the girls of Wardrobe Remix. I dearly wanted to introduce yellow into my wardrobe, but was afraid to put the color near my face, so when I saw the yellow Victoria Spenser pumps at Shoe Carnival, I snatched them up. As the cashier rang up my purchase, Mike remarked that he didn’t think I had any yellow clothing to match. He was right. So I can understand the dilemma my anonymous friend finds herself in!

While I ended up buying a few yellow things and wearing them with the shoes, I also found the pumps fun to wear with outfits that didn’t have any other yellow. And, although I bought the heels for office wear, they work for more casual occasions as well.

So, Miss Yellow Shoes, if you come back, here are all the ways I’ve worn my yellow pumps:

(Okay, I left one outfit off. But it was truly heinous.)