Wednesday, November 30, 2016


The last time I wore a suit, a bought-as-a-set suit, I was mistaken for a member of the hotel staff. It was my first sales conference and, although we dressed business casual at the office, I thought it would make a good impression to wear a suit to the event. Instead, I was asked to fetch more dressing for the buffet line, directions to the restrooms, and to please turn down the air conditioning in the ballroom. I haven’t worn one since.

Tonight, I was advised to wear a suit to deliver a speech and I responded with the un-suit. The skirt is black, but the jacket is navy, with black leather trim. My blouse is silk, but leopard print. It’s got a tough girl vibe with the chunky necklace and boots. But I still give you directions to the restroom, if you ask nicely.

Jacket, James Jeans. Blouse, FY2 (thrifted). Skirt, Mossimo. Boots, Lauren Ralph Lauren. Necklace, Banana Republic (gift).

Here’s how the un-suit compares to that infamous suit:

Monday, November 28, 2016

In the Now

Sometimes I wonder if I’m “doing” San Francisco right. My leisure trips there always turn into aimless wandering, eating, and drinking. The city makes me feel present. I am so satisfied with each moment that I fail to have any sort of direction to my day. When it’s over, I have a hard time remembering what I did; my recollection is a blur of sights and tastes and smells. As a usually very productive person, I have a hard time justifying an entire day given over to the senses. But I think that’s just the sort of reset I need, especially as I spent the next two days preparing for an important presentation.

Jacket, BCBG Max Azria (consignment). Sweater, Charlotte Russe. Skirt, Chaus Jeanswear (consignment). Boots, Style & Co (thrifted). Scarf, gift. Backpack, Toms (gift). Gloves, gift.

Saturday, November 26, 2016


I was inspired by Caroline of Un-Fancy to wear a sweater beneath my denim jumper in her Three Ways to Wear Overalls for Fall post. I’d always assumed that anything bulky beneath my overall dress would be unflattering, but this cowl-neck sweater turned out just right.

Sweater, Worthington (thrifted). Overall dress, Hydraulic (thrifted). Leggings, Mossimo. Boots, Vince Camuto. Jacket BCBG Max Azria. Earrings, Super Silver. Bag, Rebecca Minkoff.

P.S. This is not my cat. Strays are always coming up to me for petting.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Screen Time

I didn’t go shopping on Black Friday, but I didn’t #optoutside either. Instead, I spent way too much time looking at screens: computer screens, phone screens, movie screens. But I did it in pattern mixing style.

Kimono, Carole Little (thrifted). Dress, Express. Belt, Lucky (consignment). Tights, Jockey. Boots, Sofft (consignment). Sunglasses, Earthbound Trading Co. Earrings, Francesca’s Closet. Purse, Rebecca Minkoff.

My battery died before I got to take a detail shot of the belt pattern, so I snagged one with my phone.

I didn’t manage to snap a photo of my Thanksgiving outfit. The day was a blur (and included a mid-day ballet class)! The only pictures I took all day were of the dogs playing outside before all the cooking (and dancing) started.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Storing and Displaying My Accessories

It’s been eight and a half years since I shared how I stored my accessories. Things have changed since spring of 2008. My style has evolved, trends have come and gone, and I moved to California.

May 2008 and November 2016

How am I storing and displaying my accessories, now?

I have about 20 rings, now, including four engagement/wedding rings from Beefy. I store most of them on a glass or wooden hand form on my dresser. Some of the larger rings (like the mushroom ring) are in a small dish.

Pins and Brooches
My brooch collection is much smaller than it used to be, and I no longer store them pinned to a strip of fabric on the back of a closet door. Instead, the brooches nestle in a woven box and the pins (mostly Disney) rest in a silver dish on top of my dresser.

My closet tour video was made in January 2010, at the height of the arm party trend. I stored my large bracelet collection on the points of a set of antlers, as seen in the video. Eventually, the weight of the jewelry started to separate the antlers from their mounting, so I moved the bracelets to a glass jar. Now, I mostly find bracelets annoying, so only a few remain in the jar and the rest of the space is filled with string lights. A couple of the nicer pieces rest in a tray near the hand forms.

I used to store my earrings in a box with an internal divider, but I prefer to have them on display. Now, they hang on two pieces of metal and wire art. The birds and flowers pictured in the art needed a little flair.

I still store small, post-style earrings in the box. Larger, dangly earrings that do not have hook backs have a home in a silver dish next to the box.

My pearl and faux pearl necklaces are displayed in a carnival glass dish on my dresser. The rest hang from three key hook bars, hung in a row, inside my closet.

I hung a double towel rack in my closet, below the necklace hooks, to hold most of my belt collection. (Some of the chunkier pieces hang from hat hooks elsewhere in the closet.)

My lighter, more fashiony scarves hang on the back of my closet door. The larger, more wintry wraps share hangers with the coats in the hall closet (not pictured).

My accessories are an important part of my completed looks, so I like to have them on display, where I can easily scan for just the right element. My system makes it simple to find items while also adding a decorative touch to my dressing area. I’m most pleased with the earring display, even though I say bad words when I attempt to hang an earring and end up knocking two more pairs to the ground.

What innovative ways do you have of storing and displaying your accessories?

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The Things We Do

Another basketball game, another lame attempt at wearing some purple. These are the things we do for those, we love. Watching sports is a supreme form of torture for me. However, I was pleased to find Otra Vez on tap at the new arena. And there were baby races during a time out.

Poncho, Aziza. Denim shirt, Mossimo. Tunic, Rachel Roy (consignment). Boots, Style & Co (thrifted). Bag, Rebecca Minkoff.

The walk to and from the lightrail was cold (for Sacramento), so I pushed the poncho into a giant scarf and wore a down-filled jacket over my outfit.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Fur Tango

I’m not a follower. This has made partner dancing difficult. I frustrated the men in my attempts at ballroom dancing by fighting for the lead. I gave following another try this evening at my first tango class.

Vest, Vero Moda (thrifted). Dress, Under Skies (consignment). Shirt, American Apparel. Tights, Target. Boots, Steve Madden. Bag, Nordstrom Rack.

For my class, I removed the vest and changed into character shoes. I wore shorts under my dress, but tango is much more reserved than I expected and they were unnecessary.

The class went really well. I received instruction in how to follow for the first time and we spent at least ten minutes just connecting with our partners and paying attention to their shifts in weight. Most of what I’ve learned in ballet is easily transferable to the steps and movements. The trickiest thing was keeping my knees and heels together in proper Argentine tango fashion. Following, once I knew what to do, was the least difficult part of class. In fact, I rather enjoyed letting someone else be in charge.

It probaly helped that, before class, I loosened up with a glass of wine. Room-temperature and white, since I had just left the dentist’s office with another filling. Doh.