closet update

I had been collecting some inspirational closet photos on Pinterest for quite some time. This is what I had to work with – a 4′ by 5′ closet right off our foyer. I wish I had more to work with, but having a walk-in closet, period, is good enough for now 🙂

Peacock Blue

Source: Lonny Magazine

High Contrast Rug ~ Zebra


Colored Glassware for Makeup

Source: Honey We’re Home

Hanging Scarves on a Rail

Source: Honey We’re Home

Gold-Framed Mirror

Source: Lisa Sherry Interiuers, Inc.

The downside of living with a man is that I can’t indulge in my girly side as much. Consequently, I wanted some color and girly-ness in the one area of our apartment that I can call completely mine. I loved the peacock blue paint on the shelves in the Lonny Magazine photo. I have a vanity table I got from Target in 2006 that was part of their “shabby chic” collection. It was a soft cream color originally, so I painted it Behr Caribbean Current. That’s where I store all my jewelry, makeup, and a few other miscellaneous accessories.

I got the zebra rug from Target. I’ve come to realize that I am not much of a drawer person. I always find myself being really good about hanging things up, but things that go in drawers tend to stay in the laundry basket until I am ready to use them again. As such, I decided that I’d hang as much as possible, and then emulate my laundry basket habit by storing my other clothes – jeans, work out clothes, pjs, etc., in storage boxes from the container store. I got two large linen storage boxes that are a bit sturdier, and two Baroque fabric storage boxes.

I wanted to have a mix of colors and prints. The mirror was one of my parents’ wedding presents in 1970. I love the mirror and it’s super heavy duty, and at the moment, there really isn’t anywhere in our apartment for it. I was afraid it my get broken or chipped in storage, and thought the gold frame would go just fine in the mix of decor in the closet, so I hung it there for safekeeping.

I’d like to get some acrylic shelf dividers to help keep all my bags upright, but the shelves are almost 1.25′ thick, and thus far, I’ve been unable to find any clear dividers that will fit shelves that thick.

I also revived my shoe collection a little 🙂 My navy blue Hunter boots are pretty much shot. No amount of boot shine will make them look ok. I may have to google some other ways to condition them. Since I used them so much the past 3 years, I figured it would be a good idea to replace them. I got some high-gloss black ones in the same style. I’d really like to get a yellow pair as well, but it’s been so hard to find them in stock anywhere!

I love leopard print and have been pretty indecisive about where to incorporate it into my wardrobe. I have a black and grey leopard print scarf, but that’s it. I wanted to get a couple new pairs of flats, and I found these cute leopard flats at Forever 21. They’re cheap and cute and very comfortable. I also FINALLY got a pair of Tory Burch Reva flats in Royal Tan. I have been wanting some for years, but for almost $200 bucks a pop, I wanted to choose wisely on the color. The first summer I wanted them I wanted the white leather with the gold medallion, but those were out of stock. I waited two years to find those in stock somewhere, to no avail. I also liked the black with the silver or gold medallion, but at the end of the day, I only really wear black flats to work, and these shoes wouldn’t be fore work. I FINALLY see some white Reva’s with a gold medallion in stock. FINALLY! and of course, since the summer is winding down, I couldn’t bring myself to buy white ones, which i see as more of a summer-y shoe. I loved these brown ones, though, and though they’d be pretty versatile.

fall knits

I was looking through my new fall clothing this weekend and I realized how many knits I accumulated…I was pretty pumped Friday evening when it was finally cool enough to wear one of them!  By the way, did you know that Zara now has an online store?  I was VERY excited about this, as I love that store and always visit when I am Chicago. We don’t have one in Cincinnati at the moment, so the online store launch was a big deal to me.  My first purchase was the shearling-collared knit cardigan in the picture below.  My favorite sweater I got was, surprisingly, the cable-knit cream crewneck from Old Navy.  For as inexpensive as it was, I am surprised how soft it is. As long as I take care of it and stick to dry cleaning or hand washing, I think it’ll turn out to be a good purchase. If you are looking for an old navy coat or sweater, be sure to check out old before today is up! You can enter FABFAVES at checkout and get 30% off!!

Sweaters, left to right – Zara, Express, Express, Old Navy, Old Navy, Express.  Scarf – H&M.

almost autumn…

It’s about one more week until autumn, and I am really hoping that the weather cools down. My A/C could use a break!  Lately I’ve been shopping for fall clothes (both for work and otherwise), and I’ve found that I am really drawn to loose pleated pants with a matching tie belt, just like in the summer when I liked the same style in shorts-form.  I like these pants because they’re cropped and lightweight.  They seem appropriate for the sometimes warm, sometimes cool weather of September. The same goes for the suede platform sandals. I am also drawn to sequins, and have already bought a sequin cashmere blend tank top that was on sale at J. Crew.  I like this sweater above.  It’s definitely an outfit I envision wearing on a cool evening in early fall, perhaps for dinner or a play.  I really love Reed Krakoff bags, particularly this tote bag that is available in a number of different material and color combinations.  Reed Krakoff if a fairly new brand by Coach – the design has a modern look that’s quite different from Coach bags, and the bags come in at well over $1,000.

I am liking the glitter trend in nail polish right now, but with my job, it’s just not practical to wear that to work, nor is it practical for me to put it on on a friday evening, for example, and then remove it at the close of the weekend. For that reason I will be sticking with plain, old-fashioned solid colors.

a new favorite designer….Rachel Roy

Ok, I dont know if she is “new” necessarily, but she is new to me.  Rachel Roy has a great line of clothes, bags, shoes, and jewelry called RACHEL by Rachel Roy.  Her Fall 2011 RRR lookbook reminds me somewhat of a Free People-type style, although the clothes in general have their own unique feel.  I particularly love the shoes and bags, but I guess I am sort of a shoe and bag nut anyway!  Right now she is offering 25% off all shoes, and if you sign up to get her emails, you get another 20% off.  I ordered a pair of her Pepino heels in Nubuck.

Cute, huh?! Since I just signed up for email AND the sale is going on, I got them for about $66 plus tax and shipping instead of $110!  I am excited to wear these with skinny jeans this fall. They’re suede, so here’s hoping that  it does not rain too much.  I seem to love suede shoes – does anyone have a suggestion for a good suede protector???  Anyway, this particular pair also comes in purple…


I love the purple, too, but this style seems like a very casual, “every day/wear with everything”-kinda style, so I am going for a more neutral tone that I can wear with everything.  I also love this Quilted Large Satchel – I am not sure, but it seems like it may be big enough for my laptop.  A highlighter leaked all over my leather bag I usually use to carry my laptop to class, so I am in the market for a new bag or two to replace it…definitely keeping thing one in mind.

How about you? DO you have any new designers you like for this Fall??

the look for less ~ if you like Anthropologie….

….you will LOVE Ruche.  I look at it as a younger, more affordable, fresher version of Anthropologie. My only complaint is that nine times out of ten, they’re sold out of the thing I want. And by the way, is it just me, or does something seem that much more desirable the instant you realize it’s sold out?!

The Early Summer Lookbook 2011 came out recently, and as always it has beautiful pictures and I want everything in it…

all images via:

See the eyelet shirt in the last photo?  I ordered that one 🙂 I like the belt, too, but of COURSE it is sold out already.

Summer Dreamin’ – Swimwear Season

Summer is coming up and I am anxious to get to the pool. I try to wear lots of SPF and stay out of direct sun, but man, after the last several months I’m in dire need of some Vitamin D action, not to mention, I love the smell of chlorine. Every time I go into the gym locker room the chlorine smell gives me flashbacks to summer and vacations. Hopefully it’ll warm up soon. I got this Becca swimsuit in 2008:

I really don’t need another swimsuit, but that’s not stopping me from browsing. I found Maggie May Swimear via the I Am Style-ish Blog…and I soooo want one of these swimsuits. These hand-knitted swimsuits are really different:

~ Silverblack ~
~ Pale Pink Rose ~
~ Mineral Ruffle ~

Summer Staples

Maybe I am a creature of habit, but when I find things that work, I tend to stick to them. My wardrobe is no exception. I did some pre-planning regarding what items to get to complete my warm-weather wardrobe for the summer.  Some things are new this season, while others are part of a formula to which I have adhered for a number of years.  In addition to the shorts and belts from my previous post, here are a few other items I have stocked up on for the summer:

~ Tank Tops ~

These are a recurring theme in my wardrobe.  Every year I stock up on Old navy ribbed tank tops Express camisoles in every color. When it comes to the Old Navy tank tops, I usually order “tall” sizes online (because in my opinion, the longer the better), and I wait until I get a coupon in the mail and also order on a day where there is an online code.  Thanks to those discounts, I got these tank tops online for $6 each. Tank tops and camisoles are a great purchase. They’re flexible for the summer months, can be worn as an underneath layer in the cooler months, and for me, when they get a little too shrunken or worn for every day wear, they’re relegated to my work out wear or pajama pile. Wash and line dry, each below-$10 tank top or $15 camisole usually lasts me at least 3 years in one role or another. 

~ Lightweight Cover-Ups ~

Even though summer is hot and sticky here in Ohio, air conditioned offices and grocery stores mean that I still need a long- or three-quarter-length sleeved cardigan or pullover quite frequently. I couldn’t get by without layers.  There are a lot of gauze-y, lightweight tops out there right now. Pictured above: Old Navy Gauze Mexicali Top, Rubbish Brand pullover from Nordstrom Juniors‘, and Old Navy Open-Front Jersey Cardigan.

~ Ikat Prints ~

Ikat print is very popular right now, both in interiors and in clothing. I always have trouble with prints. When it comes to florals, I tend to shy away from most of them and prefer the larger-scale, simpler prints. Right now there are a lot of smaller floral prints on flow-y shirts and dresses – maybe they will grow on me, but right now they remind me a little too much of the late 80s, early 90s Laura Ashley fad, and I am not a fan. I like animal print but I also don’t see a lot of clothing I like in those prints – usually just accessories, if anything. I do love stripes, and have plenty of stripes already in my wardrobe. Pictured above: Old Navy Tie-Shoulder Tiered Sundress and Soprano Tank Top from Nordstrom Juniors’.

~ Accessories ~

I have been gravitating a lot to camel- and white accessories this summer. This Aldo Kowis Clutch kind of reminds me of my Rebecca Minkoff Bombe M.A.C. mentioned here – cream leather with a contrasting detail. The sandals are Dorosh and Rothrock, from Aldo as well.

Short Story~

…and I am back! Finally. For the past couple of weeks after exams I have been very unproductive.  I slept a lot and hung out with friends – I always seem to need at least a couple of weeks of spacing out and meandering about my life aimlessly before getting to the many things on my post-exam to-do list that I always expect to jump right into. I watched Kim Kardashian on QVC for an hour Sunday night. Why? I don’t watch QVC and I certainly did not plan on buying anything. No idea! That’s just my mind in decompression mode still, I suppose.  And today I have the flu or something. Ah!

I did get some shopping done this past couple of weeks – online and in stores. Last summer I did not spend much on clothes, and got by with whatever I had previously for the most part.  The consequence of this is that now I have a long list of things I would like and a lot of clothing from years past that seem outdated, worn, or just boring.

I have seen a few styles lately that I love. I love the more tailored, pleated look – as well as the classic denim, both finished and cutoff.  I have also not worn a lot of belts in the past few years, but I am loving the short shorts with belt look as well, both with shirts tucked in or otherwise.

Source: The Blonde Salad blog
Source: Fashiontoast blog
Source: Knightcat blog

You wouldn’t believe how many pairs of shorts I tried on and was not happy with. I love shorts and they’re pretty big this season, but I really had trouble finding ones that fit exactly how I wanted. I finally found a place where they fit me perfectly. Where? Abercrombie and Fitch of all places. I completely forgot about that place. I worked there oh, about a decade ago – but at 28 (almost 29!) the store fell out of my repertoire long ago. I guess it shouldn’t have, though – obviously it’s still good for something!  When I went in, it smelled strongly of A&F cologne, the music blared so loudly I couldn’t think, and it was so dark I could barely make out the figures of employees that seemed obscenely young (because god knows I haven’t gotten older).

The young guy behind the counter commented that I was out shopping “awfully early” (it was 10 am).  I remember those days that I couldn’t fathom waking up before 1 pm if I didn’t have to. I also got a couple belts from H&M.

While I sit at home on the sofa today, sniffling and watching Sex and the City reruns, a shipment of other summer staples from Old Navy is probably sitting in the lobby at my work.

I love these chambray shorts I got from Old Navy.  You can wear them casually with a tshirt, but you could also wear them with a dress shirt, heels, and blazer and really dress them up.  Now if the weather would just get over 50 degrees!

Ready for the weekend….

It has been such a long week! It has turned out pretty good, but I am looking forward to the weekend.  I will be spending it studying about 12 hours a day saturday and sunday, but being at home, doing things on my own time, is still more relaxing that the hectic schedule I have all week.  The weather is looking promising…I have a cute chambray sundress I got from Target last month that I cannot wait to wear, as well as a pretty beaded top from Nordstrom I have also had for awhile and haven’t gotten to wear yet.  One exciting thing that happened this week is that my Rebecca Minkoff Bombe MAC clutch came in the mail! It’s so pretty.  I have been in love with the Mini Bombe M.A.B. (especially in ivory with navy patent leather) ever since the day it came out.  I have a ton of big purses and just splurged on a Louis Vuitton this winter, so I could not quite justify yet another big bag…however, I do love the Bombe style, and do not have many smaller bags.  Despite being called a “clutch”, the Rebecca Minkoff M.A.C. (“morning after clutch”) is actually pretty spacious.  I cannot fit ten pounds of crap in it like I can my larger purses, but you can easily fit a full size wallet, cosmetic bag, phone, and a few other items with no problem. I also love the chain strap.  “Purse jewelry” as I like to call it 🙂

In 20 days I will have this semester behind me and I will have plenty of downtime to do things I enjoy.  I will probably bring this up a lot in the next couple of weeks!!!  Have a good weekend and enjoy the nice weather if you’re lucky enough to get some!

~ Mossimo Sundress ~

~ Matty M Beaded Top ~

~ Rebecca Minkoff M.A.C. Bombe ~

Fashion: Accessories ~ Key Holders

I love small accessories and am always looking for an excuse to get more.  No matter how many I have, I always find use for one or several wallets, pouches, etc. in my bags at any given time. I am paranoid about makeup and highlighters leaking onto the lining of my bags, I like to avoid embarrassing moments like a tampon spillage in public places, and sometimes in a huge bag it is easier if you have everything broken down into a few categories of smaller bags from which you can readily choose and find what you’re searching for.  Larger “small” accessories like the Tory Burch pouch I recently bought are great for larger travel items like hairbrushes, hair products, etc., and I can also load it up with all the post it note pads, highlighters, pens, small stapler, and so forth that I carry around during my exam studying time.

Another added bonus of small accessories is that you can often get miniature versions of a designer style or print you like for a fraction of the cost of the designer’s full-sized purse counterpart.

I have bought plenty of attractive small accessories for various uses, including containers for my boyfriend’s junk mail and pretty Envirosax reusable grocery bags, but one “everyday” item of mine that has not been subjected to any embellishment is my set of keys. Right now my keys are pretty sad looking – my house, work, and car keys along with the car remote, Petsmart PetPerks Card and a couple of gym membership cards.  So not interesting.

Numerous designers carry key holders that either hold the keys themselves or simply act as a small “coin purse”-type attachment to a key holder.  Do you have one in particular that you use?

~ Louis Vuitton Epi Leather 4 Key Holder ~

~ Louis Vuitton Monogram Round 6 Key Holder GM ~

~ Louis Vuitton Damier Azur Canvas 6 Key Holder ~

~ Marc Jacobs Preppy Leather Key Pouch ~

~ Juicy Couture Polka Dot Suede Drop In Key Purse ~

~ Dior Gold Patent Timeless Key Case ~

~ Marc by Marc Jacobs Calfskin Key Pouch ~

~ Juicy Couture Quilted Shimmer Key Pouch ~

~ Kate Spade Head in the Sand Darla Key Pouch ~

~ Dooney & Bourke Portofino Coin Case ~