Archive for Shopping

Shopping: A mixed bag

I love to shop.  I make a very good living and still probably spend too much on shopping.  However it can be really hit or miss sometimes, and the “fat tax” (read: shipping in both directions) can be problematic.  Thus todays mixed bag.

Coldwater Creek Chevron Tee: I saw this in the store and went gaga over the colors.  However this went back today for two reasons:

  1. The shape was all wrong for me.  The neck was too high and the the dolman sleeves just didn’t look right.
  2. The fabric was…odd.  This thing is 100% polyester and fails all my softness tests.  Heck, it holds a pleat.  While I have no doubt that it will hold it’s color well over time, I prefer my tees to be snuggly.


My husband also informed me that I should stay away from that type of Chevron pattern.  He claims it just doesn’t look good on me, but I suspect he was having 70’s afgan flashbacks.  I know I do every time I see similar sweaters in earthtones.  In the meantime, I drove this over to the nearest Coldwater Creek and returned it.  (And complained AGAIN about them no longer carrying 3X in the store so I could have TRIED IT ON.)


Asos Heavy Jersey Top with Peplum:  I knew I needed to at least TRY the peplum trend, so last week I ordered two from Asos.  This was the better of the two.  It fit fine, but the line at the point where the peplum begins cuts across me at exactly the WRONG point to be flattering.  It hits smack on the spare tire and draws far too much attention to it.  Looking at myself from the front it was OK, but when I turned even a little it became massively obvious and unflattering.  The high neckline wasn’t doing me any favors either.


Asos Peplum Top in Soft Jersey with Sleeves:  This one is a ligher weight fabric (although I think I liked the heavier better) and has a far better neckline for me, but the sleeves were incredibly tight.  And not just at my flabby upper arms either; all the way down to the wrist.


In both cases I could have worn them with shapewear and looked good, but I refuse.  I intensely dislike wearing shapewear unless absolutely necessary, and neither of these were cute enough to be worth the trouble.


More importantly I learned a valuable lesson about shapes and my body’s shape.  Stick to empire waists.  These are both going back in Monday’s mail.


This fact, unfortunately, reminds me of the fat tax; ie shipping in both directions.  My husband and I were talking about budgets, and he pointed out that I had spent kind of a lot on clothing in the last couple weeks.  The thing is that I KNEW half or more would be going back.  So in addition to costing more for shipping in both directions, it also ties up money in the meantime.  Makes me cranky.  Anyway….


Now for the GOOD side of the mixed bag.  I had brunch with some of the girls and was magnetically drawn into TJ Maxx on the way home.  There I found two pairs, in my size, of Josef Seibel Marissa mary-jane style shoes.  One pair is camel that will look amazing with jeans and my camel and black purse, while the other is a deep hunter green that I will figure out what to wear with on Monday.  The color was just too lovely to leave behind, and anyone who loves places like TJ Maxx knows that they sell out QUICKLY of anything really good.


This particular style is around the internet on clearance, and in these colors, for around $100/pair.  I got each pair for $40.  $87 with tax for both pairs!  I cannot TELL you how excited I was about this!  Of course if I were REALLY blessed they would have had them in black.  But they fit PERFECTLY, looked adorable and are crazy comfortable.
Tell me about your latest and greatest shopping trips?



Purchases made or to be made

Tomorrow is payday, when I get my “allowance” (read: the money I can blow on clothing).  Because of some returns I still had a bit of last allowance, so I placed a couple orders today and have my eye on some things for tomorrow.

EvansUSA is having a sale on all their exclusive brands with up to 50% off, so I used it as an opportunity to pick up the Swan by Clement Ribeiro Color Block Clover Cardigan that I’ve had my eye on for some time.  45% off the original price doesn’t suck.  This is my first order from Evans, so it will be interesting to see how that goes.

In another first, I placed my first order today for an item from Forever 21 +.  After seeing the post over at Curves and Chaos, I had to try this Metallic Lace Top in this wonderful copper shade.  As a Junior plus line, I’ve been skeptical about their stuff fitting (I’m a 22/3X usually), but the measurements on the page suggest that this is relatively generously sized.  I’ll give it a try.  *fingers crossed*

Until another blogger mentioned them, I had never heard of Sam Moon; they sell very inexpensive jewelry and are apparently a Texas-only company, but they ship.  I ordered a couple of unique pieces from there; an art deco style necklace and earring set for 9.99 and another deco-ey necklace for 8.99.

Finally I used some money I made selling some of my better quality used clothing and shoes  on ebay to order this Holiday Leopard Cardigan from Talbots.  I am hoping that when it arrives it looks good; in some of the pictures it reads a little pink, but in others (like the one at left) it doesn’t.  I’m hopeful.  If it doesn’t work, it goes back.  That should actually be waiting for me at home already….

I also have my eye on a few pieces.  First, at ModCloth, I have been circling around the Dimention in Detail black pencil skirt.  This would be a new profile for me, so I’m not entirely sold yet (although looking here it would looke LOVELY with the red leopard cardigan *grin*).

There is also a dress on the ModCloth site that caught my eye:  the Raspberry Ice Tea dress.  The reviews are stellar and the price is excellent, so I’m seriously considering it.  It is such a perfect color for me that it’s very hard to resist.

Finally, I am planning to take part in the Colors of the Season Fall Fashion Challenge.  The idea is to build an outfit around a specific fall color that day.

That means I need stuff in Teal, Wine, Mustard, Pumpkin and Grey.  (See the badge?  THOSE colors.  They really did a bang-up job on that…)

I’m good on Pumpkin and Wine, and I have ideas for Teal and Grey from my current wardrobe, but I don’t have a SINGLE item in Mustard.  I love the look of the color but have just never bought anything in it.

So I’m on the hunt now for a mustard item that I can order.  One idea was that I’ve seen mustard jeans/jeggings around this season that would certainly work.  A pair tucked into brown boots with some nice warm tones on top might work.  I’m a little scared of a cardi in that color, since yellows don’t tend to look good near my face, but I haven’t ruled it out yet.  And if in the process I find anything wonderful in the other colors, well….  I do so love shopping!




Shopping: Boots and Bags

I really left the house thinking, “I’d like to have a pair of riding boots”.   They are one of those trends that reappear every few years. I decided to hit up DSW and Dillards and get a feel for the options.    Since I used to actually ride English, I know that riding boots do not have much of heel, so that eliminates a slew of the selections I ran across.  I have not bought any yet, but here are a couple of contenders.

The likely winner at an excellent price point is Me Too, Dee, Wide Calf Riding Boot, $99.

These boots were everything I was looking for, comfy, classic and nice looking with leather uppers and rubber non-skid soles.  They have a wide calf option as well. I was able to wear “Normal Calf” but depending on what I’m tucking in, the Wide Calf probably is more versatile.  I view this as a boot I might have for a few years so there is a pretty good chance I’ll buy them.

(Rebecca: This is one of the build differences between us.  I have NEVER found a normal calf boot I can wear, and always need wide or extra-wide.  Which means I almost never get to buy boots in person and try them on; I am always ordering from Zappos or other stores.)

I wanted to see more options so I headed off to Dillards.

After looking at dozens of boots, the Steve Madden, Judgement, $189 (Dillards, Zappos) caught my eye.   What I love about them is they remind me of “dressy paddock boots” with a great two-tone leather style with a fleur-de-lis detailing in black and brown.

Alas, I had to rule them out as there is no zipper, so unless you are a very tall supermodel, no way you can get these on and they seem made for someone with a longer calf than I.  Bummer, I really loved the look.

I should really stop going to Dillards’ handbag department.   I think, “I’ll just run through really quick” and then it happens, the sharp intake of breath, the total loss of reason, when I spot a new bag.     This time it was the Brahmin Nadine Dowel Bag in Grey.

I have a grey bag that’s simply too big for every day use, and since I wear a lot of grey and amazingly I actually pair grey and brown together with some regularity, I bought it.   This bag is a Dillards’ exclusive, and was $345.

Stopping there would have been the smart play.  But a bag I have been circling for a while was in stock, the Brahmin Vivian Colorblock tote in Moss. $295, not available online but look in stores.   So it came home with me.

The thing is these are beautifully made bags.    I don’t spend a lot on individual items of clothing, choosing to instead buy great accessories.     Accessories inspire me to be more creative in putting together outfits.   I often select the accessory first and then find something to wear with it.

So no boots yet, and two handbags, but I’m happy with my selections.   I’ll be ordering the boots from DSW next week and feature them on a future post.

Shopping Lust: Modcloth

Sometimes you accidentally stumble on a new site that makes you go WOW.  Modcloth had that effect on me today.  I saw a bag I liked, clicked through, and found a site that carries really cute retro clothing, shoes, bags, and jewelry up through a size 22.

If you are new to the site and place an order for over $50 in October, you will get $20 off your order.  To me that makes trying their stuff a no-brainer.

Shipping is free if you order over $50.  I took my $20 discount and I immediately ordered two items.

A Bit of Adventure Bag.  I’ve been lusting after highly structured bags lately, and this one, with it’s animal print, camel AND black, makes for a terrific neutral that will go with nearly everything.  There are even studs on the hand strap.  At $64.99, this is MUCH MORE AFFORDABLE than many of the ones I’ve been looking at so far.  My hope is that the quality will be appropriate for the pricepoint and this bag will hold up to daily use.

You’re One Hepcat Top
You're One Hepcat Top.  Combining animal and peplum, this one may or may not be great for more than a year, but for that year it will be terrific.  That neckline is going to look amazing on me, and paired with black trousers this will look chic and attractive. The fabric is polyester/rayon/spandex, so it should be forgiving.  This one will probably require shapewear, but I think it’s going to be worth it!  $47.99

I also saw some cute steampunk jewelry there.  I have a steampunk wedding to attend later this month and if I choose not to “dress up”, the Cogs of Time necklace would be a great way to respect the theme while not spending a fortune.  I am a little concerned about it poking me though.  And at $51.99, it seems a bit expensive.

Another steampunk item was the One Movement in Time necklace.  It’s quite long but the gears are built in to a backed round section, so they are less likely to poke you.  At $15.99 it’s also far more affordable.

If I had a dress-up holiday party on the calendar, I would be seriously looking at the Black Tie Optimal dress.  The shape is gorgeous, the lace provides a bit of coverage and visual widening of the shoulders, and the skirt is full and wide.  Of course, it’s probably for the best that I don’t have such a party, since this only goes up to a size 18.

I was a little sad to see that many of my favorite itens stopped at an 18 or were out of the 20s and 22s.  Still, that just means I need to watch the site closer.  Time to set up some notifications!


Pieces to fill out my fall wardrobe

One of the side benefits of starting a fashion blog is that I am now reading a TON of other fashion blogs.  It’s hard, sometimes, because I see looks that I adore but which wouldn’t work on my body shape.  Nonetheless, as the rest of the country moves into fall I am starting to see some things I need in order to fill out my wardrobe.

1) Leopard or other animal print cardigan.  I have seen these paired with all sorts of things and think the look is terrific.  I ordered one today from Old Navy, but am still keeping my eyes open for alternatives that might be of better quality.

(Related story: My local Marshall’s has one pair of Ellen Tracy Leopard Print Jeans in my size for $29.99.  They fit around my stomach/hips perfectly and are crazy comfortable, but they are skinny jeans which makes them, for whatever reason, cling to my thighs in a way that emphasizes that they (my thighs) are NOT skinny.  I’ve tried them on twice now.  Lane Bryant also has Seven7 skinny jeans in a leopard print, but at $88.99 I’m just not sure I can justify something so trendy.  However I think it is safe to say that at SOME point before the end of the season I will give in to the urge to get a pair of patterned jeans.)

2) A belt or two.  This still scares me, but I have seen a lot of outfits with the belt under a cardi but over a loose shirt and I really like the look.  Especially because that approach will counteract one of the biggest issues I have with belts: my butt.  It’s actually probably not my butt so much as the REALLY pronounced curve I have in my back.  If I wear a lower belt to look good in the front and not draw attention to the spare tire it has a tendency to pull funny in the back because of that curve.  However with a cardi over, no one will see that part.  So this is a style I intend to explore this winter just as soon as I find a belt that will do what I am looking for.

What does that mean?  Well, something like this would be lovely except they say that an XL is all of 36 inches.  That’s going to be WAY too small (unless it’s measured doubled over, which makes no sense).  Or something like this Chain Belt from Lane Bryant, although they only have 14-20 in stock at the moment.  Since I plan to wear it a bit lower on my hip, that won’t work either.  Nothing elastic, because that would result in it just sliding up to a bad place.  I’ll need to keep looking until I find something appropriate.

3) A scarf or two.  This is another one that I’m not quite sure how to style, but you only learn by doing, right?  I worry about the extra weight it would add to my already substantial chest, but it seems worth the effort to me to try a very sheer one and see how it might work in my wardrobe.  I love my long neckaces, so….