Friday, April 23, 2010

Taking Some Time

Dear readers of Mary's Wishlist,

Blerg.  This is harder than I anticipated it would be, but we need to have a talk.  Frankly, I don't think we should see each other any more.  The time has come for me to put Mary's Wishlist on hiatus.  But it's not you, it's me.  I've been feeling very stressed in my life recently, and I think I just have too many requests on my time at the moment.  When I find myself in a messy house that contains an empty refrigerator, and I feel unable to fulfill most of my obligations, something needs to go.  And while I've loved discussing clothing wishes and fantasies with you for the past nine months, I hope you'll understand when I say that this blog is not my first priority.  {It certainly doesn't come before my husband, or my sanity.}  I think I need to take some time to just be on my own for a while.  But can we still be friends?  I don't intend on leaving the blogosphere entirely, and I have a deep affection for this modest affordable fashion-minded corner of the Internet.  I wish you all the best, and promise to let you know if I ever decide to starting posting again.


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Ashley's Request

I recently received an e-mail from my friend Ashley, who had an adorable little boy last month:
Soo....I thought you could help me :-)  My friend from high school is getting married in October.  The "problem".... She is having an engagement party on May 1... aka 7 weeks after giving birth.  I need a dress!!  or skirt and top.  Something that hides the belly and something that is easy to wear while breastfeeding.  I've been looking but no luck yet!  No pressure, but if you see something cute...let me know!!!!
I called my sister {who had her own baby on Tuesday} and asked her what makes a garment easy or hard to wear while breastfeeding.  She explained that dresses with buttons or other openings in the front {wrap dresses included} are ideal; dresses with crew necks are out.  A shirtdress or wrap dress, then, with a high waist and an A-line skirt would be both practical and flattering.  I love the fun, summery colors of these dresses:

{dress links: one, two, three, four, five, six}

A skirt and a top is another great option -- again, tops that button up will be easiest {I like these two}.  Pair them with skirts that have a high waist, with pleats or gathers to disguise any remaining baby bump, like these.

I hope this helps, Ashley!

Does anyone else have clothing advice for new moms?  What do you think of my picks?  Are they items you would wear?  I appreciate your comments!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Old Navy Outfits

So, sometimes I play the "What if I had to buy an entire wardrobe from one store?" game.  Kind of like What Not to Wear meets Where the Heart Is.  I don't know why I would ever be in that situation, but then the point of my clothes dreams is not to be realistic, it's to have fun.  If I were to have realistic clothes dreams, they would be very short and boring and not at all fun.

Yesterday I played the "What if I had to buy an entire wardrobe from Old Navy?" game, which turned into the "What if I were buying the perfect wardrobe for a beach vacation from Old Navy?" game.  Because if there's one thing that consumes my fantasies as much as clothes, it's spending massive amounts of time at the beach.  And I came up with four outfits.  I love them, and now I really want to go to the beach:

1.  Halter Swimsuit, $29.50 {link}
2.  Lightweight Crew-Neck Raglan Tee, on sale $7.99 {link}
3.  Two-Tone Canvas Beach Tote, $16.50 {link}
4.  Oxford Bermudas, $24.50 {link}
5.  Faux-Leather Looped T-Strap Sandals, $19.50 {link}

Outfit 2:
1.  Ruffled Bomber Jacket, $29.50 {link}
2.  Mock Two-Piece Dress, $19.50 {link}
3.  Beaded Fabric-Cord Necklace, $9.50 {link}
4.  Faux-Leather Trimmed Crescent Tote, $16.50 {link}
5.  Faux-Leather Cross-Strap Wedges, $29.50 {link}

Outfit 3:
1.  Gauzy Plaid Top, $19.50 {link}
2.  Origami Applique Cardigan, $26.50 {link}
3.  Low-Rise Skinny Pants, $29.50 {link}
4.  Ruffled Platform Peep-Toe Booties, $29.50 {link}
5.  Embellished Flower Headband, $6.50 {link}

Outfit 4:
1.  The Diva Skinny Jeans, $29.50 {link}
2.  Roll- Up Sheer Plaid Shirt, $24.50 {link}
3.  Cat's-Eye Sunglasses, $9.50 {link}
4.  Espadrille Wedges, $29.50 {link}
5.  Lightweight Tonal Scarf, $12.50 {link}

What do you think?  Do you like my outfits?  What would you love to wear to the beach?  If you could buy an entire wardrobe from one store, which store would you pick?  And what would you get?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Looks for Less: Floral Pencil Skirts

I love the floral pencil skirts that are all over the place this season.  I think they're feminine and whimsical, while still appearing sophisticated.  However, most of them are way {waywayway} out of my price range.  I'm glad DownEast Basics has a skirt that echoes the feel without copying the price tag:

Watercolor Floral-Print Slim Skirt, $99, Lord & Taylor {link}
Elie Tahari floral poplin pencil skirt, on sale $109.99, Bluefly {link}
Watercolor floral pastiche pencil skirt, $110, J. Crew {link}
Breathtaking Beauty Skirt, $29.99, DownEast Basics {link}

What do you think?  Are you into floral pencil skirts this season?  Do you like the one from DownEast? Would you buy it at this price, or will you wait for it to go on sale?  How do you think it compares to the more expensive skirts?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Jes' Request

I got an e-mail from Jes last week {sorry, Jes, it's taken me too long to get to your request; just know that I'm super-excited about it, because you're the first person to send me a request that I don't know in real life, and that's awesome for me}:
hi, mary
i'm just a random person in the midwest who wandered onto your blog one day. you have wonderful style and such a fresh and pleasing sense of blog. and i'm wondering if you can use your fashion brain to help me. i bought the textured gauze sundress from tulle and i adore it. link here.  my problem is, however, that i bought it in carrot. and, wow, the dress is carrot. i've worn it a couple times, but i just don't think i'm getting it right. can you think of any suggestions for styling this little carrot? i need it to be modest, so i've paired it with a few different cardigans and shrugs, but... everything i've tried just looks like i'm trying to camouflage the color instead of enjoy it. i would really appreciate any sort of help.  thanks!

Wow.  I've never had the courage to purchase anything so bright, so kudos for breaking out of your comfort zone!  My suggestion would be to pair your dress with soft neutrals like khaki, white, and warm browns.  I think gray and navy could also work in small doses, like as a shoe or accessory.  {Just please, to avoid Halloween associations, never wear your dress with black!}  Definitely let the dress take center stage, and choose pieces that compliment it.

I created two outfits that I think would work great with your dress {the first is inspired by this outfit featured on What I Wore; Jessica is rocking her neon yellow dress}:

Outfit A:
1.  Textured Gauze Sun Dress, on sale $26, Tulle {link}
2.  Totes Stick Umbrella, $12.99, Target {link}
3.  Twill Trench Coat, $39.80, Forever 21 {link}
4.  Solid opaque tights, on sale $9.99, J. Crew {link}
5.  Lily Suedette Shoetie, $24.80, Forever 21 {link}
total: $113.58

Outfit B:
1.  Textured Gauze Sun Dress, on sale $26, Tulle {link}
6.  Short Ruched Sleeve Cardigan, $18, Charlotte Russe {link}
7.  Orange U Glad it's Summer Nail Laquer, $7.50, Ulta {link}
8.  Zebra Skinny Belt, $24.50, The Limited {link}
9.  Mossimo Valonia Pump, $29.99, Target {link}
total: $105.99

Jes, I hope this helps!  What does everyone think?  Would you wear the outfits I put together?  Do you have any more suggestions for how Jes should style her dress?  I appreciate your comments!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Looks for Less: Madden Girl Kalinda Bootie

I've been drooling over these gorgeous shoes at J. Crew for the past two months.  I've fantasized about owning them and wearing them everywhere.  They would be my shoe best friends, and we would be so happy together.  I would wear them with cropped pants to show them off.  People would ask, "Where did you get such lovely shoes?"  And I would say, "They were gifted to me by my fairy godmother.  She has excellent taste in footwear."

However, I eventually snapped back to reality, because I actually don't have a discerning fairy godmother, and I certainly don't have $275 to spend on a single pair of shoes {as my husband will quickly tell you}.  I'm thinking now, though, that shoes with a similar feel would be an excellent addition to my wardrobe.  I found this pair at DSW, but I think they're a little too pricey:

Madden Girl Kalinda Bootie, on sale $49.95, DSW {link}
Ruffled Peep-Toe Platform Bootie, $29.50, Old Navy {link}

Thank goodness for Old Navy!  I plan on making a trip to my nearest store and securing a pair for myself in the very near future.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Sale: 30% off J. Crew Final Sale

J. Crew is currently offering 30% off all sale items with coupon code EXTRA30.  {Shop all sale items here.}  This promotion is only good online, only through tomorrow.  If you're interested, you'd better hurry and start your online shopping!

1.  Dream crewneck cardigan, $34.99 {link}
2.  Perfect-fit cascade tee, $13.65 {link}
3.  Neon necklace, $13.65 {link}
4.  Tissue garland tank, $24.49 {link}
5.  Dogwood cocktail ring, $13.99 {link}
6.  Toothpick ankle cord, $13.99 {link}
7.  Hand-cut flower art tee, $13.99 {link}
8.  Tissue tuxedo tank, $17.49 {link}
9.  Tissue rosette bouquet tee, $20.99 {link}
10.  Stained-glass drop earrings, $28 {link}
11.  Jane suede ballet flats, $34.99 {link}

Is it weird that I'm really into the Neon necklace?  At first I thought J. Crew was going nuts, but after seeing it around for a while, I think that I might really want one.  What's on your J. Crew wishlist {or hate list}?  Do you think you'll take advantage of this sale?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Kelley's Request

I got this Facebook message from my friend Kelley last week:
Dear MWL,
I have a clothing issue. And since I love your blog(s), I would like your blogtastic advice on my issue. I am going on a cruise in May and one of our dinners is formal and I am really excited to buy a new dress for the cruise. But, being Mormon, it really limits me on the available dresses. And why does it seem that modest dresses go down in cuteness level? Can you recommend stores/sites that typically have a better selection of modest formal/cocktail style dresses? In my searching, I've realized just how little I know about where to even look for cute clothes. You don't need to go find me a dress or anything, just maybe point in the right direction. I am looking for something cute and trendy and flattering. I'm fine with something strapless/sleeveless if it can be reasonably covered with a cute shrug and won't ruin the look of the dress. Oh, and preferably under $100. What do you think? Any thoughts? Thanks Mary!
First, going on a cruise for your anniversary sounds like so much fun!  Christian has a thing with boats {as in, he hates to be on them}, so I don't think I'm ever going to get the opportunity.

Second, when I was searching for a LBD last year, the two best resources for modest cocktail dresses I found were department stores, and modest clothing stores.  I specifically like Nordstrom, Dillard's and Macy's for department stores, because they have a great selection {with a lot of dresses on sale}, and great tools to help you find just the right dress for you.  Shabby Apple and eShakti are good modest clothing stores for finding cute cocktail dresses, too -- I would definitely check them out.

{links: Nordstrom dress, Macy's dress, eShakti dress, Dillard's dress, Shabby Apple dress}

I hope this helps, Kelley!  What do you all think?  Have you ever shopped at one of these stores before?  What was your experience like?  Do you have any other stores or sites to suggest?  I'd appreciate your comments!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Sale: 30% off Loft Spring Dresses

For a limited time, Loft is offering 30% off all full-priced dresses.  No coupon code is necessary; the discount is taken automatically at checkout.  I especially love the dress seen in the promotional photo, below:

1.  Breezy Petals Dress, $55.65 {link}
2.  Empire Knit Dress, $48.65 {link}
3.  Tie Neck Shirtdress, $55.65 {link}
4.  Sparkle Sheath Dress, $62.65 {link}
5.  Seamed Dress with Pockets, $55.65 {link}

If you're interested in something at Loft other than their dresses, remember that you can also take 25% off your regularly priced order with coupon code SAVE25.  {Just keep in mind, because of the automatic 30% discount on all spring dresses, the dresses are no longer considered "regularly priced," and don't qualify for the 25% promotion.}

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Amazing Sites: Lands' End Canvas

Since I am a J. Crew fanatic, and my J. Crew cravings must be satisfied, I frequent the blog J. Crew Aficionada.  Alexis, blogger behind JCA, has an amazing network of J. Crew fanatics that inform her when, say, J. Crew sends out an e-mail, or has a promotion.  And it's nice, because even though I'm signed up for J. Crew e-mails, I sometimes get them four or five hours after they come up on the JCA blog.  {You might wonder why.  It's all because J. Crew plays favorites -- they know that whoever owns my e-mail address will only buy maybe $100 worth of clothing in a year, and most of that on sale, and so they send e-mails to less thrifty customers first.}

Alexis will also occasionally mention other stores her readers might be interested in, and early last month she blogged about the arrival of Lands' End Canvas.  Lands' End Canvas is a trendier line from the original Lands' End -- same quality, authentic inspiration, but modern interpretation is what they're going for.  I checked out the site last week, and I am now a fan.  It's definitely reminiscent of J. Crew, with a nautical, preppy feel and traditional silhouettes, with slightly lower prices.  I love how they've updated Lands' End clothing while keeping it classic.  {I also love this model's hair.  Can I have it, please?}

Here are some of my favorite items from their site:

1.  Cotton Lawn Campshirt, $39.50 {link}
2.  Fit and Flare Dress, $59.50 {link}
3.  Leather Sandals, $69.50 {link}
4.  Super Slim Jeans, $59.50 {link}
5.  Print Cotton Linen Scarf, $29.50 {link}
6.  Paisley Halter Tank Swimsuit, $69.50 {link}

If I had to choose just one, I'd go for the dress.  It's too cute!  It also looks really simple; does anyone know how to make a dress like this?  Which item is your favorite?  Do you think you'll be purchasing from Lands' End Canvas any time soon?

P.S.  Right now you can get $10 off your regularly priced purchase of $50 or more with the coupon code 3552.  {Thanks to Chloe for the tip!}

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Britt's Request for Christa

My friend Britt sent me this message {on behalf of our friend Christa} via Facebook yesterday:
Mary.  Christa has been looking for a denim pencil skirt for a while now, with no luck.  One that not only looks cute and stylish, actually is a pencil skirt, but is also long enough.  I thought maybe you could be able to save her ;) Not only is your blog awesome, but you and Christa both have the same amazing long legs, and a keen fashion sense.  So by any chance have you come across the perfect denim skirt recently?

The perfect denim skirt?  That's a pretty tall order, but I've done my best to compile a collection of skirts, in a variety of price ranges, that I think are adorable:

1.  Tailored denim pencil skirt, $69.50, J. Crew {link}
2.  Denim skirt, on sale $39.50, Victoria's Secret {link}
3.  Scalloped Sailor Skirt, $88, Anthropologie {link}
4.  Denim Skirt, $42.50, Shade {link}
5.  Denim Pencil Skirt, on sale $28.99, Old Navy {link}
6.  Merona Refined Denim Skirt, $24.99, Target {link}
7.  Merona Denim Skirt, $19.99, Target {link}
8.  Lauren by Ralph Lauren Stretch Denim Pencil, $59.50, Macy's {link}
9.  Chelsfield Stretch Denim Skirt, on sale $49.99, Ralph Lauren {link}

Still not what she's looking for?  Here are a few more links to try: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.

I can completely understand if Christa is frustrated trying to find a skirt that's long enough for her.  I have the same problem all the time.  Even sites that specialize in modest clothing don't always provide skirts that hit my knees.  My best advice is to find a good skirt that fits well and has a good seam allowance at the hem, so that even if it's not long enough, a tailor can let it down.  {Tailors can also sew up slits to make a skirt more modest.}  If you're shopping online and the item description doesn't have all the information you need to make a good decision, e-mail the store's customer service department; they should be able to tell you anything you need to know.

Britt, I hope this helps!  I was lucky enough to receive my own denim pencil skirt as a hand-me-down from my sister; I actually dreamed last night that I went into my closet and I had two identical skirts, one for me to keep and one to give to Christa. :)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Looks for Less: J. Crew Philo Eyelet Blouse

I've been scouring the J. Crew website quite a bit this weekend {if you follow me on Twitter, you'll know that I'm planning a trip to my nearest brick and mortar store today, and I like to go prepared}, and among their many drool-worthy items, I particularly love this blouse.  It epitomizes summer for me, but I can still think of twenty ways to wear it for spring.  After gazing at it for a while, I realized that it reminded me of a top from this post, which also comes in white:

Philo Eyelet Blouse, $78, J. Crew {link}
Embroidered Linen-Blend Top, $24.50, Old Navy {link}

I think it's a dead ringer.  What do you think?  Do you love the top from J. Crew?  What would you wear it with?  Do you think the Old Navy version is close enough?  {Do you want to come shopping with me today?  I'm leaving in half and hour.}  Leave a comment!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Etsy Find: Vintage Cocktail Ring

I found this vintage ring on Etsy yesterday, and even though it's super-huge {click here to go to the product page and see more images}, I'm kind of in love with it.  I kind of want to wear it everywhere and have people look at me and I kind of want to say to them, "Jealous much?"  Because it's kind of awesome.  And I kind of think I need to own it.  Thoughts?

Vintage Crystal Flower Cocktail Ring, $30, readornment @ Etsy {link}

Friday, March 12, 2010

Spring Shopping List

Back in August, I said that there are two times during the year that I go shop-crazy: fall and spring.  Something about the changing seasons feeds my already intense desire for new clothes.  After reading this post from Uber-Chic for Cheap, I starting thinking about the gaps in my wardrobe and items I would love to have for spring.  Here's my shopping list:

1.  Printed Ruffle Sleeve Blouse, $47.86, Asos {link}
2.  Classic-stripe tissue tee, $32.50, J. Crew {link}
3.  Full Bouquet Clip, $18, Anthropologie {link}
4.  Corso Como "Festive" Ballet Flats, $59.99, Bloomingdale's {link}
5.  Scoop Basic Tee, $24.50, The Limited {link}
6.  Leather Zip Around Crossbody Bag, $59.95, DSW {link}
7.  Nostalgia Nail Lacquer, $2.80, Forever 21 {link}
8.  Neon necklace, $28, J. Crew {link}
9.  BC Oh Sailor Sandal, $49.50, Delia's {link}
10.  Bubble bow skirt, on sale $122, The {link}
11.  Faded dark flared leg jeans, on sale $39.99, Gap {link}
12.  Floral Printed Full Skirt, $58, Urban Outfitters {link}
13.  Featherweight cotton long cardigan, $69.50, J. Crew {link}

I went with gray and silver neutrals, with pops of bright coral and yellow, which is my chosen color palette for spring.  Most of these items {with the exception of the Neon Necklace from J. Crew, because I haven't been able to find anything else like it} stand more for ideas of what I would like to have.  For example, I'm not really going to spend over $100 on a tweed skirt, because I found one at a consignment shop last week for $10 and I love it.  {Like, I really love it; it's totally adorable.}  Similarly, I purchased a new pair of Gap jeans on that same shopping trip for $8, and I'll probably pick up a new white t-shirt at Ross the next time I go instead of buying this one from The Limited for $24.50.

Do you have a favorite item?  Are you thinking of filling some gaps in your own wardrobe?  What would you love to own this season?  Leave a comment!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wishlist: Anthropologie Dress & Outfit

Have you ever been browsing through a collection of clothing, either online or in-store, and you saw something so gorgeous you literally felt your jaw drop?  Have you ever felt so shocked by your emotional reaction to a piece of clothing that you gasped out loud?  I have.  {I've even created a blog on which to post these items, so I wouldn't empty my bank account in order to possess them.}  It's not often that I have this reaction -- more likely I'll do a double-take, or just gaze longingly at something for a prolonged period of time.

This Anthropologie dress, however, got both the jaw-drop and the audible gasp.  It's just so gorgeous.  {I don't think I've mentioned it on this blog before, but red poppies are absolutely my favorite flower.  Stick them on anything and I'm guaranteed to love it.}  I created an outfit around it, just for fun:

1.  Homegrown Dress, $158, Anthropologie {link}
2.  Featherweight cotton long cardigan, $69.50, J. Crew {link}
3.  Braided Claudette necklace, $16, Fred Flare {link}
4.  Colin Stuart T-strap wedge, $29, Victoria's Secret {link}
5.  Fossil Latigo C-Buckle Belt, $28, Dillard's {link}

I think a boyfriend cardigan, with the sleeves scrunched up to the elbows, would look great with this dress.  Add in the shoes, though, and it becomes a little too Grandma's garden party.  I added an edgy necklace and menswear belt {which I would wear over the cardigan} to make it feel more modern.

What do you think?  Am I crazy for my intense reactions to clothing?  Are you a little afraid of me now?  What about the dress?  Breath-taking, isn't it?  And do you have any thoughts about the outfit -- is it something you would wear for spring?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

And the Winner Is...

Congratulations to lucky number 28, Vittoria!  You won $40 in gift cards to eShakti!

For any disappointed readers, remember that you can get a $15 gift card to eShakti just by registering as a new customer.  Thank you all for participating and making my first giveaway such an awesome one!

{I feel that I should mention, just for full disclosure and future reference: Vittoria's number was actually the fourth to come up on the Random Number Generator -- the first three didn't leave valid e-mail addresses in their comments, and were disqualified.  I'm sorry that had to happen.}

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Teri's Request

My friend Teri sent me this e-mail today:
Oh wise one!  I need help!  :)  My sister-in-law is getting married in May and has asked me to be a bridesmaid.  We're buying our own dresses and I need some help!  The dress needs to be black with some white (more black than white) and modest.  Since it's an outdoor wedding, I'd like it to be made from a lightweight material, knee length and have a short sleeve.  Please guide me!  Ideally, I don't want to spend a whole lot on the dress and shoes (think 250 or less for the dress, shoes and accessories).  I'm mostly worried about being too hot as it will most likely be an all day thing outside and I'll be doing a lot of the work. I think a happy medium between formal and casual would be ideal.  Thanks!

Here's what I came up with:

1.  Swirling Villages Dress, on sale $49.95, Anthropologie {link}
2.  Stretch Rose Buckle Belt, $8.99, Charlotte Russe {link}
3.  Helium Petals Necklace, on sale $39.95, Anthropologie {link}
4.  Rosette Purse, $48, Harmony Lane {link}
5.  BDG Suede Pumps, $48, Urban Outfitters {link}

total:  $194.89

I love this black and white dress from Anthropologie; it's modest, cute, practical for a summer wedding, and effortlessly re-wearable.  I exchanged the removable multicolored belt it comes with for a black one, and paired it with neutrals so Teri will fit right in with the rest of the bridal party.  Mixed metallics in the necklace and a gray shoe keep the outfit light, fun, and summery.  The different flower motifs give it a sense of whimsy.  I also threw in a bright clutch to add a pop of color to her outfit without ruining the bride's color scheme.

What do you think?  Do you think I struck the right note?  Do you love that dress as much as I do?  Leave a comment!

Don't forget to enter my giveaway for your chance to win $40 in gift cards to eShakti!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Inspired By Coral

I got an e-mail this morning about how Banana Republic is in love with coral right now:

I was instantly smitten.  I checked out the stuff they had at BR, and frankly, was not impressed.  I decided to throw together my own collected of tantalizingly coral pieces.  Coral is such a springy color, and I love to see how different brands interpret it -- orangey salmons, rosy pinks, and everything in between:

1.  Embroidered Linen-Blend Top, $24.50, Old Navy {link}
2.  Elegant Spread Cropped Cardigan, $17.80, Forever 21 {link}
3.  Robert Rose Hinged Enamel Bracelet, $20, Lord & Taylor {link}
4.  Filigree Flower Earrings, $4, Charlotte Russe {link}
5.  Dotted Woven Top, $17.80, Forever 21 {link}
6.  Canvas Pump, $48, Urban Outfitters {link}
7.  Essie Nail Polish, $8, J. Crew {link}
8.  Asymmetrical Ruffle Tee, $32.50, J. Crew {link}
9.  Here & There Dress, on sale $79.95, Anthropologie {link}
10.  Solid Embossed Beach Dress, $98, J. Crew {link}
11.  Coloured Super Skinny Waist Belt, $8.55, Asos {link}
12.  Lucy Bow Detail Ballerina, $25.64, Asos {link}
13.  Origami Applique Cardigan, $26.50, Old Navy {link}
14.  Windswept Floral Skinny Scarf, $29.50, Loft {link}
15.  Basket Plaid Scarf, $29.50, Loft {link}
16.  Poppie Jones Selma Satchel, $34.95, DSW {link}

I do agree with BR about the idea of pairing coral with neutrals, and especially lighter neutrals like sand and gray.  Navy would also be great with coral, I think.  What do you think?  Are you all over the idea of coral for spring?  Which item is your favorite {and what would you wear with it}?

Don't forget to enter my giveaway for your chance to win $40 in gift cards to eShakti!

Monday, March 1, 2010

eShakti Review & Giveaway!

After writing this first post about eShakti, an online store that offers customizable clothing in an array of sizes and styles, their marketing department contacted me and asked if I'd like to do a review of their site.  To be honest, I could barely contain my excitement!  They sent me a dress similar to this one, but as you can see,  mine is mustard instead of canary yellow.

sweater: design history, via ross
dress: courtesy of eShakti
belt & tights: target
shoes: ???,via ross

The things I like about the dress:  For the most part, I absolutely adore the dress.  It's made of cotton satin, which is light, machine washable, and has a subtle sheen.  {It's also not as wrinkly as it looks -- it was very windy outside the day these pictures were taken.}  It's fully lined, which I love, and of very good quality.  The details are truly beautiful; I especially love the way the pleats around the neckline and the empire waist give me an hourglass figure.  I plan on wearing it almost constantly.

The things I like about their site:  Although I have touched on some of these points before, I wanted to mention again the amazing policies that eShakti has, including the fact that all styles are available in all sizes {0 - 26W} at all times.  All orders {even custom orders} ship within three days, and even custom orders are returnable.  New visitors to their site can receive a $15 gift card, just for registering.  Truly, a very customer-friendly store.

The one thing I dislike:  The item description stated that my dress had a cap sleeve, but when I received it, it was more like a very wide strap.  In general, the website offers several ways to customize each item, but little information as to what those customizations actually mean.  For example, I wish that they had more specific descriptions {and pictures} of how the sleeve types differed from one another, and that each product page linked to that information.  If you plan to buy from their website, and you're unsure of how you would like to customize an item, I would suggest calling their customer service number and asking.

And now, I'm pleased to announce my first-ever giveaway!!  One lucky reader will win $40 in gift cards to spend at eShakti!

Rules:  Each entry to the giveaway must be in the form of a comment.  The winner will be determined by giving each entry a number and using to select the winning number.  Anyone can enter, and everyone has eight opportunities to enter.  Just comment below {one entry per comment}, and be sure to include your first and last name and a valid email address so I can contact you if you win.

Mandatory entry:
  • Visit eShakti and leave a comment, telling me your favorite item from their site.
Bonus entries:
  • Become a follower of my blog, and comment to let me know {or let me know you're already a follower of my blog}.
  • Post about the giveaway on your blog, and comment with a link to the post.
  • Facebook or Tweet about the giveaway, and comment with your username.
  • Become a fan of my blog on Facebook, and comment to let me know.
  • Add my blog to your blogroll, and comment with a link to your blog.
  • Become a fan of eShakti on Facebook, and comment to let me know}.
  • Follow eShakti on Twitter, and comment to let me know.
Note:  If you comment more than eight times, or leave invalid or irrelevant comments, your comments will be deleted and you will no longer be eligible to win.  If your comment is selected as the winning comment, but your e-mail address is invalid or you don't respond to my e-mail within 48 hours, a new winner will be chosen.

This giveaway will end Sunday, March 7th, at Midnight {ESTime}.  Thank you all, and good luck!

Sunday, February 28, 2010


I accidentally published a post that I thought was scheduled for tomorrow!  I'm so sorry for all the confusion -- that post {including my first-ever giveaway!} will be posted later, so be sure to check back!  Thank you.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wishlist: Swimsuits Under $100

I know I shouldn't indulge my thoughts about summer weather and swimsuits right now.  For one thing, it's supposed to snow this afternoon {although, since the temperature was in the mid-60s two days ago, my best guess is that it won't even stick}, and thinking about warmer weather is almost torturous.  For another, as my husband will quickly tell you, I don't need any more swimsuits.  I have two cute ones in good condition {one one-piece and one tankini}, and I have an unflattering but practical back-up.  I'm covered.

But, as the title of this blog attests, I love to dream about clothing of all kinds.  {Besides, if you didn't stock up on swimsuits for this year when they were on sale last fall, now is definitely the time to do so -- you can still find some great ones on sale!}  And so, while I'm fantasizing of spending warm weeks at the beach getting freckled and tanned, I'm picturing myself wearing one of these swimsuits:

1.  Solid Underwire Halter Tank Swimsuit, $89.50, Land's End {link}
2.  Monroe halterneck swimsuit, $74, Fig Leaves {link}
3.  Merona Bandeau Shirred One Piece, $34.99, Target {link}
4.  Boyleg Swimsuit, $68, Boden {link}
5.  Solid Boy Short One-Piece, on sale $39.50, Delia's {link}
6.  Pindot underwire tank, $80, J. Crew {link}
7.  Luxe très bow tank, on sale $59.99, J. Crew {link}
8.  Juicy Couture Bandeau Swimsuit, $98, Bloomingdale's {link}

Also, a few tips on buying swimsuits:

1.  Know your body and how to flatter it.  For example, I love halter-neck suits because they show off my shoulders; I love sweetheart necklines because they emphasize my {rather small} chest.  And, I usually buy tanks in long torso sizes, because I have a disproportionately long torso.  If you're not sure what shape is most flattering on you, check out these posts from Cardigan Empire: for Hourglass, for Upper Figure, for Middle Figure, for Lower Figure, and for Linear Figure.  {Not sure what body type you have?  Start here.}

2.  Make sure a suit is also practical.  We all want a cute swimsuit, but you should confirm that it's fully lined, and that it has the support you need before purchasing.  Many suits are adorable {like this one from Anthropologie}, but would be more appropriate for a little girl than a woman; while smaller busts may be able to get away with only a shelf bra, padding and underwire is safest for {oh-so-lucky} larger-busted women.  If you're shopping online and a product description doesn't contain all the information you need, call the customer service number and ask.

3.  Invest wisely.  You may decide that you want a swimsuit of very high quality, one that will last you for many years to come.  If this is the case, buy a style that's classic; five years from now, you don't want to be wearing a swimsuit that was only fashionable for one or two seasons.  On the other hand, if you want an in-the-moment suit, go inexpensive.  That way, you don't pay a lot for something that won't last very long.

Well, what do you think?  What's your favorite style of swimsuit?  Are you dreaming about the beach {or lake?  Or pool?  Where do people in Utah go to sun themselves?} already?  Do you have any more advice for potential swimsuit buyers?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sale: The Limited Trenches, Skirts & More

I noticed a wonderful sale going on at The Limited and thought I should share.  {Mostly I only noticed because Chloe pointed it out to me, so I feel it's only fair that I pass the tip along.}  Currently, all trench coats are 30% off, all skirts are $39.50, and you can get 20% off your entire purchase, including sale items, by entering coupon code 774 at checkout.  {Definitely check out the sale section, even if you pass up the regular-priced items; discounts upon discounts add up to some very low prices!}  Additionally, you'll receive a free umbrella with any trench coat purchase.  Zing!  Here are a few items I would love to own:

1.  Belted Trench, $71.68 {link}
2.  Folded Flowers Coat, $94.08 {link}
3.  Red Trench Coat, $82.88 {link}
4.  Elastic Sleeve Trench, $71.68 {link}

1.  Petal Pencil Skirt, $31.60 {link}
2.  Black Reign Skirt, $31.60 {link}
3.  High Waist Straight Skirt, $31.60 {link}
4.  Wide Pocket Pencil Skirt, $31.60 {link}

1.  Pleat Turtleneck, $7.99 {link}
2.  Embellished Flower Top, $23.99 {link}
3.  Grosgrain Flower Cardigan, $31.99 {link}
4.  Ruched Squareneck Sweater, $23.99 {link}

That red trench is really amazing -- I love the gathers at the shoulder seam.  On the other hand, the yellow trench is also drool-worthy; I love that color!  It's a good thing I don't need to decide between them {my budget and self-restraint currently won't allow me to purchase either}, because I think I would give myself a headache.  What about you?  Do you have a favorite item?  Do you think you'll buy anything?  Thanks for reading!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Valentine's Day Outfit

Christian and I went to see the movie Valentine's Day about a week ago.  While I didn't think it deserved an F from Entertainment Weekly, it also wasn't nearly as good as Love Actually, which it was clearly trying to imitate.  {Side note: I heart Love Actually almost as much as I love watching edited movies.  It's my second-favorite movie of all time, and my second-favorite Christmas movie, and I just now realized that my two favorite movies are both Christmas movies.  Yikes.}  Mostly, I thought it was equal parts entertaining, amusing, and completely ridiculous.

One of the best elements of the movie was Jennifer Garner, who I think is just so gorgeous.  I love her dimples, I loved her hair {I'm now thinking about getting highlights of my own}, and I loved her character's personal style.  Between Julia Fitzpatrick {see pictures here} and Meg of Fresh Brownies, I am now finding myself in desperate need of a red cardigan.  And that brings me to the point of today's post, which is my re-creation of Julia's airport look.  I thought it was too cute:

Catrina Cardigan, on sale $29.50, Delia's {link}
Ditsy floral ruffle blouse, $42, Fred Flare {link}
Mossimo Black Large Hobo, $22.99, Target {link}
Lasting Finish Professional Nail Polish, $3.99, Ulta {link}
Delicate Initial Necklace, $18, Urban Outfitters {link}
Braided Wedges, $29.99, Charlotte Russe {link}
The Flirt Boot-Cut Jeans, on sale $19, Old Navy {link}

total: $165.47

What do you think?  Did you see Valentine's Day, too?  Thoughts on the movie?  What do you think of the outfit?  Do you think you can find a ruffly, button-up, floral-printed top for less?  {I dare you!}  Thanks for reading!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Sale: 20% off J. Crew Clearance

J. Crew is currently offering 20% off all Final Sale items with coupon code EXTRA20.  Here are a few {okay, so more than a few -- I got a little carried away this time} of my favorite items on sale:

1.  Wool felt cloche, $15.99 {link}
2.  Toothpick ankle cord, $15.99 {link}
3.  Tulle blossom art tee, $19.99 {link}
4.  Silk lumiere cami, $23.99 {link}
5.  Solid opaque tights, $5.59 {link}
6.  Layered ruffle tank, $23.99 {link}
7.  Vintage matchstick cord, $23.99 {link}
8.  Satin limelight clutch, $23.99 {link}
9.  Petal-and-pearl necklace, $27.99 {link}
10.  Washed silk pocket tee, $31.99 {link}
11.  Merino basket-weave scarf, $15.99 {link}
12.  Silk streamers cami, $47.99 {link}
13.  Skinny patent-leather belt with square buckle, $11.99 {link}
14.  Tissue cascading pansy tank, $27.99 {link}
15.  Merino knit beret, $15.99 {link}
16.  Merino microstripe turtleneck sweater, $15.99 {link}

What do you think?  Is 20% enough of a discount to get you interested?  Which of these items is your favorite {or do you have another favorite item on sale I didn't include in this post}?  Leave a comment!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Sale: 50% off Loft

I got the word today...

{I got the word via one of the many, many e-mail notifications I receive every day.  They seem endless, but somehow they still never keep me as well informed as Chloe, who seems to know about every sale going on everywhere.  By the way,  she has created a new blog specifically to share shopping sales and secrets.  It's amazing -- you should check it out.}

... of a great sale going on at Loft!

Today through President's Day {Monday, February 15th}, take 50% off select spring styles, both online and in stores.  See all styles included in this sale here.  No coupon code is needed; the discount is applied automatically at checkout.  Don't forget that you can also get free shipping on orders of $125 or more!

Here are a few of my favorite items:

1.  Marisa Pleated Cropped Pants with Belt, $24.75 {link}
2.  Twisted Silk Trim Tee, $14.75 {link}
3.  Ruched Sleeve Top, $22.25 {link}
4.  Lei Trim Tee, $18.25 {link}
5.  Twist Neck Pullover, $19.75 {link}
6.  Faded Blooms Scarf, $17.25 {link}
7.  Ink Dot Sheath Dress, $39.75 {link}
8.  Dark Wildflower Modern Boot Cut Jeans, $29.75 {link}
9.  Knit Dress with Pleats, $34.75 {link}

I love me a 50% off sale!  They're a refreshing {and money-saving} change after hearing about an almost endless stream of "free shipping off orders of $150 or more" deals from J. Crew.  Let me say, I think those promotions are so lame.  If I ever spend $150 at one store at a time {which I don't think I would ever do, unless I won the lottery, which is impossible, since I don't gamble}, then I would expect free shipping without any kind of coupon code.  But moving away from my love/hate relationship with J. Crew...

I also love the colors Loft is featuring this spring.  They're so bright and sunny and fresh!  And definitely tempting.  This sale is a good opportunity to purchase a few items you've been eying without going over budget.

What do you think?  Will you take advantage of this promotion?  I love to shop online because I can always find what I'm looking for, I can use coupon codes without having to deal with people face-to-face {which is something I'm weird about}, and there's always a great selection.  I understand the value of in-store shopping, too; namely, that you know how an item will fit you before you buy it.  Do you prefer online or in-store shopping?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Charlotte Russe Promo: $10 Flats

As part of their "Seven Days of Sweetheart Deals" Promo, going on this week, Charlotte Russe is lowering the price of all their flats to just $10!  You can see them all here.  This deal is good only for today, so act quickly!  Here are a few pairs for which I wouldn't mind making room on my shoe rack:

1.  Silk Bow Ballet Flats, orig. $22.99 {link}
2.  Canvas Ribbon Flats, orig. $22.99 {link}
3.  Tie Suede Flats, orig. $22.99 {link}
4.  Rhinestone Suede Flats, orig. $22.99 {link}
5.  Crinkled and Suede Ballet Flats, orig. $22.99 {link}
6.  Colorful Stitch Ballet Flats, orig. $26.99 {link}
7.  Wingtip Maryjane Flats, orig. $24.99 {link}
8.  Ribboned Patent Leather Flats, orig. $18.99 {link}

What do you think?  Will you take advantage of this promotion?  Are you excited to see what other deals Charlotte Russe has to offer this week?