Green | Everybody, Everywear

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19 November 2010 12 January 11 22 February 2011 -- Day 14
2 December 2010 18 April 2011 28 February 2011 -- Day 16

[ Top row, from left: February 2012 / November 2011 / July 2011 // Second row, from left: November 2010 / January 2011 / February 2011 // Third row, from left: December 2010 / April 2011 / February 2011 ]

If I had had my act together today, I’d have (a) actually picked out a pair of green pants instead of continuing to endlessly search for the perfect one, (b) worn said pants and made it long enough into the day without getting baby spit-up on them to take photos, and (c) actually edited and posted said photos amid a blur of deadlines and an allergies-without-medicine induced haze. Because you all know part (a) was by far the least realistic of the required elements, I bring you…this recap of some of my favorite ways to wear green and green-ish through the ages, settings, seasons and stages of being not-yet-pregnant, barely-pregnant, hugely-pregnant and thankfully-not-pregnant-anymore.

*and I would love, love, love your suggestions on green pants. I tried those adorable tiny babypants from Target, but the pants-kryptonite of my waist-to-just-above-the-knee ratio proved their undoing (terrible pun intended). Have a wonderful Tuesday!

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  • Necklace: Swapped
  • Sweater/Jacket Thing: Vintage Piazza Sempione, mommed
  • Maroon Maxi Skirt (worn as a midi dress): Old Navy
  • Black Boots: Born ‘Mallory,’ gift from husband D.
  • Brown Woven Belt: Loft
  • Not Pictured: Black Tights: HUE

Well, hello there! We’re back from two (two!) trips with our big-girl 5-month-old (yikes!) in one week (about which more later), and though rejuvenated by visits to friends and family, we’re all a bit exhausted and facing a monster case of the Mondays, so I’ll keep this one short and sweet. This is another attempt at remixing this Old Navy maxi skirt as a midi dress, using some of the same techniques I used here: a topper to hide the nursing bra straps, a belt to provide some waist definition and hold the whole thing in place. This version is a bit more obviously wintry, but has a bit of a funky, country vibe with the boots overlapping the skirt hem. Though I’m not 100% sold on the proportions (which somehow managed to feel slightly Hey, Dude! (dare I date myself), and give me a serious case of distressingly-flattened hindquarters), I love the combination of cream and maroon here, with the pop of turquoise from the necklace. This boxier-than-I’d-normally-wear jacket has also become an MVP of my new-mom days, at the right level of formality for a bigger range of situations than I’d have initially imagined. All in all, I think the first attempt was more successful, but for a combination of not-quites on a crazy Monday morning, I’ll take it and run.

Midis with boots: awesome or a little too cowgirl for big city life? I’m thinking of chopping the hem on this skirt to turn it into a proper high-waisted midi skirt in the near future. Thoughts? Tips for hemming jersey?

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One last thought: I’d be so honored and thankful if you’d take a minute to vote for me in the Circle of Moms’ search for the Top 25 Fashion and Beauty bloggers! You can click here to vote (or the button in the sidebar), once per day until February 28, 2012. (No registration required).


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  • Patterned Shirtdress: Target
  • Red Jacket/Sweater: Cabi, gift from MIL
  • Black Tights: HUE
  • Black Croc Wedges: Stuart Weitzman via Bloomingdales
  • Necklace: gifted
  • Earrings: Old Navy

In the spirit of the season (and, okay, it also might be my favorite color!), I’m featuring a series of red-inspired and red-inclusive outfits this week, with hues from wine to tomato to magenta and back again. For yesterday’s “Everybody Everywear” challenge, I paired bright pink and maroon. Today, I’ve gone for perhaps a more classic combination, the stuff of cute firehouse Dalmatians and newspaper jokes: black and white and red all over.

As promised, I’ve been remixing this shirtdress, which I love for its slightly swishy swirly shape and fun, pop-art-like pattern (for some reason I seem to be collecting Target dresses that invite art-history allusions. I must miss the chics!). It’s continued to impress with its versatility, and with its surprisingly wearable shape: though I can count the number of actually-well-fitting button-ups I’ve had since puberty on one hand, the dress fits well and comfortably, with no awkward gaping or need for crazy fashion-tape experiments. I think it will work well in the spring with bare legs and fun shoes, but I like the slightly modish feel of black tights into black shoes.

This version pairs it with one of the more misunderstood pieces in my closet: this red quasi-blazer cardigan my MIL gave me a few years back. It’s the kind of piece that should be a standout in my closet: it’s my favorite shade of slightly-bluer tomato red, the collar has an interesting shape, it has a built-in belt…yet I’ve struggled to find good ways to wear it. I think that may come from one too many attempts to remix it with pants, since this version seems much more promising. It’s yet another reminder to be mindful of proportions in context: sometimes it’s not the piece itself, but what you pair it with.

Have you had a piece that you’d struggled to style for a long time that just clicked when worn a different way?

However you marked (or didn’t mark!) the occasion, I hope you all had a wonderful, affirming, love-filled February 14th. I’d give you all a big hug of thanks for all your inspiration and insight, but my arms don’t reach that far!

Like what you just read? You can subscribe to Narrowly Tailored via RSS or bloglovin’, or follow me on Twitter to be the first to know what I’m up to. Note: Google Friend Connect will be discontinued in early March, so please shift your subscriptions to RSS or Bloglovin’ before the end of February!

One last thought: I’d be so honored and thankful if you’d take a minute to vote for me in the Circle of Moms’ search for the Top 25 Fashion and Beauty bloggers! You can click here to vote (or the button in the sidebar), once per day until February 28, 2012. (No registration required).

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Pink + Red | Everybody, Everywear

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  • Maroon Skirt: Kyla‘s closet sale
  • Pink Knit Blouse: Banana Republic (2008)
  • Tweed Cropped Blazer: Tracy Reese via Nordstrom’s (2004)
  • Black Tights: HUE
  • Black Croc Wedges: Stuart Weitzman via Bloomingdales

Happy Valentine’s Day (if you feel so moved!)! I couldn’t help but fall for this month’s Everybody Everywear theme of pink and red together, since I (a) adore the color red and (b) have apparently never met a pairing of tightly analogous colors that I couldn’t find a way to love. Laughing in the face of color-matching “rules,” I’ve worn red-based tight pairings on dates, at home, at work and school, while pregnant, while postpartum (and still wearing my maternity jeans). I’ve also waxed poetic about my love for these kinds of clashing-but-not-clashing color combinations, which, once you get used to them, can feel downright visually soothing.

This outfit is a version of red and pink together that would work even in a moderately conservative office. I wouldn’t wear it in an environment where I’d never seen anyone wear anything that wasn’t a black suit with a white shirt, but if I’d been there a while and had seen matched separates and the occasional texture or color walk by, I’d give it a whirl. While a brighter skirt would also have worked, I’ve chosen a darker shade here, which preserves the playfulness of the red + pink combo, but adds a touch of sophistication and makes it decidedly office friendly on days other than Valentine’s Day. I’m using the cropped blazer to add a little extra punch of formality (and let’s face it, it’s pretty cold outside), and to provide a kind of a decoy for the color blocking below: in a funny way, it serves the neat function of letting the bright elements in the outfit stand out and blend in at the same time.

Are brights and “clashing” colors a go in your workplace? Do you have a favorite color pairing or strategy for making brights work for work?

Never one to be left out of the party, baby M. decided to play along, as EBEW’s youngest participant. In fairness, she would like you to note that this was totally by accident (i.e., mom discovered as we were leaving that baby was wearing red and pink, too!), but also that ever since grandma bought her this adorable hot-pink-and-tomato-red jacket, she rocks tightly analogous color pairings almost every day. It was also one of those I-should-have-worn-a-raincoat spit up days, so this outfit lasted for approximately fifteen glorious minutes.

Baby #EBEW
On baby M.:

  • Pink and Red Fleece Hoodie: Carter’s, gift from MIL
  • Ballet Pink and White Striped PJs: Hanna Andersson, gift from my mom
  • One of two kinds of socks that ever manage to stay on her feet: Target

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One last thought: I’d be so honored and thankful if you’d take a minute to vote for me in the Circle of Moms’ search for the Top 25 Fashion and Beauty bloggers! You can click here to vote (or the button in the sidebar), once per day until February 28, 2012. (No registration required).


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  • Black Jersey Dress: Ann Taylor, endlessly remixed
  • Tweed Asymmetric Blazer: Ralph Lauren, mommed
  • Black Tights: HUE
  • Black Boots: Born, gift from husband D.
  • Warm enough weather to go without a coat in January: ??

After having gone on at some length last week, I’ll keep this post, which is yet another chapter in great saga of “what do you wear when a suit would be overkill,” brief. I went to lunch last week (at the home of the holy grail of oatmeal-raisin cookies*) with the judge I’m clerking for next year (perhaps the one person whose name will never, ever appear on this blog), the current clerks and one of my future co-clerks. It was a mostly social gathering; we talked holidays with small children and revisions on my note and fiction reading that I’ve mostly done between the hours of 3 and 5 a.m. But, social gatherings with employers are still gatherings with employers, which merit dressing a bit more thoughtfully than I would have for an ordinary day at school.

Because it was a predominantly social gathering, and with people who knew I was coming from school, a suit would have been overkill — at least a little bit. Here, I’ve taken advantage of the opportunity to be slightly less formal to wear boots, which I wouldn’t do in an extremely conservative office but which take the outfit to a slightly more fun, original spot. This much-loved blazer has become a go-to for occasions like this during the colder months. In the right weather, it can be worn without an overcoat; its inventive shape adds instant visual interest and punch to an outfit that still sends a message that I understand the requisite level of formality. Worn with a dress, the slightly shorter length helps balance out my long torso, all while defining a waist without looking sexualized. But what I love most about it is much more subtle: the way it makes me feel like me. I’ve never quite been able to pin down why, but this blazer is one of those items that makes me feel like my most powerful, confident, inspired self. Maybe because it was one of the first things I owned for work that wasn’t the same black suit from Banana Republic or J.Crew that every girl on the Hill has, or maybe because the fit was so unexpectedly perfect, but it’s remained a signature business piece for many years as a result, and represents a kind of lodestar in my work wardrobe for my personal breed of power dressing. It’s another great example of how our clothes become imbued with our own lived-in history, the way they take on meanings far beyond the surface image they present to others.

Do you have a favorite item lurking in your closet somewhere, one you consistently compare new purchases and ideas to? What makes it so special to you? Its shape? Its color? Its history? Where’d you get it?

*Local residents get five points for identifying said location.

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  • Scarf: Malo, mommed
  • Dress: Mandy’s closet sale
  • Tights: HUE
  • Black Booties: Franco Sarto via Nordstrom’s
  • Arm party of hair elastics I forgot to take off my wrist, again.

I’m a little behind these days (can’t imagine why), so these are actually from last Thursday . . . when I got all did up to steel myself for a “challenging” meeting, only to have it cancelled at the last second, leaving me relieved at not having to go, and amused at feeling like a walking style-blogger cliche, all dressed up and nowhere to go. We’ll pretend it made me more productive in the ensuing hours, after my schedule was all shot to hell. After all, don’t these shoes just scream scholarly to you?

. . . Right. Of course they do.

This dress is yet another attempt to incorporate more pre-loved items into my wardrobe, as I manage the “in transition” nature of my body, my budget and my closet at the moment. I snapped it up from Mandy’s closet sale a few weeks back (along with a fabulous pair of yellow shoes). While the fit isn’t perfect, it’s a great blank canvas for remixing, and I’m looking forward to taking advantage of its relative seasonlessness. It’s also a breastfeeding-friendly silhouette that works for both nursing and pumping (easier said than done), which is an added bonus. And come on, the vague shades of the late lamented crocodile hunter that I seem to be accidentally rocking are pretty hard to resist.

(Incidentally, my actual past adventures with crocodiles during the nearly two months I spent here were no joke. It’s a good story. Maybe I’ll tell you sometime.)

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  • Tweed Sweater: Vintage Ralph Lauren, mommed
  • Maroon Maxi Skirt (as dress): Old Navy
  • Black Tights: HUE
  • Brown Woven Belt: LOFT
  • Scarf: Malo, mommed
  • Earrings: Lulu, gifted
  • Black Suede Booties: Franco Sarto via Nordstrom’s

Ever late to the party, I’ve been on the hunt for a full-ish midi-length skirt since they burst (back?) onto the scene last spring. Admittedly, it’s been a pretty casual hunt: if I were the skirt, I’d have almost zero fear of being captured.  My tenuous relationship with waistbands over the past thirteen months has been in part to blame, but it’s probably more generalized pickiness, and a hesitancy towards jumping in on a trend that feels unlikely to suit my proportions. (I am really, really working on feeling all kinds of love for my post-pregnancy body, but there’s a difference between how you feel about your body and how you feel about what clothing items do for it. I recall audibly gasping when I tried on one such pleated number. Holy hip-inflation, batperson!)

When I’m tiptoeing my way in to a new style, I’m always on the lookout for low-cost, low-commitment ways to try something out, so last week, when Terra showed off this neat trick for converting a maxi into a midi-for-short-folks, no scissors necessary, I gave it a go. Like most “x worn as y” tricks, there are some contrived little nips and tucks going on (sweater to cover the fact that I don’t own a strapless nursing bra, scarf to mask any awkward layering incidents, etc), but I’m really pleased with the way this turned out. It wasn’t something I ever would have figured out on my own, and it gave new life to a piece I’d been struggling to wear. And while these booties are not the most comfortable pair of shoes I’ve ever worn, they’ve become my “instant drama” item of the winter, adding a little punch and surprise wherever they go.

Midis on minis: yay, nay, or eh? What are your favorite strategies for dipping your toe into the pool of a new trend? What motivates you to get off the dime and give something a go that you’re skeptical about?

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  • Blue Patterned Faux-Wrap Dress: Target
  • Red Cardigan: Vintage Michael Kors, mommed
  • Nursing Tank: Bravado Designs via Figure8Maternity.com
  • Black Tights: HUE
  • Black Boots: Born, gift from D.
  • Belt: LOFT
  • Necklace: gifted
  • Arm party of hair elastics I forgot to take off
  • Sniffly nose: gift from baby m.

The week, David Amsden style: baby m. is doing much better, but like all loving children, has used her newfound giggling abilities to transmit her cold to her devoted parents. My class schedule went through about 24952318 permutations during add-drop week. In honor of the momentous occasion of my last first day of school ever, I wore that red sweater that is (strangely) my power animal, even though it made my nose look even redder than it already was.

This dress is what Amy would call an “accidental Target” purchase: I went in looking for something else, saw it, and was struck by lightning/inspiration/my need for surplice necklines/the effect of too much Downton Abbey on my perception of ruffles and appear to have been overcome. And while I was initially sure I was going to return it (my approach with 95% of impulse purchases), it’s grown on me, to the point that it now feels destined to become a frequently remixed favorite. Or at least that it might become one, once I’ve gotten the baby spitup out of every. sweater. I. own…. In the meantime, I really like the pairing of bright red against the mottled blue, and the decidedly different effect of black boots over the brown riding boots I overwear tend to live in in the winter. While there are arguments for a black belt, the brown one has a slightly more casual vibe, and one that feels a little bit more me.

Did I mention it’s my last semester of law school, and almost definitely my last semester of school, ever? That I have thirteen weeks left? How did that even happen?

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Black + White | Everybody, Everywear

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  • Ubiquitous Black Jersey Dress: Ann Taylor
  • Cream Cardigan: Halogen via Nordstrom’s, gift from Mom
  • Suede Obi Belt: Garnet Hill, gift from SIL E.
  • Black Nursing Cami: Bravado Designs via Figure8Maternity
  • Black Tights: HUE
  • Black Boots: Born, gift from husband D.
  • Necklace: Gifted
  • Earrings: Old Navy

This post could also be called “when you are engulfed in mucous,” or “dressing to impress medical professionals.” Much to our chagrin, baby m. has yet another cold (le sigh…). According to our pediatrician, it’s more theatrically spectacular than medically problematic, but it has still made for several quite long and messy days around here. We’re pulling out all the stops (or as many as you can at this age!), and keeping our fingers crossed that she rallies in the near future.

For a long time, black was the foundation of my closet. Then I bought a pair of brown riding boots, and it was more or less all downhill from there. I started cheating on black with other neutrals. I became less and less discriminating, falling hard and fast for grey, navy, and even off-white and camel. Then I got pregnant, and every list of maternity wardrobe essentials and pregnancy style advice I found urged me to build a wardrobe around slim black pants, black tank tops and drapey sweaters and I just rebelled. It was more than 95 degrees outside for many, many weeks of my pregnancy, and I was having none of this all black nonsense.

But now that Baby M. is thankfully outside of my insides (and much cuter for it), and the weather has cooled down considerably, black and I are beginning to reconcile. I still think black plays best when paired with other neutrals, or with other neutrals and an accent color, and I’m still on something of a break from black suits, and I still have to watch the tendency of too much black with my stark-white complexion to appear slightly vampiric. But with those caveats, black and I are making peace. Black, as it happens, can live up to some extraordinary demands, lending instant sophistication and credibility while having an obliging attitude towards spit-up stains, which, come to think of it . . . is a powerful metaphor for the state I’m in right now, don’t you think?

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  • Necklace: Gifted
  • Earrings: Mall vendor
  • Grey Cowl-Neck Tee: Filene’s Basement
  • Aubergine Cord Skirt: Thrifted
  • Black Belt: Ann Taylor
  • Red Cardigan: Vintage Michael Kors, mommed
  • Black Tights: HUE
  • Black Boots (finally!): Born “Mallory,” holiday gift from D.

2012? Seriously?

I remember when I was applying to law school (back in the dark ages of the fall of 2008, which is now starting to seem like a really long time ago), D. and I looked at letters inviting me to apply for the Class of 2012, and the date sounded almost futuristic, like some kind of insane fantasy. 2012? That’s when some people think the world is going to end!

And yet, it seems that brave new world has arrived: even though I keep writing checks dated 2011, it is, in fact, January 2012, and my last semester of law school starts in a week. And while I’m not big on new years’ resolutions per se, I’ve definitely got a list on my mind of things I’d like to work on in the coming year:

    1. Make my last semester of school meaningful. I’m unlikely to ever be in school again, and I want to make it count. Separate and apart from my desire not to have “senioritis” affect my grades and jeopardize 2.5 years of hard work, I don’t believe in doing things halfheartedly, particularly not right now, as my time is so limited on all fronts. I still have some (actually, a lot) of big dreams out there and some things I need to be doing to keep them in the realm of possibility, and it’s worth remembering that. Even without the utilitarian aspects, I want to be intellectually engaged and alive to the moment.
    2. Get back to running — injury free. I’ve had so many false starts in my running career, but the physical changes associated with pregnancy, childbirth and recovery give me (a) a lot of healing to do and (b) a chance to start fresh. So for 2012, no big races (nothing longer than 10K), no crazy training plans, just safe, measured progress, and a lot of cross-training.
    3. Go more places with the little one. For a variety of reasons, including a dislike of chaos, I didn’t do a lot of venturing out on the days I was home by myself with Baby m. during the semester. Now that we have a little more help and I’ve picked up the pieces a bit more, I’m hoping I’ll get better at taking her places by myself on my non-working days.
    4. Go more places… without the little one. True confession: D. and I have only been out together without m. twice since she was born…3.5 months ago. Whether it’s going climbing together or just going to see a movie, it’s something we should do more of.
    5. Become a radical completionist. As evidence of my distractability, I can’t even begin to narrate what happened from when I sat down to write this and finally finished it. I have a huge to be filed file and a tendency to look at a task, contemplate it and then put it off, whether it’s postal mail, email, blog stuff, cleaning our house, writing, etc. It’s a lousy habit, and one that would restore hours back into my days and weeks if I could kick it.
    6. Meet my breastfeeding goals, but let them evolve as circumstances require. I didn’t expect that I’d be able to breastfeed, but it’s been a wonderful experience for us in ways I couldn’t have anticipated. It’s also one that’s required some Herculean efforts to make work (about which more later), but which I’m willing to keep doing (in a totally non-judgmental please just do what’s best for your family way!!).
    7. Honor my physical and emotional well-being…and my desire to get back in shape. This is easier said than done, but I’m working on it.
    8. Shop sanely and sustainably. I talked a little bit about this in the context of my commitment to thrifting more in the coming year, but there’s more to it than that: thinking critically about wants and needs, making investments that will last, not plunking down cash for things I don’t love and feel fabulous about.
    9. Be a confident parent and a present partner. Worth it for everyone’s sake. Also some stuff about reducing the amount of clutter in our house — physically and emotionally.

 
Where do you stand on new years resolutions? What are you most looking forward to in 2012?

I should add a brief post-script about this outfit: I have been looking for these boots for ages (thanks, D.!), and they were worth the wait. I still haven’t gotten over my thing about reds and aubergines. This skirt is an exception to the “never thrift things from Target” rule: the fit is iffy, but it’s a good quality garment that seems like it will last a while. Unlike this shirt, which has a spit-up stain the size of Texas on it that refuses to budge. Le sigh…

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