goldenmeans


Sunhats and Smiles
June 22, 2012, 7:57 am
Filed under: anthropologie, dresses, ootd, travels

  

Anthropologie Mompos Dress, J.Crew Cashmere Femme Cardigan in Deep Coral,
kate spade new york Kellie Too Heels, Japanese Floral Scout, & Elements of Style locket, ASOS Hat

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Last weekend, I fulfilled one of my longtime dreams when I had a chance to dine at The French Laundry.  A totally spectacular culinary experience.  This outfit is what I wore for my sunny day up in Napa, and to one of the best dinners of my life :)



Summer Dress Wishlist
June 21, 2012, 11:46 am
Filed under: anthropologie, dresses, wishlist | Tags:

At the beginning of summer, I always start my hunt for a very special “birthday dress” to wear on my big day in August, and, along with a fancy special occasion dress, this year I’ve also been scouring for some lightweight, easy-to-wear cotton frocks to supplement my summer wardrobe.  Here are some of my favorites I’ve discovered so far:

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J.Crew Stripe Derby Dress – $138

I’m always such a sucker for stripes, and the thin red and black pattern on this sundress is a little more interesting than the usual navy and white or black and white combinations.  And I love the little diagonal stripe trim at the waist, which adds a perfect little contrasting pop.

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J.Crew Dizzy Anchors Dress – $168

Novelty prints are another weakness of mine, so it’s no wonder that I’m smitten with this anchor-covered dress, cut in a flirty a-line shape and made from a thin cotton that’s perfect for sweltering days.  It’s maybe a tad short for my tastes, but otherwise adorable enough that I’ll give it a pass.

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Tracy Reese Digital Print Dress- $348

Loving the lush colors and dramatic, oversized floral print of Tracy Reese Dress.  It comes replete with pockets and a delightfully Victorian-esque row of buttons down the bodice.

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BHLDN Garlands of Lace Dress – $180

This lace maxi dress from Anna Sui’s resort collection is so feminine and dreamy, and it’s on sale for a total steal of a price.  It’s already mostly sold out, but intermittently keeps popping back in new sizes.

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Modcloth Strolling Through Sunday Dress – $109.99

This dress by Knitted Dove (helmed by a former Anthropologie designer!) is a visual scoop of neapolitan ice cream.  I can’t decide if it’s maybe a *little* too saccharine with me, what with all that pink (never my favorite shade to wear), but you can’t deny how adorable it is.

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kate spade selita dress – $578

Oh kate spade.  This red lace dress is *amazing,* but you are killing me with that price.

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kate spade sonja dress – $226

This tennis-ball covered dress went on sale earlier this month, but, while completely adorable and flattering, when I tried it on in person I discovered the material was a little thin; I know kate spade’s sale cycles well enough to know it’s going to get a further markdown, so I’m waiting patiently for a fairer price.  But when that second cut happens, I plan to pounce immediately.  Too cute.

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dorothy perkins turquoise/pink midi dress – $69

My love for novelty prints rears its head again with this quirky flaming-print dress, which I haven’t been able to get out of my mind since I saw it on the lovely British Anthropologiest.  It’s already winging its way over to me, and I hope I can look half as fantastic as her in it!

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Anthropologie Scalloped Stripes Dress – $128

While Anthro’s designs generally continue to stray alarmingly further and further from the mark, once in a while there’s still a total home-run for me.  This dress is one of those.  It has adorable stripes that are made from little pieces of scalloped ric rac, so there’s a lot more visual interest than a normal striped pattern.  Plus it comes in comfy comfy jersey and is pullover style — no annoying zippers to fuss with.  It comes in white and navy, but I love this red/white version I spotted online even more (though annoyingly it only comes in petites currently, and this dress is already verging on a bit short on me…).

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Anthropologie Mariposa Lace Dress – $248

Last but not least is this lovely by Tracy Reese, which I’ve already drooled over at length in my last Anthro wishlist post.  So incredibly gorgeous, with the lace and the slight sparkle to the material, it feels like a fairy princess dress to me.  Think this be my top choice at the moment for my birthday dress :)

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Any favorite summer dress of yours lately?  Feel free to share!



Weekend Getaway
June 15, 2012, 4:04 pm
Filed under: shopping, travels | Tags:

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Took a brief trip to Vegas a few weekends ago, and I couldn’t think of a better excuse to use one of the new kate spade suitcases which I was lucky enough to score for a total steal at the last sample sale. (Original price of $1295 and $828?  Not happening. 80% off that?  A little more doable!)  The suitcases are gorgeous and extremely well made, if hilarious impractical to carry — there are no wheels, so about three minutes into my journey I thought my arm was going to fall off!  But apart from the unexpected upper-body workout, it did make the whole experience of packing and travelling a little bit old-fashioned, glamorous, and fun — I felt oh-so stylish toting the thing around amongst a sea of black Samsonites :)

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I subscribe to the roll-pack method of travelling :)  Because I don’t particularly like gambling or clubbing (Vegas is all about the shopping and fine dining for me), there was no glitter or sequins in my suitcase, just shorts, a swimsuit, two light cardigans, and my three favorite summer dresses.  Some other things I brought along….

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Another kate spade sample sale score — this Chanel-esque quilted pouch to tuck my toiletries and jewelry into (and which doubled as a clutch at night.)

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My new go-to footwear, these J.Crew Patent Sydney Sandals in dusty clay.

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This floppy, polka dotted hat I got last summer from ASOS.

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And the last thing I swooped up at the kate spade sample sale — their Japanese Floral Scout bag.  I bought it at the Friends & Family sale but forced myself to return as I deemed it a little too expensive still; happily, my patience and frugality won the day, as it meant I eventually got it for around $100 cheaper.    It was maybe a little ridiculous to have carried a matching bag and suitcase around together, but (much to Michael Kors’ horror I’m sure) I love matchy-matchiness, and I’m a huge fan of this Florence Broadhurst pattern, so I went with it!

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One of the many neat details about the piece  – a cheerful label that brought a smile to my face every time I opened the suitcase :)



OOTD: Snapshot
June 11, 2012, 10:15 am
Filed under: anthropologie, dresses, handbags, ootd

Anthropologie Verdant Slip Dress, Ann Taylor Cardigan, Kate Spade Pocomo Gwen Bag,
J.Crew Sydney Patent Sandals in Bronzed Clay

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Hooray!  This was my first outfit where I reunited with my beloved heels after twisting my ankle.  (Nothing against flats, but I think heels are always the factor that push my outfits to be slightly more exciting :))  I took the opportunity to to wear these strappy nude sandals I’d been sitting on for a little bit, waiting for the weather to get warmer.  I paired them with last year’s Verdant Slip dress from Anthropologie (which I hunted down this winter for a great deal — also something I’ve been waiting  for warm weather to pull out!) and a rust orange cardigan to wear to a summer concert.   My last addition to the outfit was this kate spade camera-embossed bag, which I had borrowed earlier from a friend.  Despite its adorableness, it’s sadly  too small to be really useful in any sort of everyday situation (I can cram my phone, a house key, and maybe some lip gloss inside, tops; if I put my actual point-and-shoot inside, nothing else would fit!), but it’s fun to wear every once in a while for just a brief outing :)



June Anthropologie Wishlist and Some Grumblings
June 6, 2012, 9:04 am
Filed under: anthropologie, wishlist | Tags:

Only two items I loved from this month’s Anthropologie roll-out, but fortunately, I really like both of them enough to be worth a wishlist full of ten items :)

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Mariposa Lace Dress – #24862310 - $248

Tracy Reese always makes the prettiest party dresses, no?  The cut of this one is very similar to the Spinning Lace dress a few years back, but done up in a beautiful rose netted lace.  I tried this one on with the Jeweled Skinny Belt in store, and it was amazing.

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Cut Lace Carryall – #24755647 - $198

This tote is made out of leather, but laser-cut in a beautiful pattern that gives the illusion of lace.  The bag is large enough to be functional, but still feminine and gorgeous.  (And, for those squeamish about white handbags, it also comes in black!)

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On other positive notes, though their catalogs generally continue to confuse me, I did actually buy some things from Anthropologie this week, for the first time since the beginning of April.  The sale this week was huge and far more exciting than last month’s supposedly thrilling “tag sale” (which have perpetually disappointed these last four years, except on the rare occasions they offer percentages off).  I happily picked up a few things I knew I wanted from my wishlist (the Porthole Chemise and the Mineral Mesh Chemise), and because of the temporary free shipping (yay!), took a chance on a few Made In Kind pieces (the Photogarden Flared Dress and the Annike Sleeveless Dress) as well.  And then, in a fit of craziness spurred on my free shipping, actually ordered some full price items.  This is the most business Anthro has gotten out of me in 6 months!

On the other hand, here is a big negative note:

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Polka-Dotted Dress by Hi There from Karen Walker - #24955833 - $168

Negative, you say?  Why, it looks cute enough, and who can hate on polka dots?  Why yes, it is super cute, and I thought so the first time I saw it.  On kate spade’s website.  Last year.

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kate spade polka-dot natalia dress

The similarities on this one are too uncanny to make it just a cooincidence.  The shape and silhouette, the polka-dot pattern, the skinny black belt, the ruffled collar and bodice, the keyhole at the neckline — this dress is practically identical.  The only differences?  The kate spade dress has a patent belt instead of matte leather, the button at the keyhole is black instead of cloth-covered, the neckline is maybe a little rounder, and unlike the Karen Walker dress, it’s not made out of polyester, but pure silk.   Also, there was a price difference, sure — there has to be with the difference in materials — but I actually bought kate spade’s dress (you can see me in it here) on sale for $140 last summer, cheaper than what Anthro’s piece is going for right now.  So boo on you Anthropologie.  I’ve seen Anthro do heavily inspired pieces before, so it’s not like the concept of them knocking things off is new to me, but this is a near exact copy, and worse, it’s a copy in their much touted “Made In Kind” collection, where they supposedly collaborate with designers for unique, creative, limited-edition pieces. Karen Walker was their originally announced, headline collaborator, and her pieces were supposed to be lower-priced versions of items from her own line.  Unless Karen Walker was a secret in-house designer for kate spade new york (is this actually a possibility?), this doesn’t really appear to be her own work at all.  Tsk tsk.  I’m not really positive who is at fault here (is it Karen Walker?  Anthropologie?  Did kate spade knock someone else off in the first place?), but I feel like at the very least Anthropologie could have curated this high-profile collection better to make sure it was filled with only original and innovative pieces.



Stripes For All Seasons
May 31, 2012, 11:26 am
Filed under: anthropologie, boots, ootd, shoes, skirts

Anthropologie Decade-by-Decade Skirt, Bloomingdales Cardigan, Born Bittersweet Booties, Met Museum Necklace

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Throwing one more OOTD at you until I get back up to speed; this time an entirely unseasonal one since this is another set of photos from back in March, sorry!  This is basically a winter version of this outfit from last summer.  I love tan stripes paired with the tan florals on this skirt, so I figured, if it ain’t broke, why fix it, and just swapped out the shirt for a similar looking cashmere sweater.  The booties I admit are not my usual style of footwear; I’ve kind of avoided jumping on the bootie band-wagon for the last few years just because I feel like they make even the longest legs look stumpy.   However, I just couldn’t resist this version by Born from last fall.  These probably also make my legs look stumpy too to some extent (and my skirt length probably wasn’t helping here), but I love the vintage-y look these have, replete with sweet details like velvet laces.  They feel so quaint and feminine!  Each step I take in these makes me feel a bit special and delighted somehow.  Special, delighted, and stumpy :)

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A reader asked me about my nails in the last post and if I could post a tutorial; I have a similar manicure here, just done in a lighter shade of green.  There are tons of half-moon manicure tutorials out there on the internet, done better than I could probably ever hope to, so I thought I would just link you to the one I used for now, this easy-to-follow guide from The Beauty Department (the basic gist: use binder re-inforcers as guides for the curves).  I used China Glaze’s Starboard in my last post for the bright green, and here I’m wearing OPI’s Thanks a Windmillion.  Orly Luxe was the gold for both manicures.  Though I’m usually a sucker for brights, I actually liked the mint-y version a little better — the color was a bit more forgiving of mistakes, and was neutral enough to make me feel comfortable wearing it for a whole week at a time!



kate spade May wishlist
May 27, 2012, 3:18 pm
Filed under: wishlist | Tags:

Kate Spade’s pattern of the month for May is Tahitian Florals, which means lots of red, fuschia, and purple, floral and safari prints and motifs (including a hilarious armadillo bag), and, for some reason or the other, a fair amount of colorblocking too.  Here were some of my favorite items:

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selita dress – $578

This red lace overlay dress is so pretty it hurts.  It reminds me quite a bit of Anthropologie’s Compeer Dress from 2010, which I have and love, but even more feminine and delicate (and even recalls this beautiful Erdem dress from the Spring 2011 runway).  Unfortunately, the price is so high that it also hurts, in a less good way.  I feel like kate spade slowly having their prices creep up, just to test us, and I am not happy about it.  Oh well, maybe on double sale?

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zebra jillian dress – $438

Animal prints are a little outside my wheelhouse, but I do love the Jillian cut, and somehow this wild zebra-printed number (made entirely out of linen, for hot summer days) just speaks to me.

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camel belt - $98

I’m always a sucker for kate spade’s novelty buckle belts, and this little camel would offset some of kate spade’s other animal print pieces very nicely.

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gold coast jules – $178

I really like some of the deep purple quilted handbags on the site right now, but I already fulfilled my need for a purple bag when I scored one of my most longstanding wishlist items, the purple studded Valentino Maison, on eBay for a reasonable(ish) price last year (hooray!).  But this pretty quilted wallet sure would make a nice matching accessory to go inside it…

reena sandals – $298

Uncharacteristically, I only liked a few clothing pieces from this month’s new arrivals, but I loved many of the shoes.  These Reena sandals (which come in the above purple/red/nude combination, and also in black and white) caught my eye first since all the models showing off the new skirts and dresses this past month have been wearing them and they’ve added a bit of exciting oomph to every outfit.  Both colors sold out quickly, but they’ve just been restocked, so grab a pair while you can!

kap heels – $328

I love a good cap-toe shoe!  These are kate spade’s new version of last winter’s kap heels that came in white linen and black patent.  I *adored* those shoes, and I anxiously waited for them to show up online, annnnytime, and they never did.  They were only sold in stores, and sadly, stores only offer up to size 10, and I needed a 10.5, sigh.  Fortunately, they’re back this year, in a slightly more wearable (or at least less stain-prone) black and gray printed leather version.  No way I’m letting them get by me this time!

kimmy wedges – $298

Another lovely cap-toe option, these wedge heels, decked out in a lovely brown and black neutral color scheme.

fella sandals – $298

Lastly, these lovely blue floral sandals which I dug up in the site’s bridal section.  Gorgeous.  I can see why they were in the wedding section (what a perfect “something blue” for a bride!), but I think they would make a beautiful, bold accent with any outfit this spring and summer!

Hope everyone is having a lovely Memorial Day weekend!




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