Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Perfect Spring/Summer Blazer

I've been having trouble finding a cover up for the office that's also season appropriate...  

My BCBGMAXAZRIA blazer, while stunning and fit for almost any occasion, is black and longish and just too heavy for Summer - even in Seattle.  Also, I am super petite a la boy hips so blazer shopping is definitely no walk in the park.

So you can imagine my surprise and immediate rush of joy I experienced when I happened upon this fabulous thrift find while shopping with a friend last week!  It was perfect because I kept bragging to her about my burgeoning thrift shopping skills at Value Village so when she spontaneously requested I take her along to prove it, this little tailored, tweed number popped up on my radar making me look quite impressive amidst the piles of maternity wear and polyester dashikis.  And the fact that it was a $6.99 made her a believer in thrift finds.
Out with Theo and my mother in law last Saturday, we stopped by our favorite bakery, Macrina for some coffee and pastries.  I delighted in a chocolate ganache cupcake and the pastry chef's phone number... I think they'll do wonders for a wedding cake!
This light seasonless wool tweed is a beautiful shade and goes very well with pop corals and browns.  Which is exactly what I decided to incorporate it with that day.  My coconut necklace from the Philippines, a loose coral jersey top and faded Benetton denim came together well - and my safari bangles tied in nicely with the summery theme.  I've really got some mileage out of those accessories this season.
This blazer is actually set up to offer two different styles.  While it is somewhat cropped to begin with, there is a working zipper that goes along the entire back and can be undone, giving an extreme cropped look.  Perfect for high waisted pants, skirts or a tunic.  For this post, I chose to unzip it only partially on both sides just for style sake.

And since the whole reason I bought this blazer was to have a summery cover up for work, I can't wait to share what it looks like with my office dresses.  

Ah, the perfect Spring/Summer blazer!  And I found it just in time.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Brunch & A Walk

Saturday morning, Theo and I went to one of our usual spots for brunch, Cafe Soleil in Madrona.  Lately, I've been practically living in a new applique-eyelet-type frock by Catherine Malandrino.  So of course, I didn't think twice throwing it on again to lounge about and eat breakfast food.  
I actually traded this fantastic find at a local designer consignment shop, Driftwood (in Madrona - I will surely be devoting more time to talk about this gem of a boutique later!).  
Yes, this dress was received as a trade...so it was kinda free :)  And in return, I happily handed over an old, never before worn Vera Wang dress I'd been neglecting for a couple years.  Everyone was happy!  Since the Tiny Closet is not a museum, if an item hasn't been worn at least once in over a year, it's time to let it go.

After brunching, we walked our dog, Dakota through the neighborhood.  Stopping at pretty much every jewelry boutique on the way.  My fear of accessories has now turned into obsession.  Dakota was so patient while I ooh and ahh'd over the new items...and so was Theo.
 This oversize sweater is new as well.  I love oversize clothing. What can I say, I love the drape and drama of it.  This sweater was thrifted from Value Village - a size 14 and therefor oversize and perfect for what I had in mind.  You should see it buttoned, this thing really is amazing.
 The tap shoes are still going strong, ribbons and all :)  I also wore them with a silk dress and fishnets here.  I feel like classic show tap shoes should be a staple in one's closet: black, glossy, feminine and versatile.  Perfect.  Mine were thrifted from Goodwill.
I have to say, these days I'm finding it difficult to find time to sit and muse with my dear Tiny Closet.  With my new job, an imminent wedding and new sewing projects, I've been skimping on spending time doing what has grown to be my most favorite hobby: writing about fashion!  It makes me so happy :)  Does it make you happy tooooo?

And lately I've been thinking to myself, "If this is like my favorite thing to like, do... then maybe I should like, do it more..."  (yes, my inner voice is Cher from Clueless).  So, I've decided I will be slicing more time out from now on to spend on ya know, the important stuff.  Clothes.

More coming up.  For realsies!

Friday, July 13, 2012

El Romper

What once was old...
I have now made new!
What, this old thing?  I've made a frumpy old dress that was once fit for a substitute math teacher in the 80s now fit for Summer time with wedge sandals!  Whether you pay for the service or you do it yourself, altering vintage, dated or ill-fitting clothing is the most creative, customized way to regularly update your closet.  

Fashion is fun and dramatic but when it comes to styling and wear, fit is key. It's the difference between wearing a frock and the frock wearing you.

I bought this dress for $3.99 at Value Village with a vision in mind for a flirty, girly romper.  I had been searching and searching and searching for some great Summer rompers and is it just me or do they all look a bit rated R?  Sifting through them at various stores, I felt like I needed to get a brazilian wax just to wear one!  What can I say, I am after all a lady and I'd like keep my private parts private thank you.  So Value Village (where I buy most of my thrift items) was the perfect place to go looking for a bright, fun and perhaps dated frock to create my own romper hemline...
Fresh off the sewing table, I debuted my romper on my visit to the neighborhood taco truck.  Paired with my Et Fiancees wedges. 
This Abercrombie & Fitch belt is an oldie from the 90s.   The older it gets the better it looks.
 My signature nail color is brilliant sunflower yellow.  Oddly enough.  It just goes with me.  This particular shade is "Need Sunglasses" by O.P.I.  The minty shade on my toes is "Milf" by Illamasquah.
So officially, this is my first altered piece!  I capped the sleeves and actually kept the shoulder pads as I like a strong shoulder line.  I then brought the front and back together to a comfortable crotch length and created a flared A-line short.  

Voila :)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Pop!

Bring your pop colors to the forefront!

Whenever I go thrifting, I always shop outside my comfort zone.  Especially when I shop at Value Village where I'm only paying $3 here and $5 there.  It's easier to experiment with new styles and also items I could possibly alter.  

So when I saw this hot hot hot pink Diane von Furstenberg dress at VV for $9, even though I neeever wear pop colors as a main piece, I thought,

"Oh, what the heck! 
Let's give this fierce thing a try, shall we?"
Diane von Furstenberg, a role model of mine, is fearless, powerful and incredibly self-possessed.  Her personality reflects in her designs so even though I am out of my grey/black/white comfort zone, I feel just like her: fierce!  Yeah baby.

Color Club "Edie" on my nails went strikingly with the fuchsia tone.  And my trusty black and gold accessories gave the simple design of the dress some drama and flyness.  I plan to wear this ensemble to work sans strappy sandals.  Exchange for a pair of simple glossy pumps and that's a perfect Monday outfit, wouldn't you say?
dress: Diane von Furstenberg (Value Village thrift) / belt: Forever21 / sandals: Jimmy Choo for H&M / bag: Rebecca Minkoff / necklace: thrift / sunglasses: Ann Klein

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Clothes For Work... Finally!

Good things come to those who wait.  Being unemployed for um... a long time has been an experience.  Coming from a family of go-getters, 
limbo was not a place I was familiar with.  But at least I looked ok while I was there :)  

It wasn't until I stopped pounding the pavement, trying to get my foot in the door that I was offered something I couldn't say no to.  So now my Tiny Closet and I have a new project: work attire.

My department is small and elite.  I think the women there love fashion almost as much as I do.  My first day was practically a fashion show.
*sigh* Such eye candy for the style obsessed.  So now that I've got a fancy new job, mama needs some fancy new ensembles, right?

But instead of going all out and buying a new wardrobe for the office, I made it a priority to keep my lil closet Tiny!
I went thrifting at various favorites for a few dressy outerwear pieces to add to my casual clothing.  This tweed overcoat was one of the pieces I found.
Since even saying "office wear" makes me want to gag, I decided to get creative with the concept.  No, no - not Victoria's Secret office wear (jesus, who thought those skin tight skirt suits were appropriate anyway, Barbie??), I wanted something less generic-office-drone and more artistic and yes, flashy.
 This wool overcoat from Value Village is light enough for cooler Summer days and it tops a cotton/lycra tube dress that I've been wearing for years - yes, a tube dress!  I thought the open toe, strapped wedges would also give the duo an added kick.
 And though I do not usually wear flashy colors, I love love love flashy nails.  This color is "Edie" by Color Club.  Color Club has beautifully brilliant, deeply pigmented colors.  My new favorite nail color brand.
 overcoat with belt: Semantiks (Value Village thrift) / dress: H&M / bracelet: Forever / earrings: Nordstrom / wedges: Trouve

I've been busy, busy, busy these days sewing.  One of my 2012 resolutions was to finally showcase more of my own work: outfits that I sew and clothing that I've dramatically altered.  So if you promise not to laugh, I will be posting them soon.  

Aaaaand, if you like my thrifted overcoat, I think you'll quite enjoy the other treats I plan to wear at the office.

More thrifted office wear coming soon :)

Monday, July 2, 2012

Beating Around The Gown

If you read my last wedding dress post, Big Long &Ugh..., you probably guessed it - I'm pretty non-traditional when it comes to traditions.  Any time I can customize, I take full advantage of that right.  I guess that's why I started chronicling my lil outfits in the first place. 

But with all this thinking-outside-the-box, every now and then, it really is fascinating to think inside the parameters of normal and see what I can come up with.  In this case

...maybe I do want a big fancy gown, eh?
Maybe I do want to have frou frou and bows and crystals and tulle everywhere!

I do, I do, I do!!!

Ahem - anyway I guess the 6 year old inside of me that never took the time to plan out her wedding whilst making mud pies and coloring outside the lines is sending a message.  More like throwing a tantrum.  Listed below, you'll see that we came to a compromise.
Ramona Keveza Couture makes truly elegant modern wedding gowns. For fashion forward brides who are not afraid of edgier (if that's even possible in the bridal world) styles and love to show off their gams! I love one-shoulder gowns but this look can be dated as the trend is certainly on its way out. She has made this one shoulder look into more of a grecian wrap. The stiff, less frou four drape gives a more adult poise.
 I tip toed a little further down the rabbit hole to this frothy gown.  The top definitely has more of an ice-skater look than I would ever venture into but again, the high-low hem shows off the legs and shoes, which apparently I find important.  As for the length - drama, drama!  I was not able to find the real designer of this dress with all the plethora of Asian custom-gown-replica websites in my way.
 Whoa-ho!  Guess what?  I am diggin it.  And just like Barbie promised, I too can have my own bridal two-piece.  The tulle is removable!  And no sillies, not removable like Theo will twirl me out of it during our dance - more like I will remove it for the reception.  Part of the reason why I can't see myself in a big ol dress is moving around in it during dinner and dancing.  Bleh.
With the high-low hemline still in mind, I thought this dress was a bit more thought out conceptually and design wise.  I found it while browsing through a very creative, thorough wedding dress blog.  It's actually called http://weddingdressblog.org.  The floral applique winding over the mini sheath with a peplum-like dress over.  No, this dress is not removable but I wouldn't want to take it off anyway.  The tiered design takes away the mass giving more mobility and it's a bit easier on the eyes.

Next is a thin weighted Jenny Packham gown.  Encrusted, bedazzled and pinned.  It's a bit 20s, a bit 40s and utterly perfect.  The thin gauzy limp sheer layers would be beautiful for an evening garden ceremony.  However, the line of this dress wouldn't do my bottom half any good.  With my small stature, this dress would make me look even tinier.  Still, the the delicate beading is absolutely gorgeous and worth a thought.
 And the last one of my tangent is the "mermaid" style gown.  I love this fitted sheath and of course I am fully aware that mermaid dresses pronounce the...lovely lady lumps.  Since my curves are more subtle a fitted gown with a dramatic flair pump up the volume, pump up the volume! 
 Ah, but still - except for maxis, long dresses just aint for me. Eva Langoria and I are so much alike (let me finish), us shorties can get away with the mini dresses because we kinda have to. We can't have too much length over our legs.

So I have definitely satisfied my inner toddler princess.  These are actually the last pictures I flipped through before I emailed my mother exclaiming my final choice.  Yep, it is done!  Wanted to share my final brainstorm with you before moving on to yet another time-consuming, nap-inducing ritual in preparation for the final best day of my life.  heehee!