Not The Boss Of Me


Sweater: Effervesence Cardigan by Olga Buraya-Kefelian; madelinetosh pasmina in citrus; my notes and modifications on Darling Clementine
Dress: Lilly Pulitzer; not a lot from Lilly this season that's similar save this one, however check out this Jessica Simpson and this A.B.S. for your strapless summer needs
Shoes: Manolo Blahnik; I would seriously buy ALL of the following orange sandals if I could justify it: floral lace heels by Kurt Geiger, espadrille wedges by Charles David, this brand doesn't fit me well but I still think they're great Schutz strappy sandals, trying to find any justification to buying these Charlotte Olympia sky high platforms which are available in my size and my size only, these amazing and bizarre MSGM mixed media-looking things, and these reasonable high and reasonably priced Lauren by Ralph Lauren multi-colored jobs
Lips: Yves Saint-Laurent Volupte Tint-in-Oil in Crush Me Orange
Toes: Essie in Blanc

Only a dreadful spoilsport would advise against matching one's cardigan, shoes, and lip color. And I am not a dreadful spoilsport. I am a woman who is deeply deeply pleased that winter is over, that summer is coming, that this dress still fits me despite a metabolic catastrophe that not even 30 days of consecutive sweatyoga can arrest (and I am not pregnant, this I know), that I actually do look decent in orange lip gunk, that I am about to go on vacation. Everything is pretty much coming up Millhouse.

I still kinda hate cardigans, though. I am nearing the end of the body on my Grace, the cardigan everyone I am friends with already has and which I needed to have to so that I could fit in. I tried knitting it a size bigger (which will also help since I am at least a size bigger myself) and I've determined that anything below high hip for a cardigan I plan to wear with dresses is too long. Still, I have a bunch of fingering weight lying around the house and I have been toying with the idea of turning some of it into a cardigan design. If I try to make myself a cardigan from the ground up and I still hate it, I can just write off cardigans (tailored cardigans at least, there is still plenty of room for gee it's cold in here cardigans) altogether. So I've been looking at stitch dictionaries and trying to assess what I hate about my existing goes-with-dresses cardigans. Here's a short list:

  • Neck too high
  • Neck too low
  • Shoulders all kinds of arsed up
  • Fronts too narrow --> button band gaping
  • Fronts successfully wide enough, back ridculously oversized
  • Too precious
  • Non-uniform length all around
  • Terrible button band ribbing at complete odds with aesthetic vibe of the rest of the sweater
As I regard this cardigan, I think I might find it the perfect length and am now pretty sad I didn't bring Grace to work because I could know right now, at this very second, if it was long enough to start ribbing. I also worry about a design element that will be pleasing to the eye, interesting enough to knit, but not prohibitive in its application: some stuff is just too cutesy for the boardroom. I know people love allover lace patterns, but in addition to their making the garment less warm, I also feel like allover lace looks "knitterly" for lack of a better word. Unless it's crochet and it's boho, you don't see a lot of allover lace in fashion. I'm pretty sure there's a reason for that.

So I'm in the thinking stage of a cardigan. I have two lovely SQs, one from Western Sky Knits and one from Plucky, both of which would make perfectly nice cardigans. I'll let you know how that progresses. In the meantime, All Hail Orange!


Because Ridiculous is Cool Saith I


Socks (!!!!): A mash up of the Vanilla Socks by Carle Dehning and the Fish Lips Kiss Heel by Sox Therapist; the unbelievably AMAZING Striped Turtle Toes yarn in Trenchcoat by Turtlepurl; and I really didn't make any notes on Naughty Prepster
Dress: Jason Wu for Target; similar styles by Tracy Reese, Lauren by Ralph Lauren, and a not terrible looking one from Target
Shoes: Nicholas Kirkwood; and I really stuck out trying to find non-patent mary janes, so a few non-traditional choices from Giuseppe Zanotti and Aperlai
Lips: Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Intense in 27, satin dark rosewood

This outfit is bananas. I know this. If I was not actually wearing a slightly more bananas outfit today (with the socks), I would be even judgier. These socks are bananas. AWESOME bananas. They are my first sock-weight socks, my first knee-highs, my first self-striping yarn. I love them. I love them because I have no earthly business wearing them. I love them because they are even somehow worse in the Burberry colors. I wish I could think of more inappropriate ways to wear them.

Which came first, the yarn or the socks? Well it was obviously the yarn since I never thought I would suck it up and make myself a pair of socks. In all honesty, I started these socks at the end of last summer and would do an inch or so when I needed seriously boring knitting. But I saw the yarn on Tanis's blog and I had to have a pair. Immediately. I also knew they would have to be knee highs because I just don't have any occasion to wear ankle socks. I bought two skeins to be sure I would have enough and because the universe is my friend, these only took one skein meaning...yup elbow-length gloves will one day happen.

Wanna know why? Because sometimes life is terrible and you feel awful and you don't know from where joy will come. So you do something frivolous. And that tiny bit of frivolity pokes through the dark cloud of horrible just a little bit. And that might be enough for the time being to remind you that terrible horrible no good very bad is, of necessity, a temporary condition.

Or perhaps you're just into cos-play.


No, It Isn't Still Snowing


Sweater: Anais by Kim Hargreaves; madelinetosh sport in chamomile; my notes and modifications on Tournesol
Dress: Alice + Olivia; similar tweedy dresses from Diane von Furstenburg, Erdem, and a jeweled one from Alice + Olivia
Boots: Gucci; some fun, on-sale, embellished booties from Giuseppe Zanotti, Pour la Victoire, and Rupert Sanderson
Lips: Bobbi Brown Art Stick in Sunset Orange

Take a whole bunch of pictures one weekend, they said. That's what all the people who blog about clothes do, they said. Who would know, they asked. Well, you've caught me. I did a bunch of outfits I actually did wear to work one weekend day that was neither too rainy nor too cold so that I would have content during the terrible no good very bad seemingly undending greyness of terror that has been every day since pretty much December 1. This sunny day? I thought it was the beginning of a trend. It wasn't. It isn't. I'm seriously considering moving to a different hemisphere.

But the clothes. I wager you care ever so slightly more about the clothes than my bitching about the weather. This dress is a score of mine, in that I had it on my radar, it never went on my kind of sale, I forgot about it, I found it again on The Outnet, and scooped it up in a NY second. I love it despite the tweed being made of something plastic and therefore it's a little scratchy. I love the color, I love the length, I love how it looks with these boots...

I admit it's a bit of a stretch with this sweater.

I really am trying. In fact, I've been debating designing a cardigan in the hope that I can make myself a cardigan I would enjoy wearing. This makes sense in theory, right? I got really nice yarn for it. It's surprisingly enough...yellow. Because I think there might not be a limit on the number of yellow sweaters I need. The current active tally is 5. With at least 2 more in the offing. I am, in truth, wearing one right now. Don't judge me.


Emily Says: That Is Not A Dress


Sweater: Hey Girl by Bonnie Marie Burns; wollmeise dk in fruhling; my notes and modifications on Atlantic Pacific
Dress: The Reformation (similar dress from current collection); similar styles from Loft, T by Alexander Wang, and bcbg
Shoes: Manolo Blahnik (similar shoe from current collection); other nude mary janes from SJP, Miu Miu, and Rupert Sanderson
Lips: Dolce and Gabbana passion duo gloss fusion lipstick in Sensual and Bobbi Brown high shimmer lip gloss in Hot

Wait! Don't click any of those links! I need to plug Fashionism. I met this guy at my maid of honor's birthday a couple years ago and he was talking about a website idea he was on the point of launching. It's the simplest of affiliate payback sites, only its focus is fashion, specifically, highish fashion. You know the drill, start your shopping through the Fashionism site and get a small percentage of your purchase price back. I pestered him to be a beta user and have gotten to know him fairly well over that time (and found more than my fair share of broken links, I'll have you know), I've also amassed over $100 in my "cash back" account. Is that a tremendous amount of money? Nope. Is it the kind of money I would buy things I didn't need to acquire? Nope. Is it totally acceptable as a fun bonus for crap I was already buying? Yup. I mean Sephora is an affiliate, and I buy tons of crap at Sephora already. Getting 5% of the stuff I purchase back? Sounds good to me. So this isn't a get rich quick scheme, it's a "hey would you like a couple bucks back on that thing you were already buying? great, click this link." In the 2 years I've used it, I have not been "accidentally on purpose" subscribed to anyone's mailing list or experienced anything else unexpected or untoward. So there's my pitch. I'll probably make it again because it is a service I actually use.

Back to Emily's pearl clutching. I may have a bit of a The Reformation addiction. I love the style, I love the concept, I love everything about it save the fact that the vast majority of the clothing is designed to be worn without a bra and I need to wear a bra. They have a twice annual sale, which is where I got this dress ("dress"), but I have also been availing myself of their full-priced merchandise with somewhat alarming regularity because it is just that awesome (I have repeatedly begged the Fashionism guy to get them as an affiliate). Also the one thing I bought that had major problems? Return, full refund, no questions asked. I love them. But, there mini dresses are definitely mini. Over the protestations/eye rolling of both Emily and my husband, I will kick a super short skirt from time to time, but with a modest upper. So long sleeved, buttoned shirtdress with casual cardigan up top and Tina Turner on the bottom kinda works for me.

Still in love with this sweater, still wondering why my second is still a WIP, still hate the buttons. Notice a pattern? I sometimes feel my lazy is actually a special power.


Found While Looking For Something Else


Sweater: Folded by Veera Välimäki; madelinetosh tosh merino light in stovepipe; my notes and modifications on Devil and Deep Blue
Skirt: Calvin Klein; similar styles from topshop, Versace, and Jones New York
Shoes: Tabitha Simmons; similar styles from Calvin Klein, L.A.M.B, and Manolo Blahnik
Lips: Dolce and Gabbana passion duo gloss fusion lipstick in Sensual

You know, I kind of like this sweater. I can't remember the last time I wore it, but it's kind of a shame since it's cute. Not the cutest I've made, but certainly cute enough. And in the tml, thin enough to tuck in. Something I've seen in the lady magazines I read. And I'm scowling not because I'm upset, but because the sun was really really bright. This was the least scowly squinty shot of the bunch. But more about the sweater: despite the fact that it's a raglan, the super wide neck ameliorates that somehow. I'd have to re-look at the pattern to determine if anything seriously special is going on, but I don't have that raglan-aversion thing when I see this pic.

The skirt is another closet find. It was my mom's and it is something I would never have bought for myself, but when I was looking at it determining whether to keep it or not, I told myself there was nothing either objectionable or awful about the skirt and that it might come in handy. Well this is the first time I've worn it, but I'd like to wear it again. It's a bit big in the waist which makes it hang funny, but this doesn't seem like something insoluble given a decent tailor. Note to self: find decent tailor.

As for the shoes, I cannot thank myself enough for this impulse buy. I love them. Despite a bit of pinky toe pinching. I cannot wait for warmer weather since they will go with nearly everything I own for summer. They are totally better than my other navy shoes which are sitting in the mailing box awaiting my getting in gear to send stuff off for consignment. Which segues nicely into a brief plug. I have been experiencing excellent success in buying gently used The Real Real, an online consignment shop. So when Emily asked me about it, I realized I had not plugged it at all, which I will start doing because I have been nothing but ecstatic with my purchases, including a needs-the-weather-to-be-a-little-warmer pair of brogue-inspired open-toed pumps that are adorable!


Off Duty


Sweater: Rocky Coast Cardigan by Hannah Fettig; madelinetosh tosh merino in antler; my notes and modifications on Acadian
Blouse: Everlane modern silk point collar shirt in navy; similar styles by Theory, Joe Fresh, and Ralph Lauren
Jeans: Madewell Alley Straight (different color); I'm also a fan of Old Navy's Sweetheart style
Shoes: Sperry Top-Sider Hayden loafer; similar styles by Bass and Cole Haan
Lips: Rosebud Salve

Yes Virginia, there is a casual Yelena. Truth be told, chez moi we much preferred this outfit without the sweater, but as I explained to my husband, the blog is about styling knitwear...

I have such mixed feeings about this sweater. I trot it out a lot despite the sleeves that are too tiny, the shoulders that despite modification fall off, and the overall look which is more than a little bit dowdy. However, it's a warm, white cardigan. It has merit. It has uses. I just sometimes wish I also had the long johns I feel it ought to go with and the mountain chalet to wear both while trapising about.

I do NOT have mixed feelings about this shirt. This shirt is amazing. This shirt will be coming to live with me in several more colors. I know I wax rhapsodic about Everlane while hocking my invite link and I feel not really at all bad about that. Their stuff is amazing! For a long time, they only had two long-sleeved shirt options: rounded collar with set-in sleeves or pointed collar with raglan sleeves. Can you see why I hadn't bought one yet? When I saw that they were offering pointed collar with set-in sleeves, it took me zero time to hit the buy button. That they had it in navy was just a bonus. That I selected the right size was bonus x2. That my husband made googly eyes at me when he saw it on? Bonus x3. This shirt is full of bonus.

I'm also becoming more and more partial to my Madewell Alley Straights. The one problem I have with them is that they are, definitively, too bulky to tuck into booties, but I think I'll survive. As for the flats, they just sort of worked. I wear my top-siders a lot when I'm not doing much of anything. I pack them for after yoga class, wear them to get a pedicure, take them on vacation (dear god that all sounds so repulsivley privileged I might just barf). They're kick around shoes and I can't ever see myself wearing them professionally. That being said, I'm delighted I have them for kicking around.

Finally, just for the record, I'd like to say that I acknowledge that this is a preternaturally good photo of me. The 47 others were not like this one. This one captured everything I always want to be in jeans and everything I am pretty sure I'm not. It's the Ricky Lauren look of my sartorial fantasies and I have no shame about publishing it to the internet pretending it's actually what I look like.


Not Quite Menswear Inspired


Sweater: Ease by Alicia Plummer; madelinetosh dk twist in duchess; my very few notes and modifications on In The Red
Skirt: J. Crew; similar styles by Joie, Brooks Brothers, and a different version from J. Crew
Shoes: Marc by Marc Jacobs; same boot with a smaller heel and other options from Leon Max and Proenza Schouler
Lips: Yves Saint Laurent Volupte tint-in-oil in Cherry My Cherie

Why yes, it is time for another haircut. That will be happening next Friday. In the meantime, it is taking all of my self-control not to absolutely destroy my shoe collection by wearing it in this winter. I've been relying on my casual boots for far too long, which is why despite a forecast that may briefly catch me out in these boots, I had to wear something prettier today. This is also the first day in quite a long time that I felt like doing my hair, so obviously that required memorializing.

There is a little bit of thought that goes into photo days. Do I have enough brain power to coordinate an outfit? I mean I am invariably running behind in the morning and throwing a dress over my head is the easy way out. Does this sweater match these shoes? This is an important one. It was enough of a mental hurdle to pair navy tights with the black and oxblood booties, but ad I worn the original sweater I had wanted, my West End Girl, it would have definitely been a bridge to far. And while my Carrie would have been perfect and perfectly uncomplicated with the rest of this outfit, I did just wear it. I might actually be boring in real life, but on the internet I can totally pretend I'm interesting. Thanks for enabling that.

So what I like about this outfit: I adore pinstripes. I wish I had a closet full of pinstriped things. I like pinstripes so much that I once bought palazzo pants in pinstripe. Ask me how many times I wore those? The answer is once. Remember Madonna's Jean Paul Gautier menswear moment? I kind of want that all the time in my closet (and just for the day, some straighter hips so that pants look amazing on me). So when I saw this pinstriped skirt on sale for about 30 bucks, I jumped on it. Since navy is a total neutral it looks great with all my sweaters, even the aforementioned hot pink one. As for booties, I feel as though the 2014-2015 winter has been all about booties for me. I never gave them much thought before, but I aquired two pair this year and have trotted out my old dark brown pair far more often than in previous years; I am on the lookout for a gently used pair of Celine booties from two seasons ago to round out the category.

And you know how I said I was cutting my hair? I still am, but for reasons passing understanding my hair has looked pretty good all day long. Which is a rarity. I have this one really good pic of my hair shorter from a couple of years ago and I am definitely bringing it to my hairdresser,

but I'm also strangely happy with its current length (the bangs obviously need trimming and by someone who isn't me - though in fairness they turned out way less terribly than I had feared). The only issue is the massive dry, gross split ends that make me think I should just shave my head and start from scratch #woecake.