Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I'm All Ears (See Jane Get an Earful)

Do you remember when you had your ears pierced? My mom and sisters had to coax me into the dreaded "ear piercing chair" at Claire's by offering treats of McDonald's. Embarrassingly enough, I had a few attempts before I actually went through with it. I made it pretty far the first couple times--my ears had been wiped down with alcohol towelettes and the purple dots had marked their place on my lobes (so the Ear Piercer wouldn't miss of course). Then, I saw the gun. It made me leap out the chair and run down the mall corridor--more than once.

I think I finally bit the bullet (read: stayed in the chair) by 7th grade. I chose a simple pair of silver studs and I haven't strayed that far since. While I love hoops and chandelier earrings on others, I've never felt that comfortable in them myself. I also just prefer the stud earring style, in general. I have a humble collection of stud earrings so far that I enjoy adding to from time to time.

Release your ears from heaviness. Check out these (lightweight/breezy) post earrings for the spring/summer:


Perfect with a simple navy dress and a tan.


Saffron Crocus Posts
$24 at anthropologie.com


A unique, summer alternative to the typical flower posts.


Kate Spade Starfish Earrings
$55 at saks.com


A simplistic design that you'll wear straight into the fall.


Gorjana Circle Diamond Studs
$45 at shopbop.com



How do you decorate your ears?

Monday, March 29, 2010

Rollin' with the Home-ees (See Jane House Hunt)

I'm currently on the search for a new apartment and I forgot how terrible of a time it can be. My boyfriend should be contributing to this grandiose search but since he "works" more than "40 hours a week," he is somehow exempt from it. Time to put on the big girl pants, because I AM in charge!

Throughout my search, I've found that every place falls under two categories: A.) it's a dump, or B.) it's so freakishly popular that you know you'll never clinch it. Even so, here are a few amenities that we've decided are mandatory:


A Nice Kitchen


*photo courtesy of CasaSugar

I really do enjoy cooking so is it really too much to ask that our kitchen doesn't have those coil-y shaped burners? And yes, I realize I won't find a kitchen like this...but isn't it beautiful?

Hardwood Floors


*photo courtesy of CasaSugar

I've looked at some high-rises and have found an unfortunate common factor: wall to wall carpeting. To that, I say, "Why??" Stop. You're ruining it. And I want to choose my own rugs. Speaking of, I love that jute rug (shown above). I have a similar coffee table, so now I'm eyeing this 5x8 version at Target for $129.99.

Deck


*Photo courtesy of CasaSugar

Look--if I don't have some sort of deck or porch this summer, how am I going to sip Countrytime lemonade while basking in the sun? While it's not a dealbreaker, I may shed a few tears if I don't have some outdoor space. I'd really like to get some Vitamin D this summer. Summer deck boom.

Do you think I can do it? Can I find this magical apartment?

P.S. I'd also like a washer/dryer in unit and lots of closet space.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Jeans Day (See Jane Have Casual Friday)

Who doesn't love a jeans day? (The answer: those who aren't the repressed slaves of corporate America and get to express themselves at work every day with their creative clothing)

Well, whatever. This corporate suit loves a denim day! Whenever I hear that a jean-themed Friday is looming, I get dizzy with excitement. What will I wear? What will the weather be like? How can I look better than everyone else?

I like to keep it nice and simple. Jeans, flats, cardigan.


Clinging Blossoms Cardigan
$88 at anthropologie.com


Nollie Gray V-neck
$16 at pacsun.com



J Brand lightweight pencil jean in Shadow
$173 at revolveclothing.com


I love navy and black together--I think it's such a chic combination. I threw in a gray t shirt for a casual touch and to break up the dark monotony.

Paired with my nude Ferragamo flats and I'm ready to roll! What do you wear on Casual Fridays?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A Very Uma Birthday (See Jane Pay Homage)

I want to take this opportunity to wish my beautiful, older sister a very bonne anniversaire. I just hope I can look like her when I'm her age. Ergo, I hope to look like Uma Thurman. Seriously, Sarah is Uma's doppleganger (obviously, because my sister is way younger than Ms. Thurman).




Here are a few things Sarah liked that I just thought were the coolest:



Sarah always liked Nirvana and I can still remember how upset she was the day Kurt Cobain died. Even though I was only 9 years old, I was so interested in how much his death affected her. I came to fully appreciate Nirvana, many years later, but was always jealous that I was too young to understand that magnitude of what happened that day. I've come to realize it was like the day John Lennon died, for Gen X'ers--the day the grunge music died.



Speaking of Gen X... Sarah's style in the early 90s made me yearn for a pair of Doc Marten boots of my own. While her peers were still grasping for the whatever was left of 80s style (and trust me, there was plenty left in 1991--I saw her yearbooks), Sarah was embracing her long, straight blond hair and wearing a flannel around her waist. I was only a kid in elementary school, but I thought she was an effortless style maven. (I also know that if I was her age in the 90s, I would have looked like a damn fool wearing the stuff she could pull off.)




Why the cartwheels, you ask? Well, Sarah is the only kid in our family that can do them. In fact, she can do several other gymnastic moves, as well. While it may not seem like a big deal to some, in our family, the cartwheel is a coveted move. To my other siblings, Emily and Blue: Give up. We'll never be able to do it. It's Sarah's thing.

Happy Birthday, Sarah! I love you lots. And did you notice that the whole post is black and white? It's dedicated to your high school bedroom on LaPlante Road, which was black and white themed. I was so jealous of it and loved hanging out in there when you were gone.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

UNessentials (See Jane Exalt the Expendables)

When it comes to my beauty routine, there are only a few things I consider totally essential. (Definition: those items that allow me to leave the house looking like a human) The cleansers, toners, moisturizers listed in my routine post and a few crucial makeup items:


Laura Mercier mineral powder spf 15 in natural beige $35 at sephora.com

L'oreal Voluminous mascara in carbon
$7 at Walgreens

NARS bronzer in Laguna $32 at sephora.com


Very tried and true, those items are my staples. However, I must protest this whole "essentials you must own" trend. This list of must-haves gets longer every day. To simplify your life, I'm going to indulge you with a few items that I really like and use regularly, but let's face it, the world wouldn't end if I didn't have them for a week.


Laura Mercier Illuminiating Powder in Candlelight

After applying your makeup, sweep a bit of this powder on your cheeks, forehead, and chin for a nice, subtle glow. Again, I really like this powder, but do I wear it every single day? No, but I use it a few times a week and I'm glad I have it in my arsenal. ($32 at sephora.com)


Mario Badescu Facial Spray



Speaking of subtle glows, I love giving my face a quick spritz of this spray (when I remember) after my makeup is on. The result is a dewy look and longer lasting makeup. The best part is, it lasts forever and is only $7 at Nordstrom. I found from one of my favorite sites: www.makeupalley.com. There are literally thousands of reviews of just about any product you can think of. Great site to reference before you buy big ticket items.

Sonia Kashuk Beauty gel liner in black

This is a great eyeliner, but I don't wear it that often because it needs to be applied with a brush. I previously had the Smashbox gel eyeliner (which was over $25) and was looking for a cheaper alternative since I used it once/twice a week at most (weekend eyes). This still will last you longer than any other makeup item you own. Unsanitary? Eh, maybe, but it'll boost your immune system. ($8.99 at Target)




What items do you like, but can live without?





Monday, March 22, 2010

Nudie Photos (See Jane in the Buff)

First, get your mind out of the gutter! Second, wipe the sweat off your brow--you won't be flagged at work for looking at this post. Today's blog is dedicated to all that is flesh-toned-tastic. Nudes and peaches and tans, oh my!



Me on an average work day. Hair up, slightly disheveled. Solemn expression. Minimal makeup. (Sometimes not even the best concealers can cover up those dark circles.) Alberta Firretti conveyed a minimalist look at her recent show in Milan (Fall 2010 Collection). My translation: keep your face as naked-looking as possible this spring/summer. Beige shadows, a light hand with the eyeliner (keep it in the brown family), and mascara for the eyes, then a light pink blush for the cheeks and a subtle gloss for the lips. It's not so much a trend as it is a rule of thumb for the season, really.

{Speaking of "trends," have you noticed yet that just about anything is in style these days? I can honestly say, if it works for you, do it. If you can rock drop-crotch harem pants, more power to you. In fact, I need to start keeping all my clothes instead of tossing them to the curb so quickly--most everything comes back around. Well, not everything; the terrible sweater coats I owned back in 2001 still haunt me from time to time. (Think Rampage, shag collars, Ms. J)}


CHANEL 2.55 Bag in Beige



J'adore. In this life of purses, the Chanel 2.55 in beige is my Holy Grail. I lust/yearn/pine after this gorgeous bag. Sure, I'd take black, but I've got plenty of that color; the beige is positively perfect and (somewhat) unique.


Not So Naked


Ever Catania Draped Dress
$178 at shopbop


J Crew Dotted Jacquard Pencil Skirt
$119 at jcrew.com


Lawrence Blazer
$168 at anthropologie.com (free shipping if you have an anthro member card - no, it's not a credit card!)


And to polish it off....(pun most definitely intended)

Essie Nail Polish in Nude Attitude
$8 at essieshop.com


"Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society." Mark Twain

We wouldn't have wanted to see Mr. Twain in these clothes, anyway.



Saturday, March 20, 2010

I Hate Being Right (See Jane Be Clairvoyant)

Sometimes my soothsayer tendencies are helpful (multiple choice quizzes, up and coming bands, rock/paper/scissors); other times, like today, I just feel sad that I even shared the vision in my head.

It's snowing outside. Yes, there is a blizzard outside my window. Quelle horreur! I know all my NYC friends are probably yukking it up as its 70 degrees and sunny in Manhattan. If only I was back in New York, then I could be waltzing around the LES on this sunny afternoon while sporting my new strappy wedges....but that's another conversation that I'll save for later.

Vogue Magazine Cover, December 1916


This will be me trudging through the snow, over the river and through the woods, to my friend's birthday party this afternoon.


Looks like I have to (begrudgingly) bust out my old winter staples:

Burberry Belted Wool Coat



I have this coat in red. How fitting; I'm so mad about this weather that I'm seeing red--like Soviet Red. ($795 at Burberry - I got mine after Christmas for 50% off!)


Joes Jeans Black "Jeggings"




Not quite jeans, not quite leggings. In 2009, the jegging was born. I wore these nonstop this past fall and winter. They will still be great for a cooler spring day but these thick, black pants will eventually be retired for in the summer. Although, I may have to invest in a thinner denim pair for the summer. ($138 at anthropologie)


Beverly Hills 90210



I prefer to watch episodes via SoapNet on a blustery winter morning. Some people eat comfort food when it's cold out, well I watch comfort TV. Other favorites include: Saved by the Bell, Real Housewives (of any location), and Mad Men.


Enjoy your day, Chicagoans. My senses tell me there is a light at the end of the tunnel and to expect better weather next week.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Ahoy Hoy? (See Jane Go Nautical)

Nautical for spring. How groundbreaking.


Stop fighting it! Nothing gets your gears grinding for spring like a set of stripes. Yes, it's mainstream and expected, but it's the American (or is it French?) way. Even hipsters can't deny the lure that is stripes this time of year. As soon as you don some, it's automatically time for roof decks, grilling out, and spring pale ale.

That's right--spring is here! Open your eyes, and if you're lucky you'll see guys sporting croakies (um, these kickass Ray-Bans won't hold themselves). Let's be honest with each other, though--it's going to get cold again before summer. I know you're chomping at the bit to wear those sundresses, but it's a hard reality that this is the time of year when it's 65 degrees one day and sleeting the next. As the saying goes, in like a lion, out like a lamb.


Lucca Couture Striped Top



I recently bought this top and cannot stop wearing it. I chose a smaller size for a more fitted look and it looks great dressed up with high-heeled booties, skinny jeans, and a blazer. I think I love it just as much dressed down with black jean leggings and a pair of converse. Which way is better? I can't decide...modern day Sophie's Choice. ($28 at Urban Outfitters, teen angst sold separately)


Diane von Furstenberg Sailor Gavin Pants



Wide leg pants come in and out. They're a true wardrobe staple that you can keep in your closet for several seasons to come (possibly forever).
This season, skinnies rule and tapered/toned-down harem styles are a close second. Break with convention and bust out the high-waisted sailor pants. Pair with a pretty, flowy blouse or even with a tucked in plaid blouse à la Katharine Hepburn. Try to avoid coupling these with the striped top above for risk of looking like an extra in South Pacific. ($298 at shopbop)


Converse Laceless Chuck Taylors



Top off your nautical look with a pair of chucks (please don't take this whole sailor thing too literally). And don't be 'that guy (or girl)' wearing sandals in March. Unless you live in Mexico or LA, I don't want to see your toes that have been hibernating all winter, until April. I may be letting my wrists and ankles peep out lately, but honestly, it's just too early for me to see your toes. I wear these slip ons for the semi-chilly spring months as an alternative to my favorite gladiator sandals. ($40 at zappos.com)

And last but not least....


Kidding.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Where's the Flood? (See Jane Dig for Clams)

It's gorgeous out today, so naturally I want to show some skin. My bare ankles are coming out to see the world! Don't be nervous, Ankles, you'll find that the world is right where you left it.



Disclaimer: This isn't an outfit you wear to impress a guy as it's a well-known fact that men hate cropped pants. Whatever, guys--I don't like your cargo shorts and ironic tees. Fitted, cropped pants that fall just above the ankle are my favorite. The slim shape can be super flattering, too.

Here is an outfit similar to what I wore to work today that made me feel oh-so-Audrey Hepburn:

J Crew merino leopard cardigan, $88




J Crew Minnie Pants, $79.50
(I am 5'9" and got the tall version which have a 29" inseam. They graze the area about an inch above my ankle)




Banana Republic Lightweight Cashmere Scarf (I have a linen version of this that I got at Old Navy for $5 and it's one of my favorite scarves OF ALL TIME)





Salvatore Ferragamo Varina Flats in Chalk, $440 at Saks
(Hands down, best shoe I have ever purchased)



Anyone can dress like Audrey Hepburn circa Breakfast at Tiffany's--oh sure, take the easy, glamorous black dress, and up-do with a tiara route. It takes guts to wear cropped pants. And if you never thought that before, you will now that you know all men hate to see women wearing them.

Forget them. Embrace your inner flood!




Monday, March 15, 2010

Girlfriend in a Coma (See Jane Tire)

I'm so exhausted from this weekend. Not only did I have both of my sisters in town, but it was also the St. Paddy's weekend celebration, which is huge here in Chicago. Seriously...they might take it a bit too far:


Ah, the mighty Chicago River in a lovely couleur verte. St. Patrick's Weekend in Chicago is a funny thing. All of the sudden, the terrible Irish pubs you don't dare step into any other time of the year has a line halfway 'round the block. The kelly green t-shirts that you always pass by are the only color sold out at American Apparel. And of course, you actually set your alarm for 9AM so you can get up to drink green Miller Lite at some dank bar while it's 40 degrees and raining outside.

Here is what I'm wanting, no, make that needing after a rough weekend:

Origins GinZing Eye Cream



Just call me Puff McPaddy after this weekend. I've got some dark, puffy eyes that just won't quit. Supposedly, this eye cream works wonders on lifeless, sallow eyes; I'd really like to give it a whirl. I'll give an update after I give it a sufficient test run. ($29.50 at Origins)

Anthropologie Rosette Quilt in Heather Gray


After a rainy weekend, all I can think about is a cozy bed. I think this quilt would put a smile on my face every time I climbed into bed. (We do spend a 1/3 of our life sleeping, so I think a nice bed is justifiable.) The neutral gray is perfect for every season and would go with just about any style. Do you think I can convince my boyfriend that this quilt isn't too over-the-top feminine for our future bed?
($248 at Anthropologie)

Anything Detox


Don't let the green fool you--this is strictly health business. I need dark, leafy greens in juice form. Really, just something/anything that will counteract not only the alcohol, but the empanadas I ate on Friday, the bbq wings I ate on Saturday, the Huevos Rancheros I ate on Sunday, etc. This detox juice will need to wait until Wendesday though...I have a St. Patty's party to attend tomorrow night. Pass the corned beef!

Beware the ides of March, indeed.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Le Printemps (See Jane Come Out of Hibernation)

Spring is in the air, mes amies. Time to shed your layers and show some skin. If you're anything like me, you took one look at your legs as you stepped out of the shower this morning and shrieked. Just call me Powder.

After on I apply some much needed self tanner, then I will gladly transition the wardrobe into lighter and brighter pieces. Speaking of self tanner...

Jergens Body Moisturizer in medium
Use it on your legs, arms, whatever, just not your face. The color is about as natural as you can get for a self tanner and the smell isn't too offensive, either. (Walgreens, $7)

Benefit "Talk to the Tan"I seriously hate the names of all Benefit products. I get it, i get it--it's their kitsch. Less talk, Benefit, more action. Names aside, this face self-tanner really does do it for me. It's basically a tint (please don't be put off by how dark it looks) that you apply as needed and wash off with the rest of your makeup. No orange, no missed spots that will last a week until the fake tan fades. Now if only it wasn't named that... ($28 at Benefit)

Once my body looks fully resuscitated and I have a pinch of color back, I can start thinking about spring clothes. Ahhhh. There's nothing like the time of year where you might need a jacket and once you finally decide to wear a jacket, you're hot and annoyed that you brought a jacket at all.

Here's a couple things I've either bought or am eyeing for the spring.

Dolce Vita Pela Wedge


Wedges are the perfect hybrid shoe for the summer. I get sick of wearing flat sandals, but don't always want to wear heels. Insert: the Dolce Vita Pela wedge. I can't wait to get these! They'll look great with everything from black dresses to white jeans, and everything in between. ($165 at www.revolveclothing.com but with coupon code SINGERSTYLE20 you can get 20% off)


T Alexander Wang Draped Stretch T Dress

Once I deem my figure appropriate for this body-con number I'd really like to get my hands on this great transition dress. Lightweight fabric, breezy color; I'd like to pair this with the wedges above with it and a black blazer on a cool spring night. ($105 at shopbop)

I know blogs/magazines/retail stores have been pushing springwear since January 1, 2010, but I refuse to purchase any until I can actually wear it. I can't wait to see what else is out there in the next few months.