Life in Technicolor

For the last day of my black and white challenge I selected a dress that needed a little work before it was wearable.

Day Seven
So summer - Black and white day 7

I pick up dresses off of clearance racks the way some people pickup stray dogs. I see this poor neglected little thing, that with some time and some TLC, could be a really great pet - I mean dress.

This cotton eyelet dress by Max Studio was rescued from a TJMaxx clearance rack for a mere $15. Given the MSRP which was upwards of $150, I thought it would be worth the effort.

A size large, I had a lot of taking in to do. First I took in 3" straight up the middle of the waist and bust. Unconventional, perhaps, but this helped to minimize the um, cleavage. I didn't get the design to match up perfectly, something that drives me crazy, but if I hadn't said anything, I don't think you'd have noticed.

Next I took 3" off the bottom, and then shortened each strap by an inch.

Sadly, no matter what bra I tried on with it, the bodice would not completely cover it. In my frustration, I decided if the bra was going to show, then I'd just wear the laciest one I own and make it look deliberate.

black and white dress close

How do you feel about bra straps showing? Is there no greater fashion faux pas, or can it be pulled off with the right look and the right attitude? If so, how did I do?

Back in color now!

The Rundown
Dress Max Studio - Sandals Chinese Laundry (borrowed from my Sister) - Earrings Avon - Necklace Fossil

Over the weekend my friend Klara asked me if I wanted to go to a bead show with her, and of course I said yes! (as if I'd pass up a chance to buy whole sale beads). She makes some really gorgeous and unique items, and it was fun to go browsing with her and see what she was picking out. If you've got a moment, check out her site.
Five hours and 58 dollars later, I returned home with this haul:

When I got back I realized that the turquoise beads look exactly like the one on my Aldo necklace, and see the sea foam green teardrops at the top? Can you guess what I plan on making with those?

With the Black and White Style Challenge finished, I have only three days before The Small Fabric of My Life's Summer Capsule Wardrobe Challenge starts.

I miss yellow lines in my roads, some color on monochrome

My black and white challenge is nearing its end, and I am happy. It's not easy dressing without color!

Day Five
Black Satin - Black and white day 5

Fine, I'll admit it, I think these shorts are cute.
(Okay, still alive, the heavens didn't strike me down.) I still don't think I will start wearing them all the time, or favoring them over skirts and dresses, but I will no longer give them dirty looks when I see them sitting on store shelves.

The sandals are my sister's new pair, which I essentially told her I was borrowing via text message. She's had my filigree earrings for three days, so I think it balances out. It's not that I don't have a lot of sandals, just that I don't have a lot of black sandals, and absolutely no white sandals, and I can't help it that we just so happen to be the same shoe size!

payless ring

This is my payless ring that I got stuck on my finger. It did come off when it was cut free from the plastic packaging.

The Rundown
Shorts Made by Me - Top Macy's - Shoes Steve Madden - Ring Payless - Bracelet Avon

White pants make me feel preppy. Throw a white J. Crew cardigan around my waist or neck and send me off to the country club. Okay, maybe I'd need a polo shirt, but still, I have trouble shaking that vibe from white pants.

Day Six
White pants make me feel preppy - Black and white day 6

I wanted to wear my cherry pumps today so badly. They would have been perfect, and would have helped distract from any underlying preppyness. Next time. Definitely.

Cherry Pumps

Today I got my annual pedicure, which was wonderful as always. I kind of wish I would get them more, but I just never make it happen.

I also got a balloon, just for the sake of getting a balloon. To take some photos. Balloons are just fun to have around. And I couldn't help it, I needed some color:

If only I could float to the clouds

The Rundown
Top TJMaxx - Capris TJMaxx - Sandals Onex - Necklace Forever 21 - Bracelet Made by Me - Bag Thrifted

And I have a random questions "tag" from Adelaide Stayed to post

1.What shoe size are you?
Depends which foot, but usually I can get them both into an 8.

2.Where do you work?
In a windowless office

3.Favorite piece of clothing you own
Could a mother love one child more than another?
But I guess if the house was on fire I'd save my red pumps, since I spent six months searching for the perfect pair and I don't want to have to do it again.

4.Your favorite blog?
Again with this singling out business.

5.Do you have any pets?
The Wonderful Chloe of course!

6.How many siblings do you have?

7.If you could live anywhere where would it be?
I'd move to Italy in a heartbeat.

8.What were you doing before this?
Watching Sex and the City 2

9.Your favorite food?
I don't think I could live without chocolate or cheese.

10.Do you have a middle name?
Yes, Andrea.

11.Your favorite websites?
Everything under my firefox most visited tab is a different Flickr page.

12.Who do you tag?
La fille d'or
The Drawing Mannequin
the robins

Coffee black and egg white

Keeping my focus on shape, I selected a sheath dress that fits me quite beautifully. Sure, the LBD seems like a no-brainer for this challenge, but I'm still wearing it without any color, which is a first.

Day Three

Leaf necklace

I thrifted this belt a few weeks ago, and I must admit, it was one of the trickiest belts to figure out how to put on! I was convinced it was broken or missing something until the revelation that I must twist the ends around each other occurred.

lace back

This was also another of my super awesome $10 TJMaxx finds with a 'back problem'. Even with one of those bras that converts to a lower back, the straps would still peek in through the cutout - so I filled it in with lace.

Back in black - Black and white day 3

Yesterday, according to, was the hottest day in May in Connecticut since 2006. How crazy is that? At one point when I looked at the thermometer, it actually said 100 degrees, so you can image how much I hated taking photos with that blazer on! (it was for work, where it's cold).

The Rundown
LBD TJMaxx - Blazer Kohl's - Pumps Dress Barn - Belt Thrifted - Necklace Avon

The obvious response to an all black day is an all white day, which proved to be much harder, and I don't like this outfit nearly as much. Looking to texture, I chose a cotton eyelet skirt and sheer sequined vest.

Day Four
White shadows - Black and white day 4

This skirt is just a bit too long!! And I think I need a more substantial shoe to balance out the fullness of it.

I was having another late morning because I had to iron the skirt (since I didn't bother ironing anything that I took out of storage when I did my closet switch) and then my belt was too big to be worn at my waist, so I was attacking it with an exacto knife and boring a new hole into it while trying to drink my coffee. It's not pretty, but it does the job!

white sequin vest

This little vest needs to come out and play more often. She was a birthday gift from a friend, and probably not something I would have chosen myself, but she's really quite cute.

While I'm not normally into matching, I loved the fact that the bows on my sandals matched the bow on the belt perfectly!

The Rundown
Skirt Gap - Vest Taken for Granite - Cammi Dots - Shoes Aldo - Necklace Taken for Granite - Earrings Kohl's - Belt Gap

A lack of color

Style challenge time again! This past weekend I was thinking about how I haven't done photography in black and white since I went digital, and was feeling a bit nostalgic. While I may not be able to head back into a darkroom, I can still focus on creating images in black and white. This week I wanted to photograph only in black and white, including outfit photos.

When it comes to outfits, color is often a very important element. I am constantly drawn to colors, often favoring them over cut or fiber. But I wouldn't want my outfits photos to suffer from a lack of color, so I am only dressing in black and white!

Taking the focus away from color will allow (force?) me to concentrate on shape, pattern, and texture to create looks that are just as stunning in black and white as their technicolor counterparts would be.

Since I almost never leave the house without some type of color, this really will be a challenge!

I am making one, tiny exception for gold jewelry and hardware on shoes and bags.

Day One
Black and white - Day one

Tee shirts often stump me. I loved the graphic print on this top, but I never knew what to wear it with. On its own with a pair of pants, too dull. Pair anything over it and the entire design is lost. It also couldn't be with a skirt that would try to steal the focus.

I arrived at the mini wrap skirt, and now wearing it for the first time without any tights, it suddenly felt 100x shorter. With flat sandals and the fingertip length test for reassurance, I left the house.

The Rundown
Top TJMaxx - Skirt Item - Sandals Onex - Bracelet NY&Co. - Bag Thrifted - Earrings Made by me

Day Two
Work Zone - Black and white Day two

Turning again to pattern to keep things lively, I set about my second look. The pants required a little alteration.
These were acquired in high school off a clearance rack for no more than $7 and were to serve as work pants for my job of food server at a retirement community. They must the most super poly-blend ever, because they still look perfect, even after having been washed three times a week for two years.
The problem with them was that they were a very sraight leg, that fit me closely in the thigh and then these little flaps would just wiggle around at my ankle. I should have taken a photo. But I skinnyified them last night, so I wouldn't resort to something goofy like cuffing them again.

Our roof is currently being redone, so I borrowed a cone to pose with. I'm not sure what the roofers are doing with traffic cones, it isn't like our roof is in the street.

The Rundown
Top TJMaxx - Pants Express - Vest thing Express - Sandals Onex - Bracelet Chicos - Earrings Avon

PS. You can have a look at some of my black and white stuff, old and new, if you'd like.

For the record, I don't like tie-dye

Oh my god. I just spent the last four and a half hours of my life watching Lost. Normally I would record it and watch it without the commercials. Normally I would not watch a TWO HOUR recap episode - but it was the finale and sometimes you just need to watch it all. Even the commercials, with the fan farewell messages spliced into them, and did you see the Lost Target commercials??? Too funny. My favorite was for the keyboard.

If you, for some reason, haven't watched it yet, I wont say anything other than, I bawled, several times, and I'm still confused.

Alright, I needed to get that out of the way.

Kitten top

Today's outfit was centralized around my kitty tank. I have had this shirt for a very long time and haven't worn it in even longer. I found it while cleaning out my closet, from the dark regions of the back. It's really too small for me (and it was always a little small for me). It was a gift from a once boyfriend, we were in Urban Outfitters one day, I mentioned that I liked it, and he surprised me with it. It was sweet. Also sweet that he thought extra small was my size.

I contemplated the 'get rid of pile', but I simply couldn't do it, and I decided to make it work.

My new acquisition for today is this little tye-dye bag. I don't like tye-dye because it has all these connotations in my mind of things that I don't like, such as Birkenstocks, dreadlocks, weed, frisbee, and the last day of summer camp every year when we made tie-dye tee shirts with cheap dye that would fade to grey after one wash.

So it's odd that I like this bag, but I'll tell you why I do like it:

It's turquoise (and pink) and reminds me of a tasty mixed drink, it feels like summer, it has three separate pouches all with hidden magnetic closures, the chain detaches if you want to use it as a clutch, and it was only $24 at TJMaxx.

Glass of Flickr, originally uploaded by lvidmar.

The rundown
Kitty top Urban Outfitters - Shorts Gap - Hat Market in Italy  - Bracelet Etsy - Sandals Nine West - Bag Big Buddha

My closet is overwhelmed

I hate switching from winter to summer clothes (and back again), so much. I dread it, I put it off, I try to pretend that I can just leave them in their Rubbermaid bins and buy all new clothes instead.

I finally forced myself to preform the dreaded task today, and all I can say is:

My closet is overwhelmed.

I'll admit, I'm a pack rat, I have trouble letting go, even of things I know I haven't worn in ages.
So I decided to follow in the path of so many other fashion bloggers and open up a blog shop.
It is still a work in progress, but I wanted to just start getting some stuff up -- so check it out.

Now, what does one wear to clean their closet?

Hand Made Feeling

Not this. This was a bad idea. I should know better than to accessorize while cleaning. My sliced leather bracelet arrived and I was just excited to wear it. I really love it - the leather is sooooo soft, it just cradles your wrist.

Sliced leather bracelet

And I'd been wanting to wear my Desigual skirt with the birdcage pumps since the day I bough it, so I did, but they were off for the majority of the day while I fought to fill every possible inch of a Rubbermaid bin with sweaters. I had to sit on it, and the top is really bulging, but I got them all in and now I don't have to think about it until the Fall.

Morning Elegance

Waking up and not knowing what to wear is never a good idea when you've only got half an hour to get out the door. Some mornings are huge fails, and other times I do manage to pull off something cute.

pulled together

This was a cute morning. I based my outfit around these lace fishnet tights I found at payless the other day for $3. I though they looked like the Rodarte for Target tights, and were a steal. I also bought a ring because I put it on my finger and then couldn't get it off again. It was embarrassing.

The pocket watch necklace is also a new acquisition, I got it from the etsy seller Love Spell Jewels, who has lots of really cute pocket watch necklaces. Mine was only $10, so I also got myself the post card necklace, and as a thank you gift, she included a third necklace for free!

pocketwatch necklace on

 I am completely in love with it, I must have checked the time every five minutes today. The day did not go any faster. I was so happy to get home and be able to enjoy a tiny bit of the actual beautiful weather.

My other super fun purchase was a fisheye lens adapter for my camera. It was only $50 at amazon, and is just really fun. Everything is infinitely more interesting with the fisheye!

pocket watch necklace

Also, I have received the "You're Great Blog Award" from Astamundi, Thanks so much!

I am to pass it along to five other blogger so,
A Gospel of Style 
The Joy of Fashion
The Fancy Teacup
Unravelled Threads
the girl from hk, ldn & sf 

fisheye flowers

The Rundown
Dress Gap - Tights Payless - Shoes Dress Barn - Scarf Avon - Necklace Etsy - Ring Etsy - Earrings NY&Co.

The purchases (and an outfit almost under $100)

Ohhh so many of you were good guessers!!
Ali, Mochachocolata Rita, WildBirdVintage, and Alli (One Pearl Button) you have guessed both tops correctly!

And there was a resounding love of the striped top in general -- So you know I looked long and hard across the internet to find it for you, but alas, I could not. The brand is Loveappela and I can't even find a website for this label.

Now, funny thing about the striped top, the neckline was a bit... gaping. I mean, lean over and it was free show. I was putting together my outfit for today last night when I decided I needed some Starbucks, so I went there wearing the top and I ordered my usual tall iced coffee with vanilla, but the barrista (the kind of cute one with the faux mo-hawk) said there was no more iced coffee, but he'd make me an iced ameriacano, for free.

Now... did the gaping top have anything to do with this? Perhaps....?

Anyway, I went home and realized if I was going to wear it to work, then I'd have to do something about it, so I shortened the straps an inch and now there is still something left to the imagination.

stripey top

This is not my ideal look for this top. But it was a grey, rainy day, and I was in a cold, cold office.

My ideal look, is such:

Best stripey stand in I could find,
Randi Striped Racerback, Delia's, $24.50
White skinny jeans, Delia's, $15.00
Bright yellow Liliana Sandal, Amazon, $33
Straw fedora, NY&Co., $15
Gold sliced leather bracelet, Etsy, $15 (I literally just bought this 10 minutes ago, so it's out of stock, sorry!)

At $102.50, I almost made it under $100

And for the floral
Bright floral top

I have been wearing so much yellow lately -- these cords have gotten so much love, I never knew I was a yellow pants person before they came in to my closet.

Stripey rundown
Striped top TJMaxx - Grey cords J.Crew - Grey wrap cardi Avon - Bronze wedges Unlisted - Red medallion Gift - Pearl studs Avon

Floral rundown
Floral top TJMaxx - Mustard cords Gap - Black blazer Kohl's - Black sandals Onex - Earrings Thrifted

Quick - to the dressing rooms!

My sister was desperate to get to TJMaxx this weekend (so of course I had to go with her) and we didn't make it there until an hour before closing time. This is probably good for me because I can easily spend three hours in there, walk across the parking lot to the Chili's and have lunch, then go back for more! (Yes, it has been done! Usually when there is Christmas shopping involved.)

With my time constraints, I went first to my favorite area: clearance. I found a bright floral top marked down to $6 and something that might have been a skirt or might have been a dress for $15. Either way, it was reversible, with floral on one side and polka dot on the other.

(sorry for the bad photos, only one more month until I can get the new iPhone!)

Also spotted this charmeuse top reduced to $12, and just for the hell of it, some jeggings for $5.

For some reason, I was drawn to this tie-dye maxi dress. Quite strange since I, 1) Don't think maxi dresses work really well with my height and 2) Really dislike tie-dye. I think it was the hemline that reminds me of my Italy dress that compelled me to try it. It was $20.

Lastly, I grabbed this horizontal stripe top with a beaded neckline. This is a bit out of my stripe comfort zone, since the stripes are a bit wider and more pronounced than I've been going for. It was also $20.

I ended up buying two things. Can you guess which?

I also just noticed I reached 90 followers. Guess I'll have to start thinking about that 100 follower giveaway....

Coral, Olive and Turquoise

Feeling inspired by my three latest nail polish acquisitions: coral, olive and turquoise, I wanted to create an outfit with those three shades.

Chaos and coral

But someone, who shall not be named, seemed to think that three colors and a pattern was just too much for one outfit, so I swapped out the coral top for an olive one.

Simply Olive

However, I need to know who is right, and therefore have created a poll. Which look do you prefer?

Which look do you prefer?

Coral, Turquoise, Olive

The Colors: Coral Bikini from Avon, The Real Teal from Sally Hansen, Olive from Avon

flower sandals

These sandals are a travesty. They were my special B-Day splurge last year and they were a little uncomfortable, but I thought, they are leather, after a few wears they will be great. But they are NOT. They are painful, they dig into my feet!! I am so sad.

nail color closeup

I love this turquoise, it is fabulous!!!

The Rundown
Olive skirt Urban Outfitters - Turquoise Flower Sandals Poetic License - Turquoise belt Thrifted - Olive earrings Made by Me - Flower ring Kohl's - Coral top Gap - Olive top Arabella

LuShae Jewerly Review - Starfish Ring

Last week I was offered the chance to select a piece of jewelry from LuShae Jewelry and review it here.

After a quick browse of their website, I was pleased to see pieces of quality metals and stones at prices under $100. Most are around $70. I also made note that they are offering free shipping and free returns (always a factor in where I choose to shop online!)

The website is simple to navigate, the jewelry was photographed clearly and detailed descriptions of the finish, stones, and measurements were provided. The only feature the site is lacking is a search box - which left me feeling a little lost. On the pendants page, all the pieces are in full view, but when browsing the rings, there are nine pages, and that is a lot to flip through when you are trying to find something specific.

The piece I chose is the Starfish ring, which appealed to me because it fits into the nautical trend I am still obsessed with, as well as being a combination of 14k gold and rhodium, as I do like to mix metallics, and this is premixed.

The ring arrived promptly in three business days, despite having to travel across the entire country.

unboxing starfish ring
Packaged in a cute navy box with a little snap closure.
starfish ring box
Ohhh Shiny!!

Before placing my order, I double checked the sizing with the chart they provide on their site, and hooray - it fits just as it should!
starfish ring small

To give the ring its due, I have worn it everyday since Saturday, and have been very pleased with it.
The band is thin and the starfish is small enough that it isn't getting in the way of anything, making the ring quite comfortable to wear all day.

I think the organic starfish shape is adorable and the small cubic zirconium really shimmer. I'm looking forward to slipping this on all summer long, when I need that extra bit of glamor.

starfish ring bokeh

New sandals

My shoe purchasing self restraint is lessening.

Image from piperlime

When I spotted these brown leather cuties in TJMaxx for $30 I had to try them on. Being the savvy shopper I am, I googled them on the spot and found the list price to be $65 at Piperlime, and as only as low as $50 at the Bon-Ton, but in black, not brown.

Happy Mother's Day

These platform leather sandals made me feel very nostoligic for a pair of Steve Madden sandals I had in high school and wore to death.

This outfit is featuring lots of new things -- actually all new things;
J. Crew top I got on sale in January ($90 reduced to $14)
Charlotte Russe skirt from February (on sale for $5.50)
Coral earrings from the thrift store ($4.50, but the little old lady gave them to me for $4)
Woven leather belt from thrift store (two for $1)
Ciao Bella sandals ($30 and not $65)

Making the cost of my outfit only $54. Not bad.

But my sandal lust has not yet been appeased!!!

I want these:
Image from Piperlime 

Michael Antonio Henrick, on sale for $45 from Piperlime

and these:
Image from Target

Miss Trish for Target Coral Flat Sandals, $25 from Target

and these:
Image from Amazon

Yellow Box Daring Sandal, on sale for $30 at Amazon