The Thing I Thought I’d Never Wear

Style Alter Anthropolgie Peplum Top

Peplum! I actually even publicly said I would never wear it – if you’re not a stick, it’s hard look to pull off and I wasn’t even going to try. But it’s time to eat my words. I had a “want it, need it, gotta have it” moment at Anthopolgie when I saw this little peplum top. The haphazard polk dots, the thick textured knit fabric, the adorable white and navy blue combo – it had to happen.

The first time I wore this top was for a night out in Philly while visiting one of my very bestest friends. I paired it with skinny DL1961 black denim (more on my love for that brand later), heels and a grey leather jacket. FANCY. But what I really love about this top is how it can go from that, to this:

Style Alter Anthropolgie Peplum TopTop: Anthropologie (on sale!); Jeans: AG Jeans (similar); Sneakers: Old Navy; Crossbody bag: Target

I’m really liking the contrast of a lady-like top with ripped jeans and sneakers.

Style Alter Old Navy Sneakers

And here’s a simple brass necklace I made that you guys haven’t seen before.

Style Alter Brass Necklace

So for anyone else who’s been afraid of peplum, just know that it can actually be flattering, versatile and pretty darn cute. If you’re in the market, here’s a good one.

Next up: Peplum skirts. JUST KIDDING I’m not a masochist.

Putting a pep in your step,

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Fashion Show at Lunch: Shift Dress 3 Ways

In this latest addition of my Kelly Kapoor inspired Fashion Show at Lunch Series, I’ve styled this French Connection dress three different ways. I’ve had this dress for several years now and I still love it – I just needed to find new ways to style it so I didn’t get bored.

Even if you don’t have this exact dress, you probably have a similar shift-style dress or tunic in your close that could be worn in similar ways. Let’s begin, shall we?

1. As a Belted Dress

This is how I’ve worn this dress dozens of times. Everything about this outfit appeals to me – comfy dress, belted, leggings and boots. This is very me. In fact, if you know me, you’ve likely seen me in this.

2. As a Top

I know! Let me just say, it’s actually not my brilliant idea to shove a dress down my pants. I received this tip years ago from a fashionable friend and since then see it being done all over the place. This outfit is tried and true – I wore it to work one day and got not one, but two compliments on my “top.” Tucking opens up a whole new world of options, but not all dresses will work, of course – most won’t, actually. This one is perfect because it’s a thin material and on the short side. There isn’t much fabric to tuck in so there isn’t any bunching. Skirts can work instead of jeans, too.

If you’re nervous, just throw a long cardigan over it. Don’t be scared, give tucking a try!

3. As a Skirt

This is the one way I hadn’t worn this dress yet – as a skirt. I chose a chunky sweater to layer over the top and added a belt for some shape. I LOVE this outfit. Love, love, love. It’s now my favorite – probably because it’s a new style for me, which makes me feel like I’m wearing a brand new outfit. Because duh, Barney Stinson’s oldest rule: New is always better.

What do you guys think? Which is your favorite? Would you give tucking a chance?

Lululemon Warehouse Sale

I just got back from the Lululemon Warehouse Sale in Chicago and I’M ALIVE! I have to say, it went better than I expected. I went with my friend Rachel – here’s our haul:

Some details for all of you going this weekend:

Outfit
First things first – you need the perfect sample sale outfit. I wore leggings, old sneakers that are easy to slip on and off, a cami and a long cardigan with zipped pockets for my phone, id and money. It made things super easy to try on.

Line
We got to the sale a little after 1pm and waited somewhere around 1-1.5 hours in line. It really wasn’t that bad after all the hype I’d heard – it felt like the line moved quickly. However, it seems people who got to the sale between 9am-11am got hit with the hardest lines and waited closer to 3 hours (yikes).

The line is a one in, one out situation, so once you’re inside the sale it never feels overcrowded. No need to throw ‘bows or anything. Although I did stalk a worker who was wheeling out a brand new rack of clothes in my size. A pack of us immediately swarmed her – so yeah, that got a little weird.

When we were leaving the sale around 4pm, there was barely a line – seriously, like a 10 minute wait. Very surprising, but going later in the day could be an interesting strategy to try.

Pants
All long pants are $55 and cropped pants are $45. Everything is organized by size, so it makes it easy. If you’re looking for Groove pants (like I was) they have tons of cropped styles but long Groove pants in black were harder to come by (I refuse to get grey as anything other than black emphasizes areas that do not need to be emphasized). I did find a pair in my size though with my hawk eyes. They have tons of Astro pants and other styles. No Wunder Unders, though.

I haven’t previously owned Lululemon pants because I couldn’t bring myself to shell out the cash for them. I was having a conversation with Rachel about what size I should get because I felt I could go either way, and multiple women in the dressing room overheard us (you get friendly pretty fast in this kind of situation). If you’re in between sizes, they said to always size down in Lululemon pants. If they’re even slightly too big, you’ll be pulling them up during your workout. Ugh.

Tops
Lots of cute tops. They get a little “samey” after awhile (they basically had 15 styles or so in different colors, so you see the same ones over and over) but I liked the selection, so I’m not complaining. All tops are $36.

Accessories
Rachel picked up a yoga towel ($9), a cute bag for her mom ($49) and a hooded scarf that I might be regretting not purchasing right now ($9). I didn’t see any headbands left, but those were supposedly $4. Sports bras are $22 and they have tons. They also have water bottles, socks and probably some other things, but I wasn’t that interested in the accessories, to be honest.

Scuba Sweatshirts
These are right up in front and $70. I wasn’t interested and didn’t even really look at these, but Rachel found a cute grey one with sparkles – very her.

Men’s
If you’re a guy, I wouldn’t bother with this sale. Granted, I didn’t really look, but it was definitely weak.

Tutus
Apparently Lululemon sells tutus in their stores, which must not have done well (um, for the obvious reason?) because they were giving them away for free in line. While standing in line, if a worker asks if you want to participate in a competition, say yes. You’ll get a free tutu for doing whatever it is. Rachel and I did a plank competition. It nearly killed me (while seemingly not phasing the crazy lady next to us who wanted to keep going) but hey, we got free tutus! It retails for $98 (that sh*t cray) and they were also selling them for $29 at the sale if you really want one.

And no, of course I have no idea what I’m going to do with this tutu now.

Dressing Room
It’s community. Same as any other sample sale. There were a decent amount of mirrors, but as usual there should have been twice as many. There is no limit to the amount you can bring in, so I say load up your arms so you only have to go in once. Note: You have to take the hangers off all of your items before you go in, which is annoying.

Pricing

So that’s it! I’m assuming Saturday and Sunday will be more crowded, but I think it’s worth it – within reason. Don’t go crazy, because even though prices were about 50% off, it all still adds up. Fast. I definitely held back and ended up with two pairs of pants and two tops, and I’m a happy lil clam right now.

Uh, I guess this means I have to work out now.

 

 

Lara Miller Blogger Party

This week has already been full of firsts for me. Not only did I join the Chicago Blogger Network, I attended my first blogger event. CBN was hosting a blogger party with Lara Miller, who is one of the few major fashion designers based in Chicago – her studio is right in Wrigleyville! She works out of her old apartment space, which she converted into a studio. She has racks upon racks of her clothing in the building’s massive basement, so it has this industrial-chic vibe to it. I absolutely love that she stuck to her roots and has a working studio in Chicago.

This is the first event for bloggers I’ve ever attended and I’m so glad I did. I heard about it at the last minute, so I signed up without having time to think about how I’m terrified to show up to anything that can be construed as “social” without the protection of a pack. Of course, it was fine and everyone was so nice!

For the event, we style looks from her new Spring 2012 collection along with any pieces from her past collections that we wanted. It was so much fun – we basically all just played dress up, had our hair and makeup done, and then a photographer snapped some shots!

Here’s me browsing. The new collection is really bright and colorful, while her past collections are filled with very wearable neutrals. The Lara Miller line is available at Macy’s on State St., Pivot Boutique, p.45 and a few others in Chicago.

We had our hair and makeup done for the photos, and Lara is going to use some of them for her lookbook – here’s me getting a big pouf!

I’m wearing what I believe is the Callie cardigan from Lara’s Spring 2012 collection here. It can be worn like, 18 different ways, I kid you not. I can’t stop thinking about this piece and how much I loved it. I believe it’s made out of bamboo, which is so incredibly soft. Lara, you should really consider developing a home line with blankets and throws made out of this stuff! The necklace is also a Lara Miller creation, which can be worn as a shown, as a bracelet, in your hair or as a belt. I’m also wearing Lara Miller black shorts, opaque black tights and black ankle boots. I thought it was a cute look to transition into spring!

Lara and I (and my hair, which needs it’s own photo credit!)

I have to mention another thing I know from meeting Lara previously, which is that all of her pieces are eco-friendly. Lara is really leading the charge in eco-fashion and I really respect that. The way most clothing is manufactured is harmful to the earth and the fashion industry as a whole is incredibly wasteful. I bet you would have realized that on your own if you thought about it, but it’s people like Lara who get us thinking.

Here’s a quote from my past interview with Lara that I’ll leave you with:

“I really think there is something to be said about investing in pieces you feel really strongly about versus buying 20 throwaway garments from Target—and then literally throwing them away into a landfill.”

It’s so true, and I’m constantly struggling to find the balance between spending money on pieces that last and my constant need for new, new, new, which can only be satisfied by the cheap stuff. It’s a huge basis for this blog!

What do you guys think?