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Gotta Love the Globes January 12, 2015

Posted by bettyjoan in Pretty.
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Much to my husband’s dismay, award season has officially kicked off with last night’s Golden Globe Awards.  I found the show itself to be pretty flat (minus George Clooney’s speech – could he be any more gosh darned adorable?), but there were some noteworthy fashion moments on the carpet.

Couples were really knocking it out of the part last night – here are some of my favorites –

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I mean, how cute are these lovebirds?  And Pacey Witter all grown up?  Rawr.  Diane, you are a lucky lady.

George and Amal also looked great – NO ONE rocks a tuxedo like Mr. Clooney.

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My overall favorite look of the night had to go to Naomi Watts – Ah. May. Zing.  That necklace!  The color of the dress!  So gorgeous.

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Seriously, the necklace…WANT.

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Lorde and Emma Stone both wowed me with their twists on pantsuits.

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And Emily Blunt was absolute perfection in her white criss-cross dress, braided up-do, and gorgeous turquoise-colored earrings.

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Agree?  Disagree?  Did you miss Joan Rivers as much as I did (I think I’ll miss her even more during the post-show Fashion Police episode – sniff)?  Sound off!

 

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Stitch Fix review April 12, 2014

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I can’t remember where I first heard about Stitch Fix, but I knew I had to try it.  As much as I like shopping, I tend to gravitate toward the same types of items over and over again.  I suppose I could bring along a gal pal to help expand my horizons, but I am a very particular kind of shopper (the term “power shopper” has been used to describe me – I definitely don’t love to dally), and I’m not sure that would be productive for any of my friendships.  So, a “mail order” stylist seemed very much my speed.

Here’s the rundown: When you join Stitch Fix, you fill out a very detailed style profile, which includes, among other things, looking at various pieces and outfits and indicating how much (or how little) you like them.  You can schedule either monthly or ad hoc fixes.  From what I can tell, ad hoc fixes are taking about 2 months to schedule these days – the company has really gotten popular!  When the stylist starts pulling items for your fix, you’ll be charged a $20 styling fee – but, if you keep any items from the shipment, the $20 is a credit towards the merchandise (so the only way you “lose” your styling fee is if you decide not to buy any of the items selected for you).  Each fix contains 5 items, and they are tailored to the preferences you set when you join.  You have three days to try on the items, and you get the benefit of being able to try them on with pieces you already have in your wardrobe (which you can’t do in a store).  Then you just put everything you are not keeping in a pre-paid envelope and drop it in the mail.  If you decide to keep all 5 items, you get 25% off the order.

I was super excited to come home from a business trip to get my first fix!  When I opened the box, not only were the clothes packed beautifully in tissue, but there was also a note from my stylist explaining why she chose certain items for me AND some color cards with styling ideas for all of the pieces.

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Here is what I received:

41Hawthorn, Farah Fit and Flare Striped Dress ($68) – I wanted to love this so very badly, and it looked like it was going to be just my style when I saw it on the hanger.  However, it was way too tight on my upper half, which is weird because that isn’t usually my problem area in terms of fit.  Bummer!  Returned.

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Just Black, Kristy Skinny Jean ($78) – I loved that my stylist sent non-blue denim in my fix, but I was pretty darn skeptical about these pants fitting.  Much to my pleasant surprise, they were absolutely perfect – comfortable, stretchy, and super flattering.  Yay!  Kept.

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Pomelo, Ivy Tulip Print Tab Sleeve Blouse ($68) – I knew this was going to be a winner without even trying it on, but I tried it on with the black jeans anyway.  Score!  The pattern/color is something I wouldn’t have chosen myself, but I really loved it.  The fit is just my style – loose and comfy, but still flattering.  It is a great transition piece from winter to spring.  Kept.

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Uttam, Angela Eyelet Asymmetrical Jacket ($124) – I was hoping this piece would work out, but no such luck.  I liked the shape of it, but it wasn’t a perfect fit (again, too tight on my torso – what is going on???) and the white eyelet thing was a bit too girly for my liking.  Plus, I always worry about stark white clothing, as I am notorious for spills.  For the price, I wasn’t going to keep this if I had even one doubt about its wearability.  Returned.

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41Hawthorn, Rowson Colorblock Striped Sweater ($58) – I was really surprised to like this piece, since I don’t think I would have grabbed it off the shelf myself.  I was also a bit annoyed at getting a sweater in my March fix, but it was really lightweight and soft, so I think it will be great for spring (plus, I had recently gotten rid of a few sweaters that had seen better days, so a refresh wasn’t the worst idea).  I wore it to work the next day and got a ton of compliments.  Kept.

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So, for my first fix, I kept 3 out of 5 items (not bad!) and spent $184.  For what I got and how long it took (when compared to in-store shopping), I feel like the price was very reasonable.  It was super simple to put the two “no” items in the bag and ship them back, and the online checkout was a breeze.  I made sure to let my stylist know what I thought about all the items and what sorts of things I might like in my next fix.

Yes, there will be a next fix – of course!  I don’t think I will ever commit to monthly shipments (that is just too much money to spend, and I don’t need that many clothes – plus, I’m not giving up on in-store shopping forever), but I went ahead and scheduled my next fix for the end of May, since I will want to incorporate a few more summery pieces into my wardrobe at that point.  I am really excited to see what my stylist will choose for me next!

Are you interested in trying Stitch Fix?  If so, here is a referral code/link for you: https://www.stitchfix.com/referral/3498264

Another RTR win March 17, 2014

Posted by bettyjoan in Fundraising, Pretty.
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After my last experience with Rent the Runway, I couldn’t wait for my next opportunity to get dressed up and go out on the town.  Luckily, husband decided that we should go to the DC Brewer’s Ball (to benefit cystic fibrosis research/awareness) – yay, I needed some cocktail attire!

I ordered two dresses again, which turned out to be a great idea because the primary frock (the one I had in two sizes) just wasn’t what I was hoping for – it was very “fussy.”  My second dress was absolutely perfect for me AND the event.

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The shape of the dress allowed me to feel comfortable while still flattering my best assets – my legs!  The dress is short (more like a mini, depending on your height), but it looked FAB with heels.  The tiered look created some visual interest, and the neutral shades allowed me to add some fun bling (which I also rented) and not look overdone.

It is so incredible to know that I will never have to buy evening wear ever again.  🙂

All that glitters: Rent the Runway review January 21, 2014

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I have previously expressed my love for Rent the Runway, but I actually just wore my first of their dresses.  One of my best girlfriends was having a birthday, and she encouraged everyone to get dolled up and bust out the sequins – I didn’t need any convincing!  Here’s the dress I ended up renting, and here’s a pic of me with the birthday girl:

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The whole RTR process is awesome.  When you order, you specify when you want your dress(es) to arrive (they recommend at least one day before your event), and they show up right on time and very nicely packaged in RTR garment bags, which you get to keep.  There are also samples in the box – this time, I got some shampoo/conditioner/hair mask samples from L’Oreal.

If available, you get to choose two sizes for your primary dress.  So, for this sparkly number, I asked for a 6 and an 8, and the 8 ended up feeling more comfortable.  Also, you can choose a second dress for a reduced amount, which is great if you have multiple events in the same weekend, or if you change your mind about what you want to wear.  I loved the second dress I ordered as well, but I didn’t have another occasion that weekend – BUT, it’s nice to know which size fits, so I can snatch it for another time.

If nothing fits (which happened to me on NYE), you can either call the RTR folks and they will work to rush another dress to you, OR you can send it back within a shorter timeframe and get a credit (which is what I did).

If your rental works out and you wear the dress(es), you just send them back on your specified date (you can choose a 4- or 8-day rental, and obviously the latter is more expensive), in the pre-paid, pre-labeled UPS envelope.  So easy!

Normally, RTR charges for shipping and insurance for each rental.  However, you can join their “PRO” program for $29.95 a year, and you get free shipping/insurance on all rentals AND a free dress on your birthday!  I joined as soon as I heard about it, and it pretty much has already paid for itself.  And, clearly, it’s good for RTR because I will order more often knowing that I don’t have those extra costs (it makes rental more attractive as opposed to buying).

Interested in RTR?  Click my referral link, and you’ll get a $20 credit when you complete your first rental.

Golden (Globes) Girls January 18, 2014

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I know it has been nearly a week since the first award show of the season, but I have to say my piece about my favorite looks.  Overall, I felt that the fashion was good at the Golden Globes this year – there weren’t too many really horrible moments.  However, I had two favorites, and I really can’t decide which one takes first place.

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Julianna Margulies just took my breath away in this gown.  It was sexy, age-appropriate, fashion-forward, and she looked absolutely radiant in it.  SO flattering and elegant, but it’s still fun.  Absolutely brilliant.  And did you see her hair???

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LOVE.  I mean, what’s not to like about this?  It was polished, but still loose enough for the less-formal vibe of the Globes.

And then there’s this…

71st Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals

BAM.  Now THAT is how you dress for an awards show when you are pregnant.  Instead of trying to hide the baby bump and winding up looking like a balloon (ahem…Drew Barrymore), Olivia Wilde accentuated her curves and looked insanely sexy.  Her hair and makeup were spectacular, and the color of this dress was stunning.  A lot of people were saying that it was risky to do a long-sleeved green sequined dress (because of Angelina Jolie’s iconic pick back in 2011), but I frankly think this look takes the cake and sets a new standard for expectant mothers on the red carpet.

What did you think about the Golden Globes this year?  Who were your favorites on the red carpet?

Sitting pretty December 25, 2013

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One of the funniest things about running is when you see your running friends under “normal” circumstances.  That is, it can be very disarming to see your marathon training buddies all spruced up and sparkly – after all, they have seen you in all of your sweaty, spandex-clad, ponytailed glory, and vice versa.  Who knew they were all regular people with real, non-wicking clothing???

I happen to love clothes and shoes and makeup and accessories, despite not having an unlimited budget for any of it.  I did, however, find some great websites and products this year, so here are my 2013 fashion and beauty picks!

Birchbox – Ever want to try new products without having to commit tons of bucks?  If so, Birchbox is for you.  For $10/month, they will send you 4-5 nice-sized samples at a time, based on your subscription preferences (for example, I don’t like hair products as much, so I get less of them and more of things like makeup and skin care).  I’ve gotten everything from nail polish to perfume to dry shampoo to facial cleansers, and everything in between!  In addition to just enjoying getting the box every month, I have actually found a few products that I now swear by.  My faves: Harvey Prince “Hello” perfume, Liz Earle cleanse & polish hot cloth cleanser, Vasanti Brighten Up! enzmatic face rejuvenator, and the whole Eyeko liner/mascara collection.

Putting Me Together – This blog was recommended to me by a work colleague, and I love checking it every day.  Audrey’s style is accessible but still very chic and cool, and I have gotten a lot of ideas about “shopping my closet” from reading her posts.

Rent the Runway – I cannot believe I haven’t used this service before now.  RTR allows you to rent designer frocks for a variety of occasions and for a fraction of the retail price.  Yes, you have to give the clothes back, but seriously – how often are you going to wear a formal or semiformal gown?  I ordered a dress for NYE (even though I have a backup dress in my closet) while they were doing a $20.14 (!!!) special.  It’s this one, and it gets here on Friday – hope it fits (usually, RTR allows you to get a backup size for free, but this dress was only available in one of my target sizes)!

Bumble & Bumble – Remember how I said I don’t love hair products?  Well, especially since I have been growing out a super short cut for what seems like forever, I haven’t spent much time on my locks.  As in, use hotel shampoo/conditioner (I travel a lot for work and have quite the selection) and never blowdry or style.  I got to a point where that just wasn’t doing anything for my overall look, so my stylist (more on her in a minute) recommended the Gentle and Rich lines from B&B, in addition to their Prep styling spray.  One word: GENIUS.  My hair looks and feels so much healthier, and the color stays a lot richer, longer.  I started out with sample sized bottles, but now I am all in and I buy the HUGE pump bottles.

Trim Salon (Erin) – I got this referral from a friend whose hair I very much admire, and I am so very glad.  Erin is amazing!  Not only is she great with my hair (which can be challenging), but she is super fun to talk to.  The salon is small but very neat and chic, and I never feel pressured or rushed in any way.

Commando – Now that I am living in cold(er) DC winters, hosiery is an unavoidable necessity.  But man, tights are such a downer – they snag, they stretch, and they always seem to bunch and hug exactly where you need it the least.  Then, one day, I read a Buzzfeed article about great “beauty hacks,” and thus began my relationship with the best tights EVER.  Seriously.  They are comfortable and very well-made, and I don’t know how I’m ever going to wear any other tights ever again.  They are pricey, but they really do the trick – no lumps, no bumps, period.

As 2014 approaches, I want to continue spending the time and effort to express my personal style – I always feel better when I do.  I’m going to try to be more judicious with my purchases, making sure I am getting the most out of my existsing wardrobe AND only splurging on pieces that are timeless and well-made, and that fit my body and my personality.  I would also like to write a bit more about fashion and beauty – even though this blog was started to track my training endeavors, I really do believe that exercise is only one part of overall wellness.

What do you all think?