Milking it. 2 piece "dress" and other stylings.

I neglected to tell you all yesterday my real reason for ordering from J. Crew: this Liberty Print skirt came back into stock in my size and on sale. I've now worn the matching top several times and absolutely adore the print and the fabric -- it's incredibly light and cool, a lovely quality of cotton. So when the skirt popped into my bag, I couldn't resist giving it a try. 

This is a definite keeper. Fully lined. With pockets!! The waist is a bit large for me in my usual size but wearable now -- if I lose weight it would be an easy alteration. 

I can wear both pieces together as a "dress." I can also wear the skirt with almost all the tops in my closet, and most of the footwear. Various versions displayed -- of course I like some more than others. Very easy to dress up or down. Can be worn day or night. To the beach or out to dinner. I don't know if it is a style departure or not -- it is indeed a bit more feminine than my usual -- but it feels very natural to me and easy to wear. I hope you approve! 


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More dresses: Return and K/R

I ordered a couple more dresses to try from J. Crew. The first is going back. It's the cotton poplin version of a viscose dress I already returned (also in Finds). It's fine -- nice enough fabric, and it would be cool -- but I'm not in love with it and don't need it since my gingham Boden Eleanor will serve a similar purpose. 

The second is a dress I think from last year's line that popped up in my size on the site - it's silk, drop waist but with a tie that allows you to create a waisted effect if you want (an unusual feature) and tiered. A different style than I'd typically choose. In the mirror I liked the silky tiers and the sort of "flapper" effect but did not care for the ruffled shoulder detail. In the photos the shoulder detail doesn't bother me so much. It could possibly be removed to make a simple sleeveless look. 

I got it for a really good price so I'm debating this one. What think you?


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WIMW: Skirts with flats

I had lots of fun in my closet trying to create versions of today's blog outfits. It wasn't easy because especially in summer, I'm a low-heel woman all the way. Low vamp flats or flats without straps won't stay on my feet (or I haven't found the pair that will); shoes without a bit of "lift" or heel elevation are horrible for my plantar fasciitis, and even loafers are a no-luck shoe for me. I love the new mules and slides and have tried on multiple pairs, but the only version that my feet could keep on/ tolerate had low heels.

I do own two pair of fashion sneakers, and regularly put together outfits with those -- but today's challenge was to try (mostly) dressier flats, and of those, I have a single closed pair of oxfords, and a pair of silver flatform sandals. 

Here's what I came up with: 

1. Dressy blazer and oxfords (no loafers). I tried several versions of this one. Tube skirts substitute for pencil, since that's what I have. Version 1: Mixed kitty prints with Mr. Suz's porkpie hat, tuxedo jacket, and binocular bag; Version 2: with a longer blazer as in the inspiration photo and another print in the mix. Version 3: Black and white and charcoal. Version 4: Black and white and red all over. 

2. Casual denim (no khaki), stripes, and sandals. Without and then with sun cloche. 

3. Moody shine and sandals (no slides) My much worn navy tube skirt and a J. Crew dressy jaquard shell. 

4. Fit and flare with flatforms. Halogen skirt, denim shirt. 

This was super fun -- I'd actually wear these, I think -- and I'd never have thought of some of these combos without the inspiration. Thanks, Angie


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Returns: CM Quynh dress and others

I thought you might like my review of the beautiful CM Quynh dress Angie mentioned in this morning's blog. Roxanna wears the black and white version brilliantly.

Here's the floral version on me. Lovely pattern. Nice fabric. And I got it at an excellent price. But the fit is off. It's slightly snug in the hip area in my usual size, and a bit shorter than I'd like on the short side. I could size up, but I'm not enamoured of the colour/ pattern on me and it feels quite similar to another CM dress I own (and adore -- the Norra -- in Finds and also in last photo). If they happen to have a size up in store when I return, I may give it a try but my inclination is no, much as I like the idea.

I also tried a knit top with interesting origami sleeves. I am returning this, too. I like it but don't really need it. I ordered it to get free shipping.

Then (excuse the bra straps) an extremely inexpensive  ON top I got simply to round out my cognac capsule. I don't think I'll keep because it's not really a need and of course the quality is not great. Even for $11.

Finally, a tie-belt midi skirt from Gap. It's cotton-linen, lined with cotton. In the image it seemed more A-line but IRL it is more dirndl. I thought you might like to see it anyway. It's nicely made, but unless you are a wasp waisted pear or hourglass you would probably want to size up. I sized up 2 sizes but also went down to petite. In other words, this could be a great item for a tall pear who likes this shape of skirt!

Apologies as ever for photo quality. I need to set up the DSLR again. 


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WIW: to play with a new puppy

A friend of mine has just adopted a new bulldog puppy and I'm going to meet her this morning. The wide crops and flats outfit sounded perfect so I'm giving it a try. 

My outfit is kind of a cross between version 1 and version 3 from the blog. 

Technically, these jeans are cropped flares, I guess, since they are snug on the thigh. But they're more casual (and pup proof) than my darker Rayners. They have a medium high rise (comes to my navel). I tucked an oversized shirt. (J. Crew -- years old and still going strong in my closet -- I have 3 of these Thomas Masson tux shirts and I'll probably never let them go because I adore the feel of the fabric on my skin and the collars work so well for me). Added my sneakers and white denim jacket plus a structured bag. 

Not sure if the result is JFE but worth a try! These items, as in Angie's version, are all "oldies but goodies" and like her, I only wear my wide leg crops in the spring/ summer/ early fall seasons. 

By the way, these jeans occasioned much controversy on the forum when I bought them. They seem to be an acquired taste. :) 


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More Boden Dresses: The Good, the (too) bad, and the ugly

Before sending back my Jade and Notch-neck linen dresses (visible here), I put in a new order at Boden. The dress that Angie suggested I try months ago came back into stock in my size, so I snapped it up, and predictably, because Angie's word is golden, this one's a slam dunk. Made with a lovely mid-weight cotton-linen, Eleanor is a perfect casual summer day dress for me. I put it on and Mr. Suz said, that is a keeper. Thank you, Angie! 

I was also intrigued by Emory so I decided to give it a try. I love the neckline. The fabric is cotton-modal and the bodice is lined in a light poly, but it doesn't feel the least bit hot. Again, this is a great throw-on-and-go dress for days when I have to head to town for errands but don't want to fuss. I like the more elegant length. 

I ordered UK 8 regular in both these dresses. Eleanor is quite roomy on me overall but fits neatly in the shoulder. Emory fits just right. 

Next, meet Josephine. She's last year's model and was on considerable sale. I thought she might be a substitute for Jade. All cotton, lined in cotton. Gorgeous, gorgeous fabric, beautiful workmanship! 

In this type of fit and flare style at Boden I seem to take the 6 UK. I'd ordered Jade in the petite version and the bodice was a good fit -- but I felt the overall length was too short and would have preferred the regular for that.  

Josephine doesn't come in petite. This makes her a bit long waisted for me. It is awfully hard to show in the photos, but if I hitch her up at the shoulders by about an inch and a half, I don't have extra material at the back, the neckline falls in a better place, and the fit is overall nicer.

Another issue that reviewers mention is that she's a button front style with a placket. People complain about gaping. I don't have it when I stand still, but if I bend at the waist the dress gapes a bit at my tummy, and I would have to have at least one snap added to prevent this if I were to keep.

Mr. Suz says the poor fit is obvious IRL and because of this, he was not in love with the dress (recall, he loves Jade). But he agreed it works much better if it is pulled up at the shoulders. I could have these alterations done -- they're not major. Thoughts? Keep and alter, or hold out for a different dress in a similar style? If so, suggestions? I could always wait and see what they come up with next year. There's no huge rush for this. This style feels dressier to me and I already have a few dresses that fill that niche. And am awfully tempted by one at Club Monaco for not much more $$. 

Now for the fun part. Valencia! Honestly. What got into me? I guess I was indulging fantasies of that beach vacation I have never gone on. Pure white linen was seducing me. 

But this romance was not to be. Valencia is cut for a very different person than me! She's snug in the hips (at least her lining is) but she's enormous up top along the sides (a frequent problem for me) and she looks like a hospital gown! Gorgeous fabric! Beautifully lined. But completely awful. Oh well. Live and learn, right? 


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WIW to a Not-Funeral (plus new pixie)

An older friend's husband died suddenly last week. He had several chronic conditions, but nevertheless, this was a shock. He did not want a funeral or a conventional memorial but my friend held an open house today. I was not at all sure what to wear so I chose my RL shift dress and a kimono. And new red Franco Sarto sandals (which I took off at the door, ha!) It turned out to be the perfect outfit. 

The sandals just barely work on my medium-to-low volume foot. I have to do the strap up to its tightest hole and the foot straps are a bit loose -- they are fine in width (across the foot) but a bit generous for me in "depth" if that makes sense, so they are a little loose on me. A half size down probably would have been better but this will allow for a bit of swelling in humidity. The suede is extremely soft and comfortable and the heel is stable, despite being a bit higher than I prefer. Comfort level is high for those who can tolerate a heel. I'd recommend them for medium-high volume feet. 

I switched up my hair. Back to a texturized pixie with a bit more softness on the sides. The longer, thicker asymmetrical fringe that I was wearing is harder to manage in summer's humidity, and I was ready for a change. This is truly wash 'n wear. And I always feel most "myself" in a style like this. First 2 closeup photos with a flash and one without. 


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