Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday Finds Under $50

(pictured clockwise, starting from upper left)

Old Navy, Belted Trench Coat, $49.50
Mia, Mischa T-Strap Sandal, $37.46
Old Navy, Envelope-Neck Jersey Dress, $15
Linea Pelle, Rounded Pyramid Stud Bracelet, $35 each
Renee's Accessories, Studded Fingerless Gloves, $42

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Come on, Vogue

Inspiration is a fickle thing. Just when I think I've seized enough creative juices to pen a few entries, the light is extinguished by job stress, a growing to-do list and humdrum January weather. Flipping through the pages of the latest glossy or browsing runway shows on doesn't always reignite that fire - at least not in the same way a vintage magazine cover can.

I'm unapologetically in love with Vogue and spent some quality time browsing the Conde Nast Store for vintage covers that sparked a little glimmer of sartorial optimism. Here are a couple of my favorites, along with current pieces to recreate the artists' visions.

Tucker Wrap Jacket ($320); Guess Flower Cluster Ring ($22); Janna Conner Designs Light Blue Quartz Ring ($60); Marc Jacobs Skirt ($438.78); Bally Sandal ($198)

Kate Spade Hoop Earrings ($48); K Karl Lagerfeld Scarf ($65); Tracy Reese Wrap Dress ($175); Silver Playing Cards ($8.88); Gap Sandals ($34.50)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Raindrops Keep Fallin'

It was a wet weekend in Wisconsin with dismal grey skies; and it may have unintentionally influenced today's office outfit. Even the subtle sequins on the Banana Republic top remind me of little raindrops - or, I suppose, dew drops on a more optimistic day.

Banana Republic Silk-Blend Sequin Tee, Forever21 Knot Bracelet, The Limited Skirt, Nine West Pumps

Saturday, January 23, 2010

"Buy It Now" Marks the Spot

Rolling out of bed and putting on a pot of strong coffee is part of my daily routine. But leisurely eBay browsing sweetens the pot on weekends. The morning hours tick away as I search for "vintage sequins" or intentionally misspelling designer names to find a hidden treasure.

I'm trying to heed my "buy less" resolution, so I'll pass along a bit of temptation to you.

Vintage Deeply Carved Faux Ivory Clamper Cuff Bracelet
Current Bid: $19.99
Auction Ends: Jan 23, 2010 at 21:07:31 PST

Vintage Emilio Pucci Perfume Store Display Stand
Current Bid: $9.99
Auction Ends: Jan 24, 2010 at 13:00:17 PST

I think this could be repurposed into a bar accessory atop a bar cart. It'd take some work and you might need to remove some of the divider bars, but it could be fabulous.

Vintage Christian Dior Goldtone Belt 1950s
Current Bid: $11.50
Auction Ends: Jan 25, 2010 at 11:06:27 PST

Of course my morning would have been more productive if I had showered when I actually woke up - four hours earlier - but it would have been much less fun.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday Finds Under $50

(pictured clockwise, starting from upper left)

Bobby Berk Home, Zigzag Throw Pillow, $50
Forever21, Ray of Beads Tunic, $24.80
Amrita Singh, Water Mill Earrings, $40 (on sale)
Diba, Selena Cut Out Platform Bootie, $39.95
ASOS, Rhinestone Encrusted Fish Ring, $20.40

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Happy Birthday to Eyeliah of Style Symmetry!

I was so excited when I opened my e-mail to find an invitation from Eyeliah of Style Symmetry to share in her virtual birthday celebration! Eyeliah has a love of vintage finds and keen eye for mixing textures. So, I sifted through my closet looking for patterned pieces to mix - and my favorite vintage bracelet to accessorize with.

Cynthia Steffe Bustier, Ann Taylor Plaid Skirt, Banana Republic Faux Snakeskin Clutch, Vintage Rhinestone Bracelet, New York and Company Rhinestone Watch, Claire's Rhinestone Earrings

For the full outfit, join the party over at Style Symmetry!

Golden Grey

Thanks for your patience on my three-day blog hiatus, darlings. I'm not quite sure where my mind has been, but it certainly hasn't been as transfixed by printed silks and glittering gems as it normally is! In fact, I've been feeling quite uninspired. To help pull out of my slump, I'm turning to an all-time favorite color combination. No, it's not the ever-chic black and white - it's grey and gold.

(pictured clockwise, starting from upper left)

Mike & Chris, Brent Sleeveless Jersey Top, $54 (on sale)
Marc by Marc Jacobs, Double Breasted Coat, $529 (on sale)
Lauren Merkin, Zip Pouch, $55
Forever21, Studded Hoops, $6.80
Matiko, Studded Suede Tinsel Flats, $65
La Mer, Vintage Double Wrap Watch, $106
Banana Republic, Heritage Walkabout Bracelet, $25

What has been inspiring you lately?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Vintage-Inspired Friday Finds under $50

(pictured clockwise, starting from upper left)

Forever21, Floral Embroidered Knit Top, $22.80
ASOS, Vintage-Style Fan Necklace, $13.60
ASOS, Statement Stretch Bracelet, $25.50
Kate Spade, Vintage Cocktail Invitations, $25*
Echo Design, Debbie Downpour Scarf, $27 (on sale)**

*Please invite me to any party these are used for. It's guaranteed to be a smashing success!

**Echo Design is an incredible resource for scarves in interesting prints at reasonable price points. I've added the Colorblocked Feathers Scarf to my wish list.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Mercury Rising

We're experiencing a Wisconsin heat wave with above-freezing temperatures in the forecast for the next week. Thirty-eight degrees isn't exactly beach weather, but it's just enough warmth to make me itch for summer days. And fortunately enough, I'm heading to California this year with my boyfriend for his best friend's wedding. Who cares if the wedding isn't until June? I'd like to start my fantasy beach-ready suitcase now.

(pictured clockwise, starting from upper left)

Melissa Odabash, Hermione Jersey Kaftan, $325
Lanvin, Embellished Acetate Sunglasses, $126
Echo Design, Graphic Ombre Crinkle Scarf, $38
J.Crew, Jersey Lomellina Retro Bandeau Tank, $115
Anna Beck, Riau Gold Triple Disc Earrings, $163
Diane von Furstenberg, Rialto Sandals, $136
Sea Bags, Small Tote Bag, $95*
Tory Burch, Skinny Cuff with Logo Studs, $95

*The tote bags are made from recycled sails, lending character to the totes and inspiring stories of faraway lands. Basically: the tote is more well-traveled than I am.

Itty Bitty Giveaway: Winner

Thank you for sharing such lovely descriptions about your favorite pieces of jewelry. I can't resist a sparkly bauble and it seems many of you can't either!

I'm a bit of a traditionalist and brushed aside the Random Number Generator in favor of an old-fashioned drawing. I dutifully printed off, clipped apart and folded up each comment and tossed them into a bowl.

Ahem, drum roll please ...

"My favorite piece of jewelry would be my engagement/wedding rings (corny, maybe...), because it's not an extravagant piece, but it means so much. The day my hubby put it on my finger, it meant he chose me to spend the rest of his life with. :) How lucky am I!"

Not corny at all! Congratulations, Sharonlei! Please e-mail your mailing address to me at

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


I was touched by Melisa's post at The Lil Bee this morning - and I don't think she'll mind that I'm using her words as inspiration for today's message.

I can't imagine the scale of the earthquake that rocked Haiti yesterday afternoon. I can't imagine the devastation that has ripped through the country. I can't imagine losing my loved ones in a similar disaster. And I certainly can't imagine not having access to the most basic necessities of food, water and shelter.

In yesterday's post, I mentioned how challenging it was to create an outfit for less than $100. But c'mon, that's not a challenge. A challenge is not having the resources to rebuild a country after it comes crumbling down around its citizens.

I'm echoing Melisa's plea. If you can, please donate money to the American Red Cross to help the relief efforts.

Many of us don't blink at spending $5 on a cup of coffee - I know I don't. Let's use that money for something great today.

Please share your suggestions to help the Haiti relief efforts.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Shoestring Chic

"Furlough" is such a dirty, dirty word. And unfortunately it's one that many of us have had to come to terms with during the economic downfall. Most of these pay cuts don't affect the crucial line items in our budgets - but it sure wrecks havoc on our discretionary spending!

So, I challenged myself. If I had only one crisp $100 bill to spend on clothing for the month, could I create an outfit that I would actually want to wear? The answer is a resounding "Yes!" But there's one caveat: tight purse strings mean taking much more time to research potential purchases than working with an unlimited budget.

(pictured clockwise, starting from upper left)

Forever21, Whispy Rosette Top, $17.80
Forever21, Double Hoop Rhinestone Earrings, $5.80
J.Crew, Wool Twill Club Pant, $39.99
Forever21, Studded Velvet Pump, $25.80
Forever21, Lacquer Wing Cuff Bracelet, $5.80
Total: $95.19

Just enough money leftover for a Starbucks run.

Don't forget to enter to win a glitzy little ring from Forever21!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Black, White and Patterned All Over

I realize that this post is in direct opposition to my resolution to embrace jewel tones in 2010, but it does uphold the promise to embrace patterns. Black and white remain wardrobe staples in refreshingly chic graphic prints.

(pictured clockwise, starting from upper left)

Armani Exchange, Wave Scarf, $38
The Limited, Elongated CZ Tear Earring, $34.50
Charlotte Russe, Abstract Zebra Tank, $18.99
The Limited, A-Line Stripe Skirt, $59.50
Giuseppe Zanotti, Graffiti Pumps, $550
Kenneth Jay Lane, Gold-Plated Studded Bangle, $150 (on sale)
Moyna Handbags, Beaded Clutch, $110
Issa, Printed Jersey Dress, $391 (on sale)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Friday Finds under $50

After a bit of a from "Little Luxuries" posts, I'd like to reinstate a weekly selection of affordable style picks to counteract the ridiculous $500 "steals" in magazines. Without further ado: Five Friday Finds under $50. How's that for alliteration?

(pictured clockwise, starting from upper left)

Juicy Couture, Wish Sparrow Necklace, $48
Urban Outfitters, Double Wrap Gold Link Watch, $38
Forever21, Beaded Chiffon Dress, $39.80
The Limited, Asymmetrical Flap Sequin Bag, $24.99 (on sale)
Newport News, Peep-Toe Ankle Boots, $39 (on sale)

And don't forget to enter to win a glitzy little ring from Forever21!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Itty Bitty Giveaway: Forever21 Ring

While browsing Forever21 earlier this week, I came across a domed rhinestone ring similar to the one I wore in Wednesday's post. I just couldn't help myself; I had to pick it up to give away to one of you lovely readers. It's certainly nothing elaborate, but it sure is sparkly. And isn't "sparkly" the best way to kick off 2010?

The fine print:
  1. You must be a follower of Style Obsession.
  2. You must be a resident of the United States.
  3. Enter by leaving a comment telling me about your favorite piece of jewelry.
  4. For another entry, blog or Tweet* about this giveaway and leave a second comment.
I'll randomly select a winner next Thursday, January 14, 2010.

*I just started a Twitter account for my blog. You can follow me @style_obsession.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Who Wears Short Shorts?

(I look a little bewildered. But let's, ahem, call it "charming.")

Vintage Blazer (from my mother's closet), Forever21 Blouse, Black Pearl Earrings, Banana Republic Necklace, Banana Republic Ring, Gap Shorts, Gap Tights, Guess Shoes

I'm indecisive when it comes to shorts. but I couldn't help picking up a tweed version from the Gap a couple of weeks ago. For an in-store sale price of $14, I'm willing to experiment.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Only the most style-confident of us can wear a hat. The head-topping piece has lost popularity throughout the last century, even though it's the most statement-making accessory one can wear. Nothing draws as much attention to a face than a hat.

I'm especially drawn to vintage hats with exquisite details - and dream of wearing one as the final touch to my cocktail attire. I try them on in every antique store I visit and search for them religiously on eBay. I have yet to purchase one, however; I'm holding out for a vintage Dior hat that I just can't live without. Here are a few vintage beauties that up for auction right now:

If vintage isn't your thing, there are a bevvy of modern versions available:

(pictured clockwise, starting from upper left)

Rub & Dub, Velour and Leather Hat, $235
Brunello Cucinelli Hat, Striped Hat, $430
Eugenia Kim, Craig Sequined Straw Fedora, $315
Kate Spade, Marlene Wool Cloche, $125
Corta, Chain Link Fur Fedora in Dark Camel, $251 (on sale)
Yestadt Millinery, Silky Stripes Turban, $348

Do you wear hats? Would you? What would you wear them with?

Monday, January 4, 2010

Pantone Unveils Color of the Year

The design industry's self-identified "color authority" recently unveiled 2010's esteemed color of the year: turquoise. It's a color that "transports us to an exciting, tropical paradise while offering a sense of protection and healing in stressful times," according to Pantone.

Promise of an escape from the snowy tundra in favor of a "tropical paradise" is enough to convince me to opt for ocean hues - even if they're not Pantone's official 2010 color of 15-5519 turquoise.

(pictured clockwise, starting from upper left)

J.Crew, Silk Taffeta Bow Monde Dress, $225
Milly, Paisley-Embroidered Silk Blouse, $325
Ben-Amun, Multi Stones Drop Turquoise Earrings, $95
Temperley London, Mini Agnelli Studded Dress, $1,195
Joan & David, Demille Pump, $220
DV by Dolce Vita, Cairo Flat, $80
Bounkit Jewelry, Oval Turquoise Button Earrings, $275
Kara Ross, Stingray Bracelet, $310
Missoni, Acqua Eau de Toilette Spray, starting at $60

Friday, January 1, 2010

Two Thousand Ten

I'm finally back in Madison after spending a week at my parents' house - with plenty of holiday cheer, and without high-speed Internet. I stared wistfully at the computer screen on Wednesday, not-so-patiently waiting for Gilt's final sale items to download. My efforts were futile, however, when the computer's slow speed let an Elizabeth & James plaid blazer slip away and a Foley + Corinna dress find a home elsewhere.

Needless to say, I'm thrilled to be back in my apartment, catching up on each of your blogs. Google Reader indicates I have 603 entries to read, so forgive me if it takes awhile! I didn't realize how much I'd miss seeing what you're up to - and how much I'd miss my own blog.

And without further ado, the quintessential first post of 2010: New Year's Resolutions.

  1. Embrace jewel-tone colors - emerald, sapphire and ruby, oh my! - and playful patterns.
  2. Read at least one book each month, or 1,000 pages monthly.
  3. Shop often. Spend rarely. Focus on "quality over quantity" in terms of both fantastically unique and well-made items. And while I'm at it, put more hard-earned dollars into savings.
  4. Sweat at least once a week. The workout isn’t fun, but the shower afterward feels amazing!
  5. Experiment with new recipes - I don’t get Martha Stewart’s magazine for nothing!
  6. Set out on a road trip with my trusty GPS and less-trusty Honda Civic. Destination to be determined.
  7. Keep a bottle of champagne chilled in the fridge for impromptu celebrations.
photos via Charleston Style Concierge, Chocosho, FitSugar, FoBo, Cuisipro, Weekends in Paradelle, Bigger than Your Head
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