Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tuesday Treats Under $20

(pictured clockwise, starting from upper left)

Topshop, Basic Shell Top, $20
Asos, Oasis Stone Inlay Ring, $16.85
Banana Republic,
Gold Rose Stud, $19.50
En Plein Air Scarf, $19.99
Forever21, Knotted Suedette Sandals, $15.80

Monday, August 30, 2010

Neutral Territory

By the time you read this, I'll be submersed in strategic planning at our corporate retreat, sneaking quiet moments on the dock to read Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five and the September issue of Vogue. I doubt I'll find much sartorial inspiration in the former, so I'm relying on Vogue for autumnal staples - like a camel-colored dress. The feminine silhouette is reminiscent of the 1950s - certainly not an unappealing trait, but I still craved the juxtaposition of youthful accessories.

Outfit Notes: Nine West Dress; Banana Republic Necklace, The Limited Bracelet; Forever21 Ring; Jeffrey Campbell Shoes; Revlon "Minted" Nail Polish

p.s. Don't forget to enter the Polyvore contest! After creating your fall look, click on the gallery to see outfits from our talented readers!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Friday Finds Under $50

(pictured clockwise, starting from upper left)

Delia's, Harper Military Shirt, $39.50*
Rebecca Minkoff, Loop & Stud Bracelet, $48
ASOS, Sequin and Bead Embellished Collar, $30.33

Topshop, Lace And Chain Studs, $25
Topshop, Vixen Chain Toe Cap Flats, $50
Banana Republic, Glam Links Ring, $35

*I haven't stopped thinking about this shirt ever since Kristin posted it over at BonBon Rose. Wouldn't it be perfect with a sequin skirt this fall?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Wild Kingdom

Next week, my coworkers and I are heading to Wisconsin's north woods for four days and three nights of strategic planning and team building - four hours away from Madison with no hope for escape.

To say I'm dreading the adventure is an understatement. The tension was so intense last year that there was a BYOB drought midway through the second day - necessitating a liquor run into town. One coworker even broke out Barry White on the stereo and insisted it wasn't for seduction when I questioned him. And, yet, the retreat fuels a bevvy of stories and memories to recount during happy hour the rest of the year. Double-edged sword, I tell ya.

At the very least, this is the perfect setting to daydream about fall's sportsman-inspired pieces - complete with a dose of glitz to avoid looking like a bona fide hunter.

(pictured clockwise, starting from upper left)

Susanne Schmitt, Oxidized Deer's Head Pendant
, $178
Topshop, Faux Fur Stole, $50
Banana Republic, Dainty Plate Stud, $25
Modcloth, Deer Watch Necklace, $24.99
Washington Jacket, $69.99
Topshop, Stag Hoops, $25
Filson, Wool Duffle Bag, $250
Ana Cavalheiro, Arabian Nights Ring, $238
Report, Monroe Boot, $174.95

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Cocktail Hour

The opportunity to don silk, chiffon and piles of baubles is the real reason I always RSVP to a cocktail party. Well, that, and the promise of libations swirling in a martini glass. I snagged this Karen Zambos Vintage Couture mini dress at a Shopbop warehouse sale two years ago. Yet, the "dress" hasn't made its soiree debut. The short hemline barely covers my tush, pushing the boundaries of decency. Cue the black pencil skirt to rescue me from social misconduct.

Outfit Notes: Karen Zambos Vintage Couture Mini Dress; Max Studio Skirt; Banana Republic Beaded Purse; Forever21 Ring; Opal and Diamond Ring; Forever21 Bracelets; Earrings courtesy of LuShae Jewelry

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tuesday Treats Under $20

(pictured clockwise, starting from upper left)

Converse for Target, Sophie Crossbody, $15 (on sale)
Forever21, Antiquated Beaded Top, $14.90
ASOS, Multi Chains Horn Bracelet, $10.11
Alloy, Poplin Shorts, $9.99
Topshop, Spike Layer Stud, $15

Monday, August 23, 2010

Win $1,000 with Polyvore!

If you're anything like me, you also spend countless hours ripping out magazine pages, saving inspiration images and creating outfits on Polyvore. It's a good thing you've been practicing because Polyvore has just announced one of the most exciting contests of the season to celebrate the launch of their new Mini Editor: a $1,000 Visa gift card!*

All you have to do is create your fall look within the widget here at Style Obsession - each outfit you create is another chance to win! (I've noticed that the widget doesn't show up in Google Reader, so you'll have to click to this post to participate.)

And we can't keep all that creativity hidden - I'll post all submitted outfits each weekend during the entry period to share your fall creations with our readers! (After you create an outfit, just leave a comment with your Polyvore username and a link to your blog.)

Powered by Polyvore

Of course, any blogger can jump on board and win their own $1,000 gift card by adding the styling tool to your blog and choosing your favorite 100 items of the season. Read the full rules here.

*One $1,000 Visa gift card is awarded to the winner and another is awarded to the blog host - it's a win-win. While this post may be a little self-serving, I'll definitely purchase something awesome for a giveaway when we win!

Tie One On

It was just a matter of time before I dipped my toe into tie-dyed waters, shunning rows of neon in favor of a subtle silk blouse from Banana Republic. In the oppressive summer heat, I've opted to pair the top with simple, safari-esque shorts. But once fall arrives, the snake-like print will transition perfectly with layers of fall garments.

Outfit Notes: Banana Republic Blouse; Banana Republic Earrings; Noir Bracelet; Old Navy Shorts

Friday, August 20, 2010

Friday Finds Under $50

(pictured clockwise, starting from upper left)

Aldo, Britsch Clutch, $19.98 (on sale)
Ruche, A Taste of Elegance Dress, $46.99
Banana Republic, Quicksilver Stud, $19.50
Nine West,
Inquisat Sandals, $49.99 (on sale)
Marc by Marc Jacobs, Pavé Bolt Ring, $38

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Whale of a Time

After yet another coat of navy paint in the bedroom, Nate and I are assigned with our individual tasks. He's taking care of "manly" duties like electrical work and nailing trim. I'm in charge of decorating - the perfect excuse to acquire Thomas Paul's Moby Pillow. I had wish listed, obsessed over and even posted about this pillow over the last year and it was well worth the wait. Although, truth be told, the pillow is resting comfortably in my living room until I move into his place.

Outfit Notes: Banana Republic Dress; Forever21 and Banana Republic Bracelets; Necklaces from J.Crew, LOFT, NVme Fashions, Wendy Mink Jewelry

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Sparkle & Shine

By now we've all lusted over J.Crew's 2010 fall look book. The styling of the collection is, in a word, perfection - right down to the artful excess of brooches adorning a menswear-inspired blazer. I'm never one to turn down a J.Crew bauble, but this season I'm taking it to eBay's variable collection of vintage jewels to recreate the look.

first row
Green Rhinestone Brooch, current bid: $9.99
Amber and Blue Round Brooch, current bid: $5.25

second row
Monet Goldtone Brooch, current bid: $7.99
Topaz and Citrine Rhinestone Brooch, buy it now: $28.99

third row
Crystal Oval Brooch, current bid: $6.99
Art Deco Sunburst Brooch, current bid: $24.99

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tuesday Treats Under $20

(pictured clockwise, starting from upper left)

Forever21, Floral Crochet Trims Top, $16.90
Aldo, Fischbach Earrings, $18
Old Navy, Crescent Tote, $12.97 (on sale)
Tilly's, Beaded Sandal, $16.99
Aldo, Wolkowiecki Bracelet, $15

Winner: House of Harlow Ring

Congratulations to Jolie of Senorita Fashionista!

Thank you all for entering - I wish had something to share with each and every one of you! Your continued support and readership make these giveaways possible!

And my sincerest thanks to DesignerApparel.com for sponsoring this giveaway!

If you'd like to partner with Style Obsession on a giveaway, please e-mail me at JessicaStyleObsession@gmail.com.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Seeing Red

There aren't many items that rarely take residence inside my closet, but this dress is one exception. Each time it comes home from the dry cleaner, I can barely wait to wear it again ... and again. With its breezy silhouette and tropical-inspired print, it's an easy favorite for summer. It didn't come easy, though. After spotting the sold-out dress on Net-a-Porter 2008, it took nearly eight months of eBay scouring to finally seize the piece.

Outfit Notes: Diane von Furstenberg Dress; Guess Shoes; Forever21 Necklace; Druzy Ring via Silvermoon-inc on eBay; Revlon "Minted" Nail Polish

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Window Shopping

It's that time again when our mailboxes are inundated with September magazines. This first sign of autumn making me yearn for cooler days and a well-edited fall wardrobe. (No surprise there, right?) I've already spent hours carefully considering which trends I'm aching to embrace and now we're on to the fun part: shopping. I've spent the better part of today perusing websites to find the perfect autumn items, like these two from our sponsors: Wendy Mink Jewelry's Rose Resin Bracelet (only $45!) and Oufi London's Pippa handbag ($155).

Friday, August 13, 2010

Friday Finds Under $50

(pictured clockwise, starting from upper left)

Delia's, Kara Solid Varsity Cardigan, $39.50
TopShop, Side Spike Stone Ring, $40
Michael Antonio, Mckey Boot, $47.11
TopShop, Star Stone Studs, $25
Sequin, Snake Bangle, $30

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Hometown Proud

Going back to work after a vacation is torture - especially when the alternative is walking along the shore of Lake Superior in my hometown of Ashland, Wis. Nearly every morning, I wandered to the beach to wade in the unseasonably warm water, collecting drift wood and stones. I'm yearning for a rock tumbler after bringing back pounds of jasper, granite, Lake Superior agates and plenty of unidentified stones. Ashland's signature feature (aside from the lake, of course) is the the historic Soo Line ore dock built in 1916. The crumbling ore dock is slated for deconstruction soon, so it was one of the last opportunities to admire the structure.

Tuesday Treats Under $20

(pictured clockwise, starting from upper left)

J.Crew, Drawstring Tank Dress, $19.99 (on sale)
Asos, Designsix Abbott Necklace, $16.85 (on sale)
Fishs Eddy, Pinwheel Italian Wine Glass, $5.50
Asos, Pilgrim Ball Ring, $13.48 (on sale)
Forever21, Wrap Me Up Sandals, $14.80
Lori's Shoes,
Square Stone Bangle, $12

Inspired by...
Remember last week's "Tuesday Treats" feature? Lydia from Chic on the Cheap found inspiration in the ruffled tank and snakeskin bag, creating her own "inspired by" look. She even stayed true to the theme by choosing pieces for under $20!

If you've been inspired by any Style Obsession post, I'd love to hear from you!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Giveaway: House of Harlow Ring

I'm finally back in Madison after a few days of visiting my parents, listening to my brother's stories of South Korea and cultivating a new hobby: rock hunting. Seriously.

I spent hours scouring the shore to find Lake Superior agates. Now I just need to find a geologist to sift through my 10 pound bag of rocks and gauge my success. Of course, the best part of my newfound fixation is turning gemstones into jewelry. But as this House of Harlow ring (above) shows, a well-designed ring with a bit of leather can be equally striking.

Want to make a bold statement with this ring? Lady Luck might be on your side. DesignerApparel.com has graciously offered to give the House of Harlow Sunburst Cocktail Ring to a Style Obsession reader.

About the Sponsor
DesignerApparel.com is a one-stop e-shopping search engine that carries hundreds of designer brands. Just search for a favorite label like Isabel Marant, Kate Spade or Caroline Rose and DesignerApparel.com will scour various e-tailers and compile the search results for you to sift through. Easy, right?

The Details
The entry period runs through Monday, August 16. The winner will be announced the following day. Open to U.S. and Canadian readers.

For One Entry
Visit DesignerApparel.com and let me know what you think. You must leave your e-mail address or blog URL so I can get in touch with you if you win.

For Additional Entries
Leave a separate comment for each of the following:
  • Follow Style Obsession via Google Friend Connect (leave a separate comment saying you "follow")
  • Blog about this giveaway (please provide link in a separate comment)
  • Tweet about this giveaway (please provide link in a separate comment)
Please Note...
It seems that Blogger isn't displaying all comments correctly. Please be aware that I'm still receiving the e-mail notifications for each entry. I plan to save these e-mails to verify that your entries are counted accurately.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Friday Finds Under $50

(pictured clockwise, starting from upper left)

Gorjana, Tear Cluster Necklace, $50
Arden B., Ethnic Chain Fringe Earrings, $14
J.Crew, Lightweight Cotton Caprese Tunic, $24.99 (on sale)
Kenneth Cole, Wraparound Ring, $38
Miz Mooz, Bonita Sandals, $29.99 (on sale)
CB2, Peacock Pillow, $39.95

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Love Affair

It was love at first sight. Never had I come across a bag that was undeniably "me" with its classic shape, ladylike crocodile embossing, gold hardware and a healthy dose of cheeky irreverence.

Outfit Notes: H&M Blouse; Old Navy Shorts; Yves Saint Laurent Arty Ovale Ring; Rebecca Minkoff "Mac" Clutch; Revlon "Minted" Nail Polish

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Bedroom Renovation: Making Progress

It's been awhile since I've mentioned the renovation at Nate's place. But don't worry, we've kept at it. After completing the floor and walls in the living room, we've piled furniture into the living area to work on the most exciting part of the endeavor: the bedroom.

We have very few "before" photos of the bedroom - which just illustrates how eager we were to spruce it up. It was similar to the living room with dirty carpet and equally filthy "white" walls.

First on our plan of attack: remove the carpet. Fortunately, this one was installed fairly recently and the carpet pad was not glued down. (We're all about the small victories - and I don't think I have the patience to ever peel off another disintegrating pad.)

The guy who lived in the house before was not exactly handy - I'm even going to go so far as to call him an idiot. There's an ever-growing list of minor headaches from the previous homeowner: he left the top of the doorway bare because he ran of trim in the bedroom, and now we need to buy new trim for the room because we can't find the same pattern. He didn't cover the windows when he sprayed the ceiling with that god-awful "popcorn" texture. Hell, even the closet doors were hung upside down. Ugh.

The shining glory of the entire room is near the ceiling. Nope, it's not the ceiling fan circa 1980; it's the stenciled menagerie of woodland creatures.

The floor had a surprise of its own: there were two areas that had low-quality filler boards. These had to be replaced so they'd look uniform once the polyurethane was applied.

But all of the filler boards weren't parallel to the original floorboards; there was one portion that ran perpendicular to the rest.

Nate was able to fill in the holes with the aged wood from the "secret room" we discovered in the bathroom.

Once that was complete, it was finally time to paint. I had the paint color picked out months in advance.

A deep, rich navy. There was skepticism from everyone I showed the paint sample to - including Nate. But what did they know?

The stenciled critters were the first to go. (I've never seen Nate happier than he was at that moment.)

For those interested, the color was Ralph Lauren's Black Watch Navy that we had color-matched at Home Depot. (If you'd like the color formula, let me know.)

Isn't it perfect? I'm so happy with how rich the walls look - and how they recede into the background: a must in such a small room. (It's also the perfect backdrop for upcoming nautical touches.)

Nate did an incredible job with the floor. This is where he filled in the perpendicular hole. He spent hours chiseling the floor and creating those mini slats to make sure they fit as seamlessly as possible.

This photo is exactly why I love polyurethane. The glossy coat brings out the richness of the wood's age.

In the next few weeks, we'll install the trim and start decorating. We even have a new mattress coming!
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