Friday, February 26, 2010

Looking back and Oscar fever

The Dress Project didn't happen today -- I was so sick and blah that I couldn't bring myself to get out of pajamas. I'll spare you the picture and now that I'm feeling much better, I'll just pretend today didn't happen and resume with Dress Five tomorrow.
To wit, here's the last four days in dresses:

I like seeing them all side by side. Makes it feel more real and it will be a really sweet collage when I have 45 photos in there.
Some thoughts:
1) My favorite ensembles are the ones that include lots of color or pattern. I feel my best when I'm wearing cheerful looks.
2) I'm wearing those Target boots religiously. Best deal in awhile, but I want to branch out to wearing some of my lesser-worn shoes.
3) I have (almost) the same pose in each photo. Working on that.

I am really looking forward to tomorrow. Jeremiah and I are going to a movie festival! Every year AMC Theatres hosts the "Best Picture Showcase" in which they show all of the movies nominated for the Best Picture Oscar for that year. It's like Christmas and Halloween rolled into one -- the movie staff dresses up and there's a red carpet, movie trivia, prizes and unlimited popcorn and drinks. This will be our fourth year going and since there are 10 movies nominated this year, the movie marathon is split up into two Saturdays leading up to Oscar Sunday. Tomorrow's lineup: "Avatar," "Precious," "Up in the Air," "The Blind Side" and "Inglourious Basterds." We've been studying our movie trivia and feel prepared for the 11-hour day inside the theater. So excited and happy! Have a good weekend!

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

We rob banks, or Dress #4

Dress: H&M, bought in NYC;
Sweater: Mossimo, Target;
Scarf: Thrifted;
Belt: Fossil;
Tights: Target; 
Jade bracelet: Finder's Keepers;
Boots: Kady cognac, Target.
How I've worn the dress before: here.
How I've worn the scarf: here.

 The windy cold made outdoor photos seem dreadful, so here's my attempt at indoor photos. I'll admit I'm feeling a bit under the weather so I look somewhat disheveled in these photos. Can't be a winner everyday -- hope it's sunny and nice tomorrow.

About the outfit. This is day four of The Dress Project and this ensemble is a direct result of watching old movies late at night. "Bonnie & Clyde" came on a couple weeks ago and I've been loving Faye Dunaway's style in the movie. Pretty scarves and sweaters? Yes, please:


Short post tonight -- hoping that a movie and a warm blanket on the couch will help me feel a little better. 
Here's hoping!

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Black dress with the tights underneath, or Dress #3

Listening to:  "Don't Trust Me," 3Oh!3.
Dress: Merona, Target, $25;
Sweater: Faded Glory, $12;
Belt: Fossil, $6;
Tights: Target, $5;
Shell necklace: From Philippines, gift;
Boots: Kady cognac, Target, $30.

It's Day 3 of The Dress Project and I'm becoming strategic with which dresses to wear. I've got quite a few black dresses and went with one I never really wear but should because I do like the sleeves. Here's how it looks without the sweater:

I forgot to take a sweater-less photo in my first round of pictures, and by that time my photographer husband did not want to take the "long trek" (read: two minute walk) to the gazebo, so you're getting the view outside my apartment. Oh well, I try to be a good blogger. 
 I love how the dress is fitted up top. I think I got it because it made me feel like Maria from "West Side Story." Something about the way it's fitted reminds me of Natalie Woods' wardrobe from the movie. I would die happy if I could dress like she did all the time. And while we're at it, I'd want Anita's wardrobe as well!
Speaking of older movies, I am getting a huge kick out of TMC's Oscar movie marathon -- I watched "Gigi" and "An American in Paris" last night and loved Gene Kelly's performance in the latter, even though "Singin' in the Rain" is my favorite of his work.
  About to grab some dinner -- hope you all have a good night!

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Paint splatters, or: Dress #2

(Sprinkle wanted some camera time today)
Dress: Ann Taylor Loft, fall 2009, $5;
Sweater: Mossimo, Target, fall 2009, $30;
Boots: Kady in cognac, Target, fall 2009, $30;
Tights: Ann Klein, Marshall's, fall 2009, $7/two-pack;
Trenchcoat: Banana Republic, fall 2009, gift;
Poncho, worn as shawl: Burlington Coat Factory, spring 2005, don't remember price.
How I've worn the dress: here, here.
How I've worn the poncho: here, here.

 Sorry these photos are up later than usual. I had some issues with uploading and it took almost an hour longer than it should have.
About this outfit: the dress was a fall final sale piece that I score for $5. The abstract brushstroke print reminded me of the YSL Splatter Paint dress Demi Moore wore a few seasons ago, and I liked the color palette on the one I bought. The trench was a lovely early Christmas gift from my mom. The poncho, which I seem to keep wearing as a scarf, is what I used as a shawl for my high school senior prom.

It's day two of The Dress Project, and I've been pretty excited about keeping this momentum up and trying to figure out how to style the rest of what I have. Thanks so much for your enthusiasm and kind words about the project -- I'm glad many of you are interested!

I have noticed from a few comments saying that 45 seemed like large amount and felt like I should elaborate a bit on how I reached that number. Buying dresses for me has become a bit of an obsession the last few years -- it seemed easy to buy one piece that could encompass a whole outfit, and they are the one theme that take up my closet. But what I have in dresses, I lack in other areas, particularly blouses and sweaters, which is why you'll probably see a lot of those repeated during the project. I've realized many of the dresses that I have come from many of the same stores or brands, and I think very soon I'm going to do an inventory list of what's in my closet that I'll post here so I can better understand what places trigger my spending habits. Plus, as my fellow blogger Fashion Therapist has mentioned recently, we all seem to have some voyeurism when it comes to seeing what's in others' closets.
I've asked this question before, but I'm curious: what could be considered your shopping obsession  -- is it a store or a particular item of clothing?

Olympics women's figure skating is on tonight -- I've been waiting for this! Hope you all have a wonderful night!

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Monday, February 22, 2010

Candy canes on a tree, or Dress #1

 Dress: Donna Ricco, 2007;
Sweater: Mossimo, Target, fall 2009;
Brown wedges: Zigi Soho, Off-Broadway, spring 2009;
Black bag: NYC street vendor, summer 2008;
Green bangle: vintage, Finder's Keepers, 2010.
How I've worn the sweater (how haven't I worn it?): here, here.
How I've worn the shoes: here.
So today's the first day of The Dress Project, and I ultimately reached for a dress that I haven't worn in almost a year. Admittedly, it's meant to be a spring/summer dress, but its print was so cheerful that I wanted to debut it on the blog. The weather outside is really weird today -- it's 55-ish degrees, but after last night's thunderstorm, it's been pretty dreary. I took the higher temperatures as a sign that my tights are seeing their last days soon. I've had the dress for a couple of years now and it's worked as a multipurpose dress. I wore it on my 21st birthday, to a spring wedding and once a week during my NYC internship (with a sweater and belt for the office).

I spent some time with Jeremiah at Barnes & Noble today and we ended up taking my outfit photos there because of the icky weather. I felt stealth taking the photos in the aisles -- we didn't want anyone to know we were taking photos, so whenever someone walked by, we pretended to be looking at a book or something. 
A funny thing happened near the magazine rack. I was putting away a magazine I perused when I walked by two men sitting on a bench. I could tell they were eying my outfit and I heard one of them mutter not-so-subtly, "Yeah, like candy canes on a tree over here!" very pointedly in my direction. I don't know if it was meant as a compliment or not, but I'll take it as so. 
I like peppermint anyways.

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One down, 44 to go.

Introducing ... The Dress Project

It's no secret that I absolutely adore wearing dresses. They're fun, they're whimsical and they encompass all the pieces you need for a whole outfit. And yet, I wear a mere fraction of what's in my closet, even though I seem to keep acquiring new dresses. I don't have an excuse for such waste.
 To fully celebrate what I have, curb my wastefulness and understand exactly where my money is being spent, I'm going to start a project that I've been thinking about for weeks now: wear the 45 dresses I currently have in my closet for the next 45 days. During The Dress Project, I will:

1) not shop for any more clothing or accessories (yep, the sadly-forgotten shopping ban is finally coming back into play), so that I can appreciate the items already taking up space in my wardrobe;
2) wear each dress once before repeating an ensemble;
3) and utilize other pieces (such as blouses, skirts, etc) while doing this experiment, so that I can keep the dress-wearing fun, creative and useful in my own life.

 At the end of the 45 days, I'll assess what I have -- as well as what I loved wearing and what I should ultimately donate if it no longer works in my life.
I'll admit, I'm nervous about this sartorial commitment, but it's time.
Hopefully this will be an eye-opening, frugal and colorful experiment!

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Friday, February 19, 2010

And I'm bound to keep on riding

Listening to: "Midnight Rider," The Allman Brothers.
Dress: Sangria, from Sym's, NYC;
Sweater: Ann Taylor Loft;
Boots: Kady cognac, Target;
Tights: Target;
Necklace: Caiem, lovely giveaway gift from Lizzy Punch.
How I've worn the dress: here.
How I've worn the sweater: here, here, here, here.

Thank you for all of your support on my last two posts. I read every comment and responded to most of them (on the post). With my dad entry, it felt really refreshing to talk about something I'm not open about with many people, and reading your kind words and thoughts was very humbling and encouraging. Thank you.

  As for the blog adjustments post -- I think change will be good. I've been thinking a lot about a quote from Mad Men in which Don Draper says, "My life moves in one direction -- forward," and I think that's how I'll continue to think about this blog.  As I alluded to previously, I've got a couple projects I'm excited about that will come up in the next month or so, and this weekend I will be changing the layout a bit with the blog. So thank you for hanging in there with me. :) Of course, I'll give updates on Nikki's goings-on as they come.

 Okay, about this outfit. I've already worn this exact outfit before, but these photos were taken after Jeremiah and I went to visit his grandfather, so I wanted to feel good in an outfit that I knew worked for me. The weather was so nice today -- 60 degrees -- that I didn't need a coat. 

Hooray for beautiful weather and the weekend! Have a great one.

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Blog changes

Nik and I had a long talk yesterday about the blog, and with her busy schedule of school and sports, she won't be able to be a part of the Sidewalk Chalk blog anymore. It was a little sad because this began as a sister style blog, but the change was necessary.

So what does this mean? I (JoAnn) am still going to be writing for Sidewalk Chalk, and since I'll be the only author, much of the tone and focus will be geared toward my style and sartorial interests. I hope to expand the blog with a few projects coming up, and I'm really excited to put these ideas into play.

Most of all, both Nikki and I have really enjoyed getting to know you these last few months and have been so grateful for your comments and support. I didn't think when I first started blogging here that I would actually make new friends and feel a part of such a wonderful community. You (all of you awesome readers) have made blogging so much fun everyday.

I really hope you'll continue reading Sidewalk Chalk in the future!

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