Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Giveaway!

Head on over to Leproust Vintage and enter to win a vintage garment from Leproust Vintage Etsy shop!

You'll find great items at great prices, so even if you don't win, you'll know where to go for your next vintage piece!

Here are my 3 faves:





Some Like it Chilly

It's REALLY rare that I take pictures of my outfits. For two reasons: #1. I would be mortified if anyone caught me taking pictures of myself. (Maybe it's something you get used to?) #2. It takes me MANY tries to get an even remotely decent picture and can be very time-consuming. (Maybe it just takes practice?)


Yesterday, I had some free time after work to play with camera placement and such. And I liked my outfit, celebrating my first tight-wearing of the season. I. Love. Tights. So today...you get an outfit picture.


I also love fall. I love fall so much that I almost don't mind that it precedes winter. The cursed Minnesota winter - yuck. Fall makes me want to be outside all the time. I want cuddle up with a blanket in my hammock and read and nap and repeat. I must make time to do that soon. I. Love. Fall.



Sweater: Gap - way old
Flower Pin: Gap - way old
Skirt: Target - way old
Tights: ?
Shoes: Liz Claiborne via DSW

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Kidnapped

For the past 8 years, my church youth group has hosted an event we call Kidnapped. Basically, we plan a day of activities and transport a bunch of young people who have know idea where they're going. We typically make 3 stops throughout the day. Every year is fun, but I felt this one went exceptionally well given the amazing weather, participation, and food.

Our first event was about a 45 minute drive from St. Paul in Shakopee, MN at Sever's Corn Maze. It's not just a maze...although the maze is quite aMAZEing. It's different every year. This year, the challenge was to find each post marked with a letter. Keep track of every one with a picture of a pirate. Submit findings at the end of the maze for a chance to win a prize!


An aerial picture of the maze.


'G' is for 'Girls!'...and Alijah. He wanted to be in pictures too!
Oh, lookie-there, mates! A pirate!



'K' is for Kelsy, Katie, Keely....and Alijah.
No pirate to be found on 'K'. Moving on...


They also have a petting zoo, pig races, camel rides, a big slide, a small playground, fried food and best of all, A CORN PIT! Oh how I love that corn pit!


Children of the corn.


Buried alive in the corn.


The bus blew a tire on the highway on the way to the next event. Just an exciting little bump in our day.


Tire got a booboo.


Waiting for alternate transportation.


After our fill of delicious Mexican cuisine at stop #2 (I can't believe I didn't get pictures of the FOOD!), our last stop was the new bowling alley, PINZ. I bowled a 99 and a 113 (typical).



It was such a fun day!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Thursday Night Highlight

My head is a-bobbin' today having stayed up way past my bed time last night. Was out on the town with a few friends to see Ashleigh Still's live recording at Dakota Jazz Club in Minneapolis. It was well worth the sacrifice of sleep.

Even after knowing Ashleigh, hearing her sing nearly every Sunday since teen-hood, her voice continues to amaze me. And then when she began sharing songs she's written...good freakin' grief. So she can sing and write and play...and oh yeah, she's completely drop-dead gorgeous. All that talent and beauty, you'd think she'd be such a snob...nope. She's sweet as pie.

Can't talk about last night's music without mentioning The Dirty Dishes (isn't that a great name for a band!). They're all rock-star quality musicians as far as I'm concerned.

Ashleigh Still and the Dirty Dishes will be coming out with their first album soon. I promise, you will want to know about it. Find out more at www.myspace.com/ashleighstill.



A few gorgeous friends I happened to share a table with: Keely, Courtney and Nadine.


This is us trying to find our way back to the car. A lot to ask of St. Paul girls in Minneapolis, but we figured it out. If I had the money, I'd take a cab (or a limo) to Minneapolis to avoid the frustration of getting lost nearly every time.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Marianne Faithfull

I made a commitment to my readers a while back that I would feature a fashion icon every month. Well, I missed August and we're nearly into October now (crazy!), so this post is quite past-due!

Not sure how I heard about Marianne Faithfull, but as soon as I saw a picture of her I knew she had to be my next icon - she's so adorable! I soon found out that underneath her darling, girl-next-door exterior, Marianne was quite the mess.




Marianne was a wife and mother at age 19. When Rolling Stone's Manager discovered her at a London party in 1963, her life began to change. She soon released her first single "As Tears Go By". In 1965, Marianne left her husband for Mick Jagger and quickly fell into a life of substance abuse. She was the muse behind several Rolling Stone hits including "You Can't Always Get What You Want".



Marianne ended her relationship with Mick Jagger in 1970, but her personal life continued to decline. She lost custody of her son and lived on the streets of London, suffering severely with heroin addiction and anorexia. From 1970 - 1987 she was in and out of numerous rehabilitation centers including Hazelden Clinic in Minnesota (very close to where I live/work).


Though her voice was not the same from years of drug abuse, some fans were fond of her gravely voice and new jazzy-bluezy sound. Within the last few years, Marianne's health struggles with breast cancer and Hepatitis C has stifled her ability to perform often, though she does continue to tour when able. She's also made several movie appearances including a role in Marie Antoinette in 2006 starring Kirsten Dunst.



Pictures of her in the early years of her career don't really reflect to me what her life truly was at the time. She appears very sweet and innocent. Has a darling smile. A girl I could get to know. Her style closely parallels the trends I love today: girly and flirty and fun. Short dresses paired with boots or t-straps. Belts and buttons. Love the feather boa accessory too.



What can we learn from the life of Marianne Faithfull? Perhaps that life is full of second chances. For people and style alike.





Photos here, here, here, here.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Final Sale

I love the end of a season when retailers far and wide make their last effort to get into your pocketbook. Go with it, people. Just go with it.



This is the perfect opportunity to buy items previously not within budget on super sale. Store these away in the off-season and forget about them. Then when the weather permits once again, your 'new' purchases will be a wonderful surprise.


You'll find the best of the best deals (like 70% off) at the Final Sale. Be sure to read the fine print and purchase wisely. Final sale items are likely not returnable.


J.Crew final sale

Piperlime final sale

Banana Republic final sale

Gap final sale
(plus take an additional 20% off through 9/25! with code EXTRA20)

Ann Taylor final sale



Ready. Set. Go. Shopping.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Das Boot

Just when I was beginning to wonder IF or WHEN we would see progress in boot style, it arrived. For years everyone and their mother (not my mother per se) has been workin' what I call "the hooker boot". Don't get me wrong, I like this look a lot and own several pairs. But I figured surely as abruptly as the hooker boot made it's way into the wardrobes of seemingly every woman everywhere, it would make it's way out as well. Remember those clunky Dr. Marten sandals? Yeah...like that.


The hooker boot has proven to have staying power, but nobody wants a style to go stale. I'm finding the evolution in design and construction of this season's boot trends to be perfectly timely and fabulous to boot (pun intended).



These are similar to the black hooker boots I currently own:



Stylistically, there is absolutely nothing wrong with these. They have reasonable arch support, a sturdy heel, a classic toe box...they're fine and I will likely keep them around even if I happen to upgrade.



These are meant to fit snugly around the leg. For gals like me with average feet, little ankles, and small calves, a good fit is hard to find. There tends to be a lot of sagging...and I don't need any more sagging in life...in general.



The same applies to those with larger ankles and calves. I know of some who even custom order their boots to fit properly. No one wants a boot that cuts off circulation and only zips half-way.



I find the styles of the current season a step (another pun intended) in the right direction. They're meant to be loose, slouchy even, and hopefully a more universal fit for those of us who have a slightly smaller or larger leg.


In addition to fit, I love that this season's boot styles do not all look the same. We have many options with creative features such as:




Over-the-Knee!





Buttons!







Buckles!








And my favorite, the exaggerated pirate cuff! (This one is not so affordable...argg!).





Do you find these enhanced boot styles as appealing as I do? If so, what will you choose?


These styles found at shoes.com and piperlime.com.

Monday, September 21, 2009

I'm Baaaack!

A huge thank you! to Girly Muse and Elaina for keeping Spoils of Wear alive while I was away.


I had a wonderful vacation! Mickey and Minnie were gracious hosts to us both at their home in Disney World and on their boat, The Magic. We enjoyed three beautiful ports of call: Tortola (British Virgin Islands), St. Thomas (US Virgin Islands), and Castaway Cay (Disney's private island in the Bahamas).


In Tortola, we spent the morning visiting local shops. I bought a black & white striped tee with red trim, perfect for Pirate Night on the boat. After lunch, we journeyed over mountainous terrain to the other side of the island where we tested out our new snorkel gear. I SO want to be a good snorkeler, really I do, but even with really nice equipment, I am mostly uncomfortable. Next time, I'll try using a nose plug in addition to the mask. My throat! It burns!



The following day we arrived at St. Thomas where we did even more shopping. We took a cable car up a mountain where there was a beautiful view of the bay and our ship. I bought a cute, pink dress at one of the shops, refreshed with a yummy pina colata and relaxed a bit before heading back to the boat.




Our final port was Castaway Cay and definitely my favorite. My sister-in-law Angie and I took a walking/kayak tour of the island. SO fun! We met up with the rest of the family at lunch - a Disney-sized BBQ - delicious! Afterward, Steve and I took to the beach to snorkel one last time.

It was so tempting to hop right back on the boat and do it all over again. Unfortunately, we can't spend our entire life on vacation (sigh).


Disney is releasing two new (bigger) ships in 2011 and 2012. Steve and I are already making plans ;) .

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Tutus for Big Girls Continued

Sorry that this is coming a little late...but for any of you who read my first blog, "Tutus for Big Girls" you are all aware that I made myself, a 26 year old woman, a "Big Girl Tutu" to wear to a fashion show which was last night. At the time of my first post I hadn't yet committed to wearing the tutu so asked for a bit of advice from all of you.

Well...I did wear the tutu and am so glad I did!

My night started at Joe's Garage in Loring Park, and I have to admit I was pretty self conscious wearing a hot pink tutu to a place called Joe's Garage. In fact there were a couple of guys sitting outside of Joe's garage who thought that instead I was looking for Cafe Lurcat right around the corner and directed me there. So, very self-consciously I made my way up to the roof, as that is where I was meeting the rest of my group.

After we ate at Joe's Garage me and my very good friend/sister-in-law Maria made our way to the W Hotel for the Envision fashion show. I immediately knew I would feel much more comfortable at the fashion show in a bright pink tutu, though still slightly self-conscious.

Needless to say. The night went really well. I got like a zillion compliments on my tutu and one boutique owner even asked if I would come in and make something for a manequin in his store! Heck Yes! How cool is that! I always dream that something like that will happen, but usually it never does, and last night it did! Hopefully it is not too good to be true.

Anyway, thank you to all who read my first blog and this continuation today. I have really enjoyed writing this and may even begin a blog of my own very soon.

Thank you all!

Here are a few pictures of the tutu as promised.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Tutus for Big Girls!

So...my name is Elaina and I've never actually written a blog before, though I do like to talk alot; but since Jill is away for the week on a magical Disney Cruise she has asked me to fill in, for at least...or maybe it was at most, one blog. She said I could choose anything I want to write about so I've decided to write about tutus.


Have any of you ever watched Sex and the City? Well if you have then you have likely seen, during the shows intro, Carrie Bradshaw wearing a pale pink tutu. When I first saw that episode several years ago I wasn't quite sure how I felt about a 30 something year old woman wearing a tutu, not in a ballet, but waiting for a taxi on a busy New York street. Now...I really like fashion, not so much names or designers, but instead the design elements; putting patterns, colors and textures together to create something entirely unique, something that reflects who you are. Anyway, I appreciate the fashion forward. So, when I saw Carrie Bradshaw wearing her pale pink tutu out on a busy New York street a part of me wanted to applaud her, but the other part of me viewed her ensemble with a critical eye (or the "Manhattan Once Over" for those of you who have read the "Shopaholic" series).


Several years later I find myself, a 26 year old married woman, desiring to wear a big girl tutu! I'm not sure if this is appropriate or not, but the inspiration came on while watching last season's "So You Think You Can Dance." All these woman of all ages were wearing these gorgeous tutus for their routines and made them look very Rock-N-Roll instead of traditional ballet. Most of the girls at some point during the show performed in a tutu, whether it be ballet, contemporary, or even hip hop. Now, I'm not a dancer, though I do love to dance, but I would still like to wear a tutu; so, today I went and bought hot pink, black, and white tulle to make myself a tutu for a fashion show I'm going to on Friday. I just finished it only a few minutes ago and I love it! Only problem is that I don't know if I have enough guts to wear it. Perhaps I only think it looks fashion forward and creative, but really looks like one hot mess! I'd love to hear your guys thoughts on it and whether or not you think I should wear it to the fashion show on Friday. Let me warn you however, I may not take heed of your advice should I become determined (which I nearly am) to wear my tutu on Friday, but would still appreciate you opinion. There have been many times when my husband has laughingly asked as he gives me the "Manhattan Once-over" if I was really going to wear that, and most of the time I do end up wearing it, not to spite him and not because I'm stubborn, but because I really like what I'm wearing. I will post pictures of my very brilliant tutu by Friday so you may all know, either what a fool I am, or how truly fashion-forward and talented I am.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Fashion Sense...or Lack Thereof

I expect you might be rather tired of me going on and on and on about my vacation (I'M ON A DISNEY CRUISE!). If so...sorry. I'm easily excitable and overly obsessive.

Here is some relief for you...

The ever-fabulous Girly Muse has agreed to grace Spoils of Wear with a delightful guest post. Yippee! Lori and I have been friends for many many years. Her family took me in and let me hang with them for a couple of years in my late teens when I had little desire to spend much time at my own home (thank you, Girly). During that time, I developed a very special friendship with her then-toddler daughter, Greyley. We're all grown up now (Greyley just turned 11!) but I remain steadfastly in love with Girly Muse and her wonderful family. I'm on their team for life.





I'm so honored to do this guest post for Jilliebeanie. Besides being an awesome friend, she never ceases to amaze me with her fashion sense...all while getting the best deals. I love this blog!

************************************************************************************


I think everyone, whether they realize it or not, expresses themselves with the clothes they wear. Even the person who says they don't care about clothes is still wearing something that says a little something about them at that time.

Finding my fashion sense...or the lack thereof...has been a lifelong quest. The search began long before I realized it. My style has evolved over the years and I'm sure it will continue to do so...I like to think of it as a way of growing.

If I could pinpoint a time when I realized that I loved clothes, it would have to be when I put on my first twirly skirt. You know the ones...they may look simple to the everyday onlooker, but once you've put on a twirly skirt, you know the telltale signs. It's that extra bit of material...the way the material falls...you can just tell that when you give it a good twist, it is not going to disappoint. The skirt will fly out and then fall back in a demure, flirty way that to the unobservant eye would be completely missed.

To my five-year-old mind, the twirl factor set a high criterion for every other skirt/dress I would own. To this day, I am smitten with high twirly goodness.

Later, I would get distracted by my red, white, and blue t-shirt that said, "Made In the USA" in big letters...along with a little jean wrap skirt. I think I wore that every day that it was clean.
I'm embarrassed to say that my attention turned even further around age eight or nine to things besides clothes. I wanted so badly to either have glasses or braces...because everyone knew that was the epitome of fashion. I would straighten a paper clip to look like a retainer and wear that around while I was playing. I liked how it made me talk...made me look pretty cool, too.
I got my wish for glasses at age ten and realized they were not all I'd hoped. Glasses in 1982 were just a little short of coolness. OK, way short.

My hair also changed textures at age ten. It was before mousse, so I'll let you draw your own mental picture about the combination of frizziness and big glasses.

Thankfully, my attention did get back to clothes. I never liked to shop so much, though. My mom did a great job of that, but I knew what I liked. And I knew what I didn't like.

1) I wanted to wear things that were different.
2) Same as #1.

It was the above fact that led me to thrift stores in my teen years. They weren't quite as hip as they are now. It was kind of something you kept quiet about...not that I was ashamed of it, but the few times I confessed where I'd gotten my fabulous jacket or whatever, people would say something like, "Eww, gross."

I happened to know there was nothing gross about it once the items were washed. I will admit that I'd give anything if wet wipes had been around then, though...that black film you get on your hands while handling the clothes can be a little disconcerting.

The most amazing things could be found in those little hole-in-the-wall places. I lived in California at that time and if you went to the more expensive parts of town, the thrift stores would be overflowing with treasures.

Thrift stores are still one of my favorite places to visit. And now that I'm (sort of) an adult, I adore boutiques. I really like to support small businesses AND get the unique thing. While it's rewarding to shop at my local boutiques, I also really enjoy visiting boutiques when I'm out of town. Styles vary somewhat from state-to-state and sometimes the styles in another state fit what I like more than the styles where I live.

And I know this is a departure from the other two types of places, but I LOVE TJ Maxx and Marshall's. I know that you can occasionally find someone else with the same blouse, but it is very rare. The turnover in there is so quick that it ends up feeling like you have a one-of-a-kind item.

Don't even get me started with online shops. I haven't taken full advantage of them, but have enjoyed every experience. I have gotten a dozen or so items on ebay, which is somewhat risky, but they have all been huge hits. I will be exploring that more, you can be sure.

I wish I knew what my style was...to this day, my quest to nail down my fashion sense...or lack thereof...has been complicated. I feel part hippy, classic, vintage-inspired, and bohemian...

I know that I'm not preppy. That much I do know.

I'm satisfied to keep figuring it out.

Perhaps one day, I will feel like I have arrived and KNOW my style...until then, I'll just be content to keep growing...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Too Tall

Steve and I went on our first Disney Cruise for our honeymoon more than 3 years ago. We experienced the Disney Wonder for 4 glorious days and nearly wept as we departed the ship. We enjoyed our stay so very much.

As part of that first experience, we decided to partake in a guided tour of the massive ship. It just so happened that we were the only ones and got the friendly tour guide all to ourselves. It was great. I was able to ask her the one question I had been dying to ask:


"What would it take for me to get a job as Minnie?"

Our sweet tour guide replied, "You can't be Minnie. You're too tall."

NOOOOOOOOO! Tragic. That was my career back up plan too. Really, it was.

Minnie is 4' 11''. I am 5' 4".

"Why is Minnie 4' 11"?" I asked.

"Because Minnie is mini," she replied.

And that was that.


I suppose I could try out to be one of the princesses...but it just wouldn't be the same.


Here's what I like so much about Minnie...


She's simply fabulous and classy. Heels are her footwear of choice. Polka dots galore. Bright colors. Hats with flowers. Big bows. White gloves. Always smiling. Her sweet, little giggle.




The other thing I like so much about Minnie...

She stands by her man...er...mouse.









Well, that's likely all you'll get from me for the next 10 days. Internet access and free time will be sparse where I'm goin'.


But wait! Don't go anywhere. Stay close. Just because I'm away doesn't mean Spoils of Wear is on vacation too. No sirree. Special posts are on their way.


M-I-C

See you real soon!

K-E-Y

Why? Because I like you!

M-O-U-S-E