31 October 2011

Travelling Handbags

When travelling, I always try to pack minimally. I don't drive and do a lot of walking and riding public transport. For the part of actually going to my temporary destination I like a bag that, as I like to put it, I can "carry the world in". It allows me to put my everyday things, and to also tote around essentials like my makeup bag.

Travel- Carry All Bags

View the Polyvore details here.

While in new places exploring, I have discovered the best way to do so is hands free. For that reason, I like to also bring along a cross-body handbag. What's great about those guys, is most are easily convertible into a clutch so you are set for a night out on the town. Here are some options:

Travel- Hands Free to See

View the Polyvore details here.

Thank you for reading and enjoy the rest of your Monday!

Morning Inspirations: Nautical Stripes

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. The Northeast experienced some snow on Saturday and I had a really nice time just watching it out the window. I was very lucky to have a good view which made it look even more beautiful :) This weekend inspired me to take the very popular Summer nautical trend and make it Fall appropriate. I hope you like what I've put together.

inspirations- nautical stripes

View the Polyvore details here.

I think I may not have fully gotten over my grey kick from last week but it's just that neutral shade that's great for brightening up an outfit. I paired the striped top and wool pencil skirt with a patent navy pump to match the stripe. To add more warmth over the sweater I added this very beautifully designed mustard-ish coloured blazer. It adds a pop of colour to this otherwise simple coloured outfit. I added pretty drop earrings and a watch because as this is more of a work outfit, it's best to keep accessories minimal. The brown tote is so pretty. If it came with the scarf, I would leave it there. Put this outfit on and you're set to battle the dropping Fall temperatures (just don't forget the pantyhose).

28 October 2011

Packing for A Weekend Away

Hope every one's Friday has been going well. As I am travelling this weekend I thought it would be fun to do posts related to it since I try to make posts based on what I am actually shopping for, doing, etc. for those that may be doing the same. On that note, it seems many are or have travelling on the brain this week as well. You can see how Extra Petite (one of my faves!) packed less than two handfuls of pieces into a week long trip here. I initially wanted to share with you my strategy for packing light since as I've gotten older I've realised how ridiculous it is to travel with your whole closet. Capitol Hill Style beat me to it with this post, which made me feel over packed to the point where I threw out my list (yes, I make those) and started over.

So, I've decided, today I am going to talk about the art of packing for a weekend.... in a pretty small duffel bag. You see I love suitcases but they clonk, and aren't fun to roll and carry through the streets in my 30 minute walk home from the metro. I also find it's easier to maneuver bags while amongst large crowds of people. My only complaint is the tired shoulders at the end of the day. Since I love making lists (really, I do. For everything.), Here is everything I'd recommend you'd need and why for a weekend away:

1. A Jacket. You only need one. I recommend bringing a nicer one (think one you would wear to work) because it has more variety than, say, a casual bomber jacket. For this time of the year, I'm thinking of a trench or a thin wool coat anywhere from hip length to the bottom of the thighs.

2. One pair of Jeans. Once you see the rest of this list, I think it'll be clear why only one pair is necessary. In case not, one normally wears a pair on several occasion's before washing anyway.

3. 2-3 tops and a dress. For instance, I have 3 tops and a sweater dress packed. When going away for 3-5 days, that really should be enough. Unless it's the Summer season, you can wear them more than once. A dress is good to bring because you can transition it from day to night almost seamlessly in just about every case. Also note that, with dresses, tights are involved without saying unless you plan on wearing a bare leg and you can totally do that. I recommend tights being brought along just in case.

4. An extra outfit. I would make it a skirt and top combination simply because skirts generally take up less room than pants. I think it's always good to have one extra to account for any damage (such as stains) done to other pieces of clothing that you brought. As an example, I went away for the weekend one year to visit my brother who was playing baseball out in the Midwest. To get to the point, I brought just enough clothes and one of my shirts got ketchup on it at lunch (I don't like ketchup so no, it wasn't an act of slobbery by myself). Instead of just grabbing an extra shirt, I had to wash it so that I would have a shirt to wear on my last day of the trip. Now, I am all for laundry on a trip extending to a week or more but it's not really necessary (and a tad expensive) for a trip lasting 56 or so hours.

5. No more than 3 pairs of shoes. All you need is your casual day and an evening shoe. You should try to coordinate your outfits in a way that they could all match with the shoes you bring. I say bring a third for those sort of trips that may involve something different, like if it will include hiking you will need to pack the appropriate footwear.

6. Two handbags. All you need is a carry all sort of bag for the journey (and other occasion's during the trip where it's appropriate) and a cross body bag. I like to bring one of my nicer one's when I go away for the weekend because I can usual it for a casual day out and transition it easily into a night look. Note: Come back Monday for more on this.

7. Accessories. I recommend keeping it light. For jewelry, I would say one pair of earrings and for the rest count in two's. If you can count in one's, even better. Now that we're full force into Fall, I also recommend bringing a scarf and a hat (if that's your thing).

I hope everyone found this at least a bit informative. I meant to post picture's but of course, major procrastinating happened and there was no time to upload them. If you check out the post's I linked to, combined they create a great resource. Thank you for reading and I hope you all enjoy the weekend!

Friday Night Out: Transitioning from Day to Night

This Friday is a unique one. Mainly, I will be traveling at ungodly hours this morning (in progress for several hours as you read this) and consuming massive amounts of coffee just to stay awake. For a day like this my goal is always to feel comfortable while radiating a chic look. Since I won't have any resting time until after 5pm, I want a minimal no frills transition to my evening look. Due to the long day that I'm bound for, a typical Friday Night Out in this situation would consist of a little dinner and maybe live music (don't forget the venti from Starbucks I'll be consuming on the way to dinner- a trooper award in my future?). Here's what I came up with:

Day to Night- Travel edition

View the Polyvore details here.

I love a dark skinny jean. It is impossible go wrong. I've paired it with a beautiful simple burgundy cowl neck sweater, and a great cognac wedge boot. What I like about these pieces is they're great for colder weather. I actually own these exact boots and I find, at least for me, that they're a bit wide in the foot allowing for thicker socks. It's important to mention this given that it's going to be one cold weekend. Okay, okay. Not that cold. BUT it will be colder than this section of the Northeast has been accustomed to this Fall. That's where our trusty cowl neck comes in. I paired it with a simple gold stud, just because bare ears look weird to be and watch+bracelet combo. I topped this outfit off with a cropped coat and a great bag that will hold just about everything (more on that soon). The transition to evening is kept simple with a quick swap of the boots for sleek black booties. I also swapped the jewelry out for black drop earrings which I am loving right now. I also added a leopard clutch with a chain to allow for a hands free evening.

Since I'm traveling, I thought it would be fun if I themed all of today's posts to that. Stay tuned for more around 1pm.

26 October 2011

Midweek Treats: Dogs with Glasses

Every once in a while I feel obliged to let my inner 8 year old make decisions, and it really wants this shirt. However, in reality, 23 year old Melinda will never wear it or wear it once and then banish it to sleep wear land. That doesn't mean I can't still let my inner 8 year old look at it here and say/think how cute it is over and over again every once in a while ;) In all honesty though, some people like wearing graphic t-shirts and while I tend to stay away from them, this one is VERY hard to resist. The dog with glasses gets me every time.

Do twenty-somethings expect too much from their jobs? sigh.
Designer discount collaboration's and whether they do damage.

Six ways never to get lost in a city again. I'm printing several copies. Right. Now. (You know, for back up in case I lose one). This article will stay in my handbag always.

I found this interesting op-ed late last week about eating healthy and why politicians can't make you shed weight.

Only one post today. Things are a bit hectic prepping for this weekend (more on that later). There are two posts on Friday to look forward to though ;)

24 October 2011

Outerwear: Debating the J. Crew Metro Coat

The start of Fall chilly weather always sends me into a frenzy about prepping for the winter months. If you were to look in my closet it consists of mostly thin Spring/Summer tops or really thick warm sweaters. I haven't seemed to learn the happy medium. We can talk more about that in another post though. To get back to the point, this is when I start dreaming about my next Winter coat investment.

My current collection consists of a puffer (and the only one I've discovered that actually looks pretty chic-thank you Zara), a cropped wool jacket in black, and a longer, almost knee length wool coat in a beautiful shade of red. For the last two years I have mostly been considering adding a J Crew piece to this collection for several reasons:

1. I like what I hear about the quality of their brand. For the most part, their items sound like they possess the quality to last seasons.

2. They offer thinsulate in many (not sure about all) of their coats. It is a great option to keep extra warm when the Winter temperatures turn abysmal.

After scouring the site for several hours, I am keeping my eyes firmly on their metro coat. I love the classic silhouette, it has the thinsulate option, and -fingers crossed- it appears to be cut in a way that will define the waist sans a waist detail such as a belt. Now that I found a coat I am VERY interested in, it's time to narrow down a colour. I'm in drooling fashion love with the 'majestic purple' that appears cobalt blue in the website pictures but I wonder if I should go with a more neutral or classic colour, given I already own a red wool coat. My neutral picks are the warm grey and the heather camel.

So, now my question is.... What do you think? Also, feel free to inform me if I am not the only one who has been dreaming of their next winter coat since September. (Yes, that was read correctly... September).

Thank you for reading and have a great day!

Morning Inspirations: Soft Colours

Happy Monday everyone! I hope everyone had a great weekend. Mine was super busy and I am sitting here writing this post completely exhausted. This morning I am feeling inspired by a soft colour palette. I love the idea of a grey trouser, and am on the hunt for the perfect pair to brighten my days when the winter comes along.

Inspiration- Soft colours

View the Polyvore details here.

Pair this with a cropped khaki trench or a grey blazer and off to work you go. Now I will head off to work dreaming of grey trousers. I also need to introduce pearls into my life.

21 October 2011

Friday Night IN

***Note: Due to a looming cold and a packed weekend, there will only be one post today. We will be back to my desired two posts per posting day on Monday. Hope you all take advantage of the Ann Taylor 40% and J Crew 25% (off $150 or more) this weekend! ;)

We all need those every once in a while. The work week or endless hours at school (for those in it) can be tiring, and it's nice to unwind alone sometimes. Besides, staying in on a Friday enables a Saturday night out. This does not mean I will be posting on Saturday though. ANYWAY ANYWAY ANYWAY. Sorry, had to stop myself with caps before I get complete off subject.

For this mornings pleasure I though I would share all those things I like to indulge in during the Fall when cozying up at home:

1. Hot Chocolate. It just tastes so good, and I tend to get cold easily so even a slight adjustment upward on the heater doesn't fully do the trick

2. A good book. I've always been a bit of a book worm. My mother used to be in awe (yeah, not her words) to see me reading multiple books at once instead of one at a time like normal people. Some books I have recently enjoyed are: One Day, The Road to Serfdom, Mukiwa, Colossus.

3. HBO On Demand. Thank you Time Warner Cable. Although, I am still convinced Optimum had better variety. Okay, okay. Both providers did good.

4. An outfit resembling this:
Friday Night IN (take one)

I just want to point out I never in my life considered paying more than $10 for leggings. They are lycra/cotton/whatever after all. They just stretch. Then entered Topshop leggings to my life while in the fitting room one day just to try on an item that I wanted to wear with leggings instead of the jeans I had on. Long debate in the fitting room later, I left with the leggings. This was two years ago, and they're still soooo soft.

Yes, you do see a zebra sock. No, I don't own them. Yes, I wish I did. Why? I have a hard time saying no to zebra's (unless it's tacky looking). I mainly chose these because their chenille which, in case you're not aware, is heaven for the feet. Also, as long as you're not walking around in public with these socks visible, why not indulge in them at home where no one can see you. It all works out.

What do you like to indulge in when spending the night IN?

19 October 2011

Fitting Room: H&M

I popped into H&M the other day on the way to work to work on my search for cozy sweaters a bit more. They seemed to have got some new things in so if you haven't gone in a while I would check it out, there were some very cute things. I forced my self to think of nothing but sweaters as I have a bank account to keep in check (sigh), so no pictures of variety but I did want to share what I did find.

Not exactly a sweater but it has sleeves, long one's at that. It's something my wardrobe is lacking. I have short sleeves galore. It has a simple basic fit, and I always like a cowl neck. I picked this up for $13 (I think).

This sweater is in that popular cut with the wing effect sort of thing going on. I believe extra petite referred to them as 'batman sleeves'. Either way I'm a fan but every other option I tried until this one just looked ridiculous and huge. You may find black boring, but I like the idea of a black sweater to pair with more colourful accessories. The fabric on this one felt nice too. I picked it up for $20.

This sweater was a huge disappointment. The colour was this great shade of orange and I was happy with the fit. However, I wouldn't dare wear it without some sort of blouse underneath because oh my is it itchy. I didn't just want this sweater to layer over other tops though so I just passed on it. Too bad....

Do I have to say anything? I found it highly amusing that they were pushing this on the display table directly in front of the entrance. They really must want people to buy it. Mind you, this is an XS. Yes, an XS. It sort of resembles a snuggy to me. No thank you. The sleeves went three inches past my finger tips (and I have long arms, and usually have to size up in sleeved tops over it) and, as you can see, hit at the knee's.

It also had elbow pads which is a neat little detail. What's not so great is the top of the elbow pad started where the lower portion should be on my elbow. In case you weren't able to guess, this was a pass (ha).

Thank you for reading and have a great day!

Midweek Treats: Cupcakes

I think my all-time favourite desert is cupcakes. The current front runner for my favourite place to get them? Sprinkles DC of course. There's a location in NYC too. Delicious doesn't even come close to describing how good these things are.

What are the costs of a good night sleep? Bloomberg posted a great little thing on the things we invest in to maximise our sleeping hours.

No matter what you're political beliefs, this is a neat little website.

Looking for a cute winter jacket? Over at ASOS you can enter 'bonus20' at checkout to receive 20% off f one.

17 October 2011

Morning Inspirations: Fall Colour Blocking

Happy Monday everyone! I hope everyone is well rested and ready for a new week. Personally, I always find that Monday comes along way too quickly. As you may have guessed, two colours I am loving right now are cobalt blue and, the very popular fall colour, rust orange. This week I thought I would create an outfit using a little colour blocking with the two.

Inspirations- Blue&Orange

Polyvore here.

One thing I am absolutely loving this Fall is the pleated skirt. Sadly, I have yet to find my perfect one (though I am highly considering trying out the Oasis one featured in this outfit) but I do find them to be a lovely addition to the wardrobe. I kept the accessories simple on this one in an attempt to accentuate the colour blocking going on. The wonderful thing about this outfit is you can wear it to work (not in all cases, obviously) or for a day of running errands. For errands or brunch, I would just switch the nude pump for a black or nude flat.

Thank you for reading and have a great day!

14 October 2011

The Big Debate: Ann Taylor Ribbed 3/4 Sleeve Pullover

My quest for a cozy sweater similar to that featured in my midweek treats post from Wednesday led me to this sweater from Ann Taylor. Online it looks very comfy and still very chic on the models. It's just a simple sweater but I like how the buttons on the sleeves give it just a spark of interest.

Luckily, I was able to snag in during Ann Taylor's 40% off sale. I actually originally got so bummed because when I went to order it online, only a size large was left in the colour I wanted! A visit to my local store led me to discover it in a XSP, not my usual XXSP (which is usually preferable) but due to the cropped length of the sweater I was looking to size up any how.

I really like the sweater. When wearing it, I feel like I have a blanket on but it doesn't look like one when my skinny jeans are paired with it. Now though, I need your help. Is this a return or a keeper?

Keep in mind the following:

1. The sleeves are bulky which means it's not cardigan or blazer friendly. (I'm very sad about the blazer part because every outfit in my head of this sweater included one).

2. I'm always skeptical about how a sweater like this would work when Winter weather comes along. What are some problem solving options?

Also, I apologise for the slightly blurry photo's and the mess in the background. The only room in the house with a mirror acts as a storage room.

Thank you for reading and have a great weekend!

Friday Night Out

The NY area has been experiencing muggy weather the last few days and it's sure not going to stop in time for some Friday night fun. Unless it's a holiday, I tend to be lazy and opt for a more casual Friday night when rain is involved. I either stay in or just indulge in a little happy hour and dinner.

Due to the weather, the last thing I want to step outside in, is cute shoes. Luckily, wellies were invented (rubber rain boots-- but I must confess I am obsessed with the British nickname for them). I'm attempting to make them look chic, and not an outfit ruin-er. Hopefully you will find my attempt successful.

Rainy Friday Night Out

View the Polyvore details here.

Starting today, check back around 1pm for the second post of the day featuring-- a super cozy Ann Taylor sweater :)

12 October 2011

Midweek Treats: Cozy Sweaters

Between it now being October and the twenty degree drop in the temperature last week, I have been able to think of nothing but keeping warm. I'm a sucker for cowl necks, and this guy looks super cozy. I can see it with skinny jeans and boots, knee length and booties alike, with a chic handbag for everything from daily errands to a movie date. This particular one is out of my price range for such items but I will certainly be scouring the racks for a cheaper (but high quality) option on my next shopping trip.

I'm sure most of you have heard about Occupy Wall Street (now taking over DC, among other cities). Well this particular video is a must watch. It's the "Occupy Occupy Wall Street" movement. It gives me a good giggle every time I watch it.

Virginia is the next state to regulate purchasing of Sudafed and other cold medicine's containing pseudoephedrine. Clearly I am disappointed. That's something I'm going to have to take off my "Why I like Virginia more than New York" list (though it will barely hurt the length of the list).

Hope you're all having a great week!

10 October 2011

Morning Ispirations: The Boyfriend Blazer

Happy Monday! Hope everyone is enjoying the shopping this Columbus Day. Hopefully I'll be able to fit in a spot of it before work.

I invested in a boyfriend blazer a few years ago, and thought it fit great. However, it's a bit loose on me now and doesn't get much wear. I guess I've lost some weight (which is scary due to how tiny I am) but I've been dying to make it work in a way where it looks good so that I can start wearing it more. The boyfriend blazer is great for Fall because you can layer a bit underneath to stay warm and still look chic.

Inspirations- Boyfriend Blazer for Work

Inspirations- Boyfriend Blazer for shopping trip
You can view the Polyvore details here and here.
Thank you for reading and have a great day!

07 October 2011

Friday Night Out

Happy Friday everyone! Whether you're having a girls night or going to dinner with the boy, I think the following outfit would be great for either occasion.

Friday Night Out- Burgundy Sweater Dress

View the Polyvore details here.

Maybe it's because I feel like this rapid change in temperature is making me sick but I'm really craving all things cozy this last week. I love the versatility of sweater dresses. They're super comfy, and when they're styled correctly, they can look incredibly chic.

I chose burgundy for the dress because it's  a warm fall hue and it happens to be a colour I just can't get enough of right now. I chose leggings for this because they're a bit thicker than tights and I don't think there's anythings wrong with a nice outfit being as comfy as your favourite pajama's :) Besides, as long as the dress covers the bottom, there is no need to worry about the unflattering aspects of actually wearing leggings.

The black boot was chosen for elongating purposes in pairing with the black leggings. I decided on the metallic leopard belt because it adds a little spice to a very simple outfit. I've added a grey scarf  and a simple earring to just complement the beautiful colour of the sweater dress and the khaki cropped trench. I added a lighter jacket because even though we're several weeks into Fall, it's a convenient way to brighten up an outfit without looking like you're stuck in the summer.

End the outfit with an over sized clutch, and you look chic enough for almost every activity I can think of doing on a Friday night.

As a way to recover from an awesome Friday night out, retail therapy is the best medicine:

Ann Taylor is having their 40% off sale again. H&M is also offering 25% off one item (print coupon here).

Thank you Columbus. Have a great weekend!

05 October 2011

Midweek Treats: Cobalt Blue

Rust orange may be a big colour this Fall, but it in no way stops my ongoing obsession for all things cobalt blue. Since I only own one pair of flats (my other pair fell apart to the point where they are now work only shoes), I may have no choice but to take these home with me one day.

Is a la Carte Cable in our future? The Kindle Fire sparked this interesting article.

Every once in a while I come across something really bizarre. Birth Control is the topic this time, and bizarre may not be the best word to describe this new form of it.

03 October 2011

Morning Inspiration: Polka Dots

Sadly, polka dots are not currently in my wardrobe. Maybe this post will be the kick I need to make it happen. That however does not stop that I woke this morning dreaming of polka dots. I've created two outfits, one for work (because that is where I'm running off to at the conclusion of this) and one for everyday wear whether it includes running errands or brunch.

For Work- Inspired by Polka Dots

Casual Inspired- Polka Dots

You can find the Polyvore details here and here, respectively. I don't know about you but I'm loving that casual grey sweater. It has great detailing and it looks comfy to boot. Thank you for reading and have a great Monday!