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Posts Tagged ‘shirt’

Looking good and being practical

20 Aug

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When I first started running about 10 years ago, the only real gear I owned were proper running shoes. I asked for them for my birthday. At least I had my priorities straight. But seriously people, heavyweight track pants? Long-sleeve cotton t-shirts? It’s no wonder I overheated regularly, though I’m sure having old ladies pass me up had nothing to do with it.

Thankfully, things have changed a lot. Old ladies no longer pass me up and I’ve upgraded my wardrobe to reflect my evolving athletic needs, comfort and style. Yes, style! Just because I’m going to get my blood pumping doesn’t mean I’ve resigned myself to oversized baggy t-shirts and frumpy shorts. Not only does it not look good at all, it’s not practical.

I need my clothes to breathe well and move with me. Call me demanding but I don’t want seams to chafe, I want small discreet pockets for the most necessary items, I want to be able to wash these garments hundreds of time without showing signs of wear and tear. Oh, right, and I want all this to look fabulous. Enter Lululemon. We go back a couple years, I’m still running in the first pants I bought. Both pairs look practically new. You just can’t argue with quality and comfort.

lululemon purple shirt, black marathon running skirt

I recently completed the SF Marathon, it was my first full. I’ll admit it was not my best run, I got a stress fracture and IT band injury in my right knee at mile 12. With sheer determination, and perhaps a tiny dose of poor judgment, I hobbled my way to the finish line anyway. I’m proud to have completed it, injury and time notwithstanding. Thankfully, my outfit didn’t give up on me, either.

The running skirt with built-in shorts was perfectly cute. The shorts stayed put, never riding up or down. I thought there might be a chance of getting chaffed on the inner thighs, it was never a problem. The waistband held and didn’t shift, the pockets on the outer thighs of the shorts held a couple gels so nicely that I almost forgot about them. The shirt breathed more easily than I did at times and the headband stayed put.

I can’t wait for my knee to heal so I can run again. In that cute skirt, of course.

xo, f

 

{ deets: }

Purple shirt, black 7-pocket running skirt, headband/Lululemon.

 
 

Taking lessons

22 Sep

{ daily outfit: }

Daily outfits and style tips, mixing patterns wearing red skirt, red striped top

{ personal: }

I’m certain that my husband has an advanced degree in relaxing. Chillin’. Chillaxin’. Call it what you will, he’s got it down and I could learn a thing or two from him. When I lived in the Upper Haight in San Francisco I had a routine. I worked from home and would leave the house every afternoon to walk to the store and buy a cookie. I really did this for years. What can I say, I like a routine. Three blocks each way, one cookie and fresh produce for dinner. I would cross the panhandle, slowly, taking it all in; the dogs, the cyclists, friendly faces and neighbors.

I also started my day with a soy latté just around the corner, journaling and daydreaming. I spent an hour in the quiet hush of early morning orders by myself documenting every thought and emotion, turning stream of consciousness into poetry, day after day. My neighborhood cafe played great music, I rediscovered my love for electronic music. I once told a group of somewhat younger women about my morning routine. “You must really love yourself,” one said. Actually, yes.

Fast forward ten years. I no longer work from home. I have very little control over the kind of demands making their way across my day; I have some control over how I deal with the stress. Running, sometimes a drink after work, sometimes not. The most draining days require prescription strength television watching. We don’t even have cable. My husband and I met at work and carpool together, sharing one car. The routine is gone. It’s been replaced with coordinating schedules, grocery shopping, laundry days. Oh, and blogging.

I was washing the first batch of dusty Burning Man bins on Sunday when said husband exclaimed that he was going to chill for a while, complete with beer in hand. Envious, perhaps, I asked if he hadn’t just been relaxing. (This conversation can now go two ways.) Yes! He was going to relax again he proudly announced. He asked me to join him. Uncharacteristically, I put down what I was doing and grabbed my own beer. We sat and appreciated the million dollar view we’ve been blessed with and listened to hummingbirds whir.

View of San Francisco Bay from Oakland hills

LIke I said, I could learn a thing or two. The impressive stack of laundry that needs to be put away sitting in the back room is not going anywhere. Does it matter if I deprive myself of relaxing with my best friend only to put it away three days earlier? Of course it doesn’t. What matters is this: Carpe Diem. When I’m relaxed I photograph better. I write better. I dress myself better. I’m more creative. I’m nicer to myself and everyone around me. I would bet money that I will age less quickly if I subscribe to my husband’s plan. He’s not lazy. He gets things done. I try to get even more done and then beat myself up for not having done enough. I must be taking funny pills because that kind of math does not add up, does it?

Daily outfits and style tips, mixing patterns wearing red skirt, red striped top

What you see above is proof, actual photographic proof, that I came home tonight, popped open a hard cider and enjoyed our warm summer evening. After a day of such intense pattern mixing who wouldn’t need to unwind?

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Ah, mixing patterns. The old taboo. This one is not always easy to pull off. It’s easier when there are elements in common. In this case, the color red and the graphic nature of the clovers versus the stripes worked. One didn’t overpower the other which kept the outfit balanced, this is key. There are many tips out there on how to do this well. The Chic Fashionista has some good advice.

Don’t be afraid to give it a shot, it takes guts to step outside our comfort zones. There will be misses but there are sure to be hits, too.

{ deets: }

Red clover skirt/Urban Outfitters, striped shirt/Michael Kors, daisy ring/Hatch, red leather cuff watch/Nixon, red jacket/Precious Boutique, black sandals/Dansko

{ giveaway: } 

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway. I’ve got a lightweight scarf straight from Paris just begging to go home with you. Male or female, it matters not. This scarf is genderless and will flatter everyone. Check out The House in the Clouds on facebook to enter.

 
 

FBFF: Where the magic happens

29 Jul

{ daily  outfit: }

Daily outfit and style tips, wearing big blond earrings, vintage floral shirt

Good people, I bring you the debut of my “big blondes”, the hand-carved earrings that I bought before the honeymoon. They didn’t fit until this past weekend. Fortunately they’re incredibly light. I love the bold ethnic feel. One could say they’re my statement earrings. I’ve always been a big fan of big bold jewelry. In fact, I only started wearing lighter, more feminine pieces in the past year or so. I’ve embraced being girlie in my forties. Personal evolution is always cool.

Daily outfit and style tips, wearing big blond earrings, vintage floral shirt, jeans, pink sandals

I’m feeling the seventies vibe with this shirt. I picked up this 100% pure genuine polyester a few months back and rediscovered it yesterday. The lapels are ready for take-off, I like a shirt that can fly. By the way, did you notice that my canna just got its first flower this summer? I’m so proud of my little garden.

Daily outfit and style tip, wearing steampunk and flower neckalces, vintage floral shirt

{ style tip: }

A few days ago I received a comment about excessive accessorizing. I’m mostly in agreement, one can’t go wrong quoting Coco Chanel, she’s one of my style idols after all. I say I’m mostly in agreement because I also believe in pushing boundaries, breaking rules and taking chances. My style would never have evolved had I never taken chances. You win some, you lose some. But if you don’t try, you don’t find out.

I’m experimenting with the balance of wearing multiple pieces and how they can relate to each other.

This is my attempt at combining edgy and feminine. It worked for me because I wore the steampunk necklace lower into the neckline so that it was only partially visible every so often and I dug the juxtaposition.

{ fbff: }

Daily outfit and style tip, wearing vintage floral shirt, jeans, working on laptop

Fashion Beauty Friend Friday has evolved the schedule of the question and answer series from weekly to bi-monthly so that we may have more time to ruminate on each topic. The gap in the schedule provided an unforeseen opportunity. FBFF members can suggest any type of blog event for that week. For this week’s event we’re sharing where the magic happens, where our natural blogging habitat truly lies. It is brought to you by Suze of Miss Vinyl Ahoy. If you haven’t yet paid her blog a visit, I highly recommend doing so. She’s fantastic, has great style and does amazing things with color.

As you can see, mine is my bedroom. Though I share it with my husband, it is the designated girlie room of the house. Our bed has a memory foam topper and is unbelievably awesome, the pillows make it extra cushy. Normally my laptop lays on a big wooden cutting board, it makes the perfect platform. And yes, that’s Hami, the hamster in the corner.

Thank you Katy of Modly Chic for encouraging this topic. Friend Friday is an opportunity for fashion and beauty bloggers to share their thoughts on a specific topic and read what others have to say on that same topic. For more information, check out Modly Chic and welcome to the wonderful world of blogging!

{ deets: }

Vintage floral shirt/thrifted, jeans/Calvin Klein, pink patent leather sandals/Dankso, big blonde earrings/Braindrops, silver and mother-of-pearl cuff/Lois Hill, purple flower necklace/gifted, steampunk dragonfly/gifted.

 
 

Packing for vacation, part 2

23 Jun

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I posted the first part of packing for vacation yesterday when I found my missing Friend Friday piece. Here lies the moment of truth. If you didn’t catch my updates on The House in the Clouds’ facebook page, following is a quick recap of the last three weeks.

Daily outfit and style tip, honeymoon in ParisDaily outfit and style tip, honeymoon in Paris

Daily outfit and style tip, honeymoon in Paris

Daily outfit and style tip, honeymoon in Paris

Daily outfit and style tip, honeymoon in Paris

Daily outfit and style tip, honeymoon in Paris

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We started our honeymoon in Paris and stayed with one of our best friends for five days. (I’m going to be writing about my observation of Parisian style on Style Pint’s blog soon and will keep you posted, check her out in the meantime.) Paris was warm, we walked a lot as expected. It was an easy city to dress for. Our schedule was nicely paced and our dinners were fantastic.

Daily outfit and style tip, honeymoon in Calellea

Daily outfit and style tip, honeymoon in CalelleaDaily outfit and style tip, honeymoon in Calellea

 

 

 

 

 

We then flew to Barcelona, picked up our rental car and drove to Calellea, in Costa Brava. The bed and breakfast run by British ex-pats was absolutely charming, I think of this as our first honeymoon suite. The small coastal town was beautiful and dreamy, there’s nothing better to me than the Mediterranean Sea and coastline. Light rains fell intermittently though the days were still warm. We spent one day exploring a coastline trail and subsequent little pockets of beaches.

Daily outfit and style tips, honeymoon in the PyreneesDaily outfit and style tips, honeymoon in the PyreneesDaily outfit and style tips, honeymoon in the PyreneesDaily outfit and style tips, honeymoon in GasconyDaily outfit and style tips, honeymoon in GasconyDaily outfit and style tips, honeymoon in Bilbao

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After Costa Brava, we hit the road and spent the next week driving through the Pyrenees. The temperature cooled as most of Europe was hit with a cold and wet spell. The rain didn’t stop us from hiking twice but it did get us sopping wet! I dressed for comfort on days mostly spent in the car.

We wrapped up our northernly drive with a few days in Gascony for some Armagnac tasting. We stayed at a bed and breakfast in a former mansion. The food was divine and the service was attentive and inviting. One day was devoted to visiting a couple local producers and tasting their wares. This experience was truly unique, the proprietors were warm and welcoming, spending hours showing us around. The weather was still cool and drizzly throughout, I found it challenging to dress in my summer clothes and kept bundling up with scarves.

Daily outfit and style tip, honeymoon in BarcelonaDaily outfit and style tip, honeymoon in BarcelonaDaily outfit and style tip, honeymoon in Barcelona

 

 

 

 

 

Hitting the Basque country, we made a quick detour to see the Guggenheim in Bilbao before dropping off our car at the airport and returning to Barcelona. The next four days were spent walking the city, taking in the sights and being enthralled with Gaudi’s architectural genius along with staying up late. The weather was hot and the style was casual. The cool and wet spell was finally over.

After four days, we caught a plane back to Paris, had one last mind-blowing dinner with our friend and flew home the next day.

Here’s what made it into the suitcase:

  • Dresses, 3: 2 short, 1 maxi. Report: the purple stretch jersey dress was perfect for wearing alone in Barcelona and layering with leggings on a cooler day in Gascony. The lightweight orange summer dress was perfect for Calellea and Barcelona, it was pretty but casual enough for the coast. I’m sad to report the maxi dress never made an appearance. It was too casual for nice evening dinners and would have been great for Barcelona. I admit I forgot about it on the couple days it would have been perfect for.


  • Shorts, 1: Dressy cotton. Report: I dressed up these shorts a few times, they worked well for days in Paris and Barcelona, and again on our last night’s dinner in Barcelona.

 

  • Pants, 3: Cargo, seersucker, stretchy. Report: The cargo pants were worn numerous times in Paris and through the cooler days. The seersucker pants were so versatile that I wore them in every city. The stretchy wide-leg pants were my go-to pants for the day-long drives and long flights because they were so comfortable with their four-way stretch.

 

  • Tank tops, 2: 1 plain solid, 1 dressy. Report: The casual solid salmon tank got a lot of wear, both alone and under one of the looser-fitting tops. The dressy pink lace tank top was only worn once.

 

  • Scarves, 2: 1 warm, 1 lacy. Report: I got a lot of mileage out of the warmer shawl but only wore the lacy scarf once or twice.

 

  • Tops, 3: 1 print t-shirt, 1 over-size sequined t-shirt, 1 tunic. Report: The white t-shirt with a blue floral print was a favorite. I washed it twice, it looked good with practically everything. The over-size sequined t-shirt was worn numerous times, too. Same with the tunic. I kept rotating shirts during the cold wet week through the Pyrenees, it was just too cold to wear dresses.

 

  • Cardigans, 3: 1 lightweight lacy, 1 cashmere, 1 cotton kimono style. Report: The lightweight salmon cardi got plenty of wear but I only wore the orange kimono style once. The cashmere aqua cardi was worn every day that it wasn’t hot. How am I not sick of it yet? You’ve probably seen me wear it all winter, it’s the softest, warmest thing.

 

  • Shoes, 4: 1 sandal, 1 dressy shoe, 1 flat comfort shoe, 1 flat stylish shoe. Report: The flat stylish sequined shoe gave me a blister on day one which made wearing the dressy shoe really painful, I tucked the dressy shoes away for the rest of the trip. The black Dansko sandals were my favorites, the straps across the tops were adjusted according to the heat factor and foot swelling. The flat comfort shoes were the warmest to wear during the cold spell but were too hot and binding on the hot days.


There you have it. Overall, I did very well and got a lot of wear out of almost everything. At the last minute I threw a pair of thick black yoga pants into my suitcase, I still had so much room to spare. They turned out to play a very crucial role when hiking in the rain, I had only brought a pair of lightweight hiking capris and would have been freezing all day. I also added a couple nicer dresses which I wore several times.

The winners: The purple jersey and orange lightweight dresses were tied. The seersucker and stretchy pants were tied, also. The white t-shirt won out over the other t’s, it was polyester and dried very quickly after being hand-washed which kept it fresh. Overall, the cashmere aqua cardi and black sandals took the prize.

The losers: The maxi dress, the dressy high heels and the lacy scarf were lowest on the totem pole. I wouldn’t have missed them. Not too shabby for trying to plan for so much diversity in activities and weather.

For more general and location photos of our travels, check out The Husband’s blog. He painstakingly documented regularly with a brief description and a handful of photos. It was truly incredible!

I also want to extend a special thanks to my guest bloggers, it was such a relief knowing you were in good hands in my absence. I hope they’ve made new fans out of you!

{ photos: }

Filip Jach

 

 
 

30 for 30 Winter, final roundup

12 Mar
Wearing ivory lace dress with black lace tights and obi belt for 30 for 30 roundup

Lace on lace over tights

Wearing burgundy sweater dress with brown shirt for 30 for 30 roundup

Coffee and wine, oh my!

Wearing DKNY wrap over black turtleneck and skinny jeans for 30 for 30 roundup

Not one of my finer creations

Wearing plaid dress over black turtleneck and skinny jeans for 30 for 30 roundup

Feeling a little bit country

Wearing soft pink shirt with tie over black skinny jeans for 30 for 30 roundup

Schoolhouse rock

Wearing red ruffle sweater shrug over black turtleneck and skinny jeans for 30 for 30 roundup

Ruffles ahoy!

 

This won’t be the first time I’m demonstrated my finer ability to count. I just realized that I never got around to wearing item 30. Technically, what we have hear, folks, is a 29  for 29. Since I’m probably the last living remixer at this point, for the sake of just gettin’ it done, I’m calling it a done deal. It’s been fun but I’m ready to chronically repeat again. And wear some new things, too!

It was a little quiet this weekend because I joined some fine ladies in Las Vegas for Style Nation 2011. It was very exciting! Typically, I’d be snowboarding but what’s life when it’s always predictable? The lovely Loudmouth has elaborated a little on the company we’re keeping. Don’t worry, there will be a full report shortly.

Ciao!

 

 

 

 
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