Hi there! I’m Kara.
Category Archives: women
A very good friend just got very good news that is going to require her to dress like the #girlboss that she is. She’s in a semi-earthy/creative field, but she is very young to have landed such a big role. So – how to be professional, but still seem hip and cool?
We decided that she needs A Thing. You know how Madeleine Albright wears brooches? That sort of thing. She already has a pretty good collection of cool-girl Madewell jewelry, so I think her Thing should be “minimalist jewelry in earthy metals.” Bonus points if it looks like it might kill somebody.
For clothing, I focused on pieces that felt pulled-together without being overly formal. I’m into the vest-instead-of-jacket look for summer. Plus, her job requires her to be outdoors a lot and I don’t want her getting the sweats.
You guys. Target is ripping off Anthropologie hardcore.
I have also been exploring this sketchy Chinese website called AliExpress.com (found from this Emily Henderson post) and they also have this suit for $15 but are clearly stealing Anthro’s product picture. I, being a huge cheapo, decided to take my chances on it. It’s shipping from China. I’ll let you know when/if I get it.
And then there’s also this wrap style, which comes back every year and gets yuuuuuuuge (said in my best Donald Trump voice) ratings.
Anthropologie: $118 (Anthro has this in a few prints every year)
One: This cool-girl coat.
Two: This important article in the New York Times calling for depression screenings before and after pregnancy. (YES.)
Three: These ridiculously chic, gender-neutral nurseries. (Via Elements of Style)
Four: Kind of obsessed with this crib bedding set by Oh Joy for Target.
Five: That time when only female lawmakers showed up to work during a snowstorm.
Seven: Also love this peplum cami.
Eight: One of my favorite St. Louis events, the Beggin’ Pet Parade, is this weekend – and it looks like even the weather gods love dogs in costumes.
Nine: I realize this is a random addition, but we just installed this ceiling fan in our bedroom. I was ardently anti-ceiling fan until I realized there was NO AIR MOVEMENT and I hate to sweat. This ceiling fan doesn’t look like it came straight from 1999 and it has a remote, which somehow makes me feel like I am a fancy adult.
Ten: Cute earrings.
Ok, here’s an update to keep me honest: I’ve bought some stuff in my “no-buy” months of January and February. I bought these pants and this shirt from J. Crew, which were included in this post, so they don’t count. (The pants are great, but I already knew that. I liked the shirt but I think I need a petite to accommodate my T-Rex arms.)
I returned a shirt that I purchased at Madewell before my public declaration…and I miiiiight have bought two other things: a black and white striped sweater and a black dress which is no longer online. I’m confident in both these purchases so get off my back about them, OK? The sweater has been worn a lot already and the dress will work in any season – plus, I was lacking a flattering-but-not-too-fancy LBD.
And then I went to Target. Things fell off the rails a little bit.
I bought a faux- fur vest (no longer online) because it was marked down to $25 and I don’t have a fur vest. I’m going back and forth on whether to return it or not, but I do like it and it was only $25…I dunno. I also bought a chambray because Target’s chambray is surprisingly good and sells out fast and my beloved J.Crew chambray popover has a ketchup stain on it because I’m a garbageperson who is incapable of having nice things.
Anyway, this kind of seems like a fail BUT 1) there have been a ton of sales lately in which I have refrained from buying and 2) I think these items will fill holes in my wardrobe.
Also: Hi. My name is Kara and I’m a shopaholic.
Here are some things I really want to buy at J. Crew. Use code “saleonsale” for an additional 40% off. Buy them so I don’t:
I wrote about my 2016 resolutions in this post. I’m starting strong on some of them – for instance, we already have a real bed and a couch upgrade on order – 2016 HOME GAME STRONG – and I haven’t eaten anything weird from the break room so far this year. But…fitness. That whole “get on a regular plan” thing isn’t very regular.
And there’s still a LOT of “out with the old” that needs to happen.
I’ve decided that I can knock out two birds with one stone: I’m going to re-evaluate my workout clothes which will obviously motivate me to work out constantly and eat like Tom and Gisele. (OK, maybe not all of that because their lives sound kind of terrible.) But for real, some of my running shorts date back to high school track. And do I need 10 pairs of black yoga pants? No, especially since 8 of them suck.
Plus, Athleisure is a thing. Just take a look at the Webster Groves Starbucks, where all the hot moms strut around in their Lululemon. Even Yolanda Foster (Foster?) is wearing lulu to
gather lemons get her implants removed. It’s here and it’s real, people.
And since I have more opinions on athletic wear than I previously thought, I’m gonna split this up into a bottoms/tops/shoes/jackets and accessories posts. So, uh, get excited?
One: These are the shorts that I have. From high school. To be fair, they have lasted 10 years (plus one year of intense use when I ran track in college) and still look great. They are really the only running shorts you will have to buy…although I probably need to buy some in a, uh, more “mature” size.
Two: These are Nordstrom’s Zella brand Live-In Leggings. They are great. On the Athleisure scale of my life, they skew much more leisure.
Three: I like a run skirt and I’m not ashamed. I think this is the one I have from Athleta. Lululemon’s are cute but are also completely inappropriate for a mom of two to wear. (Also, you should obviously be a rational human and buy the skirt in black, not this weird orange color.)
Four: I am pretty “meh” on Old Navy’s workout apparel except when it’s under $10. But these leggings are legitimately good – comfortable and almost as nice as the Lululemon stuff for a tiny fraction of the price. Also, the Old Navy workout socks are pretty good and I used to professionally sell socks…kind of.
You guys, these after-Christmas steals might be the death of me. This whole “no impulse shopping” is hard. I have stuck to it so far and only bought things on my list: the oxford and black pants from this post (for 40% off sale!) and, uh, maybe a Marc Jacobs bag from ThredUp. (Full disclosure: I won $150 to ThredUp so it literally cost me $8. I don’t think that counts. And what a steal! #justification)
But just because I’m not out there buying doesn’t mean that you can’t be – so buy these things so I don’t. Madewell is probably my very favorite store and they’re running a killer sale – 40% off already-discounted sale styles with code YOUWIN. These are my favorite items and all of ’em had a decent size run (so they’re not only available in a size 14 or xxxs) as of posting.
Two: Easy, wear-anywhere sweater in tons of good colors.
Four: Love this ring
Five: Feels like PJs, looks acceptable for the world.
Six: Another cool ring.
Seven: Love this jacquard dress ($60) but you might get more wear out of the top and skirt – I think separates are a little more modern and, as separates, you can wear them…separately. (Groundbreaking revelation.)
Eight: Love this flat. Only like $40 in black. Might order.
Nine: This boot is great. I feel like tall boots are a little dated right now, but this has the perfect amount of ’70s feel to look like it might be vintage.
Here are a couple things on the “I know I need” list for 2016.
These Madewell Mira Midi pumps are perfect: Modern design with a manageable heel height. I’ve always had great luck with Madewell shoes – they are, uh, made well.
Would it be weird if I bought them as a flat, too?
Black skinny pants:
I’ve long been a fan of the J.Crew Minnie pants – the maternity version was my holy grail of maternity pants. I need a new pair in black because last time I cheaped out and bought the Old Navy version and it is NOT AS GOOD. They are literally falling apart.
Yes, J.Crew’s quality has kind of been going down the crapper but these pants are still good enough as long as you don’t buy them full price.
If anyone has a better suggestion, I’d be open to deviating from the Minnie…
All my tights are very opaque and I think they are starting to look too Zooey Deschanel circa 2012. I can’t bring myself to go fully sheer, but I think these opaque sheer tights would be the best of both worlds and make me look more cool-girl and less adorkable.
Crisp White Oxford:
Oxfords are hard – the perfect one can make an outfit look very polished, but when they are wrong they are so wrong. I need a white one that’s not too casual and not too fancy. I have this one in white which is as close to the perfect white button down I’ve found but doesn’t achieve that “crisp” factor and I have this Brooks Brothers one but it’s more “going to court than I need. I think maybe this J. Crew one would work? I like the idea of 3/4 sleeves since I always push my sleeves up anyway.
I want you to know that I’m already having a hard time with this experiment and have three shirts in my Nordstrom bag that I want but don’t need. After-Christmas sales might kill me.
Wish me luck.
Hey guys, the “best tunic ever” worn by every blogger known to man is on super sale at Nordstrom right now and there are still tons of sizes and colors left – and we’re talking the good colors (black, white, olive, etc.) and not weird neons or prints. It’s only $25 so order yourself one…or, um, two, like I did.
See it here:
If you’re like me and refuse to subscribe to Amazon Prime, you’re probably closing in on the last few days of online shopping without paying like $300 for overnight shipping. So here’s a smattering of gifts for everyone left on your list.
Two: This little brass “hello” would be adorable on your front door. Or on my front door.
Three: It’s a scientific fact that everyone likes succulents. You barely have to water them! They are hip! People like plants! Buy ’em in bulk and find some cute little pots and pass them out to your coworkers. Or scatter them around your house.
Four: Give this to your free-spirit, crafty friend. Or yourself.
Five: I just bought something like this for B for Christmas. Trying to jumpstart her career as professional instagrammer.
Eight: I bought this for B mostly because I think they are cute and am prepared to fake-eat them.
Nine: These are good for any of your female friends. Or for me if I’m your female friend.
Ten: We had this calendar a couple years ago and it 1) is freakin’ huge and 2) looks badass.
I am a magpie. I can’t help it. I love all things sequin and shiny and I am self-aware enough that I make a conscious effort to keep my inner Vegas showgirl in check. But grown-up stores are peddling lots of sequins (pants!) in their holiday collections this year and I’m having a hard time saying no.
The Jacket: This is great. It borders the line of tricking people into thinking you are too cool to be wearing sequins until they realize YOU ARE WEARING A SEQUIN JACKET and totally pulling it off. Would be great with a lazy-day gray t-shirt and black jeans.
The Sweatshirt: Just a peek of sequins peeking out to remind people that this is your FANCY sweatshirt.
The Pants: I haven’t shopped at Express since the last time I fished through a box of sale crap in college, but I want these pants in a bad way.
The Top: How cute would this crop be over a really crisp white oxford? Pair it with jeans and cute but not flashy heels and you are a grown up wearing sequins – and doing it well!
The Dress: OK, this is a bit much. But you can do “a bit much” on NYE if you are going to a glitzy party. Or maybe you’re just going to wear it to sit on your couch because you don’t want to pay for a sitter. It’s your house, you do you.
The Bridesmaid Dress: Including this one solely to entice my friend to choose sequin bridesmaid dresses because how often do you really get to wear a long, backless sequin gown?
The Shoes: These are adorable and I think you could actually wear them a ton.