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Fashion faux pas? or fun?

I really like this w118 by walter baker dress on sale with ideeli today.

I like its long sleeves and the fun pattern, but I worry that the length leaves it inappropriate for work.  My general rule is, if I have to wonder whether it’s work appropriate, then no, it’s not work appropriate.  It could be nicely taken up to a below-the-knee length, but that would take away from it’s unique look.  This is all a non-issue, since the size “large” is equivalent to a 10, so it’s a no go for me.

Everyone’s been bonkers of over Missoni since they introduced that discount line at Target.  ideeli also offered M Missoni pieces today.  Missoni’s zig zags aren’t my thing, and I don’t see the popularity of the line.

Especially when they make garbage like this.

This Missoni dress is fun. Except it’s $400. On sale. So no.  If you can find me the $40 H&M version, I’m game.

Mr. Beez is watching V for Vendetta. Natalie Portman’s terrible fake English accent is making my ears bleed.

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personal style

The first step in identifying and developing my personal style is to articulate my inspiration, and what kind of “look” I want to express.  The adjectives I thought of immediately were “classic” and “polished.”  I don’t intend (or want) to appear dressed up all the time, but I want to look consistently nice and well put together.  I’d like to branch out into wearing more color, and being more adventurous with textures and prints.  Structured pieces tend to look better on me, and although I do like ruffles and flowing accents, I want to avoid drapey, flowy, tent-y clothing as much as possible.

Although I’m not too keen on her as an actress, Zooey Deschanel’s style is enviable.  I love how everything she wears looks so pretty and polished, and also whimsical.

My other inspiration is the “Mad Men” office look.  Banana Republic now has a Mad Men line that I just love.

The tricky part is readjusting my wardrobe without buying all new clothes.  I plan to pick up some new pieces here and there, but I don’t have endless funds to buy everything I want.  I did pick up two new dresses on ideeli this week.

I’m extremely excited about this little Ellen Tracy gem.

And I can’t wait until this Calvin Klein number arrives.

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I need a stylist…and a hair/makeup team…and a manicurist….

I feel like I’ve looked extra sloppy lately.  Not that sloppy is my baseline, but just that my sloppyness feels extra vile.  My size and weight has fluctuated dramatically over the last few years thanks to strapping-on-the-feedbag while studying for the bar exam, hustling off the pounds using weight watchers, and then chowing down on Dunkin Donuts during pregnancy.  Now that I’m well post-baby, I still have no time to cook, so the 9 months of maternity weight gain will probably be shed gradually over say 9 years.

I got a new set of suits when I returned to week post-partum.  They’re not high quality suits, because in imaginaryland those pounds shedded right off. Since I’ve lost a whopping 7 lbs since then, they’re now loose enough to make me look sloppy.  I’m still in imaginaryland thinking I’ll keep losing weight, so I’m not motivated to buy a whole bunch of new suits.  At my old job I had to wear suits every day. Now at my not-really-new-anymore job, I can wear business casual. Admittedly, I suck at business casual.  I wear my sloppy-feeling suits a lot because suits are reliably not underdressed (unless yours make you look like a hobo…like mine do…OK I WILL TAKE THEM TO THE TAILOR. On the to do list this weekend).

So now I want to get some dresses.  As much as I do love fashion, I don’t have that “spark” for it, so I have been known to occasionally pair things in such a way that onlookers assume me to be blind or brain damaged.  I often fall back into the unaccessorized black dress routine. Lucky magazine decided to send me a subscription I never requested or paid for, but it’s all about shopping, so maybe I should actually flip through those pages.

The other complicating factor is that I don’t have a personal style.  A publicly acceptable personal style at least. We’ll call it “Can’t let go of shabby clothes from college.”  Mostly jeans, tattered t-shirts, and beat Puma’s.  The styles I like and covet tend to be high-maintenance and out of my skill range…although if I can develop a few fundamental fashion skills I can probably get by.  The other complicating factor is that summertime drapey-stretchy-dresses are in right now, and drapey-stretchy-dresses look dreadful on me.  Awesome.

Here are my impossible to meet criteria:

1. Sleeves. I occasionally wear sleeveless dresses to work, but really prefer not to.

2. Not all black or gray, because I wear those all the time and am bored with them.

3. Unique, but still classic enough that I can wear it through multiple seasons.

4.  Knee length

5. Structured. Not all drapey or stretchy, and not cut to give me pregnant-belly.

6. Machine Washable (but willing to give up on this one because all the non drapey-stretchy dresses seem to be dry clean only)

7. Not a million dollars

Against my better judgment, I looked at Nanette Lepore’s website…and she has a million dresses that meet all but criteria 6 and 7.  The complicating factor is that I’d need to lose some weight to fit them well, since designer sizes tend to be slimmer than say Target’s generous sizing. Here’s my inspiration to hold off on the Twinkies for a bit: