Friday, December 30, 2011

Quickie Reviews: Kate Spade

(Don't forget to enter the Shabby Apple giveaway, for a TTLLV necklace!  (see here)  While there are 11 comments on the post, there are only four valid giveaway entries.  Get in there while the gettin's good.  Contest ends on Monday night.)


My Kate Spade sale purchases from last week arrived!

Kate Spade Sparkler Gia in Multi-Color, now $57 (currently sold out, but available here in gold glitter/cosmetic case size)





On the one hand, this little clutch is just so damn cute and seasonal.  It's attention-grabbing and OUTRAGEOUSLY sparkly.  It's sitting in a dark corner of my apartment right now looking like a pile of diamonds; I have no clue where it's even getting light to reflect, but it's reflecting it.


On the other hand, the downside of glitter is that it sheds.  The shedding hasn't been intolerable, but it's certainly leaving a few pieces here and there around the house.

(After setting it on this windowsill)

I think I can tolerate the glitter loss because this thing is just SO darn sparkly, but I'll have to be careful to store and treat it gently.  At least it's functional---it fits a good amount of stuff and still looks pretty slim.




Kate Spade Doodles Pen Necklace, $46 here


Pretty self-explanatory.  I'm not sure whether this necklace is worth $46, but I've been getting such a crazy amount of use out of long gold necklaces (see, e.g., my magnifying glass and Kate Spade glasses) that I may keep this piece.


Of course, there's always the possibility of finding a cheaper option Etsy...

I hope you all have a very happy new year's celebration this weekend!  Stay safe and have fun.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

OOTD: Color is a Pain

I bought the Million Pleats Midi from Jen a few weeks ago.  When it arrived, I was excited about trying out a midi-length skirt at a reasonable price (and it's machine washable, no less).


I love the fit of the skirt, but I discovered one major challenge after trying to wear it:  It's a LOT of black.

Regardless of the top I paired with it, I found myself drowning in black fabric with no idea of how to emerge!  I may have over-corrected by choosing the brightest accessories I own.


Chartreuse and bright blue.  Makes total sense, right?

I have mixed feelings about these Seychelles shoes, called the "Ampersand Pumps."  They were $130 at Anthropologie (called the "Curvy Cobalt Platforms"; sold out online) but I scored them for $45 on Amazon (here, now up to $60--$130 and sold out in blue).

On the one hand, holy wow:


These shoes are AWESOME-looking.  They are relatively comfortable given their crazy height, and the color is irresistible.  They get a lot of attention, but I think it's the good kind.  The kind that says, "I don't think I'd ever wear those, but you get props for even trying to pull them off."  And they really are a wonderful shade of blue.  I took my normal size 9 and they fit well.

On the other hand, so you see the part of the shoe that kind of points, underneath the top tips of the bow?  That part really dug into my foot all day, until by mid-afternoon I found myself sporting painful puncture wounds (literally!  punctures!) that required band-aids and a few weeks to heel.

So, on the whole, I am not sure I'd recommend these shoes unless you are willing to break them in, which I will now have to do.  Bring band-aids with you every time you wear them and apply them before the first sign of trouble!  I'll let you know if the problem gets better; it's been weeks since this photo and my scabs have only now fallen off.  TMI!

Okay, one last thing.  I need some help styling this skirt in the future.  I seem to have difficulty with midi-length, and I felt like nothing I did with this cardigan was working.  The first photo I took was a flattering angle, but witness some of my other attempts:

So my question is:  was this cardigan just patently too long to wear with this skirt?  Should I stick with cropped or normal length cardigans with this skirt in the future?  Did I do okay as it is, untucked?

I love the skirt, I just have no idea how to wear it!  I'd love links to your favorite examples of successful midi-wearing (ESPECIALLY black skirt midi-wearing) so I can try again.
In this Outfit:
Ann Taylor Loft half-lace Tee (S)
Anthropologie Million Pleats Midi (S)
Anthropologie Shadowsleeve Cardigan (M)
Seychelles Ampersand Pumps (aka Anthropologie Curvy Cobalt Pumps) (9, TTS) (here in other colors on sale; here in blue)
Belt came with skirt
Omega Watch (college graduation present)
Kate Spade Have Courage Bangle
Coach Pave Ball Drops
Kate Spade Head-in-the-Sand Melinda (similar here, or on sale in the same shape and different colors here and here)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Chrismachanukwazakah Giveaway

Hey, friends! I was contacted a few weeks ago by the folks at Shabby Apple about running a giveaway on the blog. I'm always happy to run a giveaway, because I like free stuff as much as the next Jewish girl and giveaways seem like vicarious free stuff.

One thing I WAS curious about, though, was Shabby Apple's approach to marketing. I know that many of us us who read Anthropologie-centered blogs have seen Shabby Apple giveaways, and often have seen many of them running on different blogs at the same time.

I asked Shabby Apple a bit about their marketing strategy on Anthro blogs. I wanted to know a bit more about their approach to social media and their sense of the typical Anthropologie customer. Here's their response:

Shabby Apple is a fashion company for women, by women, and of women that was started because we saw a need in women’s fashion that was not being met—a need to make women feel feminine and beautiful for what they wear, not what they bare. We offer flirty, stylish dresses women of any age can wear just as comfortably in the office, at a family dinner, or on a date. We believe that “Beautiful Dressing Shouldn't Be Complicated”, so our dresses are designed to stand alone without the need of tank tops or cardigans.

Through the blogging community, we have been able to connect to a more vast and diverse customer base. As blogs have become more prevalent, we are able to reach out to readers by partnering with a variety of different ones, from style blogs, to healthy living, to DIY. Bloggers, coupled with social media, have helped us reached to women all over the world.

Lastly, because serving women and families is a core value at Shabby Apple, we devote a certain percentage of our net proceeds to charitable causes serving women and children.


I thought the idea of using blogs to diversify your customer base is an interesting one! I can see how blogs would aid in your reach, but it makes sense that you could aim for a particular type of customer by looking at the focus of the blog. I'm undecided on the strategy of reaching out to multiple blogs at the same time, though. I don't think I entered any of the last two rounds of Shabby Apple giveaways because there were so many of them that I got overwhelmed! On the other hand, I did definitely visit the Shabby Apple website once or twice during that time!

What about you? What are your thoughts on flooding blogs with your product around the same time?

Alright, let's bring this unconventional giveaway post to an end with a big thank you to the folks at Shabby Apple, who were very flexible both with answering a few of my questions about marketing and with the giveaway requirements that you see below! (I hate being forced to "like" things on Facebook in order to qualify for a giveaway, and Shabby Apple agreed to switch the Facebook-liking from mandatory to optional)

So without further ado, you are entering to win the Unlock The Queen's Castle Necklace.



I've seen a million key necklaces (which I love), but I've never seen a keyhole necklace before!

To win, here's what you need to do:

1. Become a public follower of Stuff Jewish Girls Like. Click the "follow" link on the upper right side of the page.

2. Visit Shabby Apple and pick out your favorite dress. Leave a comment here telling us what it is!

For extra entries, you can do the following (make sure you leave a SEPARATE COMMENT for each extra entry):


And feel free to include your thoughts about Internet marketing in the comments section. I will only count qualifying comments towards the giveaway, but that shouldn't halt the discussion, if you care to weigh in! (just make sure you leave at least one comment with your favorite dress! :-D)

(Sorry, but this giveaway is only open to US readers.)

This contest will end at 11:59 on Monday, January 2.

Monday, December 26, 2011

An Unexpected Steal(s)

I'm in Atlantic City with the BF for the first part of this week playing poker with just my iPhone to fulfill my technological needs, so I'm running at a bit less than full capacity over here.

We're having a great time, as always. Yesterday, we both played in a tournament and ended up making the final table, where we agreed to take a chop deal for even shares of the pot. I personally had a great game---i played well and all of my big hands held up---and I was chip leader at the time we chopped. Usually I would use my chip lead to ask for more than an equal chop, but since it was 5am at the time (midnight tournament) and since the chop deal had us all doing better than fourth place, and since BF was not in a strong position, I just took the deal.

I'm extremely superstitious about being the person to block a chop deal that everyone else agrees to, so I just won't block it.

I realize that many of you are not interested in poker, but I'm curious---do any of you folks out there in my corner of the Internet gamble? If so, what and where do you play? I'd love to collect some crazy casino/poker/gaming stories in the comments! (Stories of any kind about Las Vegas are also welcome.)

In the vein of our regularly scheduled programming, did you brave the crowds for any after-Christmas shopping today? I was planning to visit the Atlantic City outlets today, but then realized the only one I was interested in was J.Crew, and I already bought MORE than enough from them in their 30% off sales this month!

I did do a small bit of shopping on Friday, and I ended up with a few totally unexpected deals.

First, I stopped by Banana Republic to return a peacoat I'd purchased last week. It was marked $198, but I'd bought it in the 40%-off-everything sale on Friday, where for whatever reason it rang up as $95.



I decided to return it. While flattering, and while I wanted a blue cropped pea coat, it was slightly itchy, and just not quite what I would expect of a $95 coat.

When I showed up to Banana Republic for my return, I found they were having an extra 40% off sale merchandise sale. Amazingly, I found this peacoat, which had been full price just a week before, in the sale section for $95. I figured, hey, for 40% off $95, I was more than willing to put up with a bit of itchiness around the neck, which would be alleviated with the use of a scarf. I picked up a lovely green cardigan (on sale for $50-something) while I was at it.

I think something went wrong when the sales associate attempted to give me both a price adjustment on my pea coat, and apply the 40% off sale merchandise promotion. Before I knew it, my coat was ringing up for only $36, and my cardigan for about $17.

The sales associate and I both looked at each other quizzically. I asked him if these prices were correct, and he told me, a bit confused, that there must be some kind of mistake in the system. There was a pause, and then he shrugged and said, "I'm okay with it if you are."

Uhhhh, YEAH.


The peacoat.


The cardigan.


(PS: they're currently running a 30% off sale merchandise sale. Use code BRSALE30.)

And then, just for good measure, I also killed it at Filene's Basement. They are having a going out of business sale, and the entire store was 50% off on Friday. I found this nifty blazer, which was originally $220, marked down to $25 after the discount. Win!

You gotta love receipts like this:



...especially for blazers like this:



Alright, tell me about your shopping day! Did you get the day off work?

I don't know about you, but I'm really hoping there are no new items on sale at Anthropologie this week. My budget is already in shambles, and I really don't need any new temptation!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Friday Funday: The Experience of Accidentally Listening to Christian Rock on the Radio for Half an Hour after Randomly Scanning the Stations, told as Speed Dating Parable

Scene 1:  A Speed Dating Event
Jewish Girl scans the crowd.  The available options quickly flit by her.

JG:  Hi there.
Song 1:  AWWWW SHIT!
JG:  Um, are you alright?
Song 1:  Yeeeaaaah, girl!  I'm like nah nah nah nah nah.
JG:  What?  I don't...what are you even saying?

[BUZZER SOUNDS, SONGS CHANGE]

JG:  Well, hello.
Song 2:  Hey girl.
JG:  So, what do you think you bring to a relationship?
Song 2:  You say you're searching for somebody that will take you out and do you right.
JG:  Wow.  I did not say that.
Song 2:  Come on.  Just let daddy show you what it feels like.
JG:  That REALLY does not do it for me.
Song 2:  I just want to make love in this club.
JG:  EW.  [CHECKS WATCH]

[BUZZER SOUNDS, SONGS CHANGE]

JG:  Um...hi.  What's up?
Song 3:  If you get what I get, what would you say?
JG:  Sigh.  I'm guessing you're going to tell me.
Song 3:  I gotta get it again and again and again.
JG:  Seriously?  Does this even work on other women?
Song 3:  Aw yeah, you know she wax it all off like Mr. Miyagi.
JG:  Oh god.  Seriously.  Are there NO good men at this speed-dating thing?!
Song 3:  Better watch out that you don't slip and fall on my dick.
JG:  I highly doubt that would ever happen in a million years.

[BUZZER SOUNDS, SONGS CHANGE]

JG:  I'm sorry, I just don't think I have it in me anymore.
Song 4: You fought but you were just too weak, so you lost all the things you tried to keep.
JG:  Wow, yes, that's pretty insightful.
Song 4:  But wait, anything can change in a moment's time.
JG:  Thank you.  I feel...a bit inspired, actually.
Song 4:  I am feeling overtaken with your love.
JG:  Wow.

[BUZZER SOUNDS]

Song 4:  I know the current of yourself can take you out, out to sea, but hold on.
Song 5:  [BURSTING IN] I BALL SO HARD MOTHAFUCKAS WANNA FINE ME.
JG:  [TO SONG 4] Oh, please, please stay here.


Scene 2:  A Warm, Candlelit Homestyle Restaurant
Jewish Girl and Song 4 are on the tail end their first date.  Dinner has been finished, dessert reduced to crumbs, and the last drops of wine linger in wine glasses.

Song 4:  You are here to lift me up when I am weak, your arms wrap around me, your love catches me so I'm letting go.
JG:  Wow, I can't believe I found you.  You just seem so genuine and grounded.
Song 4:  Why in the world did I think I could only get to know you when my life was good?  When everything just falls in place, the easiest thing is to give You praise.
JG:  Wow.  I just...wow.  You have such a distinct melodic backbone; you sound so comforting, and at the same time you seem tough and strong.  I didn't think it was possible to meet someone like you!
Song 4:  Well, all things are possible through Christ.
JG:  ............................begpardon?
Song 4:  All things are possible through Christ.
JG:  Christ?
Song 4:  Yes, Christ Our Savior.  Who redeems us.
JG:  .........Christ?
Song 4:   He'll break open the skies to save those who cry out His name.
JG:  Oh god.
Song 4:  Exactly.  The son of God has not left us alone.
JG:  Why didn't you mention this before?  Before you let me get sucked in by your catchy words and your strong choruses?
Song 4:  The one the winds and waves obey is strong enough to save you.
JG:  I've been listening to you all night and I had no idea what you were really talking about!  I thought you were saying romantic things to me, but----ohhhhhhhh, I feel so dirty.  Ooooh, so all that stuff you said about love and forgiveness---you were talking about Ch---
Song 4: ---Christ our Savior, yes.
JG:  I feel ill.
Song 4:  Perhaps you just need to accept the love of Jesus Christ.
JG:  I think you just need accept the bill for tonight.

[JG STANDS UP AND LEAVES, AND BUMPS INTO...]

Song 2:  Hey girl.  If we close our eyes it could just be me and you.
JG:  Oh.  You again.  Hi.
Song 2:  All you gotta do is tell me what you're sipping on, and I'm gonna keep it coming all night loooooooooonnnnng.
JG:  [EXHAUSTED]  Yeah, you know what, that sounds okay right about now.

FIN.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Shopping Break

As if retailers weren't already killing us with the plethora of sales at this time of year, I figured I'd add a bit of sale-tuational awareness to the mix.

Kate Spade Rose Club Melisse, $425 $291 $212



My beloved Kate Spade purse/clutch got a substantial price reduction this week!  (Reviewed here)  Now with several more weeks of wear, I can affirm that I love the bag.  One significant downside, though:  The enamel bow on the front of the bag can scratch.  Mine is showing several scratches of unknown origin.  It's only visible up-close, but if you know this is the type of thing that would bother you, then best to pass on the bag.


Kate Spade Dotted Magdalena Dress continues to pop back

While we're on the subject of Kate Spade, the dress I wore to my firm's holiday party seems to be continually popping back in different sizes.  Availability seems to change every day, so if you were looking for this piece, keep an eye out!



For the same fabric in a different cut (and at a lower price), check out Kate Spade's Gail Dress (now $195).

Miscellaneous Kate Spade Buys

Okay, I can't resist some of Kate Spade's new sale items!


Gia Clutch -- $57 (it'll arrive in time for New Year's!)
 
Doodles Pen Necklace, $46
 
Prize Ball Thermos, $21


Restaurant.com $1 Sale

From now until December 24, you can buy $25 gift certificates to thousands of restaurants for only $1.  Use promo code "JOY." 

The way these restaurant.com certificates work is that you have to spend a minimum of more than $25 (varies by restaurant, but for some places the minimum is as low as $35).  Each restaurant has its own conditions (some limit you to dinner only, dine-in only, etc.).  There are no expiration dates.  You tip on the total of the bill before the discount is applied.  I've used these before without a problem.

I stocked up on certificates for a few of my favorite restaurants in the neighborhood, and bought a few more just to experiment with.  The total value of my coupons was $550 (the certificates themselves would have been nearly $300) and I paid $26.50 for everything.
If I were not a forgetful idiot, I would have visited Ebates before buying, and I would have gotten 30% cash back. But I didn't do that. Because I'm an idiot. But you are not, so sign up for Ebates (and don't forget to actually use it) and start earning that cash back.

(Note:  If you try to get frisky with Restaurant.com and buy a $25 restaurant.com gift certificate for $1.50, thinking you can then use that certificate for your other coupons, be warned that it does not work that way (no promo codes with gift certificate orders).  Whomp whomp.)


"1-800-NOT-GUILTY" Coaster

Admittedly, this one is only good for those of you who live in D.C., but how cute is this New Orleans-inspired coaster for the lawyers in your life?


This is manufactured by Jeannette Landphair, who sells her stuff (coasters, magnets, posters, nightlights) on the weekends at Eastern Market in D.C.  Sadly, she does not seem to have any online storefront set up, but you can email her at JLandphair@aol.com if you want more information about her products.


Anthropologie:  Extra 50%-off Sale Merchandise

For those of you who missed my earlier post today AND several posts at EA, you may not be aware that all of Anthropologie's sale merchandise is currently an extra 50% off!  This promo is scheduled to run until 12/31 and you WILL be able to get a price adjustment for orders you placed in the last two weeks.

Make a point to check out your local sale rooms---the stores in DC are bursting with stuff, and the new 50%-off promo means that most stuff is now about $40 or less, and you can pick up lots of beautiful fall/winter coats for $50-$100.  This coat, called the "Vaterland Parka," is very warm (lined with fluffiness) and will be great for snowy months:




It's ringing up now for $100, but you'll have to find it in stores because it's sold out online.  I couldn't justify this one because I bought Anthro's Petal Curves Puffer Coat last year, but if you're in need of something soft and warm, this is your coat.


Free "Kind Heart" Spice Gift Box at Penzey's

My favorite spice store, Penzey's, is offering a free "Kind Heart Gift Box" with orders over $5.  Treat yourself to some of the best cinnamon ever and then get one of these nifty boxes for free.


My poor, poor bank account.  I'm going to need retailers to raise their prices again ASAP so I can recover.

OOTD: The Party Dress That Wasn't


Before falling in love with this Kate Spade dress (worn here), I'd initially planned to wear my Eva Franco Belted Violet Dakota Dot Dress (aka Anthro's Mullany Dress) to my office holiday party.  I figured that being ousted from a place of honor on my body at a special event merited a consolation prize, so I wore this dress to work earlier that week.


I'm still unsure of how to make full-skirted pieces work appropriate.  Something about the puffy silhouette made me feel like a little girl all day; I looked down at my feet and saw my five year-old legs on their way to temple, wearing a puffy-skirted dress, white sweater tights, and shiny black mary janes.


I thought this black cardigan---which is generally magical in fixing outfits that are otherwise borderline---might slim things down when belted at the waist, but I think instead it emphasized the dress's poofiness because of its below-the-hip-length.

The waist is working for me, but the hips seem too poofy.

I would love your thoughts on wearing full skirts do the office.  Do you do it?  If so, what do you wear on your top half?

Are there some silhouettes you can *never* make work during the business day?


In this Outfit:
Eva Franco Belted Violet Dakota Dot Dress (8, but my normal 6 probably would have worked)
Anthro Shadowsleeve Cardigan (M)
Payless Women's Chelsea Flat in Gold Glitter (9, TTS) ($17 here)
ALDO Multi-Strand Necklace (circa December 2010)
J.Crew Factory Earrings

PS:  How about that extra 50% off Anthro sale stuff??  THEY ARE KILLING ME!  Fortunately, Anthro did not begrudge me my price adjustments from the last two weeks (there were many), and my refunds paid for my new goodies.  I'm most excited about my PA on the Bold Strokes Satchel (for $65, I'll definitely keep it) and finally grabbing the gorgeous Split Pea trousers for less than $50!  (Note:  I went up to an 8 in these, but I think if I were at my normal weight the 6 might have been okay.  If you generally track me in sizing but have not put on a few December pounds, then maybe you can stick with your normal size with these.  It's a close call.)  Perhaps I will post more details later in the week...I could use your advice on the Bloomsbury Blazer.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Weekend OOTDs + Shopping

One of my favorite aspects of the weekend is the laid-back dress code.  I've become pretty comfortable dressing for the office, so it's nice to have weekends to remind myself that casual clothes can be fun, too.

Saturday:




In this Outfit:
Anthro Cissus Button Up (S) (fashion tape needed to elimate button gap-age)
Anthro Lengthening Rays Maxi (S)
Vest from Charlotte Russe circa 2004
Anthro Beaded Wink Belt (L)
Kate Spade Hang in There Glasses Pendant ("Read Between the Lines")
Crawford Boyfriend Rose Gold Watch (Geneva) ($20 here)
Anthro Taiga Oxford Boots (8.5) (I nabbed these in January for an inhuman $45, but you can still get them on sale on Amazon for $76-90.  They are lined with shearling and are so wonderful and warm!)


Sunday:




In this Outfit:
Urban Outfitters BDG Flannel Western Dress (L)
Anthro Fleece-Lined Leggings (M/L) (only $18 at Anthro, also available in gray)
Knuckle Gold Finger Ring via La Dama (dupe of this $250 YSL ring, discovered through Look 4 Less) ($25 here) (also available here for cheaper) (the "stone" fell off of this ring within its first few hours of wearing, but I re-attached it with rubber cement)
Kate Spade Hang in There Glasses Pendant ("Read Between the Lines")
Crawford Boyfriend Rose Gold Watch (Geneva) ($20 here)
Anthro Taiga Oxford Boots (8.5) (on sale on Amazon for $76-90)



Despite my Wednesday proclamation that I only bought one thing in this week's Anthro sale, of course I found myself meandering through another store and picking up a few more goodies.

This is my "excited to be in an Anthro" face.  (Purse is the Michael Kors Harness Satchel.)

Between holiday presents, a deep discount on a refurbished stand mixer, Anthro's 30% off sale, J.Crew's 30% off sale, and Banana's 40% off sale, my spending money has been totally decimated this month.  I am going to need to take a break from shopping and let my bank account replenish.  November probably was not the best time to make an ambitious student loan payment!

The purchases:



Slouched Overcoat, $50 ($35 with 30% off) here.  I think I may be slightly crazy for loving this coat in all its oversized glory.  I tried it on for my sister and asked her whether it made me look too much like a homeless person (prompting curious and slightly offended looks from several fitting room onlookers).  She responded that it looked Grandpa chic:


Perhaps.  "Chic" may not be the word I'd use to describe this coat.  Frankly, I'm aware that it's a bit hideous, but damn I do love it.




Bold Strokes Satchel, $130 ($91 with 30% off) sold out in green and yellow, available for $198 in a gorgeous cognac color.  Still debating whether to keep this awesome bag, but leaning towards yes.  The shape and color are perfect.


Blazer


So Saturated Blazer, $30 ($20 with 30% off).  I have this blazer in its previous form ("Thatch Palm Blazer"), but I bought it in a smaller size and it shrunk a bit in the wash (both literally and not literally).  I had planned to tough it out, but given the fact that I found almost the exact same blazer in a bigger size for only $20 this weekend, I figured I'd just buy it again.


Things I've Returned So Far (thanks for your advice!):


Returns


How was your weekend?  Did you finish your holiday shopping yet?  I braved a mall and the traffic coming out was unbelievable!  It took me 20 minutes to leave the parking lot!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

This must be a warning sign for SOMETHING.

The time:  5:30pm.
The place:  My office breakroom.
The protagonist:  Me, your faithful author, who has allowed herself the rest of December to be an inactive lump on a log before resuming exercise and some modicum of healthy eating.

Picture it with me:

I walk into the office breakroom to grab a can of seltzer water.  There, sitting on the counter next to a delightful-looking bowl of fresh fruit salad left over from someone's meeting, is a nearly empty serving plate.  On that plate are a few small mounds of a pillowy white substance.  There appear to be flecks of something inside.

I stare at this plate for about thirty seconds trying to decide whether I am looking at vanilla icing (eat) or mashed potatoes (pass).  Despite the fact that my visual assessment resulted in a 50-50 chance of mashed potatoes, I still try some.  (It was cannoli filling.)

...Yeah.  Maybe I should just go for a run already.

Ahhh, December with your food and your merriment!  You are the reason for New Years' resolutions!

OOTD: Holiday Party



Oh, it's times like these that I wish my boyfriend had a photography hobby and a DSLR, because none of these iphone-in-my-office-bathroom photos are really doing this dress justice.

I wore this beautiful Kate Spade dress to my law firm's holiday party on Friday.  I had a wonderful time; I am blessed to genuinely enjoy the company of my coworkers, which makes events like this a true pleasure.  Plus, as an awesome bonus, I got to meet a reader who was there as the guest of one of our attorneys!  (Hi!)

Of course, having an excuse to wear a fun dress never hurt anyone either.


Since the back of this piece is a bit too daring for the office, I added the band-aid of work attire:  a sleek black blazer. [edit:  I wore the blazer during the day and then doffed it for the party.]


How I love the sleek black blazer.  Doesn't it just seem to make everything a bit more polished and classy? Imagine if our friend Snooki would just go out in public wearing a black blazer every once in a while:


I mean, girl looks put together!  And even though she probably left this photo shoot, immediately took off the blazer and pants, and went to a club at 4pm in just the sparkly top and the neon pink thong she's probably wearing---we can just briefly live in the moment and appreciate the fact that the girl could maybe one day get a real job, and all it would take is the right blazer.

That's inspiring, ya know? The black blazer: it's a workhorse.


I'm just saying, black blazers are awesome.  And I got this one at Gabriel Brothers, in what was kind of an ill-fated trip---I drove for two hours expecting to find loads of treasures but came away with just this one piece.  However, this blazer (formerly from Urban Outfitters) was only $20, and I've probably worn it once a week since starting my job.  So perhaps it was worth the trek.

So, in sum, I loved this dress.  It was comfortable, breathable, curve-huggingly sexy (I think), flattering (I think), and was the right mix of conservative and daring.


I took a size four, although I kind of wish I would have tried my normal (Anthro) size six before committing.  The four fits like a glove, but I do sometimes like a bit more room in my garments.  This fabric is stretchy, so you could easily get away with sizing down as I did.  I was concerned that perhaps the dress was tenting a bit in the back, but I couldn't capture it in a photo and I don't think it was too distracting.

Anyway, the point is:  try this dress on in two sizes if at all possible.  One of my coworkers actually ordered this dress in the next size up, so if we ever coordinate an in-office swap/try-on session, I will update this post and let you know which fit better.
In this Outfit:
Kate Spade Dotted Magdalena Dress (4) (here - on sale!)
Silence + Noise Blazer (Urban Outfitters via Gabriel Brothers)
Anthropologie Slinking Frills Pumps (8.5) (sadly, these shoes TOTALLY slip off my feet when I wear tights, so I had to forego wearing these beauties)
Anthropologie Coalescing Necklace
Hoop and Pearl Earrings via Ideeli
Kate Spade Rose Club Melisse Purse (here)
Knuckle Gold Finger Ring via La Dama (dupe of this $250 YSL ring, discovered through Look 4 Less) ($25 here) (also available here for cheaper) (sadly, the "stone" fell off of this ring in the car on the way over to the party!  I will fix this with superglue, but it's still kind of frustrating that the piece fell apart right away.  Sigh; I guess you get what you pay for.)
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