Thursday, April 28, 2011

Bombshell Roundup

While breezing through my Google Reader today, I've come across so many outfits that I absolutely love/want/adore/must replicate on my own. Who's inspiring you today?

Fab Finds Under $50's Kimberly looks radiant today. She's started taking pictures outside lately which is really showcasing how pretty she is. And I love the color of her dress.

Frocks and Frou Frou's Lilli looks curvy and gorgeous in her wine-colored peplum top. What a great shape that particular style creates.

Saks in the City looks so lovely in this nude/blush top. And I've always avoided tops cut in that particular style...but it looks great on her. Now I'm rethinking...

I need Tina of T Minus, T Plus to show me how she did her hair. How chic and pretty!

Spoils of Wear's Jill got a major haircut, that is majorly cute!

I rarely like colored tights. But when Minn Chic's Becky does it, I always think she looks fantastic.

I could absolutely kiss Alissa from Stylish Curves for letting me know about a new fabulous resource for shoes in sizes 11+.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Everyday Bombshell

Guess what, you guys? I found a maxi dress that, on my 6' frame, is ACTUALLY a maxi. As in, it reaches my toes. It even hits my ankles in sandals - thank you, City Chic!



This is a dress I can't wait to wear on a patio, with sunshine and a margarita to accessorize the look. I broke it out today (44 degrees and pouring rain) because the tropical floral print made me feel optimistic for sunny days to come. Paired with a white short-sleeved jacket, it fit in perfectly to the creative-corporate office in which I work. But...come on sunshine!

The Outfit:
Passion Flower Maxi dress- c/o City Chic
White Tuxedo Jacket- c/o City Chic
Black sandals- Jessica London
Mixed metal necklace- c/o Lane Bryant
Hammered metal bracelet- Lia Sophia

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Inspired Style: Kate Spade

I love all things Kate Spade. And I would love the brand even more if I could actually wear the clothes. Alas, they stop at a (very small) 14; even their shoes are too small for my feet. So I look at Kate Spade for inspiration (colors, prints, cuts and styles of clothes)that I then translate into pieces that are available in my size. Here's a Kate-inspired outfit that I love right now:



And the plus size version:


To mimic the embroidered detail along the neckline of the original tank, I'd add this crochet necklace to my outfit:



Plus Outfit Details:
Kenneth Cole Drape Neck Tank
Old Navy White Denim Flared Jeans
DKNY Jeans Rolled Trim Cardigan
White Rosettes Crochet Necklace
Annie Sunup sandal in Fucshia

Photo credit: KateSpade.com; Nordstrom.com; OldNavy.com; Moma.com; DesignerShoes.com; Sonsi.com

Everyday Bombshell

This is one of those outfits that I really liked when I walked out the door in the morning, but I couldn't wait to take off once I got home. I've worn the dress several times before and hadn't noticed a serious wrinkle issue. But today, at work, it was bad. Luckily, you'll get see the pre-wrinkle version:



I've been experimenting with ways to keep my bangs out of my face as they grow out. I felt very "Rachel from Friends" with my little barrette.

The Outfit:
Gray military-inspired dress- DKNY for Lane Bryant
Necklace- Lia Sophia
Barrette- Goody
Purple snakeskin slingbacks- Jessica London

Monday, April 25, 2011

Everyday Bombshell

This weekend, Dan and I were lucky enough to go out on date night - with my family! My parents, brother & sister-in-law and their kids came to St. Paul to celebrate Easter with us. The night before, all the grown ups went out for dinner and wine. I wore a new tribal-print dress that arrived from Forever21+ late last week. Perfect timing! I accessorized with tribal-inspired pieces like a faux-croc bag and hammered metal jewelry.





The Outfit:

Tribal cotton dress- Forever21+
Jeweled belt- Gap Outlet
Leggings- Lane Bryant
Hoop earrings- Lia Sophia
Gold bangle- Lia Sophia
Purple snakeskin heels- Jessica London
Faux croco bag- c/o Lane Bryant

Friday, April 22, 2011

Shhh - Earth Day Give Away

UPDATE: Thanks for all the entries; you guys have some great ideas for how to make the Earth a better place. I've contacted the winners - congratulations!


What better way to celebrate Earth Day than to give away a beauty product that is as eco-friendly as it is luxurious? The Shhh. 3-in1 beauty bar can be used to shampoo, shower and shave. The product was developed by Becky Sturm, one of the Twin Cities' premiere experts in natural beauty. Shhh. is free of synthetics, preservatives, artificial fragrance and coloring. All packaging is 100% compostable and recyclable; and end-to-end, this product and its packaging are committed to sustainability.



Dan and I have been using the bar for the past week, and we both really like it. The scent is clean, a by-product of the all natural ingredient list which is short and pronounceable: saponified oils of olive, castor seed, coconut, palm, kukui nut, sweet almond, jojoba, cocoa butter and a signature blend created exclusively for this bar (something lemony? Because I smell just a touch of fresh lemon...). The blend of oils renders a nice lather that feels moisturizing; using the bar as a shampoo felt strange at first (hey, I'm used to squeezing a glob out of a bottle) but the results were very similar to classic shampoo. I noticed that my hair seemed more voluminous. Try this bar. It's good for you, good for the environment, and good for your beauty stash.

Click over to ThreeWayBeauty.com to buy a bar right this very second, or leave a comment telling me one thing you're doing to make the Earth a better place (by recycling, swapping out synthetic products for natural versions, etc). Two Bombshell Beauties will be chosen to receive their very own bar of Shhh. Enter between now and midnight (CST) tonight.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Everyday Bombshell

With a late April snow on the ground, I was unwilling to jump back to winter completely. So I compromised by pairing a spring-weight dress with leggings.





This is the Margeaux dress by LucieLu. I met Lucie last weekend at a trunk show she staged at Bombshell Boutique here in St. Paul. I stepped inside the shop, Lucie and I introduced ourselves to one another and proceeded to chat in a corner for 45 minutes. She's twice as delightful as her clothes (which you are well aware -I think they're pretty darn delightful).

Lucie had several pieces from her newest collection available - the overall vibe of which was very soft and romantic. Perfect for the coming months! Here are a few of her latest arrivals:





The Outfit:
Margeaux dress- c/o LucieLu
Leggings- Lane Bryant
Necklace- gift from Kara
Hoop earrings- Lia Sophia
Embellished flats- Avenue

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Everyday Bombshell

I felt very "Mad Men" today- if only my typing skills were up to par, I could join the secretary pool. Alas, I only type about 50 WPM.



I know a lot of you (us) have been discovering City Chic lately, thanks to the massive sales they've been running over the past several weeks. I've Tweeted with a few of you who were wondering if the price point was worth the quality of what one would receive from City Chic. I've said it before, I'll say it again- yes. Especially with free shipping and free returns (seriously, I LOVE that).

This outfit is a perfect example of how quality and versatility justify a couple extra bucks. This is the very same dress I wore on date night with my husband, then again to the MN Opera last week. I wore this outfit to work today - so case in point: one dress, three outfits in three very different situations.

The Outfit:
Spliced Stripe Dress- c/o City Chic
Florista cardigan - c/o Sealed with a Kiss
Jeweled belt- Gap Outlet
Cameo necklace- Grandma Ruth's
Black mary jane heels- Payless

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Everyday Bombshell

Good lord, is that scab on my knee every going to disappear?? It's been...6 weeks? Something ridiculous like that.





I'm getting a lot more wear out of my blue open vest. I thought it would be a fun piece that I'd incorporate into casual outfits once in a while. But this is the second fun work-look that it's been part of. Guess I've learned not to underestimate a fun trendy piece!


The Outfit:

Navy & white striped dress- Gap Outlet
Blue open vest- c/o Sealed with a Kiss
Brown belt- Gap Outlet
Chocolate pearl necklace- Arthur's Jewelers
Snakeskin print shoes- Designershoes.com
Beaded bracelet trio- Red Envelope

Monday, April 18, 2011

Easter Options

I'm celebrating Easter with my family this weekend. My parents will be coming in from Des Moines, while my brother and his family will come in from Chicago. I love hosting my family for holidays because it means I get to fulfill all the Martha Stewart fantasies that I harbor the rest of the year. The crafting of daffodil candy cups is in my near future.



Just as fun as planning for the holiday is planning an outfit. Here are two outfits that are inspiring me this Easter. One option is dressy while the second is more casual.





Lace is such a pretty, feminine fabric - and even more so in this pale lilac color. When playing with two really girly elements like lace and lilac, I like to ground the outfit with sturdy (almost masculine) accessories like the cognac brown belt and shoes. A long necklace helps draw the eye down from the top of the dress to the toes of the shoes.





This pretty beige top adorned with a ring of flowers is so springy and pretty. I like the idea of letting the soft, pale colors in the top stand out by pairing it with shades of navy blue. A "pop of color" doesn't always have to be bright one. Sometimes, a subtle shade can be the perfect pop.

Photo credit: MarthaStewart.com

Friday, April 15, 2011

MN Opera Event: Wuthering Heights

Last night, Dan and I put on cute outfits and walked a few blocks up the street to attend the very first Blogger Preview Night of a production by the Minnesota Opera. Wuthering Heights opens on April 16th and will run 5 shows over the course of one week. It's only the second time this particular show has been produced since its debut in 1982. The score was penned by the legendary Hollywood composer, Bernard Hermann - he composed almost every score for classic Alfred Hitchcock movies like Vertigo, Psycho & North by Northwest.


I wore my black City Chic dress with the striped bodice, a denim blazer, and my pink jewel encrusted flats - yep, essentially the same thing I wore to the Shhh.launch party. By switching out the dress and styling the accent pieces a little differently...I had on a whole different outfit.

The first stop of the night was at our favorite sushi restaurant, Sakura, for cocktails, sushi and mingling with fellow bloggers. That was especially fun because the group was kind of a mixed bag of Twin Cities bloggers- fashion, lifestyle, topical and more. Dan and I sat down with Heidi Schatz and the the object of her blog, My Boyfriend is Only Sort of Annoying - they were very funny and even more so after reading a few of her blog posts. And I met Jill from Spoils of Wear- we didn't get to chat nearly enough but it was nice to make that connection.


Jill, Lori (Jill's friend), Heidi, and me in the lobby at The Ordway Center.

The Minnesota Opera
is a company known for its innovative, accessible approach to operatic productions. Indeed, the shows' Maestro, Michael Christie, joined us at Sakura to tell us about the show we were about to see. He answered questions, and talked about the complex stage set comprised of scrims and projected graphic imagery. Wuthering Heights is, quite possibly, one of the most iconic stories of two lovers who just can't quite get it together in time to actually share a happy life together. It's moody and emotionally violent, both of which were captured perfectly by the combined use of the musical score and the set.



If you'd like to see Wuthering Heights, you can get ticket and show information at www.mnopera.org.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Everyday Bombshell/Review of Lovedrobe

I'm combining today's outfit with a review of a top that I received from Lovedrobe to review for you guys- because it's really and truly something I would wear every day. I told you about Lovedrobe several weeks ago - they're a UK-based plus size line sold online, at Evans and Style369. I like the aesthetic of their clothes because they're tailored, with unique details that are so feminine. The tunic I received did not disappoint (whew!):



I'm wearing the Butterfly Print Dress, a piece that might actually be a dress on someone a little more petite (or daring) than I. It's a really comfortable, cute tunic that is an absolute no-brainer over leggings or fitted jeans; and it looks good tucked into a high-waisted skirt too. Favorite details include the puff sleeves, inner lining, and a lace back panel:



The lace panel is cut low, so the back of my bra shows - not a problem for going out on the weekend, but I'm wearing a tank top underneath so it's work appropriate.



Butterfly prints are a trend you'll see this spring and summer, but the pattern on this tunic is simple enough that I know I'll wear this beyond just the trend.

The Outfit
Butterfly Dress (tunic): c/o Lovedrobe
Leggings - Lane Bryant
Purple belt- Merona brand, Target
Purple heels- Jessica London
Gold hoop earrings - Lia Sophia
Rose cocktail ring- Lane Bryant
Amethyst necklace- Grandma Kappy's

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Everyday Bombshell

Today is the first in several that I've been up and dressed - I was attacked by a nasty virus this weekend. This meant that I stayed home from work and wore pajamas for two days...so in getting dressed for work today, they key requirement was that my outfit feel as much like pajamas as possible. Mission accomplished.



The Outfit:
Cream cardigan - Gap
Black dress - Alfani
Leggings - Lane Bryant
Jewel-encrusted flats - Avenue
Close to Your Heart Necklace with Red Envelope "Wishes Come True Ring"

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

LucieLu Trunk Show

My love of all things LucieLu is well documented on this blog. So you can only imagine how excited I am that the brand is putting on a trunk show at Bombshell Boutique this Saturday. LucieLu is one of the more affordable brands carried at Bombshell, and the latest offerings will be shown and feted with cocktails and the ability to pre-order new items from the line. I will SO be there, cash in hand.

In the meantime, here are six of my favorite pieces from the current collection. I really appreciate the easy dresses LucieLu is known for- perfect for dressing up at work or dressing down for play.



Monday, April 11, 2011

MN Fashion Week

It's Fashion Week here in Minnesota. While not as renowned as fashion week in other cities like New York or Paris, it's still a great week that speaks to the vibrant fashion scene in the Twin Cities. We have a lot of fantastic independent fashion designers here in Minnesota and it's so inspiring to see them put their work on display during a variety of runway shows and other fashion events.

To celebrate the spirit of fashion week in MN, I've compiled a list of my favorite places to shop. We have so many superb options for finding plus size clothes, gorgeous accessories and beauty products.


Short Sleeve Denim Dress, from Lane Bryant

Lane Bryant - Woodbury Location
8362 Tamarack Village #106
Woodbury, MN 55125


The Woodbury location of Lane Bryant is found in one corner a pretty nice strip mall. It's easy to park, to get in an out of the shopping complex (which cannot be said for many other LB sites in the cities!), and the layout of this particular store is fantastic. It's large and open, balanced equally with a nice clearance section and racks stocked with the newest styles. And the Sales Associates are really nice; attentive but not overbearing.


Bombshell Boutique

794 Grand Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55105


Not affiliated with this blog (which is a common mistake people make), Bombshell Boutique is a fabulous spot along the historic boutique section of Grand Avenue. Carrying such designer plus size labels as Igigi, Kiyonna, INES, Anna Scholz, Monif C, and Jibri, as well as Wisconsin's own LucieLu, the clothes on the racks of Bombshell are well edited. It makes the experience of going into the boutique, browsing, and trying on beautiful clothes as satisfying as it is stylish.

Nordstrom Rack
324 West Marketplace
Bloomington, MN 55425


Mall of America's Nordstrom Rack has a great plus size selection of casual separates (the dress collection can be a little spare, though). And the shoe selection is amazing, especially for those of us with feet size 12+. Designer labels + plus sizes + discount prices= love!

3 Kitten Needles
750 Main Street
Mendota Heights, MN 55118

This cozy shop, set in the up and coming Village section of Mendota Heights, is a knitters dream. With scores of yarns in every weight and color you can imagine, it's fun to come in and browse or bring a project and work on it with fellow knitters. The staff warms up to newcomers, though I did have to make the first move to get to know anyone; and they offer classes for knitters at various levels.


Thymes' Mandarin Coriander Collection, available at Garden of Eden

Garden of Eden
867 Grand Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55105

I spend a lot of hours sniffing bottles of hand lotion, bars of soap, and essential oils in this beauty boutique. The shop carries brands like Thymes, Kiehl's, Mistral Soaps, Crab Tree & Evelyn, Alba, and Garden of Eden's own house label. The sales clerks can help you find a beauty product for whatever particular condition you need (extra moisturizing, organic, sensitive skin). And they'll whip up your own custom blend of shower gel, lotion, massage oils or (my favorite) exfoliating scrub.


Matte Gold Earrings, from Fringe


Fringe

1055 Grand Avenue St. Paul, MN 55105

For on-trend, unique accessories at unbelievably low prices, I always head to Fringe. There are two locations for this store (the other is in the 50th and France neighborhood), but I'm partial to the one on Grand Avenue. Bracelets, earrings, necklaces, and purses - you'll find the perfect accent to any outfit here.

Paper Patisserie
366 Selby Avenue
St. Paul, MN


Last but not least, my all time favorite stationery store. Whether I'm looking for fine, heavy weight papers or a set of colorful notecards, I usually find two or three sets that have to come home with me. Journals, unique greeting cards, wrapping paper, party invitations...it's a paper-lovers' dream set in one of St. Paul's most historic neighborhoods.

These are my favorites- if you're a local reader, which retailers would you add to the list?

Everyday Bombshell- Sunday Style Edition

A lot of you think I never dress casually - so not the case! Here's what I wore on Sunday, which was a great day of shooting outfits for a new fun project (more to come); blogging and lunching at The Bulldog; then a quick trip up to the library to pick up a few books I had on hold.



I've been living in the Sealed with a Kiss Essential Short Skirt since receiving it last week. I put it on my lust list...and was so right in thinking it would be perfect for work and weekend outfits.



My other weekend essential (thanks to my shorter hair) - pigtails! I'm really excited about the return of pigtails. Yep, I'm 31 - nope, I don't think I'm too old for this hairstyle.

The Outfit:
Pearl earrings- York Jewelryhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif
Black boyfriend tee - Merona, from Target
Essential short skirt- c/o Sealed with a Kiss
Black strappy sandals- Jessica London
Close 2 Your Heart Necklace w/ pearl ring- Necklace and barrog: Close2YourHeart.com; Pearl ring: York Jewelry
Green purse- Franco Sarto