Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Spring has Sprung

Here in Chicago we're in the middle of a 3 day run of sunny, 60 degree days.  It's impossible not to feel hopeful that spring may finally be arriving, even if we do have snow in the forecast later in the week.  I'm working from home today, and was just visited by UPS.  I'm pretty sure I must have an online shopping problem when the UPS guy just noticed my haircut.  Anyway, I decided to refresh some of my spring essential items, since they're all pretty worn out.

First, I ordered myself a new, darker wash jean jacket.  My jean jacket was one of the first things I bought when I moved to Chicago nearly 6 years ago, and I've had the same one since.  At 23, my only sense of "style" was pairing pants or a cute, casual skirt with a t-shirt and my jean jacket.  For a few seasons, I wore it to work a couple days a week and constantly on weekends, so it's pretty beat up and faded and, embarrassingly, just a touch too snug these days.  Here it is in action in 2005, and if it looks that worn then, just imagine how it looks 5 years later:
Given that it's been a staple in my wardrobe for years, I probably should have thought about whether or not jean jackets are still "in" these days before ordering.  I like having one and usually feel pretty comfortable in it, and that typically trumps trends in my book.  But seriously, are jean jackets still okay?

The other piece that was very overdue for an upgrade is a denim skirt.  I've had denim skirts in the past that were too short (well, too short for me and the legs that I love to hide) or just didn't fit right.  But I finally found the right denim pencil skirt.  It fits like a dream, and since I ordered it in a tall, it's definitely not too short.  In fact, I think it could stand to lose maybe an inch or so to fall right at the knee.  This isn't the cute, trendy jean skirt that I would've wanted in my teens and early 20's - it's a skirt that's made for a woman and is perfect for work and play.  I was so excited to finally have a great denim skirt that I played around with a few different outfits.  This is, by far, my favorite.

My first attempt at self-portraits
What a difference a belt makes!

The first picture is the outfit I actually chose, and the second is how I would've typically put this together.  But as I was getting dressed, I thought what would women who are more fashionable than I am do?  So I tried tucking in the blouse and belting the skirt with some pretty great results.  I have a tummy, so I was worried that this would just accentuate it, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that it does the exact opposite and actually makes me appear thinner.  What a revelation!  The top picture also looks a lot more put together (the bottom picture being just a little frumpy) and perfect for a casual Friday at the office (which is, of course, everyday at my office).  And now, with a couple of really easy and inexpensive purchases, I feel pretty confident and ready for spring.

Skirt:, $25
Blouse: Loft, $30
Sweater: New York & Company, $30
Belt: Target, $12
Shoes: Target, $10


  1. Jean jackets are SO in right now! At least to me :D

    I love that you tucked it in and belted it too! Now we can see your great curves! ;) I'm also on the look-out for a great denim pencils kirt. I'll have to check out Old Navy now.

    Enter to win a women's Orient watch!

  2. Yes, demin jackets are totally in. Demin everything is big this season. So say the fashion experts that I read on blogs (because I won't pay for my fashion advice anymore). I think I need your Old skirt. My H&M skirt gaps on the waist and it blows. You look so cute in your "casual Friday" outfit. Go belts!

  3. P.S. I love that the UPS remembers you. The nice shipping and receiving guy at work is now leaving me voice mail messages and stopping me in the halls to ask about my Ebay'd shoes. SO EMBARRASSING!

  4. Yay for denim jackets then! (Elaine, I see one twice on your blog this week alone - guess I could've done some research on that!)

    I have a bad H&M denim skirt too! Old Navy's denim skirts in the past have been mini-skirts, so I was pretty excited to finally see a pencil skirt. And quality-wise, it looks a lot nicer than ON!

    The UPS guy doesn't go so far as to ask about my purchases, but there is something to be said for consistency.

  5. Nice! Another option is to keep the top untucked and wear a skinny belt over it. It could be over or under the with it and see if you like that!

  6. You look fab in these pictures. And I concur with one and all on the denim jacket and its in-ness. As far as I'm concerned denim jackets are a wardrobe staple and do not go out of style; this is how I justify owning two, one overdyed and one like your erstwhile Chicago staple (both Value Village-ed). I especially like them as outdoor wear with a more formal look, like dress pants and a blouse and an excellent scarf. Never with jeans in order to avoid the denim leisure suit effect.

    But enough about me, that skirt looks great and I am dreaming of your blouse. I'm also very impressed with your mad self-portrait skillz. Enviable.

  7. Nice! Another option is to keep the top untucked and wear a skinny belt over it. It could be over or under the with it and see if you like that!