Tuesday, May 24, 2016

I Can't Decide

About the Outfit:
Wearing dresses under skirts is a semi-popular trend in pinup world.  Because retro skirts tend to sit higher up on the waists and go to the knees (at least), it's easy to use a dress as a top with nobody being the wiser (especially if it's a body con dress).  Pinup Girl Clothing is a brand that designs all of their own prints and color schemes.  For this reason I decided to try the dress under the skirt thing using only PUG, believing the greens/pinks in my green Junebugs dress (seen on the blog before HERE) with the greens/pinks my Tiki print Jenny skirt (seen at least HERE and throughout my Instagram several times) would be complimentary...and I think the results are a success!  

I discussed in my overview of all of the releases from vintage reproduction land that I was surprised that PUG wasn't bringing back this amazing yellow tiki skirt in their genius idea of bringing back archived dresses and skirts that were beloved (#proposedpug).  This was my first PUG purchase, and I'm so glad I was able to snag it as so many women seem to be looking for this skirt on swap groups and on Instagram.  While I still believe they aren't bringing this exact skirt back yet, really good news came on Friday as it was announced that these prints in new color ways were coming this summer:
Clockwise from the top left, that's a mint version of the Tiki skirt that I am wearing (I'm so in love!!), a yellow and arguably more amazing version of the already amazing Italian landscape print (seen HERE on my blog), and a Halloween color way of the popular Harlequin prints (here's a purple color way from a blog post HERE).  The scheduled releases (again going clockwise) are for July, August, and then September.

What are your guys favorites of the new releases?  And, do you ever use dresses as tops?  If so, do you use the same brand, different styles, or how do you do it?

Style Details:
Dress- Junebug Dress in Olive from Pinup Girl Clothing (on sale!)
Brooch- Erstwilder (sold out!)
Skirt- Jenny skirt in Tiki from Pinup Girl Clothing (sold out!)
Bag- Kate Spade
Shoes- Nine West

Music Time!
For this music inspired blog post title, I decided to be a little tongue and cheek with a Scissor Sisters song, "I Can't Decide."  I figured it'd be funny and appropriate for this post as I'm wearing two staple outfit pieces...and not deciding which one I want to wear over the other as I'm wearing both...hardy har har!  I'm not the world's biggest pop/dance music fan, but I've been a fan of Scissor Sisters for around a decade now as I think they're a very interesting band for that genre of music.  Are you guys a fan?

Instagram: @laurenblair_donovan /Twitter: @hello_blair /Google Plus /Tumblr/ Blog Lovin' /ModCloth Style Gallery /YouTube Comedy Channel /greetingsfromlaurenblair@gmail.com

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Come To My Window

Thursday Announcements:
  • Blog world is status quo currently, but comedy world is back and will be in full swing for the next few weeks.  This week my partner Shannon and I (together, Just Shair) discuss some older and newer celebrity crushes.  Um, stuff gets kind of weird haha!  Feel free to watch to see if you relate to any of our crushes and laugh along with/at us!  Plus please write to us any of your crushes!  A technical difficulty actually ate part of our footage so we may eventually do a part 2 anyway :)  Also, on our site we have a silly pictorial preview of what you're in for in case you can't watch the video yet!  Next up on deck are segments on roller skating (where did that "sport" go?!), personalities you encounter during election season, and dumb song lyrics!
For those who are curious, in the video I'm wearing a Retrolicious dress and a Luxulite brooch!

All About the Outfit:
This was an impulse purchase if there ever was one!  I was on one of my "city hikes" that conveniently went around one of my favorite vintage stores in Denver.  (Boss Vintage in the Baker neighborhood, for any other Denverites reading!)  I'd never made a purchase there, because as lovely as their dresses are, they historically were kind of pricey.  But we made a detour into this store so I could at least window shop, and towards the end of combing through the rack of 70s dresses I found this beauty.  I immediately got excited, checked the sizing, and then got more excited as the measurements appeared like they would work for me.  I initially said we should come back this way if I was still thinking about this dress by the end of our walk, but instead I decided to try it on right then and there and upon it fitting I knew I needed it.  Plus, it was only $56!  Depending on your shopping habits that may not be impressive, but a flawless dress from the 70s with a very sturdy fabric (with a novelty print) is usually a bit to a lot more than that!

I've had a long time thing for 70s dresses and lately I've been on a huge maxi dress kick.  Denver can be so windy and back and forth temperature wise in the spring that I've finally resolved maxi dresses (and skirts) as my answer to keeping my style but being equipped for all weather while keeping more my feminine style.

Style Details:
Earrings- Old Navy
Dress- Vintage, Boss Vintage
Necklace- Charming Charlie
Brooch- Poison of Choice Shop
Bag- Kate Spade
Shoes- B.O.C. Born Concept via DSW

Music Time:
I'm a luke warm fan of Melissa Etheridge.  I respect her musicianship a ton and while I like a bunch of her songs, some of her other tunes don't really do it for me.  But, I like "Come To My Window" and I decided to use it for this blog post title as the scenes on my dress are stuff you'd see in an apartment (or regular home, I suppose) window.  I'm sure this is a song that everyone has heard at least once.  Happy Thursday, all!
Instagram: @laurenblair_donovan /Twitter: @hello_blair /Google Plus /Tumblr/ Blog Lovin' /ModCloth Style Gallery /YouTube Comedy Channel /greetingsfromlaurenblair@gmail.com

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Bernie Dexter Colette Dress (Red and White Polka Dot) Review!

All about the dress:
This is another Bernie Dexter Zulily purchase that I made this spring and since it's a newer style and certainly a new to me style of hers, I thought I'd review it!  This style is the Colette dress and print is officially called Red and White Polka Dot.  

I'm rarely a sucker for polka dots anymore, but not because I don't like them!  I have tons of polka dotted items and where them plenty, but I just don't really purchase any new ones anymore.  I think once you have a few dotted hues in your closet your brain goes "enough."  (At least that's what happened to me!)  This dress was different though because I loved how classic it was and the neckline really intrigued me.  There's a similar dress she released, the "The Susie" (below), and I loved it.  But the rib cage line made me a little nervous.  I wasn't sure it'd be flattering on me, especially since my rib cage slightly protrudes out around there.  AND she's put out another print or two in the Colette style, so I wanted to try out this style at a cheaper price.

The similar dress I passed, the Susie.  Same print but different cut and style.  Very lovely though!

The verdict?  I really like it!  I find the fit to be what I consider normal for Bernie Dexter (no surprises here!).  It's a higher neckline, and a somewhat unusual one, so every time I put it on for a split second I think it's too tight...but then I adjust and all is good in the world.  This is also a dress that is a full circle skirt, which is worth noting as not all Bernies are full circle skirts!  (I'm size XS for measure).  
Style Details
I kept the styling of this dress very simple.  Between the classic polka dots, red color, and interesting neckline, I consider it something of a statement piece so I didn't want to overdo it.  

Dress- Bernie Dexter via Zulily (There's no specific link to this dress from her site currently, sorry.  But her whole site is HERE).
Brooch- Erstwilder (similar and similar)
Shoes- Nine West via Amazon

Instagram: @laurenblair_donovan /Twitter: @hello_blair /Google Plus /Tumblr/ Blog Lovin' /ModCloth Style Gallery /YouTube Comedy Channel /greetingsfromlaurenblair@gmail.com

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

My First Ann Taylor Experience

I decided to break from my regularly scheduled programing (fashion posts with a music tie in) to discuss my first foray into a new (to me) brand.  It was quite the experience, so it warrants it's own format!

Why I never shopped Ann Taylor before: I could probably try to say it's not my usual style, but that would be an accidental lie as I love Banana Republic and J Crew and they're relatively similar stores, or at least attract some of the same customers.  I think we all have brands we deem "not us" and never give it a second glance.  

The awakening: You all know that I'm a novelty print whore queen.  I don't care if it's real vintage, vintage reproduction, or something from H&M...I go where the prints go!  The day after I sprained my wrist (I was in denial that it was a "real" injury and assumed it was "just sore", so I was using my wrist extensively...#smart) a snowstorm hit Denver (so lame as it's spring) so being bored I was looking at stores online.  Unique Vintage is selling an exclusive Oblong Box Shop skirt currently that has pineapples all over it.  I have not yet acquired it, and none of my blogger friends seemed to have either, so I was Google Image searching to see if anyone had reviewed it.  And then this Pineapple skirt from Ann Taylor popped up.  Whoa.  I quickly clicked the link and saw there was a sale!!  Half off various products, including this skirt!  I don't believe in fate, at all, but I opted to pretend that I did to justify making an impulse purchase.  But, it wasn't that easy...

Sophie's Choice moment: When you're at a store you've never shopped at and fall in love with an item, you try it in on in a fitting room, duh.  Online is trickier!  This is their size chart that was clickable next to the pineapple skirt:

I combed the Internet like nobody's business to find a blog post or other review that spelled out how Ann Taylor did their sizing !  It was snowing...I had the time (lame wrists be damned!).  I couldn't find any, so I had trouble picking a size for myself.  So I'm going to lay out what my dilemma was, in hopes it helps somebody now or in the future who stumbles upon this.

My sizing thoughts:  I'm a 25-26 inch waist.  Maybe a smidge more or less, depending on meals and if I'm running a lot, but if I ever say I'm 25 inches or 26 inches I'm being accurate and truthful one way or the other.  According to their size chart, I should have ordered a size 2 or 4.  I didn't know what to do.  To compare, in Pinup Girl Clothing, I am a small in their skirts and unless otherwise noted, their skirts tend to be for 26-27 waists in smalls and they fit me perfectly.  But perhaps more similarly, I'm a 0 or even 00 in J Crew and Banana Republic, and Ann Taylor struck me as being cut from the same cloth brand sizing wise.  If that chart was accurate and I went for the zero, it would be snug but not unbearable.   (I own smaller waisted items, though it's not something I highly recommend.)  That said, though I intend to wear a lot of crop tops with this bad boy over the summer, the tighter it is the less room there is to tuck in other kinds of non-crop top shirts.  But I didn't want to accidentally go too large either.  What was I to do?!  

I texted a few people who may have known their sizing and I got vague answers like it is "vanity sizing" or I'll be "fine" if I got with what I would usually go with.  But without knowing actual measurements, it was still kind of tricky.  I took to Instagram and found a blogger who had already modeled this skirt and asked if it ran "true to size."  She was nice enough to respond, "Yes!"  But even then I realized what a vague question I asked as I didn't wanna be rude and ask her size/waist measurements.

Ultimately I went with the 2, as it was listed at below the fullest capacity of my sometimes waist but was in the right neighborhood.  I figured it should fit, one way or the other, with vanity sizing or not.  They couldn't be off more than an inch, right?  Sounds logical enough, no?

Moment of Truth!  The UPS man gave me my package, not unlike Santa, and I'll admit that I was a little nervous.  Would it fit?  If not, what is the return process like and could I exchange it for the sale price?  Oh, the woes of shopping with a new brand!  I opened it up and my eyes immediately told my brain it was probably too big but to try it on anyway just in case.  Well, I was not only swimming in it, but here is the measurement I took of it just so I had proof at how off the size chart was:

This is roughly the listed measurements for their sizes 8 or 10!  I get that vanity sizing is a thing, but I guess it confuses me because I'm generally the same size in most stores/brands, whether they're known for vanity sizing or not.  The size I got my skirt in seemed ridiculous, at least in a cold hard numbers way.  It had to be exchanged.

Brick and Mortar pilgrimage.  I'm no stranger to returning clothes I bought online via mail, but if there's the option of doing it in person I will.  Plus, an exchange is quicker that way.  So I trucked on down to a mall and nervously went to their Ann Taylor store.  For some reason I had it in my head that like, the employees would be scary and snobby.  I have no idea where this odd preconceived notion came from, but for some reason that's what I thought!  And of course, I was probably having my least fashionable day of 2016 in that I was wearing skinny jeans, rain boots, and a striped hoodie that I've had for a decade.  Meh, it was going to snow again and I had just come from my mechanic.  Plus my wrist was still bad and I was taking care of a sick dog...so I was in "give up mode" all around. BUT my point with this tangent is that (and maybe you other fashionistas will agree) when in an actual store being dressed up, the clothes you're wearing can lend itself to a cheery conversation that's more natural and bonding than say, shopping in your gym clothes.  Plus if the conversation leads to the fact that I am a fashion blogger, I assume I'm to be taken a little bit seriously in that I know what I'm talking about with my clothes?

ANYWAY, I couldn't read either or the cashiers as I was in line and finally it was my turn.  Luckily the woman was SUPER nice, jovial, and beyond helpful. (I felt silly for thinking Ann Taylor employees wouldn't be!)  She immediately understood my dilemma (I didn't need to pull out the above screen shots of how the size chart lied to me) and even immediately said she could tell I probably wasn't a 2 just looking at me because we were similarly built.  The bad news was that they were out of my needed size, a 0, in this store.  But she called the next store over, and luckily they had one and put it on hold for me.  I immediately jogged up the highway to get it, tried it on before exchanging, and breathed a sigh of relief.  It fit!  It's a tiny bit looser, but not in a noticeable way at all.  AND I was able to exchange it for the sale price, so that too was a relief.  

Final Ann Taylor Thoughts...  I do like this brand now, quality wise, now that I know how to navigate it.  Upon any other non-in person purchases, I'd probably go straight for a zero with more confidence that it's the correct size.  The brand itself is not 100% my style, but it appears to have both some staple pieces and fun pieces that are worth checking out.  I'm happily subscribed to their email list, so I imagine something will catch my eye and heart again.

AND, since the purchase and exchange, they've added a feature on the site to find "Your True Fit."  You plug in a store that you shop at, with your size and info and it prompts you to which size you'll likely be.  I plugged in Banana Republic and all it's related intel as it pertains to me, and the size for this skirt that was suggested was a 0, which is the skirt I walked away with.  Seems like an accurate system they have implemented!  Phew!

Other Outfit Deails:
Tank-Forever 21
Bag- Kate Spade 
Shoes- Ralph Lauren via DSW
Instagram: @laurenblair_donovan /Twitter: @hello_blair /Google Plus /Tumblr/ Blog Lovin' /ModCloth Style Gallery /YouTube Comedy Channel /greetingsfromlaurenblair@gmail.com

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

I'll Be Doggone

All About the Dress:
A newspaper dress all about fictitious dog stories?  Yes, please!  It's like that famous Sex and the City dress that Carrie Bradshaw donned, but for quirky girls like me, haha.  (I'm going to sound like a liar because from this angle the sky doesn't look bad, but it started raining on me about 8 frames in and I couldn't get a close-up.  Damn those scattered rain storms!)  This has been on ModCloth for probably as long as I've been a shopper there and it went on sale last week...and about a second after it went on sale I purchased it!  (I'm a size small for measure).  It arrived today and I couldn't wait to try it out and photograph it :)

Outfit Details:
I kept the color scheme relatively in line this time around with black and white with red, but did pops of color in the shoes and brought out the blue from the shoes in the brooch.

Brooch- Luxulite
Belt- H&M
Bag- Melie Bianco via DSW
Shoes- Nine West via Amazon

Music Time!
As a huge Motown fan, I'm excited to use this Marvin Gaye song, "I'll Be Doggone" as this blog post title.  It's not as remembered as his other songs, but it's really quite catchy so have a listen!

Instagram: @laurenblair_donovan /Twitter: @hello_blair /Google Plus /Tumblr/ Blog Lovin' /ModCloth Style Gallery /YouTube Comedy Channel /greetingsfromlaurenblair@gmail.com

Monday, May 9, 2016


All About the Outfit!
Look at me, again in shorts!  Haha.  I do wear non-dress/skirt stuff but it rarely makes it's way to the blog.  These shorts have zebras all over it (sorry for lack of better detailed pics!  This shoot was something along the lines of a "comedy of errors") and I'm a sucker for anything safari themed.  Because the zebras embroidered onto the shorts are small, it was easy to mix prints with a striped shirt and actual zebra striped shoes!  I like shorts this time of year with long sleeves because you can still keep warm but flirt with the weather getting warmer.

Style Details:
Necklace- Punky Pins
Shirt- Gap
Brooch- Erstwilder
Shorts- J Crew via Poshmark
Shoes- Ralph Lauren via Marshalls

Motivational Mondays:
Remember, things ebb and flow in life.  Sometimes we really do go through sucky patches.  But often times things turn a corner, whether it's subtle or whether it's overnight.  Try to be mindful of that when things aren't going your way!

Music Time!
Wahoo!  I get to talk about The Breeders again!  (I've been on a major Breeders kick this spring!) I think they're the most underrated band of the 90s, in regards to nostalgia factor and what people immediately remember upon thinking about the 90s.  Here's a song of theirs, appropriately called "Safari" for my zebra themed outfit.  It really shows off the beauty of Kim Deal's vocals, so it's a worth a listen if you haven't heard it!  Happy Monday everyone!

Instagram: @laurenblair_donovan /Twitter: @hello_blair /Google Plus /Tumblr/ Blog Lovin' /ModCloth Style Gallery /YouTube Comedy Channel /greetingsfromlaurenblair@gmail.com

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Rainbow Store

All About the Outfit: 
How amazing is this dress?  It's from ModCloth's house brand and it debuted a month or two ago (I talked about it, and all other things amazing in the retro reproduction world HERE a short while back).  There's something so classic, timeless, fun, and ladylike all at once with this dress that I knew it had to be mine.  What I extra love about it is that while it's rainbow striped, the colors are slightly off from a typical ROYGBIV color scheme.  The red is really pink, there's both navy and pewter blues in it as opposed to a standard royal blue, and so forth.  Color me in love!  (See what I did there?)

Outfit Details:
Dress- ModCloth
Shoes- Bamboo via ModCloth
Necklace- Punky Pins (Sold Out)

Music Time!
New York Dolls!  New York Dolls!  They're one of my all-time favorite bands and I have yet to use them for a blog post.  Since they're not a mega household name they basically pre-dated all things punk and glam rock/metal and are the grandfathers of those genres of sorts.  (Everyone from the Ramones to Guns n Roses were influenced by them).  To me, they're a band that is genuinely rock and roll and not a cliche, for they sort of became the prototype to what most other rock bands would aspire to be in a cliche way.  Their music is more pure than any modern rock band I see "trying to rock," if that makes sense.  Anyway, I found about about them a little over a decade ago and just kind of perked up and became obsessed haha.  Here's a song from them, appropriate for this blog post, called, "Rainbow Store."