Tiled Patterns

Patterns! I like ’em.

Patterns on patterns on tiles. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman)

Patterns on patterns on tiles. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman)

I have a special fondness for tiles, too. And this building had some particularly lovely ones. Can you believe this is a public middle school?!?

Posing outside Everett Middle School. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman)

Posing outside Everett Middle School. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman)

Pat and I were heading home from the Mission-Dolores area and happened across this beautiful building – Everett Middle School. Perhaps I risked pattern overload, with my geometric-print dress and black & white chevron shoes, but it seemed too good of a photo op to pass up. (Even if I only had a cell phone camera available – alas!)

(Photo by Pat Zimmerman)

(Photo by Pat Zimmerman)

Dress: Sugar Cubed Dress, Leota via ModCloth
Cardigan: The Dream of the Crop Cardigan in Black, Mak via ModCloth
Purse: Cole Haan
Shoes: High Hopes Wedge in Chevron, Seychelles via ModCloth

[Photos by Pat Zimmerman]

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Can’t Hardly Wait to Take the Wine Train!

So I mentioned in an earlier post that I recently celebrated my 3 year anniversary at ModCloth – and I had the honor of having a dress named after me! It incorporates a few of my absolutely favorite things . . .

Wearing my namesake 'Can't Hardly Kate Dress'. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Wearing my namesake “Can’t Hardly Kate Dress”. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

    • Mid-century vintage style? Check!
    • Colorful? Check!
    • With lots of yellow? Check!
    • Illustrating one of my favorite cities? Check!
Detail of the skirt. I absolutely adore this 19th century New Orleans French Quarter scene! (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Detail of the skirt. I absolutely adore this 19th century New Orleans French Quarter scene! (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

    • With pockets? . . .
Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

    • YES! POCKETS! Check and CHECK!

Of course, a dress this wondrous can’t be debuted just any old place. Which is why, as eager as I was to wear it out the moment it arrived, I waited until the day Pat & I headed up to Napa and took an evening ride on the Napa Valley Wine Train.

All aboard the Wine Train! (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

All aboard the Napa Wine Train! (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

I mean, clearly the Wine Train was the place to wear this dress – it matched & everything!

About to embark on a sunset dinner on the Napa Valley Wine Train. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

About to embark on a sunset dinner on the Wine Train. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

. . . but besides that, I would recommend taking a ride on the Wine Train if you have the chance. It’s a really pleasant way to spend the afternoon (over lunch) or evening (over dinner), traveling through Napa Valley. I hadn’t thought to try the train out before (this trip was inspired by a gift certificate from Pat’s parents), but I hope to go again! Not only is the view fabulous, but the food is quite good! (Though if you do plan on taking the evening train, I recommend checking out sunset times and make sure to schedule your trip during a part of the year when you can catch the sunset.)

And as you might expect on something called the “Wine Train”, there’s a good selection of local wines, which always makes me happy!

Enjoying my time on the Wine Train! (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Enjoying my time on the Wine Train! (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Dress: Can’t Hardly Kate Dress, Trashy Diva via ModCloth
Necklace: Coro, vintage
Belt: Calderon, thrifted
Bracelet: Victorian mourning bracelet
Shoes: Hot for Hemlock Heel in Crimson, Chelsea Crew via ModCloth
Purse: Cole Haan Valise Archer leather satchel via Rue La La

[All photos by Pat Zimmerman]

Style Challenge: Ladylike

Every so often, Meghan of Voilà! posts a style challenge. This Friday, the challenge was “ladylike”. Clearly a stretch for me, since I never wear ladylike clothes! ;)

I’ve been itching to wear this Bettie Page dress ever since it arrived in the mail last week, and decided it would work for today’s challenge.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

The dress might look a little familiar, because it’s the same pattern as another Bettie Page dress I previously posted about. I just loved the silhouette so much that I couldn’t resist buying the new colorway!

Anyway, to play up the ladylike theme, I paired it with black pearls and a pashmina (layers are pretty much always necessary in San Francisco).

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

And I added black patent leather heels… then posed in front of a mural. Nothing says “ladylike” like street art! Don’t you think?

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Dress: Sense of Tasteful Dress by Bettie Page, via ModCloth
Shawl: pashmina via Nordstrom
Necklace: black pearls (a gift from my husband)
Bracelet: vintage art deco silver bracelet (a gift from my husband)
Purse: Cole Haan Valise Archer leather satchel via Rue La La
Shoes: Giuseppe Zanotti via The Outnet

[All photos by Pat Zimmerman]

Check out the rest of the style challenge crew this week, and join us or follow along on Twitter: #stylechallenge :)
Meghan of Voilà!
Kellen of And So It Goes
Angie of The Hotness Your Momma Warned You About

A Lovely Valentine’s

This morning I was greeted with a sweet start to Valentine’s Day. My husband, Pat, made me a cappuccino — with a heart.

Cappuccino, with love

Cappuccino, with love

After work, I came home to some lovely roses, and Pat and I had cocktails. I whipped up a new cocktail recipe that was absolutely delicious — if I do say so myself. :) I’ve decided to call it the Briar Rose.

The Briar Rose, a cocktail by kate à la mode

The Briar Rose, a cocktail by kate à la mode

Briar Rose
2 tbsp honey syrup
1 tsp berry jam
2 oz vodka
3/4 oz crème de cassis
1/2 oz rose-water
1 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice

To make the honey syrup, mix 1 part honey with 1 part hot water; stir until blended.
Mix berry jam into honey syrup until smooth (if necessary, heat briefly — about 10 seconds in the microwave).
Pour all ingredients into a shaker with ice. Shake thoroughly and strain into an Old Fashioned glass filled with ice.

After cocktails, we headed out to Fringale for dinner, where we had a scrumptious dinner.

And the best part? I got to take some balloons home!

Les ballons. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Les ballons. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Okay, maybe not the best part — the food was awfully good — but certainly a fun way to wrap up the evening. I asked the waiter if I could take a balloon home, and he gave me a whole bunch. Win!

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

I hope you had a lovely Valentine’s too!

Dress: Most Memorable Dress, Stop Staring via ModCloth
Shoes: Hot for Hemlock Heel in Crimson, Chelsea Crew via ModCloth
Coat: Burberry
Purse: Cole Haan

Scarlet and Sky

One of my favorite color combos is vivid red and light blue. So in celebration of a gorgeous, warm San Francisco day, I threw together a fun outfit featuring that combo — but to be honest, I wasn’t planning on taking outfit photos.

Until I ended up with this fantastic hairpiece that just happened to match.

Outfit and hairpiece.

I won it at the ModCloth Post Holiday Party, in a silent auction benefitting the Milo Foundation. The hairpiece was made by Mini, the Design Manager at ModCloth and also the mastermind behind Design by Mini. I didn’t realize I’d be getting it the day I wore this outfit, but I guess some things are just meant to be. :)

Close-up of Mini’s hairpiece.

And then when Santina and I went out to take photos, we happened across an old-school, sky-blue Mercedes-Benz.

I need to start buying cars to match my outfit. ;)

Kinda awesome, isn’t it? (If it had a convertible roof, it’d be perfect!)

(Rocky, however, is less impressed.)

And blue seemed to be the color of the day, because we also found a cool aqua-hued bike chained to a bench.

Alas, bikes to match my outfits are *somewhat* more in my price-range.

So, it wasn’t my original plan to take outfit photos (since the main components of this outfit have been featured in other posts), but I was pretty happy that the fascinator convinced me otherwise. :)

Hairpiece: Handcrafted by Mini of Design by Mini
Shirt: TARDamask by Rosemary Travale, via Threadless
Skirt: Essential Elegance Skirt, Moon Collection via www.modcloth.com
Belt: Calderon, thrifted
Shoes: Hot for Hemlock Heel in Crimson, Chelsea Crew via www.modcloth.com
Necklace: Big Wheels Necklace, Monserat de Lucca via www.modcloth.com
Bracelet: Chain Mail Bangle via www.modcloth.com
Purse: Cole Haan Valise Archer leather satchel via www.ruelala.com

Photos by Santina of Style by Santina

Pushing Boundaries

Sometimes, you just gotta step outside your comfort zone.

The outfit in question.

I always wear a-line or full skirts. Always. That’s been the case since… early college. Or maybe high school. It’s partially a practical choice: with straight skirts, if they fit in the hips they’re far too big in the waist, and if they fit my waist – well, they’ll never go over my hips. And it’s a comfort choice. And frankly, fit-and-flare shapes are super-flattering on tons of body types, including mine.

But I’ve been reading other personal style blogs and getting inspired to try something new. Recently, this post on The Hourglass and this post on Girl with Curves inspired me to try something a little more body conscious.

And guess what?

I kinda love it.

(I kinda love it.)

And with a skirt like this one by BCBG, fantastic heels are required.

D'Orsay at the d'Orsay Heel by Re-Mix, via ModCloth

The whole shebang.

A little outside of my comfort zone?

Yes.

But life’s more fun when you push boundaries!

D’Orsay at the d’Orsay Heels by Re-Mix.

Skirt: BCBGMAXAZRIA Scarlett Power Skirt in Black Combo
Top: Sheer Perfection Top, Knitted Dove via ModCloth
Shoes: D’Orsay at the d’Orsay Heel, Re-Mix via ModCloth
Purse: Cole Haan Valise Archer leather satchel via Rue La La

Photos by Santina of Style by Santina

Sheen Come True

Ever buy a dress online that takes you completely by surprise? That’s what happened with this Eva Franco “Sheen Come True” dress. I bought it on a whim because it was SUPER on sale at ModCloth, but I had my doubts. Turns out it was a dress I should have bought ages ago – I’m in love!

Introducing the Sheen Come True Dress by Eva Franco

Introducing the Sheen Come True Dress by Eva Franco

From the pictures on ModCloth, I had thought the dress was made out of a heavy fabric. But it turns out it’s pretty lightweight – and actually stretchy – so it’s got a super nice flow. And it lives up to its name – it has a really lovely sheen, almost like a textured satin. Plus, I kinda love the dress’ 1960s vibe!

Oh, and it had been way too long since Rocky made an appearance, so he joined this shoot. But I think he felt a little affronted by having been left out of my other posts!

Or something.

This picture is just dying for a funny caption - any suggestions?

This picture is just dying for a funny caption – any suggestions?

I paired the dress with the vintage-style “Heirloom-inous Earrings”, also from ModCloth.

Sheen Come True Dress & Heirloom-inous Earrings

Sheen Come True Dress & Heirloom-inous Earrings

Oh, and by the way, check out Rocky’s bow tie! I think he strikes a perfect balance between cute and dashing. :)

Rocky looking dapper in his bow tie

Rocky looking dapper in his bow tie

So that’s it – just a fantastic dress and a goofy dog that helped lighten up my day!

Rocky is a goof!

What are your favorite pick-me-ups?

Dress: Sheen Come True Dress, Eva Franco via ModCloth
Earrings: Heirloom-inous Earrings via ModCloth
Bracelet: Victorian mourning bracelet
Tights: Hue
Shoes: D’Orsay at the d’Orsay Heel, Re-Mix via ModCloth
Purse: Cole Haan Valise Archer leather satchel via Rue La La

Rocky’s Bowtie: Fairy-tail Engagement Dog Collar via ModCloth

Photos by Jenn Suit, except the solo portrait I took of Rocky.