A City Statement

A cool but clear and sunny summer day called for bold colors and accessories.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

This black maxi dress was the perfect backdrop for color blocks of blue, yellow, and pink. The neckline is quite low cut, so I started with a blue bandeau. Then I added the necklace, which I love for its bright yellows and the gold-tone hardware. And topped it off with a pink cardigan, tied rather than buttoned for a more casual, summery look.

Statement of the Art Necklace in Yellow. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Statement of the Art Necklace in Yellow. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

I mixed in a few bracelets, in colors that echoed my cardigan and accessories.

A mix of blue and pink (and orange) enamel and gold bracelets. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

A mix of blue and pink (and orange) enamel and gold bracelets. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

And my laptop bag happened to fit in beautifully (These pictures were taken right after work).

Marc by Marc Jacobs Pretty Nylon Computer Commuter. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Marc by Marc Jacobs Pretty Nylon Computer Commuter. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

My goal was to look as summery as possible while still keeping warm on a cool San Francisco day. Success?

Color blocking with summery colors over classic black. I even added sandals - that makes it summery, right? (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Color blocking with bright colors over classic black. I even added sandals – that makes it summery, right? (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Dress: A Grecian Turn Dress, Rubber Ducky via ModCloth
Bandeau: Très Sleek Bandeau in Cobalt Blue via ModCloth
Cardigan: Charter School Cardigan in Raspberry via ModCloth
Bracelets: Nordstrom (blue bracelet), Talbots (orange and pink bracelet), and vintage (gold bangles)
Necklace: Statement of the Art Necklace in Sun via ModCloth
Laptop Bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs Pretty Nylon Computer Commuter via Nordstrom
Shoes: Faryl Robin sandals

[All photos by Pat Zimmerman.]

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Spring Color Inspiration: Aubergine and Lime

One of my fave Spring/Summer 2012 lines was Dolce & Gabbana’s, with its culinary vegetable inspired prints. This dress in particular caught my eye: a full-skirted dress featuring a bold eggplant print.

Dolce & Gabbana Eggplant-print Dress, S/S RTW 2012. Photo from New York Magazine.

Dolce & Gabbana Eggplant-print Dress, S/S RTW 2012. Photo from New York Magazine.

At almost $4,000, this dress is just a *tiny* bit out of my price range. But I used the color combo as inspiration in putting together this outfit: a purple dress with a lime green cardigan.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

The dress is one I got awhile ago from ModCloth but never wore because it was super low cut and too big in the top & waist. But I’ve always loved the full skirt, so I ran it through my sewing machine to take it in & make it more wearable.

I bought the sweater from Express ages ago, and love wearing it when I feel like being a little flamboyant. It’s got shimmery sequins and seed beads, plus fabulous rhinestone buttons.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Oh, and the nails: I subscribed to Julep Maven in February and I’ve been having fun playing with nail polish again! This was a shimmery dark blue (“Marisa”) with a coat of gold glitter (“Oscar”) on top. I didn’t get a good shot up close, but it had a cool effect when viewed from afar.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

So, where are you getting your outfit inspiration this spring?

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Dress: T.A.G. via ModCloth
Cardigan: Express
Shoes: A Knight to Remember Heel in Silver, BC Shoes via ModCloth

Sunshine on a Rainy Day

It was about time, after all those beautiful days: San Francisco finally got its winter rain.

Dealing with the rain in San Francisco. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Dealing with the rain in San Francisco. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

It’s been raining all week! Every other day I’ve worn dresses, but today I wanted to wear my bright yellow sweater. Which really only works with jeans. And it just so happens that I bought a new pair of jeans this past weekend, so it was about time to try them out for a spin.

The jeans? Levi’s Curve ID. I figured they were worth a try. I generally avoid pants of all sorts because they never fit well: if I can get them over my hips they gap at my waist, and there’s no use even trying to squeeze into a pair that would fit my waist. But I heard Levi’s had jeans for “Supreme Curves” – that’s me, alright! Even the fabulously chic sales guy at the store gasped, “Wow, you’re really curvy.”

Yeah. I know.

So here’s the verdict: the Supreme Curve is better than most other jeans for shapes like mine because it curves in a little at the top, and comes up a bit higher in the back (so no plumber’s butt!). I do wish the waist were a little bit higher – it seems that everyone’s solution for curvier bodies is to cut a low waist – but in that way they’re about standard.

And this was also the first time I’ve even tried skinny jeans. I kinda like them, but they do feel painted on! The truth is that I ended up with the skinnies because the straight leg and boot cut seemed slightly short for me – yeah, even the 34″ ones. I just wouldn’t be able to wear heels with them!

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Oh, I also wanted to show off my Cambridge Satchel. :) I’ve worn it with a couple of outfits but it hadn’t made its way onto a post yet. I ADORE the red. And the bold red of this bag + my bright yellow sweater + dark blue jeans = fun color-blocking, primary style.

Color blocking with a red Cambridge Satchel, yellow sweater, and blue jeans. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Color blocking with a red Cambridge Satchel, yellow sweater, and blue jeans. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

And I had my favorite umbrella ever! I actually picked this up in Australia, on my honeymoon. We were in Sydney for a few days (before traveling on to Queensland), it was raining (it was winter there – and winter in Sydney is like winter in San Francisco), and I ended up with this sweet rainbow umbrella.

Yep, still raining! Good thing I have this umbrella. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Yep, still raining! Good thing I have this umbrella. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

So even if this grey, drizzly weather continues, I’m gonna bring my own sunshine. Take that, rain!

Darn rain! Just TRY and get me down! (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Darn rain! Just TRY and get me down! (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Sweater: H&M
Jeans: Levi’s Curve ID Supreme Curve Skinny Jeans
Shoes: A Knight to Remember Heel, BC Shoes via ModCloth
Bag: Upwardly Mobile Satchel in Red – 14″, The Cambridge Satchel Company via ModCloth
Umbrella: Shelta Australia – but there’s a similar one at ModCloth

All photos by Pat Zimmerman

Brilliant Colors with Gap and Rue!

Gap recently teamed up with FabSugar, Refinery29, Rue Magazine, and others to launch a look book with outfits styled by bloggers, Styld.by. And to celebrate their collaboration, Gap and Rue threw a party at Gap’s store in the Marina District, San Francisco.

In keeping with Gap’s spring line, the party was filled with brilliant colors. Brights abounded in the Smilebooth:

With Jackie of The Hourglass. Photo by Smilebooth.

With Jackie of The Hourglass. Photo via Smilebooth.

. . . as well as on bloggers and throughout the Gap store:

Clockwise from top left: Katie and Lindsay; party scene at Gap; Taylor of The Glitter Guide and Sarah of Sarah's Ambitions; requisite shoe shot!

Clockwise from top left: Katie and Lindsay; party scene at Gap; Taylor of The Glitter Guide and Sarah of Sarah's Ambitions; requisite shoe shot.

Left to right: With Eli of Thrifteye; Jackie of The Hourglass, Melissa of Savvy in San Francisco, Whitney of Britt + Whit, Jes of Ryzenberg On, and Sarah of Sarah's Ambitions.

Left to right: With Eli of Thrifteye; Jackie of The Hourglass, Melissa of Savvy in San Francisco, Whitney of Britt + Whit, Jes of Ryzenberg On, and Sarah of Sarah's Ambitions.

By the way, my fave thing in the store? The pink chihuahua purse I’m holding in this Smilebooth pic! (Too cute!)

With Jackie of The Hourglass, Eli of Thrifteye, and Jess of StyleSays. Photo via Smilebooth.

With Jackie of The Hourglass, Eli of Thrifteye, and Jess of StyleSays. Photo via Smilebooth.

Gap and Rue definitely know how to throw a fun party! But really, how could all those bright colors not get you into the party spirit?

(P.S. Individual photos & a couple extra shots are on my Flickr set.)

What I wore:
Dress: T.A.G. via ModCloth
Cardigan: Final Touch
Bag: Upwardly Mobile Satchel in Red – 14″, The Cambridge Satchel Company via ModCloth
Shoes: Hot for Hemlock Heel in Crimson, Chelsea Crew via ModCloth

How To: Snap a Great Jump Shot

I totally have a thing for photos of people jumping. Maybe you’ve noticed that, what with the photo on my “About Me” page and the picture I took of Hannah in a “Seen Style” post a few weeks ago. And here’s further proof:

Might as well JUMP!

Might as well JUMP!

Being captured mid-jump is kinda tricky. There are several ways a photo of someone jumping can go wrong:

  1. The photo is super blurry
  2. The jumper is partially out of the frame
  3. The jumper’s legs aren’t off the ground (or they are, but just barely)
  4. The jumper has an awful facial expression

Luckily, there are ways to help ensure you get at least one good photo. I’ve divided this up into things the photographer can do and things the model/jumper can do.

What the photographer can do to snap a good jump shot:

  • Use a fast shutter speed. This will prevent problem #1. If you’ve got a point & shoot, just make sure you take the photos in an area with lots of bright, natural light – the camera should default to a fast shutter speed.
  • Take some test shots with the person jumping, to get a sense of how much vertical and horizontal space you need. This helps prevent problem #2.
  • Take tons of photos, preferably in quick succession. This is a lot easier if you’ve got a rapid-fire/high-speed burst setting on your camera, but it can be done with even more basic cameras (the photo session might just take a little longer). This helps prevent problems #3 & 4. If you take a bunch of photos, there’s a decent chance that at least one of them will work out!

What the jumper can do:

  • Bend your knees! You don’t actually have to jump very high to make it LOOK like you’re jumping high. Just jump a little, but kick up your heels – it’ll make it look like you’ve jumped a lot higher than you actually have. This helps prevent problem #3.
  • Jump up and and down a number of times in a row (while the photographer continues to snap photos). This improves your chances of getting a good shot (one that doesn’t include problems #3 & 4). I’ve actually found that I relax a bit after jumping around, so it becomes easier to smile or ham it up, rather than grimacing!
Look! I'm levitating!

Look! I'm levitating!

Btw, I wouldn’t recommend trying jumps in high heels! Good thing I was wearing a pair of low wedges. :)

Peep toe wedges, Marc by Marc Jacobs

Peep toe wedges, Marc by Marc Jacobs

Oh, and for me, I’ve gotta be in the right mood. A sunny day & bright colors can go a long way toward making thing happen! The colors in this outfit kinda made me feel like celebrating.

Taking a breather to show off my outfit :)

The details, with fuchsia, gold, and cobalt

The details, with fuchsia, gold, and cobalt

That’s about it. I’d love to see your shots! And hear other tips if you’ve got ’em. :)

Skirt: Jeu de Paume Skirt, Tropical Wear via ModCloth
Top: Banana Republic
Cardigan: Banana Republic
Scarf: street vendor
Necklace: vintage
Belt: Zara
Tights: Hue
Shoes: Marc by Marc Jacobs
Bracelet: Victorian mourning bracelet

Photos by Santina of Style by Santina

Living La Vida Local

I adore 50s-style dresses (you’ll see – trust me!), but I also love an easy-to-wear jersey dress. Especially when it’s got awesome style, like this one by Kelly Lane.

Posing with Rocky, my Boston Terrier

Posing with Rocky, my Boston Terrier

And capes! Are fabulous! I got this Tulle cape a couple of years ago when I was living in Pennsylvania. The thing about Pennsylvania, though, is that it’s either too hot and muggy or far too cold to wear a cape – except for a few days in the fall or spring. San Francisco, however, is the perfect place to wear capes. So I’ve been getting a fair amount of use out of this one.

A sweet cape from Tulle.

For Christmas my in-laws gave me this purse. It’s purple! I love colorful accessories.

Purple Coach purse.

Purple Coach purse. And Rocky.

And really, you can’t go wrong with silver jewelry. :)

Silver earrings.

Cape: Tulle, via ModCloth
Dress: Living La Vida Local Dress by Kelly Lane, via ModCloth
Purse: Coach
Shoes: Wonders

Photos by Santina of Style by Santina.