Gaudy by Nature

Happy Wear Something Gaudy Day!

Maybe you weren’t aware that October 17th is Wear Something Gaudy Day, but it is. Teh interwebs say so.

I celebrated the day by tapping into my inner Liberace and donning a metallic copper floral skirt, sequined top, and Rainbow-Brite-inspired shoes. Not to mention sparkly earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and rings. Oh yeah, and a Ring Pop!

Gasp! How FABULOUS!  (Photo by Julie Murrell.)

Gasp! How FABULOUS! (Photo by Julie Murrell.)

So what’s your favorite fashion item that verges on gaudiness? Or maybe one that blatantly crosses the line and is all out AWESOME?

What I wore:
Top: Nordstrom Rack
Skirt: Songs by the Fire Skirt, Bettie Page via ModCloth
Shoes: Rainbow Road Wedge, Poetic License via ModCloth
Belt: Calderon, thrifted

[Photo by Julie Murrell.]

Lucky 13!

Farewell, 2012.  (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Farewell, 2012. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

I know, this post is a teeny tiny bit belated. But see that balloon in the above photo? I brought it home with me on New Year’s and it’s still floating! (I even have photo evidence, taken this very evening – see below!) And since we all know that helium balloons never last, it can’t be too long after New Year’s, can it?

New Year's Balloon - still kickin' over 3 weeks later!

New Year’s Balloon – still kickin’ over 3 weeks later!

Even though it’s a bit late in the telling, I feel like I got the year kicked off on the right foot. For New Year’s Eve dinner, my husband and I made a lovely dinner consisting of shrimp cocktail, homemade bread (made by my husband – he’s an excellent baker!), and an avocado, grapefruit, and watercress salad. Plus a bottle of Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc – a favorite introduced by our friend Rich.

New Year's Eve dinner

New Year’s Eve dinner

And then we headed off to Davies Symphony Hall for the New Year’s Masquerade Ball. We went last year and had such a fabulous time that we decided it should be a tradition.

I donned a coral Armani Collezioni silk chiffon gown that I found several months ago at Nordstrom Rack and hadn’t yet worn. It’s one of those things that you’ll never find if you’re looking for it . . . I just happened across it one day, tried it on a whim, and found that it fit beautifully and felt lovely. And, at over 90% off, it was totally affordable!

Decked out for the Masquerade Ball (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Decked out at the Masquerade Ball (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Pat wore the tux he bought last year, along with some vintage octagonal studs and cufflinks. (FYI – if you’re looking for studs, check out Etsy! There are some great, really affordable vintage sets – often more interesting, higher quality, and lower priced than what you’ll find in most men’s formal wear stores.)

My dashing escort.

My dashing escort.

We had a wonderful time listening to the symphony, eyeing the gorgeous gowns (okay, maybe I was the one really eyeing the gowns), and enjoying the high spirits of the crowd.

Well hello there! (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Well hello there! (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Before 2012 ended, we danced to the tunes of the Peter Mintun Orchestra . . .

The Peter Mintun Orchestra

The Peter Mintun Orchestra

. . . and I had the honor of meeting the enchanting Susanna Phillips, the Symphony’s soloist that evening.

With the lovely Susanna Phillips. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

With the lovely Susanna Phillips. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Soon enough it was midnight – heralded by a balloon drop . . .

New Year's Balloon Drop at Davies Symphony Ball

New Year’s Balloon Drop at Davies Symphony Ball

. . . and celebrated by balloon clutching!

AHHHHH it's 2013!!!!

AHHHHH it’s 2013!!!!

Happy New Year! I hope y’all have had a fabulous 2013 so far!!

What I wore:
Dress: Armani Collezioni silk chiffon gown, an absolute steal at Nordstrom Rack
Shawl: pashmina via Nordstrom
Necklace: vintage Coro
Bracelet: Victorian mourning bracelet

[All photos by me except where otherwise indicated.]

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]

1954 Meets 1994

 

The neon trend this summer totally reminded me of growing up in the 1990s, and particularly of TV shows like Saved by the Bell and movies like Clueless. (Confession time: Clueless is one of my all-time favorite movies. It’s way existential.)

But I felt like mixing in more of a mid-century vibe, because, well, that’s what I do. So I took a neon yellow-green shirt and paired it with a polka-dot skirt and cherry red accessories.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

I kept to gold-toned accessories, and picked up a neon woven chain bracelet from H&M to bring it all together.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

And because I can never have enough color, I dragged my husband out to a neighborhood garden to take photos among the flowers. :)

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Skirt: modified from a ModCloth dress
Shirt: Nordstrom Rack
Necklace: Right Under Your Nose Necklace via ModCloth
Belt: Calderon, thrifted
Bracelets: Victorian mourning bracelet, H&M black bangles, and H&M neon woven chain bracelet
Shoes: Hot for Hemlock Heel in Crimson, Chelsea Crew via ModCloth

All photos by Pat Zimmerman

 

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.]

Summer Warmth

Summer in San Francisco: I still (usually) need to wear cardigans, but I try to mix in elements that remind me of the sultry summers I grew up with.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Like warm peach and yellow, the color of northeastern summer sunsets. And one of my favorite pair of earrings, in the shape of cicadas, that bring to mind the sounds of summer nights.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Mix in some gold and caramel accents, add a white skirt with florals and sequins . . .

Gold jewelry and nails. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Gold jewelry and nails. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

. . . and I’m the very image of summer!

Catching my shadow

Catching my shadow :)

What does summer mean for you?

Skirt: White House Black Market (thrifted)
Top: Now or Nectar Top, C. Luce via ModCloth
Belt: Gap
Earrings: Magicicada Earrings, Erica Weiner via ModCloth
Bracelets: Sparkle an Idea Bracelet via ModCloth and Victorian mourning bracelet
Cardigan: Somewhere to Bow Cardigan via ModCloth
Shoes: Adventure Capitol Heel, J Shoes via ModCloth
Purse: Basketwork Bag, Industry via ModCloth

Manicure: Pams & Kin holographic glitter (“THIS Year”) ombré over Julep Nail Parlor shimmer polish (“Nessa” layered over “Ashley”).

[Shadow photo by me. All other photos by Pat Zimmerman, as noted.]

Style Challenge: Summer Hats

This week I participated in a style challenge! The theme was summer hats. My hat of choice? A fancy, Melbourne Cup / Kentucky Derby style hat in bold orange, with orange and crème colored feathers.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

I paired it with my newest Bettie Page dress – it’s aqua with orange accents, and printed with Eiffel Towers and fleur de lis. And I love the fun detail in the back!

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Alas, the weather in San Francisco in the past couple of days has been less-than-summery, so I had to add a cardigan. (The eternal story of SF “summer”!) But with the bright colors, I’m bringing in my own summer sun!

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Hat: Hats from Oz
Dress: If Eiffel in Love Dress, Bettie Page via ModCloth
Necklace: Kate Spade
Bracelet: Victorian mourning bracelet
Cardigan: Grace via Ideeli
Shoes: Wishing and Taupe-ing Heels, Jessica Simpson via ModCloth

[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
Rebecca of Thirty-Five Inch Inseam
Adiel of It’s Because I Think Too Much
Angie of The Hotness Your Momma Warned You About
Amanda of Fashionablee Me
Carlina of Allergic to Vanilla
Jade of Peachy Keen
Nicole of Manners & Moxie