A Little Bit of Inspiration

Howdy!

(Photo by Pat Zimmerman)

(Photo by Pat Zimmerman)

I’m starting this post out with a photo of my favorite comfy coat. It’s made out of sweatshirt material – really, it’s like a flirty, dress-friendly hoodie. I love that I can wear it around the house, on a bike ride across the Golden Gate Bridge (just did that last weekend!), and over a cute dress. :)

But this blog post is really about the outfit I’m wearing under the coat. See, when I got up in the morning I was at a loss for what to wear. And then I perused ModCloth’s Style Gallery (one of my fave places for outfit inspiration), and was inspired by some great looks from fabulous gals like . . .

Jana G. (left) of Small Town, Big Smile! who added spice to a mint dress with a red belt and cardigan. And Ashley R. (right) of Not Your Average Ashley, who paired a red polka dot dress with a sweet mint cardigan.

And THEN I looked into my closet . . . and found a shocking dearth of mint. :(

But some of the other outfits that caught my eye incorporated lovely shades of aqua instead. Like the outfit posted by Amanda L. (left) of Modern June Cleaver. And the one posted by Katie M. (right), a.k.a. Amelia Jetson.

And I happened to have bought a charming aqua dress recently – it was sitting in my closet, just waiting for the inspiration to wear it!

(Photo by Pat Zimmerman)

(Photo by Pat Zimmerman)

Though I am thinking that I need to get some mint-colored pieces for the future. :)

P.S. You can see more of my favorite Style Gallery photos here!

Coat: Soaring Comets Coat, Effie’s Heart via ModCloth (out of stock, but still available directly from Effie’s Heart)
Dress: Front Perch Swing Dress, Retrolicious via ModCloth
Cardigan: The Dream of the Crop Cardigan in Black, Mak via ModCloth
Belt: Calderon, thrifted
Tights: Nordstrom Rack
Shoes: DKNY

[Photos of me by Pat Zimmerman.]

Le Geek, C’est Chic!

I don’t talk much about my day-to-day job at ModCloth on this here blog. I guess my love of ModCloth’s clothes is obvious, and I love/hate that I have an employee discount that encourages me to fill my closet to the brim. But what I’m truly thankful for is that I’m doing work I enjoy, for a customer-centric company with a truly awesome community of customers.

Before ModCloth, I was a grad student studying psychology & behavioral decision research. Basically, I was looking into why people make the decisions they do and what affects their judgments. I’m still passionate about that area of study, but academia can be rather isolating, and I often felt like I was floundering with no real impact on the world around me. Fast-forward to today, and I’m still studying psychology & decision making – but in an applied way, with a collaborative team of coworkers.

And then, once or twice a year, I get to play in ModCloth’s hackathons. Our hackathons include a mix of people who work on website & app development, user experience, analytics & customer research, along with colleagues from other parts of the business (like marketing and buying/merchandising). We form small teams and spend 3 days building a new feature or proof of concept. The goal is to spark creativity and build something to enhance the ModCloth user experience. Last year, for example, a team developed a prototype that became “Fit for Me” – a feature on the ModCloth iPhone app that enables customers to browse products based on their measurements.

Alright, but this is a personal style blog, and you gotta know there’s an outfit in here somehow. At our most recent hackathon, we got these fab hoodies designed by Amy Luo and Steph Monette, user experience designers at ModCloth. Check out the sweet print:

ModCloth's hackathon hoodie, designed by Amy Luo and Steph Monette. Yes, that's a nyan pug!! (Photo by Pat Zimmerman)

ModCloth’s hackathon hoodie, designed by Amy Luo and Steph Monette. Yes, that’s a nyan pug!! (Photo by Pat Zimmerman)

And in the spirit of celebrating creativity, I paired it with a Harold and the Purple Crayon tee. Plus polka dots and fuchsia tights because I like ’em. :)

(Photo by Pat Zimmerman)

(Photo by Pat Zimmerman)

(Oh yeah, and I actually do wear glasses – they’re just for long-distance, which is why they don’t normally show up in my photos.)

As for my team’s hackathon project – we’re working on getting it implemented, so it’s still under wraps for now. But I’ll let y’all know if it goes live!

Top: Novel Tee in Harold, Out of Print via ModCloth (Out of stock, but also available on the Out of Print website)
Skirt: modified from a ModCloth dress
Hoodie: Print designed by Amy Luo and Steph Monette
Tights: Nordstrom Rack
Shoes: DKNY
Glasses: Eye’DC v837 in purple

[Photos by Pat Zimmerman]

Time for Sweaters

This probably isn’t news to most of the northern hemisphere, but… well, did you know it’s autumn? That means it’s time to start wearing tights and sweaters!

Sweater dress, cardi, and tights. Just in time for the fall weather! (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Sweater dress, cardi, and tights. Just in time for the fall weather! (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Okay, so I bet the whole “fall weather” thing is super old news for most of you out there. But in San Francisco, we’re in a perpetual state of the in-between. Not quite fall, not quite spring… certainly not winter or summer. At this time of year, one day it’ll be sunny and warm, the next it’ll be grey and cool – that is, if it’s not raining.

I generally prefer spring fashions and dressing for warmer weather, but it’s nice to have a reason to change things up from time to time!

And speaking of time…

Watch necklace from Park and Pond. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Watch necklace from Park and Pond. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

I love this watch necklace my husband bought for me at a local boutique, Park and Pond. We came across Park and Pond during an arts night – they feature products and crafts from local makers, including jewelry, like this steampunk necklace.

The brass hardware complemented this earth-toned chevron dress. And because the dress is short-sleeved (good for the office, not so much for outside), I paired it with a grey cardigan that echoed up the dress’ grey stripes.

Crisp weather and fall colors. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Crisp weather and fall colors. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Oh, and you know how it looks all grey and dusk-like in these pictures? Well, there were bits of bright blue sky here and there amongst the clouds. San Francisco weather can never make up its mind!

Consistently inconsistent San Francisco weather. Rocky is not amused. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Consistently inconsistent San Francisco weather. Rocky is not amused. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Dress: Seventies Wonder of the World Dress, Jessica Simpson via ModCloth
Cardigan: Trusted Essential Cardigan via ModCloth
Necklace: Watch necklace via Park and Pond
Tights: Hue via Nordstrom Rack
Shoes: D’Orsay at the d’Orsay Heel, Re-Mix via ModCloth

[All photos by Pat Zimmerman]

Le Fabuleux Monde de la Maison Cointreau

Take one part delicious orange liqueur, one part glamourous style icon, and a hearty dash of marvelous personalities. Stir (or shake, if you prefer!) and voilà! You’ve got yourself a taste of La Maison Cointreau.

Last week, Cointreau debuted La Maison Cointreau at Big Daddy’s Antiques in San Francisco: a fabulous world filled with decadence, glamour, music, and cocktails. As the evening opened, Dita von Teese made an appearance, posing for photographs and chatting with reporters. (Oh, for the record: she’s even more gorgeous in person!)

Dita von Teese poses for photos against a backdrop of Cointreau bottles.

Dita von Teese poses for photos against a backdrop of Cointreau bottles.

Dita von Teese chats with a reporter.

Dita von Teese chats with a reporter.

Throughout the evening, bartenders kept guests’ glasses full with Cointreau-based cocktails. My favorite of the evening was the classic Sidecar:
1 1/2 oz Remy VSOP
3/4 oz Cointreau
3/4 oz lemon juice
Shake with ice and strain into a chilled glass rimmed with sugar.

Preparing Cointreau cocktails.

Preparing Cointreau cocktails.

One of the things I enjoyed about the event was eyeing the fabulous style of the guests.

Guests posing for the camera.

Guests posing for the camera.

I was lucky to run into Meghan of Voilà!, who has a chic, ladylike style that I admire…

With Meghan of Voilà! (Photo courtesy of Meghan.)

With Meghan of Voilà! (Photo courtesy of Meghan.)

And I met Danielle the Dressmaker, who rocked a vibrant, flirty dress of her own creation:

Danielle the Dressmaker, wearing one of her own creations.

Danielle the Dressmaker, wearing one of her own creations.

But the highlight of the evening was the mini cabaret, which started off with a glass performance by Johnny Rodgers and kicked into high gear with a dynamic, retro vocal set by chanteuse Lady Rizo. Nicole Renaud added a fun French flair with her accordion.

A glimpse of Lady Rizo's energizing performance.

A glimpse of Lady Rizo’s energizing performance.

Enfin, Dita von Teese took over the stage with a playful and seductive burlesque performance set in a tropical Hawaiian scene. Alas, the audience was asked not to take photos, but Haute Living has a few shots online if you’re truly curious. :)

To be honest, I didn’t need much convincing to like Cointreau – it was already in my liquor cabinet since it’s a necessary component in Singapore Slings, and I use it in my version of the Boston Bog (recipes below). But I enjoyed the opportunity to try out new cocktails and soak in the divine atmosphere!

Cheers!

Cheers! (Photo courtesy of Meghan.)

What I wore:
Dress: vintage 1950s LBD via Eons Fashion Antique in Pittsburgh, PA
Earrings: Magicicada Earrings, Erica Weiner via ModCloth
Bracelet: Victorian mourning bracelet
Shoes: Giuseppe Zanotti via The Outnet
Purse: Cole Haan Valise Archer leather satchel via Rue La La

Also check out Meghan’s post!

Singapore Sling:
1 oz gin
1/2 oz cherry brandy
4 oz pineapple juice
1/2 oz lime juice
1/4 oz Cointreau
1/4 oz Benedictine
1/3 oz grenadine (I make mine from scratch – details in this post)
1 dash Angostura bitters
Shake with ice and strain into a Collins Glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry and a pineapple wedge.

Boston Bog (my variation on the original recipe by Misty Kalkofen; click here for the full recipe):
6 fresh cranberries (+ 1 for garnish)
1 1/2 oz aged or reserve rum
1/2 oz ginger syrup (a dash of Benedictine & simple syrup make for a good substitute)
2 tsp lemon juice (or 1/2 oz if using fresh lemons)
2 tsp Cointreau
Muddle cranberries, add remaining ingredients, shake with ice, and double strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a cranberry.

[Photos by me except where otherwise noted.]

What to Wear to the Polls

This morning before work, I headed to the polls to vote. And of course I couldn’t wear just any old thing to the polls. So voilà, my election-inspired outfit:

All decked out at the polls, in red, white, and blue. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

All decked out at the polls, in red, white, and blue. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

And my necklace? A nod to my favorite political movie, which prominently featured a certain political catchphrase. Bonus points if you know the catchphrase, and double bonus points if you can guess the movie!

A nod to my favorite political movie. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

A nod to my favorite political movie. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

P.S. Just because elections are important doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun with them . . . and involve your pup, too!

Rocky gets into the spirit. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Rocky gets into the spirit. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

So, did you cast your vote?

Top: Zara
Skirt: Streak Clearly Skirt by Rock Steady via ModCloth
Necklace: vintage watch fob
Bracelet: Nordstrom (a gift)
Shoes: Hit the Rodeo Heel by Miss L. Fire via ModCloth

[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 Little Bit Country

When I first picked up this dress I wasn’t sure I loved it. Something about the print just didn’t feel like me – maybe it felt a little too country? The only reason I bothered trying it on was the full skirt.

But when I did try it on, I loved how it looked. And since it was $15, it was easy to go ahead and buy it. Sure, there were some stains from age – it must have been packed between cardboard or something similar that left marks. But I’ve learned that those kinds of stains generally wash out (and they did!).

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Fast-forward a couple of years and this has become one of my go-to dresses. Since it’s from the early 1950s, I’ve had to take a needle & thread to it a few times – but it’s worth it! It’s super easy to wear and mix & match with accessories.

This time, I went with cheery summer brights – a pink cardigan (coming on the heels of my last post, it seems I have a thing for pink cardis!), yellow bangles, and lime green earrings.

Bright accessories add pop to a black & white print. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Bright accessories add pop to a black & white print. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Then I added some chic patent heels and did what any reasonable girl wearing a full-skirted dress should do – went for a spin!

Love spinning in full skirts! (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Love spinning in full skirts! (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Btw, I think sunny days make me giddy . . .

Full on cheese! (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Full on cheese! (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

*ahem*

(I’m a serious fashion blogger. For reals.)

Being a serious fashion blogger. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Being a serious fashion blogger. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Anyway . . . What piece in your closet has become an unexpected fave?

Dress: vintage early 1950s dress via Eons Fashion Antique in Pittsburgh, PA
Cardigan: Banana Republic
Earrings: vintage
Bracelets: vintage (yellow bangles) and a gift (silver cuff)
Shoes: Giuseppe Zanotti via The Outnet
Purse: Cole Haan Valise Archer leather satchel via Rue La La

[All photos by Pat Zimmerman.]