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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Happy Fifth of July!

For those of you who call the United States your home, I hope you had a lovely Independence Day! And for everyone else, I hope you had a lovely fourth of July. :)

Last night I watched the fireworks from my rooftop, and caught a few smiles:

Shiny happy fireworks!

Shiny happy fireworks!

It was a good show, although SF’s perpetual summer evening fog hung over the city. Definitely had some interesting effects, like in the photo below!

Fireworks capped by fog.

Fireworks capped by fog.

Earlier in the day I went to my friends’ house for a super yummy barbecue. They’ve got a smoker, so among other things they served up homemade smoked knockwurst and chicken. Noms! (Note to self: get apartment with yard & buy smoker.)

Homemade smoked knockwurst, chicken, and homebrew in a stein.

Homemade smoked knockwurst, chicken, and homebrew in a stein.

And I got a little festive with my nails, with Julep “Taylor” and “America”. Yep, “America” has silver star glitter in it!

Manicure with Julep Taylor and America.

Manicure with Julep Taylor and America.

Speaking of Julep, congratulations to Carley L. for winning my Julep Maven intro box raffle! And if you’d like to give the Julep Maven subscription a try, head over to the Julep website, take the Julep Maven style quiz, and sign up using the promo code MAVENINTRO to get your intro box for a penny!

How did you spend your fourth of July?

[All photos by me and available on my Instagram: katealamode!]

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

Seafoam and Coral

It rarely gets very warm in San Francisco. In the winter it’s usually in the 50s and 60s — which is wonderful for someone who dealt with chilly Pennsylvanian winters for most of her life! But in late spring and summer it’s usually in the 60s and low 70s, and layers are always required.

Except for every once in awhile when the weather warms up a little, and I rejoice by wearing a sundress!

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

I love the retro styling of this coral Bettie Page dress, which is actually based on a 1950s Elvgren painting: “That Low-Down Feeling (Who, Me?)”. This dress was one of a series that Bettie Page did last year, all based on Elvgren pin-up paintings. The series was fantastic and I’m hoping Bettie Page does something like it again!

"That Low-Down Feeling (Who, Me?)" by Elvgren, 1957

“That Low-Down Feeling (Who, Me?)” by Elvgren, 1957

I paired the sundress with seafoam green accessories and nails:

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

And added nude-colored patent-leather heels. And my dog, Jasper – isn’t he a great accessory? :)

Nude patent leather heels by Jessica Simpson. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Nude patent leather heels by Jessica Simpson. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Then Rocky joined for a photo too!

Yay for totally cheesy smiles. ;) Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Yay for totally cheesy smiles. ;) Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

What’s your favorite warm-weather wear?

Dress: Sweet Coral-ine Dress, Bettie Page via ModCloth
Purse: Nordstrom
Bracelet: From a clothing exchange
Earrings: A gift
Shoes: Wishing and Taupe-ing Heels, Jessica Simpson via ModCloth

[All photos by Pat Zimmerman]

Staring at the Sun

On Sunday I saw my very first almost-total solar eclipse. I think. I mean, I know I saw the eclipse – just not entirely sure it was my first. There was one in 1994, and I remember some talk about it, but I don’t remember watching it. In any case, this was certainly my first memorable solar eclipse!

The solar eclipse as seen from San Francisco.

The solar eclipse as seen from San Francisco.

Pat and I went up to the roof with a bottle of champagne, cameras, and DIY-solar-eclipse-viewing equipment. A couple of our neighbors were up there too, and we had a great time chatting, taking pics, and witnessing the eclipse.

At first, the pinhole projector I made wasn’t working – but I read you could see the eclipse through your fingers. The effect was pretty cool!

Watching the solar eclipse through my fingers. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Watching the solar eclipse through my fingers. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

As the moon passed over the sun, the air got chillier and the light on the skyline took a slightly rosy glow. It looked like a mix of a cloudy day (but no clouds!) and early sunset.

The San Francisco skyline during the solar eclipse.

The San Francisco skyline during the solar eclipse.

And then I figured out that the problem with my pinhole projector was that the pinhole was too small. Maybe the ideal projector works with a hole the size of the pin, but mine needed one about 1/6″ in diameter. While I was adjusting the projector, I got a little crazy. After all, why make a projector that shows 1 sun when you can make one that shows 9 suns?

The solar eclipse viewed through a DIY pinhole projector.

The solar eclipse viewed through a DIY pinhole projector.

Watching the solar eclipse – and playing around with the projector and shadows – was awesome. Now I see why some people chase solar eclipses around the world!

The peak of the solar eclipse in San Francisco.

The peak of the solar eclipse in San Francisco.

I’m thinking about getting eclipse glasses to watch the transit of Venus across the sun in June – an event that won’t occur again in this century!

Did you get to see the eclipse? Will you check out the transit of Venus?

[Photos by me except where otherwise noted.]

Jewel Tones and Polka Dots

Perhaps you’re starting to notice I have a thing for polka dots. What can I say, they’re just fun!

I recently bought this silver grey polka dot Bettie Page skirt from ModCloth. It’s the same cut as the B. Jones Style Skirt (styled here), though made from a light-weight, taffeta-y fabric.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

I paired it with a jade green tee, sapphire blue cardigan, and amethyst heels – with a sheer scarf to pull it all together.

And I won’t lie – I chose the colors to complement my mani, which had been inspired by this pin on Pinterest. (For the record, the design is super easy to do!)

Manicure (with Julep nail polish), bracelets, and rings. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Manicure (with Julep nail polish), bracelets, and rings. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

As you can see in the photos above and below, I decided to add contrast to the silver grey of the skirt with some gold jewelry.

Heirloom-inous Earrings from ModCloth. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Heirloom-inous Earrings from ModCloth. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Oh, and Jasper made his debut in an outfit post! (Though if you’ve been following me on Instagram – @katealamode – you’ve probably seen him several times already.) He’s an apricot blond poogle (a poodle/beagle mix) and such a sweetie! I don’t take him to work because he gets separation anxiety, so during the day he stays with my husband, who works from home.

Jasper and Rocky showing their moves. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Jasper and Rocky showing their moves. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Jasper and Rocky are best pals, so when Rocky comes home from work there’s much play and wrestling. But they can chill out from time to time too. :-)

A perfectly poised trio. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

A perfectly poised trio. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Skirt: Give Us a Spin Skirt, Bettie Page via ModCloth
Shirt: Learn the Basics Top in Green via ModCloth
Cardigan: Charter School Cardigan in Computer Science via ModCloth
Scarf: gifted
Bracelets: Sparkle an Idea Bracelet via ModCloth and a Victorian mourning bracelet
Cocktail Ring: family heirloom
Earrings: Heirloom-inous Earrings via ModCloth
Shoes: I Want to Bow What Love Is Heel in Purple, Jeffrey Campbell via ModCloth

Manicure: Marisa (dark blue) and Anne (violet), both by Julep. Inspired by this pin.

[All photos by Pat Zimmerman]