The LBD Gets a Colorful Spin!

San Francisco weather is all over the place. This weekend it’s been drizzly and chilly. But not too long ago it was sunny and warm . . . and I took out one of my LBDs for a spin.

Photo by Santina of Style by Santina.

Photo by Santina of Style by Santina.

This is one of my go-to dresses when I want to wear something easy. It’s made of a polyester jersey knit (of the late 70s/early 80s variety), so it never wrinkles. (It happens to be a great traveling dress for that reason — and because it’s super easy to accessorize!) I picked it up several years ago in a Chicago vintage store for about $20 – a steal considering how often I’ve worn it since!

This dress can be worn for work (with a camisole to keep the neckline more conservative) or for a night out dancing — it’s got great twirlability! (That’s totally a word. Or it should be, anyhow.)

And I ADORE color, so I paired the dress with a fantastic scarf/shawl from ModCloth and a vintage gold Anne Klein belt that I recently scored on Etsy. I also added one of my favorite pieces of jewelry — a Victorian mourning bracelet that used to be my aunt’s. She wore it all the time, and I think of her every time I wear it.

Photo by Santina of Style by Santina.

Photo by Santina of Style by Santina.

The color didn’t stop there. In fact, this outfit was actually built around my shoes: rainbow-hued wedges by Poetic License.

Rainbow Road Wedges. Photo by Santina of Style by Santina.

Rainbow Road Wedges. Photo by Santina of Style by Santina.

When I saw these shoes a year or two ago, I knew I had to have them! They remind me of Rainbow Brite, one of my favorite childhood cartoon characters.

And check this out:

Walking on rainbows!

Sunlight shines through the heel, casting a mini rainbow on the ground!

So when I wear these shoes, I’m always somewhere over the rainbow. Literally.

The whole ensemble. Photo by Santina of Style by Santina.

The whole ensemble. Photo by Santina of Style by Santina.

Dress: vintage (late 1970s/early 1980s)
Scarf: Neon Summer Shawl,Twist and Tango via ModCloth
Belt: vintage Anne Klein belt, via Etsy
Shoes: Rainbow Road Wedge, Poetic License via ModCloth
Bracelet: Victorian mourning bracelet

Celebrating 20 Years of Glamour by Louboutin

Sky-high heels. Extraordinary designs.

Red soles.

I can really only be talking about the fabulous shoes by Christian Louboutin.

Hot pink platform heel by Christian Louboutin

Hot pink platform heel by Christian Louboutin

Neiman Marcus hosted a blogger event to introduce Louboutin’s 20th anniversary line, and I absolutely swooned over these shoes!

Check out these killer Louboutin boots!

Check out these killer Louboutin boots!

Showing off a glittery Louboutin heel. Photo by Eli of Thrift Eye.

Showing off a glittery Louboutin heel. Photo by Eli of Thrift Eye.

Cage-y heel by Louboutin

Cage-y heel by Louboutin

But the shoes that captured my heart? A pair of beige patent leather Pigalle flats with the word “love” spelled out in rhinestones across the toes.

In love with Louboutin's Pigalle love flats. Photo by Eli of Thrift Eye.

In love with Louboutin's Pigalove Flats. Photo by Eli of Thrift Eye.

A closer look at Louboutin's Pigalle love flats

A closer look at Louboutin's Pigalove Flats in Nude

Besides admiring the shoes, I had a fabulous time hanging out with awesome SF bloggers!

Chandamheer of Pancake Stacker, Eli of Thrift Eye, and Sarah of Sarah's Ambitions

Chandamheer of Pancake Stacker, Eli of Thrift Eye, and Sarah of Sarah's Ambitions

Chandamheer of Pancake Stacker, Eli of Thrift Eye, and Sarah of Sarah's Ambitions

Sweet manicures by Angie of The Hotness Your Momma Warned You About, Adiel of It's because I think too much, and Eli of Thrift Eye

The whole crew! Photo from @neimanmarcus

The whole crew! Photo from @neimanmarcus

So we sent up a toast to Louboutin, and a toast to fun people!

Cheers!

Cheers!

What I wore:
Dress: vintage Shelton Stroller dress (early 1960s)
Belt: vintage
Shoes: Marc by Marc Jacobs (alas, no Louboutins for me – yet!)
Bracelets: black & white bangles from Senegal; the silver cuff was a gift

Threadless in Wine Country

A few weeks ago, I traveled south to San Luis Obispo to go wine tasting with some awesome peeps from Threadless.

Maybe it’s like wearing a band’s t-shirt to see their concert, but I don’t care – I totally wore one of my Threadless tees. It’s one of their classics: 99 Luftballons by Ross Zietz. I just styled it my way: with a full skirt, wide belt, and fun flats. :)

99 Luftballons in wine country. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

99 Luftballons in wine country. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

99 Luftballons, a wide yellow belt, and a full skirt. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

99 Luftballons, a wide yellow belt, and a full skirt. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

I also did my nails. (For once! Of course, I painted them in the car ride down from San Francisco.)

I was inspired by manicures I’d seen on Pinterest & style blogs – a solid color with glittery tips. And I wasn’t the only one with that idea! The lovely Julia (an artist who’s been printed loads of times on Threadless) had painted her nails in a similar way.

Glitter-tipped nails.

Glitter-tipped nails.

But the trip was about so much more than just clothes and nails (yes, there *is* something more to life!). It was about wine tasting:

Cheers! With the Threadless crew.

Cheers! With the Threadless crew.

Taking lots of photos:

Jess strikes a pose for Craig

Jess strikes a pose for Craig

And drawing… with wine, of course!

Chris turns wine into art

Chris turns wine into art

All in all, a shockingly good time!

Gasp! (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Gasp! (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

T-Shirt: 99 Luftballons by Ross Zietz, via Threadless
Cardigan: Keep it Simple Cardigan in Black, via ModCloth
Skirt: Essential Elegance Skirt, Moon Collection via ModCloth
Belt: Target
Shoes: 10 Things I Love about Shoe, BC Collection via ModCloth
Purse: Cole Haan Valise Archer leather satchel via Rue La La

(P.S. More photos from the trip available in my Flickr set.)

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

To Alcatraz!!

When my friend Lisa visited, I took Monday off and we headed out with Pat (my husband) to Alcatraz. Pat’s from the Bay area, and we’d been coming back to visit his family for years before we moved here — but somehow we never made it out to that prison island. We were like those New Yorkers who never visit the Statue of Liberty. Sometimes you need a friend to visit in order to get around to the touristy stuff!

The day started pretty miserably — chilly and rainy — but around here, you never know what the weather will bring. So like a good San Franciscan, I dressed in layers: a trenchcoat, sweater (not just any old sweater though – a sparkly one!), and cami underneath, with a scarf that could double as a shawl. And I even wore jeans — a rare occurrence!

En route to Alcatraz. Photo by Pat

En route to Alcatraz. Photo by Pat

Oh yes, and I accessorized with bangles – I really love the red and pink combo. I knew we’d be walking around all day, but I also knew we’d be taking tons of photos. It is possible to be comfortable and still look good!

Bangles and sparkles. Photo by Pat

Bangles and sparkles. Photo by Pat

And guess what? By the time we reached Alcatraz, the sun had come out. That’s San Francisco weather!

Alcatraz - view from the ferry.

Alcatraz - view from the ferry.

Alcatraz has awesome views, both inside and out. I spent a lot of time just taking photos:

Alcatraz - storage door. And boy.

Alcatraz - storage door. And boy.

Alcatraz cell.

Alcatraz cell.

I briefly ended up behind bars . . .

Behind bars. Photo by Pat.

Behind bars. Photo by Pat.

. . . and even donned prison duds:

Prison chic? Modeling Alcatraz prison wear replicas. Photo by Pat.

Prison chic? Modeling Alcatraz prison wear replicas. Photo by Pat.

. . . but finally managed to escape outside with Lisa!

With Lisa at Alcatraz. Photo by Pat.

With Lisa at Alcatraz. Photo by Pat.

By the time we were ready to head home, rain clouds had started to gather again.

View from Alcatraz.

View from Alcatraz.

Luckily, we made it to the ferry just as the rain hit!

I highly recommend visiting Alcatraz — especially if you love to take pictures. Just make sure you wear layers, a raincoat, and bring an umbrella. I saw lots of tourists stuck with Alcatraz ponchos!

Sweater: Sparkling Personality Sweater, BB Dakota via ModCloth
Scarf: gifted
Trenchcoat: Burberry
Jeans: Banana Republic
Purse: Longchamp
Shoes: Aquatalia by Marvin K. (Water resistant! Perfect for San Francisco.)

(P.S. More photos available on my Flickr set.)

How ModCloth Celebrates

During the holidays, all of ModCloth is super busy. So we’ve always had a post-holiday party, which is actually brilliant: everyone’s more relaxed, we don’t have a gazillion other events and parties and family get-togethers to attend, and we can let loose and have a good time.

Scene at the ModCloth Post-Holiday Party

Scene at the ModCloth Post-Holiday Party

So I put together the necessary ingredients: cat-eye liner, red lipstick, and sequins . . .

Decked out for the ModCloth Post-Holiday Party

Decked out for the ModCloth Post-Holiday Party

. . . and joined my friends at the party!

Hannah et moi

Hannah et moi

Analytics & B.I., featuring Jenn, Kate, Frances, Evan, and Santina

Analytics & B.I., featuring Jenn, Kate, Frances, Evan, and Santina

There was karaoke:

Ashley & Susan rock out

Ashley & Susan rock out

and more karaoke:

Pat & Kate. Photo by Svetlana Saitsky Photography.

Pat & Kate. Photo by Svetlana Saitsky Photography.

and some fab photobooth action:

The Analytics team crowds into a photobooth.

Hamming it up with Pat.

. . . and more karaoke!

The ModCloth crew belt out Ghost Busters. Photo by Svetlana Saitsky Photography.

The ModCloth crew belt out Ghost Busters. Photo by Svetlana Saitsky Photography.

Not to mention all the marvelous dresses, of course. :)

What I wore:
Dress: Sparkle and Span Dress, Max and Cleo via ModCloth
Earrings: gifted
Belt: Calderon, thrifted
Bracelet: Victorian mourning bracelet

Fire Ants!

This weekend my friend Lisa visited Pat & me, and to celebrate, I donned my fantastic Charlotte Taylor fire-ant-print maxi dress. We headed out to brunch on Saturday morning — and on the way, passed my closet.

Kate's Closet. Photo by Lisa.

Kate's Closet. Photo by Lisa.

(It must be my closet, because the sign says so!)

Once we reached our destination — Plow — we had a bit of a wait, so I decided to snap a couple of pics of Lisa.

Lisa. In black. 'Cause that's how she rolls.

Lisa. In black. 'Cause that's how she rolls.

The thing about Lisa is that she always wears black. ALWAYS. (We kinda have totally different styles, in case you can’t tell from the photos.) She looks amazing, but bright colors make everything better. *nods sagely* Hence the mural!

The colorful mural totally brings out Lisa's eyes. Or something.

The colorful mural totally brings out Lisa's eyes. Or something.

And then the wait was over and it was time for FOOD!

Plow's namesake breakfast, The Plow. Nom!

Plow's namesake breakfast, The Plow. Nom!

And HUGS!

Lisa and Pat crazy hug!

Lisa and Pat crazy hug!

And then we headed back home. And found some flowers along the way!

Fire ants and red roses. Photo by Lisa.

Fire ants and red roses. Photo by Lisa.

In the evening we went to the Chinese New Year’s Parade, but my camera died. *sadface* So I have to see if I can swipe some pictures from Lisa . . .

When we got home, to make up for lost photo time, Pat took some artsy photos of us on the roof. Oh, and it’s kinda hard to see here, but Lisa was rocking a red shirt — that she bought at Kate’s Closet. (It was a necessity for the Chinese New Year’s Parade, really.)

Kate and Lisa strike a pose. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Kate and Lisa strike a pose. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Gasp! Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Gasp! Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

And so ended day 1 of Lisa’s visit. :)

Dress: Charlotte by Charlotte Taylor Fire Ants Maxi Dress via Anthropologie
Cardigan: Pointelle-ism Cardigan, Tulle via ModCloth
Shoes: Red-y Steady Flat via ModCloth
Earrings: gifted
Necklace: vintage

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

Year of the Dragon – The Outfit

For Chinese New Year’s Eve, my husband and I went to his parents’ place, where several of our friends joined us for a holiday feast. (Photos and recipes available here!)

Chinese tradition holds that red and gold bring good luck and wealth. So, of course, any proper Chinese New Year outfit must incorporate those colors. I figured my “Fireworks of Love” dress by Trashy Diva, along with some gold accents & accessories, fit the bill perfectly!

The Dress:

Fireworks of Love Dress by Trashy Diva, via ModCloth

The Accessories:

Un-Teal the End of Time Bag, Magnes Sisters via ModCloth

Un-Teal the End of Time Bag, Magnes Sisters via ModCloth

Vintage (1980s?) Gold-Tone Bracelet

Vintage (1980s?) Gold-Tone Bracelet

Tippytoes Heels, Seychelles via ModCloth

Tippytoes Heels, Seychelles via ModCloth

Unsurprisingly, being January in the SF Bay area, it was raining. Luckily, I had a bit of blue sky with me. :)

Blue Skies Above Umbrella via ModCloth

Blue Skies Above Umbrella via ModCloth

And anyway, I’m not going to let a little rain get me down on a holiday! Especially a holiday that’s all about bright colors, good food, and being with friends and family. :)

So, do you celebrate the Lunar New Year? What are your fave New Year traditions?

Gung hay fat choy!

Gung Hay Fat Choy!

Gung hay fat choy!

Dress: Fireworks of Love Dress, Trashy Diva via ModCloth
Cardigan: For Orchestra Blazer, Lush via ModCloth
Shoes: Tippytoes Heels, Seychelles via ModCloth
Purse: Un-Teal the End of Time bag, Magnes Sisters via ModCloth
Bracelet: vintage
Umbrella: Blue Skies Above Umbrella via ModCloth

Photos by Pat Zimmerman