Style Challenge: Borrowed from the Boys

This week, Meghan of Voilà! posted a style challenge that I found particularly intimidating: “Borrowed from the Boys”.

I’m pretty much the exact opposite of a tomboy. Sure, as a kid I loved climbing trees and pretending I was a great explorer or detective… but I also adored pink and purple and wanted to be a princess. And my fashion choices have always reflected those more feminine leanings.

Anyway, while I really like seeing other people successfully incorporate masculine touches into their outfits (Santina of Style by Santina, one of this week’s challenge participants, is particularly awesome at mixing masculine & feminine elements in her outfits), I’m generally not comfortable doing it myself.

And then I remembered that I’d be going to a Giants game on Thursday, and quite literally borrowed part of my outfit from my boy. Kind of a cop out, I know – but maybe I’ll try again some other time, when I’ve got more time to plan – and more importantly, buy – for my outfit. :)

So here I am, in one of my rare moments wearing pants, rocking a replica of Will Clark’s 1989 grey road jersey from the Bay Bridge World Series.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

… but as you can see, I still wore kitten heels: sparkly silver ones that mirrored the silver grey of the jersey.

Of course, I had to have my photos taken at AT&T Park, in front of Willie Mays’s statue.

Posing with Willie Mays at AT&T Park. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Posing with Willie Mays at AT&T Park. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Jersey: Replica of Will Clark’s 1989 grey road jersey from the Bay Bridge World Series
Shirt: Banana Republic
Earrings: vintage
Jeans: Levi’s Curve ID Supreme Curve Skinny Jeans
Shoes: A Knight to Remember Heel in Silver, BC Shoes 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!
Santina of Style by Santina
Angie of The Hotness Your Momma Warned You About
Adiel of It’s Because I Think Too Much
Jade of Peachy Keen
Kristian of Never Fully Dressed (Without a Style)
Nic of Manners and Moxie

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

Urban Rooftop

I love living in the city. In addition to the easy access to great cultural activities and fantastic restaurants, as well as being surrounded by lots of people, I love the urban landscape. And I’m lucky enough to have an apartment with good views — especially from the roof.

Turns out the roof is a pretty good place to take outfit photos. :)

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

The skirt is a BCBGMAXAZRIA Power Skirt, which I first wore (and posted an outfit post for) in February. I really liked it, but the problem was that I didn’t have the right kind of shirts for it (except for the one featured in that earlier outfit post – and I try to mix up my outfits at least a little!). All my other skirts are a-line or full, so I tend to wear them with more form-fitting shirts and sweaters. But wearing a form-fitting top with a form-fitting skirt was a little too much for me.

I set out to find the right kind of top for this skirt, and finally found the perfect blouse at Nordstrom Rack. I love the rich cobalt blue color, the decorative buttons, and rolled tab sleeves. (The button details continue to the back, with functional buttons, but I forgot to take photos! So I’ll have to do that next time I wear this shirt.) Also, the sheerness of the blouse help keeps it light and fun.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

I accessorized with a silver statement necklace from ModCloth and my favorite silver cuff (a gift from my husband).

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Do you have other ideas or tips for how to wear body-con skirts?

Shirt: Daniel Rainn via Nordstrom Rack
Skirt: BCBGMAXAZRIA Scarlett Power Skirt in Black Combo
Necklace: ModCloth
Bracelet: gifted
Shoes: Marc by Marc Jacobs

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.)

Pushing Boundaries

Sometimes, you just gotta step outside your comfort zone.

The outfit in question.

I always wear a-line or full skirts. Always. That’s been the case since… early college. Or maybe high school. It’s partially a practical choice: with straight skirts, if they fit in the hips they’re far too big in the waist, and if they fit my waist – well, they’ll never go over my hips. And it’s a comfort choice. And frankly, fit-and-flare shapes are super-flattering on tons of body types, including mine.

But I’ve been reading other personal style blogs and getting inspired to try something new. Recently, this post on The Hourglass and this post on Girl with Curves inspired me to try something a little more body conscious.

And guess what?

I kinda love it.

(I kinda love it.)

And with a skirt like this one by BCBG, fantastic heels are required.

D'Orsay at the d'Orsay Heel by Re-Mix, via ModCloth

The whole shebang.

A little outside of my comfort zone?

Yes.

But life’s more fun when you push boundaries!

D’Orsay at the d’Orsay Heels by Re-Mix.

Skirt: BCBGMAXAZRIA Scarlett Power Skirt in Black Combo
Top: Sheer Perfection Top, Knitted Dove via ModCloth
Shoes: D’Orsay at the d’Orsay Heel, Re-Mix via ModCloth
Purse: Cole Haan Valise Archer leather satchel via Rue La La

Photos by Santina of Style by Santina

The Kate & Rocky Show

In my first blog post, I mentioned Santina‘s role in encouraging me to start a blog. But I didn’t mention her suggestion that I name my blog “The Kate & Rocky Show”. See, Santina is a wee bit in love with Rocky (although really, who isn’t?). And I think all she really wanted was to see more of Rocky on the web.

Luckily, Rocky is a natural when it comes to modeling. And since he comes with me to work, he’s available for photo shoots during the day. :)

Rocky strikes a pose

Rocky strikes a pose

So I didn’t name my blog “The Kate & Rocky Show”, but it kinda is.

A girl and her dog.

A girl and her dog.

This dress, by the way, is one of my fave work dresses. I actually got it at a thrift store – I say this with surprise because I find thrift stores overwhelming & am usually not the most talented at finding treasures there.

It’s a silk Lord & Taylor dress from the 1980s. It’s so comfortable to wear and drapes beautifully!

Wait, did Rocky stick out his tongue? The nerve!

Wait, did Rocky stick out his tongue? The nerve!

And to go with the dress (and Rocky!), I added a few bracelets. The black & white ones are bangles I picked up in Senegal a few years ago, and the rhinestone one is vintage. My husband gave me the silver cuff several years ago and it’s definitely one of my go-to pieces.

Few color combinations are more classic than black and white.

Few color combinations are more classic than black and white.

Speaking of going with Rocky, I had to take a couple of pics of him & Santina together because they just matched so well. :)

Santina & Rocky, rockin' black and white

Rocky & Santina, rockin’ black and white

They're so cute!

Rocky & Santina

So basically, Rocky once again proved that he’s really the star of the show!

The Kate & Rocky Show!

The Kate & Rocky Show!

Dress: vintage 1980s Lord & Taylor silk dress, thrifted
Bracelets: gifted (silver cuff), Senegal (black & white bangles), and vintage (rhinestone bracelet)
Belt: remixed (from a Betsey Johnson dress)
Shoes: Ecco via Sierra Trading Post
Purse: Cole Haan Valise Archer leather satchel via Rue La La

Photos are by Santina of Style by Santina, excepting the ones I took of her. :)

You can view additional photos of Santina’s outfit (taken earlier in the day by Ben) here.

Mixin’ It Up with Rocky

Another set of outfit photos with Rocky!

Photo by Santina of Style by Santina

Rocky loves to play, and tug of war is one of his favorite games. Sometimes he’ll try to draw me into a game with his own leash. I never let him do this, but he just looked too adorable and (full disclosure here) I thought it would make for a cute photo. (Bad doggy mommy, I know!)

Tug o' war with Rocky! Photo by Santina of Style by Santina.

Tug o' war with Rocky! Photo by Santina of Style by Santina.

Anyway, back to the outfit. :) At work, we’ve got an employee exchange rack – you know, when you work at a fashion retailer, you’ve got to clear out your closet regularly to make room for the new stuff. So somebody came up with the brilliant idea of starting an exchange rack. I’ve left things on it and scored a couple of good finds – including this awesome giraffe sweater!

Photo by Santina of Style by Santina

And after browsing some fantastic fashion blogs recently, I was inspired to step outside my comfort zone and mix up a couple prints – in this case, the animal-patterned sweater with a chevron skirt.

Mixing patterns: giraffe print and chevrons. Photo by Santina of Style by Santina.

Mixing patterns: giraffe print and chevrons. Photo by Santina of Style by Santina.

I also sprinkled in some fun bracelets. The black and white one is a bracelet I picked up when I visited a friend in Senegal a few years ago.

Rocky models his scarf

Photo by Santina of Style by Santina

Experimenting with these patterns was fun – and as you can see, Rocky definitely approved. High five!

High five!

High five! Photo by Santina of Style by Santina.

Cape: Tulle via ModCloth
Shirt: Talbots via the employee exchange rack
Skirt: V for Victory Skirt, Fabulous via ModCloth
Earrings: Senegal
Bracelets: gifted (mustard & orange bangles and silver cuff) and Senegal (black & white bangle)
Tights: Hue
Shoes: Ecco via Sierra Trading Post
Purse: Cole Haan Valise Archer leather satchel via Rue La La

Photos by Santina of Style by Santina.