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.]

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Amidst the Greenery

Ah, summer in San Francisco. While the rest of the country faces a heat wave, it was foggy and in the high 50s/low 60s this evening.

This outfit, which I wore to a dinner party at a friend’s house, is pretty representative of what I tend to wear during the summer – something a bit more substantial than the usual sundresses, like this evergreen B. Jones Style skirt from ModCloth.

Sporting beige and green. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Sporting beige and green. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Last time I styled the B. Jones Style skirt, the weather was even cooler and I incorporated tights and a wool coat. This time, to lighten things up, I paired it with a sheer beige blouse and nude patent heels.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

And this statement ring – which I was lucky enough to nab from ModCloth’s employee exchange rack! – was the just the right finishing touch!

Cocktail ring, wine, and lights. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Cocktail ring, wine, and lights. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

It seems that only in San Francisco would I be able to (read: be forced to) wear something this heavy in the summer. Oh well – at least I’ve got pockets!

Pockets! One of the greatest things about this skirt. :) Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Pockets! One of the greatest things about this skirt. :) Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Skirt: B. Jones Style Skirt, Bettie Page via ModCloth
Blouse: Sheer Perfection Top, Knitted Dove via ModCloth
Shoes: Wishing and Taupe-ing Heels, Jessica Simpson via ModCloth
Ring: From ModCloth’s employee exchange rack

[All photos by Pat Zimmerman.]

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]

Classically Styled

I’ve been living in San Francisco for almost 2 years now, but I’m still struck by the beauty of this city. Sometimes it’s nice to just wander around, taking in the sights.

That’s what Pat and I did one sunny Sunday. First we brunched at Sweet Maple, a restaurant I just had to try after reading pancakeSTACKER’s blog post about it. (I agree with Chandamheer: Sweet Maple is super yummy!) And then we headed in the direction of the Palace of Fine Arts to take in the sights.

It was a gorgeous day, but also a bit windy and chilly. So like a good San Franciscan, I wore layers. In the shade, I definitely needed my fuchsia wool coat (a gift from my friend Lisa).

Outside a house near the Palace of Fine Arts. Imagine living there! (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Outside a house near the Palace of Fine Arts. Imagine living there! (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

But in the sun, I was able to get by with just my cardigan – for a photo or two, at least. :)

I was wearing my Bettie Page skirt — a great skirt for windy, chilly days because it’s long and heavy enough to avoid pulling a Marilyn. (And it also has hidden pockets – which instantly makes any skirt a gazillion times more awesome.) I love its retro 1950s style – especially when paired with these Seychelles heels.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Pat and I had a lovely time walking around the Palace — and taking photos!

Pat at the Palace of Fine Arts

Pat at the Palace of Fine Arts

There were many arches and columns. It was most tranquil.

There were many arches and columns. It was most tranquil.

Sitting on a bend dedicated to The Honorable Willie L. Brown, Jr. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Sitting on a bench dedicated to The Honorable Willie L. Brown, Jr. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

In addition to the beautiful architecture, there is quite a lot of wildlife at the Palace of Fine Arts. Among the ducks and seagulls, I caught this heron that had been fishing. Turns out there are crawdads in the waters, too!

A heron with its catch - crawdads for lunch!

A heron with its catch - crawdads for lunch!

It was a beautiful day in one of the most gorgeous areas of San Francisco. A perfect way to spend a sunny Sunday!

View of the Palace of Fine Arts

View of the Palace of Fine Arts

Coat: Via (gifted)
Skirt: B. Jones Style Skirt, Bettie Page via ModCloth
Cardigan: Trusted Essential Cardigan via ModCloth
Shirt: Banana Republic
Shoes: Veronica Heel, Seychelles via ModCloth
Purse: Cole Haan Valise Archer leather satchel via Rue La La

Seen Style: Is It Spring Yet?

Spring is my favorite season. I grew up in the Northeast, and I was always eager to leave winter behind — and loved seeing the spring bulbs and blossoms pop up. By my reckoning (and as evidenced by photos like this on my Flickr stream), this is right about the time of year that we’d be getting a hint of spring.

Of course, in San Francisco, it’s pretty much spring or fall all year ’round. But at least there are spring fashions to look forward to. And cheery colors. Like the ones displayed in Jenn & Santina’s outfits:

Santina & Jenn

Santina & Jenn

Santina & Jenn. They only LOOK sweet. ;)

Santina & Jenn. They only LOOK sweet. ;)

(Btw, for more detailed shots of Santina’s outfit, check out her blog post!)

And a solo shot of Jenn. I love how she combined the lemon yellow 1960s chiffon dress with a crisp chambray shirt and rich colors of her Proenza Schouler bag.

Jenn looking chic, with chiffon, chambray, and Proenza Schouler

Jenn looking chic, with chiffon, chambray, and Proenza Schouler

On Santina (of Style by Santina; see her blog post for more details!):
Dress: Jason Wu for Target
Shoes: Chelsea Crew
Necklace: H&M
Bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs

On Jenn:
Dress: vintage 1960s chiffon dress
Necklace: Give Me a Beak Necklace, Monserat de Lucca via ModCloth
Bag: Proenza Schouler

Maritime Moxie

When the runway and look book photos for Resort and Spring/Summer 2012 came out, I was super excited to see all the French orange and blue. I thought these looks from Louis Vuitton embodied the color scheme particularly well:

From the Louis Vuitton Resort 2012 Look Book

From the Louis Vuitton Resort 2012 Look Book

French orange and blue has a special place in my heart – it reminds me of my aunt Sue. For my 16th birthday, she rallied the whole family into funding a trip for me to Paris – her absolute favorite city. The trip was amazing – not only because Paris is a wonderful city, but because Sue shared with me what she loves best. And it’s the little details that stuck with me, like her love for the classic French combination of orange and blue.

So that’s why I was so happy to see the color combo hit the runways again: it makes it that much easier to find fantastic clothes in colors that I love. Like this orange and blue Eva Franco dress from ModCloth!

Maritime Moxie Dress by Eva Franco

Maritime Moxie Dress by Eva Franco

I paired it with blue suede shoes from Chelsea Crew:

Suede and Swing Heels by Chelsea Crew

Suede and Swing Heels by Chelsea Crew

And went out to enjoy a beautiful San Francisco day with Rocky. :)

Rocky Reach!

Rocky Reach!

Have to say, I’m looking forward to the coming spring and more opportunities to wear this dress!

Rocky Reach!

Enjoying the day!

Dress: Maritime Moxie Dress, Eva Franco via ModCloth
Cardigan: For Orchestra Blazer, Lush via ModCloth
Shoes: Suede and Swing Heel, Chelsea Crew via ModCloth
Purse: Aerosoles

Rocky’s Bowtie: Fairy-tail Engagement Dog Collar via ModCloth

Photos by Santina of Style by Santina

P.S. For more runway faves, check out my Pinterest board! pinterest.com/katealamode/runway/ And leave a comment if you’re on Pinterest – always looking for more inspiration! :)

Retro Revamp

I had a rather fun morning – got to be a hair model for a DIY to be posted on the ModCloth blog. The only downside was that I had to let my hair set all day. But ModCloth has a stash of vintage scarves (used for other DIY posts), so I was able to grab a silk scarf and wrap up my ‘do.

Showing off my super-fashionable headwrap ;)

Showing off my super-fashionable head wrap ;)

Okay, totally not my usual style, but it was kinda fun. And went pretty well with my outfit.

It seems I’ve had a thing for patterns recently – this dress is another Trashy Diva fave.

Retro Revamp Dress by Trashy Diva, via ModCloth

Retro Revamp Dress by Trashy Diva, via ModCloth

I wasn’t actually planning on taking pics while my hair was still up, but went out with Santina to snap a few photos of her because her outfit was adorbs.

Santina strikes a pose

Santina strikes a pose

And as you can see, I somehow managed to convince her to ham it up a little. I think it suits her, even if it’s not really her MO. Check out this sweet kawaii pose:

Santina's Kawaii Pose

Santina’s Kawaii Pose

After work, Santina and I headed to the San Francisco Center for a party hosted by Madewell and Fabsugar. This was, of course, after my ‘do was finished: a tightly curled 1920’s hairstyle.

Santina and Kate @ the Madewell & Fabsugar Party

Santina and Kate @ the Madewell & Fabsugar Party

The party was all about shopping, meeting other bloggers, and talking fashion. Not a bad way to unwind after work. :)

Shopping and socializing @ the Madewell & Fabsugar Party

Shopping and socializing @ the Madewell & Fabsugar Party

Lovely bloggers at Madewell.

One of the coolest parts of the party was the Fabsugar style contest: anyone who wanted to participate had to style & model an outfit using Madewell clothes. And I’m happy to take advantage of any excuse to play dress up!

Participants in the Fabsugar Style Contest

Participants in the Fabsugar Style Contest

It was a little tricky, because most Madewell pieces are cut for thinner, straighter figures. Their skinny jeans? Not gonna work on someone like me. But I found this awesome green dress and managed to whip something up that’s totally my style: retro & colorful.

Kate à la Madewell - or Madewell à la Kate?

Kate à la Madewell – or Madewell à la Kate?

Two outfits in one day? Not bad!

Have you had an opportunity to play dress up recently?

Outfit #1:
Dress: Retro Revamp Dress, Trashy Diva via ModCloth
Cardigan: Button-Up Basics Cardigan in Brown via ModCloth
Shoes: Tippytoes Heels, Seychelles via ModCloth
Scarf: vintage
Belt: thrifted
Bracelet: Victorian mourning bracelet
Tights: Hue
Purse: Un-Teal the End of Time bag, Magnes Sisters via ModCloth

Outfit #2:
Dress: Madewell
Tote bag: Madewell
Belt: Madewell
Necklace: Madewell
Shoes: Madewell
Bracelet: Victorian mourning bracelet
Tights: Hue

My outfit photos taken by Santina of Style by Santina.